Sunday, September 21, 2008

Catching Up

On Friday, I attended a workshop led by STOMP. Being a parent of a child with special needs is one thing, but when you throw the military aspect in there, it just becomes a whole 'nother thing altogether. Imagine what it must be like to have a baby, get news that rocks your world, adjust and get settled and then...move across the country.

That's not just my story. There are many others out there just like us. It happened before and it will happen again in two years. Plus, Playette will be 3(!) then and in this world we live in, 3 is a magic age. Everything changes. IFSPs become IEPs. Early Intervention officially ends. (Well, at least I think it does. Please correct me if I'm wrong. I'm kinda living day by day over here.)

So, anyway, two ladies from STOMP came and talked to us about how to work with military insurance and what types of assistance STOMP can offer in general and then they they talked in detail about IEPs, SSI, Medicare, laws, communication, record keeping, etc.

What I thought was cool was that each of those ladies has a daughter with Ds, one 10 years old and the other 20. Not that I wouldn't have listened otherwise - it was just nice. None of the other parents/educators there has a child with Ds.

I had only committed to coming on Friday due to our packed Saturday schedule, but they convinced me to bring Playette to meet them the following morning. I felt so good about that. They genuinely wanted to meet her. There was no doubt in my mind that they had pure, sincere motives in wanting to get to know my baby. They knew, and I knew, that I'd be calling and that over the years we'd probably get to know one another quite well and this was their chance to put a face to a name. So I got up earlier than I needed to on Saturday and sat through just one hour of the all-day seminar.

You know, it's nice to have someone love on your child with no prejudices or reservations. That type of relaxing feeling is just why I wanted to have the Ds'elebration (yeah, the name has really grown on me). I wanted parents to know that no one was looking at their child with anything other than love and acceptance. That they could come and relax and eat and get good info from folks who had been there, done that, and bought the Maroon Spoons.

More on that later.

So, Friday night, we had Ms. J come over so that we could join in on the birthday celebration of one of BD's classmates. I had such a good time. The sushi was fantastic and I think everyone was just being nice to the girl who doesn't get out much because I am so sure that I ate more than my share. I also was reaching my goofy peak, so much so that it would have been better if I had had at least one drink to blame it on. Poor BD.

Example: Lady that sat across from me is preggo with twins. She told me a story about someone being rude to her and that, coupled with Tricia's horrific story from the other day, had me all kinds of fired up. I told my tablemates that it was high time that someone took one for the preggo team and started whooping some ass on their behalf. I claimed that I could quit my job and be a Personal Pregnant Person Protector.

Yup, all off of half of a glass of water.

I graciously bowed out of the bar hopping that followed dinner, stopped at Le Dee-pot to try and find shower cleaning chemicals, and relieved Ms. J a few hours early.

Wait. Can I get a soul clap for BD right quick? He is the man. The man who got up off the couch during college football and took my place in the STOMP seminar so that I could get my hair done in preparation for a pretty big week, work-wise. Big ups, BD, big ups.

He did that right after Playette and I returned from....bump ba da dummm....SWIM LESSONS (yeah! clap clap clap) So. Much. Fun. Playette even went under water 4 times. She looked shocked, but she never cried. SUCCESS!

(Sooo, who's placing bets on how long it takes for the ear infection to show up?)

After all of that, we went to BD's advisor's house for a kick-butt BBQ. So nice. Great people. Beautiful home. Playette really enjoyed the other kids and I...really enjoyed the beans. Plus, they told us that we can come and "visit" them any time we want to partake in the lovely drive their gated community is known for. Bonus!

Today was my first attempt at Ds'elebrating. Not everyone that was invited could make it, but that was ok. There were the 3 of us, plus 5 adults and 7 children. I think the size and make-up of the group was great. I had invited one gentleman that I met at the workshop on Friday. He and his family have only been in town for a week and they got the opportunity to talk to my super-informed mama friend, Girlee (ha! now you get a nickname too ;-) and then I got to play with the kids and sing songs that would be entirely inappropriate if there were no kids around. Score!

Plus, Girlee's oldest daughter? Loves Drop Dead Fred. Too bad it took us so long to find out that factoid. If I wasn't so ancient, we could totally hang out.

I've got a busy day ahead of me tomorrow. First, a personal training session at 0600 and then a full day at work, my only day in for the week. Why? CAUSE I'M HEADED EAST! Reverse Manifest Destiny, baby. My first time on the right coast since we moved. I am giddy with temperature change anxiety. I'll be gone Tuesday-Sunday.

Since it's work and it's so last-minute, I don't know that I'll get to see anyone and that's a shame. I'll try though. I wish I had time to drive to DC. Maybe it's best that I can't. I might go into city shock and then what?

I hate to leave home and am so excited all at the same time.


sheree said...

you are so funny. So glad Playette enjoyed her swim lessons! Let's hope that ear infection stays away!!

Sorry we missed the Ds'elebration...we'll see you soon though ;)

helen of troy said...

lol! girlee here thanking you for the wonderful time. The kids had a blast and you know adult conversation is always welcomed! Cant wait for the adult version!hehehehe Hope you have fun on the east coast!!!

Michelle said...

That is so neat that you were able to attend STOMP! So care to share anything you learned? :) I've heard of it before, and actually have that site bookmarked in my "military" folder - but forgot about it until you posted this. I'd like to be able to attend a seminar and find out if I'm missing out on anything I should know about!

That's great you were able to plan a playdate with a few other families!