I am guilty. A relapse is taking place from my old rusty collection of bad habits. I pull Omar out of his crib when he wakes up bright and early then I crawl into Yousuf's bed and try to extend my z's as long as my kids let me. I hear them playing in the game room with an occasional fight among brothers over a toy. Bad mom. I should be waking them up enthusiastically, making them breakfast and getting them ready for the day. My feet drag while I forcefully go along with the routine. The other day I thought I would mask my guilt by getting up a little longer, before diving back into Yousuf's bed, and got out a long narrow tunnel from the top of his closet. He hasn't played with it since before Omar was born since there was no one to participate with him in it. When I first bought it for him he was excited but got bored right away. I was excited thinking Omar could now crawl in there with him and have a lot of fun. I could hear Yousuf and Omar laughing and playing while I started to drift off to sleep. It was only a matter of about 5-7 minutes when Yousuf reappeared in front of me. I asked him why he didn't go play with the tunnel with Omar, it sounded fun. He yelled at me saying, "Mama! I can't, I'm tired!" I got a knot in my throat forgetting about how weak he is and quickly he gets tired when doing many physical activities. Now my guilt was multiplied.
Yousuf understands he's different and has to take different precautions then most kids. The last visit to the hospital we were discussing the possibility of going out to eat afterward and if it would be a busy time of day or not. Yousuf immediately answered us by saying, "No, I can't. Yousuf's sick." There alot of old places we used to go to that we sometimes drive by in the car. Yousuf recognizes it and explains that we no longer go there because there are alot of kids and Yousuf is sick. I try to explain to him that Yousuf is not bad and there is nothing wrong with him but we just have to take extra precautions to protect him. I'm not sure how much he understands.
In effort to not prevent all outings I tried to take him to the bookstore where he loves to play with the train table. I rushed out of the door to try to be the first..(and only)ones to the bookstore in the morning. I know the workers were looking at me with strange looks as I wiped the entire train table and trains down before letting Yousuf touch it. Yousuf was enveloped with his play imagination with all the trains to himself. Unfortunately, Omar picked the best time to dirty his diaper. When we came back from our trip to the bathroom after changing Omar's diaper the train table was surrounded by atleast three other small kids with atleast one parent to every child. I couldn't even see the train table. Yousuf threw a fit right there on the floor knowing that too many kids/people= Yousuf not allowed. I stood there with a sodden look of guilt on my face. Why did I take him here? I knew it was risky. I, with sympathetic tones, told him I knew it wasn't fair but there was nothing I could do.
I have created a very special gift during all of this. A talent that one might be amazed by. Due to heightened senses when in public I am able to recognize all coughs, sneezes, and even clearing the throats withing a 1/2 mile radius. Without even looking my peripheral vision is so strong now I know all the different ways people handle their coughs and sneezes. Some people cough or sneeze behind them, others do it in their chest while some are so kind to cover their mouths completely cupping their hands over there mouth but then reach for something from the shelf or grasp the shopping cart. Without even wanting to I know (even when in the bathroom stall) if someone has washed their hands before exiting the bathroom. I am quite gifted in catching Yousuf touch a counter top or elevator door and be able to calculate rather fast about how many people have touched an object and how fast I need to sanitize his hands before they can come even close to his mouth. Obsessed? I'm notorious for those tendencies, but this time I was told to do so.