Did you know that 1 in 3 kids are in some form of therapy. Well you shouldn't because I totally made that statistic up (anyone, anyone?), but if you spend as much time around kids and parents as I do, you will probably agree...these days, everyone's doing it!
And my oldest is definitely not an exception. If anything, our craziness about saturating his short little life with endless hours of speech and occupational therapy has made him the unofficial poster child for EI.
I've found, by speaking to countless parents in waiting room after waiting room, that developmental therapy is just like infant hiccups in that it seems to be harder on the adults than it is on the kids. My little guy has no idea that his new "school" is actually a speech group or that the "babysitter" that comes to our house to play is really an experienced S&L therapist. However, I, like many other folks, spend sleepless nights praying for clear speech and worry constantly about what his delay might mean for his future. Will the other kids make fun of him? Will people understand him if he needs something? And how in the hell am I going to potty train a little one who can't tell me he has to go?
If you have kids, you know that worrying is just part of the gig. We're all going to spend more than a few sleepless nights freaking out about something or another. Guess that we're just getting initiated early. As my husband and I always say, if this is the worst thing he goes through in his life, we'll take it.
I read years ago about a group of people in India who begin each day with a laugh session. They just laugh. To feel good. It's genius if you think about it. How can you be miserable if you've just laughed your ass off? So while we're not moving to India any time soon, we have jumped on the laugh therapy bandwagon together to ward off a state of depression and you know what? It's working!
Now, it might sound insensitive to others to hear that we've turned our kid's issue into a joke, but to you crybabies, I say, walk in our shoes and then judge. Oh yeah, and get a sense of humor.
I bet if you have a kid that has had a problem of any kind-from being picked last to come over for Red Rover to a serious medical condition, you understand that if you don't laugh, you'll just spend all day crying. Laughing just happens to be a more acceptable emotion to carry around with you in public. And you look better doing it. Trust me, I've definitely cried behind my sunglasses on more than one occasion while walking the aisles of Target, praying not to run into anyone I know (glasses cover the red eyes, but nothing covers the red, runny nose). I'm also not one of those people on Oprah that we all wish we were-you know, the one who has the horrific, movie-of-the-week-life but still manages to see the experience as a blessing. But maybe, hopefully, we've found some kind of happy medium between the hero and the whiner with this silly stuff.
Just so you don't think we are terribly cruel people who point and laugh when our oldest can't express himself properly, let me help you out there. We make funnies-we don't make fun. We laugh about how lucky we are that he can't talk back; we never worry about swearing around him because he doesn't repeat anything; and he can't tell us how embarrassed he is when we sing in the car. If you look at it from that perspective, it's all upside!
We have bad days too. Days when laughing is just not an option. And as far as we're concerned, this therapy is crappy, stressful stuff! If you're in it, you have enough serious on your plate. You deserve a heaping side of the giggles-as many as you can stomach!