On August 5 I posted about my typical weekday. One reader sent this comment, via email:
You are not only an afternoon sous-chef/lawyer, but you have incredible perseverance (re utilizing every minute of the day) and patience. Somehow you maintain confidence it will be okay in the long haul. I got tired just reading it, especially the activities even after Martin went to bed. Someday it will all be all right.
That sounds sad to me. Does it sound sad to you? As if I’m so overwhelmed that I survive only by clinging to confidence in a better future for Martin?
Okay. Fair point—sometimes I am so overwhelmed that I survive only by clinging to confidence in a better future for Martin. It happens.
But I’m determined to stop being such a downer on the blog. If you are a reader acquainted with me off-line, you know that, in person, I am not a walking bummer. To the contrary, I’m quite sunny. (Adrian, the only party besides Martin with 24-hour access to me, might disagree. Fortunately for me, I’ve not yet added a “Husband’s Page” to the blog.) The reason I’m quite sunny is that I have a stable family and a blessed life. What concerns me most is how close my son will come to neurotypicality, and whether we can cover the distance quickly enough to overcome a late start to social interaction. That concern weighs heavily, but it’s not poverty, or terminal illness, or homelessness, or hunger, or unemployment, or abuse. Mine is a concern that, overall, I feel I have the tools to conquer.
Today I am posting optimism and contentment. Martin’s attention is returning, after that bad month we had. Yesterday I phone-conferenced with Martin’s excellent Track Two doctor, who ran some tests regarding his adrenal stress and is preparing appropriate homeopathic relief. Although the “meat thing” has proved difficult for me, Martin seems to be taking to beef broth without issue. Two evenings ago I enjoyed myself thoroughly at a happy hour for parents from Martin’s new special-education preschool.
Furthermore, since Martin started his new school earlier in September, my days have improved, time-wise. A typical weekday now looks like this:
• 6:40-7:00 a.m. I rise. I feed the cats. I check email and respond to any urgent missives. I prepare Martin’s morning homotoxicology and other drops, which “cook” ten minutes in hot water, to burn off the alcohol in which the active ingredients are suspended. I start Martin’s breakfast, which these days alternates among duck egg with squash fries (weekend treat), muffins with Dr. Cow “cream cheese,” grain-free veggie pancakes, and the occasional bowl of buckwheat or quinoa cereal with nuts. My mother just sent a waffle maker and recipe for almond waffles, so I’m going to add those into the rotation.
• 7:00-8:10 a.m. Busy time. Adrian won the desirable job of waking Martin (he’s like a sleepy little bunny rabbit in the morning) and the less desirable job of getting Martin onto the potty and then dressed. While they are thus occupied, I finish making Martin’s breakfast. I’m also running up and down the stairs from kitchen to bedrooms, bringing some supplements and maybe doing a HANDLE exercise or two. Adrian brings Martin downstairs by 7:30. I help Martin with breakfast and remaining supplements and oils, while Adrian showers and gets ready for work. I also fix Martin’s lunch during this time, because I like it to be as fresh as possible. His typical school lunch comprises nut butter slathered on homemade crackers (which get soggy if I prepare them the night before), accompanied by a dish like sauerkraut, avocado, pear, or hard-boiled quail eggs. By 8:00 Martin is teeth-brushed and ready. He makes one final visit to the potty with Adrian. At 8:10 precisely they walk out the door together, Adrian wearing a laptop/document backpack and Martin wearing a zebra backpack stocked with school supplies, lunch, and toddler training pants. Adrian puts Martin on the school bus.
• 8:10-9:00 a.m. Kitchen and me time. I empty the dishwasher, load in any plates lying around, give the kitchen a once-over, and if necessary do basic prep work for dinner. Then I get myself washed and dressed, and walk to the corner coffee shop for a soy latté.
• 9:00 a.m.-3:15 p.m. Lawyer time. I spend as much of this time working (as a lawyer, my “real job”) as possible. I may also sneak out to the natural foods store or continue dinner prep. Occasionally, daringly, I start a blog post. Samara picks Martin up at school at 2:15. They dawdle, wander here and there, take the subway home, usually arriving around 3:15.
• 3:15-6:15 p.m. Flex time. I keep doing lawyer work, as necessary. I assist Samara with Martin’s afternoon and evening supplements. I finish preparing dinner. I do HANDLE exercises with Martin. Some days Samara takes Martin to the park or a play date. By the time Samara leaves at 6:15, she has Martin bathed, pajama-clad, and halfway through his dinner.
• 6:15-7:00 p.m. Sleepy time. Martin keeps a 6:30 bedtime these days. That’s when we head upstairs to read a book, brush teeth, and snuggle. While Martin dozes off I sit in the rocker and check Facebook, read, or play Scrabble on the iPad. Adrian, when he’s home for bedtime, doesn’t hang around while Martin goes to sleep. I can’t leave. I cherish seeing Martin off to rest at day’s end.
• 7:00-10:00 p.m. More flex time. Some days I need to head back to my desk for more lawyer work. Some days there is laundry accumulated, or a pressing household task. Always there is kitchen work, for Martin’s special diet or for Adrian’s snack when he comes home between 8:00 and 10:00 p.m. My favorite evenings are when Adrian comes early, and I go for a walk or out to meet a friend.
• 10:00 pm.-? Bedtime and blogging. Sometime after 10:00 I head upstairs to read, talk through the day with Adrian, and blog.
I can manage this schedule, much better than the chaos before Martin began full school days. In fact, Samara now takes one day off per week. I cut work at 1:30 then and pick Martin up at school myself, and the two of us hang out for a couple hours.
Here’s what I still cannot figure out, though: Despite this new schedule, help from my mother on Martin’s food, and what should be more time for me, still I rarely put away the computer or iPad before 1:00 a.m. Honestly, I can’t even tell you what I’m doing all that time. Playing Scrabble, emailing, writing, reading, who knows? My next project—lights out by 11:00 p.m.