WOW. We have had quite the week around here. In addition to my husband having to host his team from China at work (translate: VERY long hours, which translates to "Mommy's on duty pretty much all the time"), we've had various other changes in our routine. C's seasonal allergies are also in full swing (even though here in the DC metro area, it seems Mother Nature forgot what she is doing because it certainly feels like we've regressed back into Winter), which means that she is on medication, has a runny nose, and just feels not quite like herself.
I have always known in the back of my head that transitions and changes in routine are not my daughter's forte' but I don't think it truly hit me until this week just how much a long to-do list for the week can stress her out, and how much this added therapy (and our rising expectations of her as she gains more skills and confidence in them) is taking a toll on her energy level. We did all the typical things we do - school, OT, sensory activities at home, etc., but we added three play dates for C (two impromptu, one planned) and one for her little sister M, just for kicks. I think the non-stop action has been a bit too much for her. I saw more meltdowns this week over things that I thought we had mostly conquered than I have in awhile (not throwing ourselves on the ground when we don't want to do something, putting on socks/jackets/clothes with sleeves when it's 40 degrees outside, WEARING PANTS IN FRONT OF COMPANY - you know, the usual...). Sister was seriously having issues - and I know it was not her fault.
Here's this kid who has been working hard, and we go and bombard her with lots of extra stuff - some totally planned, some totally unavoidable, but extra stuff nonetheless. I know that eventually we will get to a point in her therapy where she will be better able to roll with the punches, but she is just not there yet, and I/we have to respect that. I don't mean that we should always skip or avoid over-programming our week because sometimes that's just life and you do need to learn that life isn't always this planned out thin. But I do think that when we know it's coming, we owe it to our family to prepare ourselves for a more challenging day/week than we would otherwise be facing. It's only fair to C, and I know for my own sanity, if I keep it in perspective, we will all be much better off.
While I sometimes feel guilty that she takes time every afternoon to just veg out in front of the television, or read her books, or play her Leapster Explorer, I now know that this time is necessary for her. She works hard at school, at OT, at play dates, at her exercises at home, and downtime is a really important thing that we neglected this week. I'm already thinking about how we can give all of us a break this weekend. I think that for me, it just might need to involve some wine and girls' night tonight... :)