Special Needs Mom – A Glimpse into My Day

Mother and teenager
AnnMarie & Zachary

3:40am – I wake up for no apparent reason.


5am – Again, awake for no apparent reason.


5:10am – Zachary wakes up. I find an iPad and redirect him to his bed, so he won’t wake up the rest of the house.


5:20am – Zach comes out of his room, so I put him on the toilet, hoping he will use it.


5:25am – no luck with the toilet, redirect him back to bed.


5:30am – I sit down and pick up my phone to check weather, news, and Facebook.


5:45am – Zach comes out of his room. I pour him some orange juice and redirect him to his bedroom. I sit back down.


6am – Zach comes out of his room – see 5:45am.

6:25am – I wake up my daughter and then head in to the kitchen to wash a few dishes and start the dishwasher.


6:45am – help my daughter gather her things for school and change Zachary’s pull-up.


7:15am – drive my daughter to school. I stop and grab an iced coffee on my way home.


8am – make and feed Zach breakfast.


8:15am – finish cleaning the kitchen, pick-up the living room, make my bed, and prep my work list for my job (stay at home work day).


8:45am – eat breakfast.


9am – get Zach a snack.


9:05am – settle down to work.


9:30am – Zach is restless. I head downstairs to turn on the T.V. and DVD player. Since I’m downstairs I put in a load of laundry and let the dog out of his pen.


9:45 – settle back down to work.


10am – Zach comes upstairs. He had an accident. I decide to put him in the bathtub.


10:10am – settle back down on computer.


10:15am – notice the puppy pooped on the kitchen floor. I ignore it for a few minutes, trying to finish my thought for a project I’m working on.


10:20am – look up and see the puppy is eating his poop. I clean up the poop and gave the puppy a dental chew bone. I then go outside to close the gate, so I can let the puppy outside.


10:30am – look up and the puppy is eating a hole a tarp we use to prevent him from digging. I go outside and kick around some balls for a few minutes, to get his energy level down before bringing him in.


10:40am – sit down to work. As I work, I hear Zach throwing things out of the bathtub and onto the floor (Yes, he was alone in the tub while I was outside – to be fair to me, he’s much bigger than the tub. No chance for drowning).


10:45am – Zach stands up, gets out of the tub, and starts walking down the hallway – dripping wet. I grab his hand and lead him back to the bathroom. As I set foot in the bathroom, I feel water. I look down and there is literally a lake of water on the floor. The puppy comes in behind me and starts drinking the water from the floor.


At this point I can laugh or cry.


I start to cry.


I can feel the anxiety bubble up in my chest, as so often happens nowadays.


I put Zach back in the tub, grab a bath towel, and start mopping up the floor. It was too much for one towel, so I grabbed a beach towel. Loki, the puppy, thinks we are going to play a game of tug-of-war. I managed to get the towel back from him and continue cleaning up the floor. I go back to the linen closet for a towel to dry Zachary.


No clean towels.


I thought I had some clean, folded towels downstairs. I head downstairs.


Not one clean towel.


As I’m looking for towels, the dryer buzzes, reminding me of the load I had put in earlier. That needs to be folded before it wrinkles, right? Sigh. I go back upstairs and grab another beach towel, dry off Zach, dress him, and find his iPad before settling him in his bedroom. I grab the puppy and put him downstairs. Then I grab the laundry to bring upstairs to fold before starting another load. Then I sit down to check my email and my work Facebook page.


11:05am – Zachary comes out of his room. I get him a drink of water before realizing he had another accident. I have to change him. I change him and then go to the laundry room to put the next load in the washer. As I’m doing this Zachary goes upstairs and starts rooting through the cupboards for a snack. I quickly finish putting the clothes into the washing machine and race back upstairs as he is coming down, without a snack – this time. He is infamous for stealing food and eating right through the packaging, to get to the food.


11:15am – back on the computer to work. Fingers crossed for some quiet for a few minutes…


11:35am – Zach is back in the kitchen for a snack. So far, between 8am and now, he has eaten 2 waffles, 5 sausage links, 2 bananas, and entire English cucumber, and 2 glasses of orange juice.


12pm – Nice little break! Now Zach is back in the kitchen looking for more food. I gave him 4 slices of turkey lunch meat. He isn’t satisfied, so I warm up a bowl of lemon chicken soup. Back to the computer….


12:45pm – Zach is back in the kitchen looking for food. I redirect him.


1pm – see 12:45pm.


1:30pm – Now I’M hungry. I make myself lunch.


Zach only interuppted me 3 times.


2pm – Zach is back in kitchen multiple times looking for food and the puppy is chewing up a newspaper. I give Zach a granola bar and send him downstairs to watch T.V.


2:20pm – Zachary’s back. His iPad died. Puppy is still chewing newspaper.


2:25pm – Zach is back looking for food. My patience wears thin. I yell “NO” and steer him towards the basement ( at 5’10” and 185 lbs., he’s not lacking for food). Now I’m back on the computer….


3:30pm – well, it was quiet for a little bit. Now he is back in the kitchen. I made 3 peanut butter & jelly rice cake sandwiches. He ate all of them, stood up and walked straight to the refrigerator for more food. SERIOUSLY.


3:50pm – he is back in the kitchen looking for more food. My head starts to hurt.


3:55pm – his iPad dies. I give him a different one. He walks straight to the kitchen and opens the cupboard for more food. I redirect him to his bedroom.


4:05pm – I notice a voicemail on my phone. MORC called. They left a message about scheduling an intake appointment, for residential placement, for Zachary. I call back immediately, but had to leave a message. As I leave the message, my voice begins to crack and my eyes begin to water.


This is really happening.


The wheels are in motion for group home placement.


Even after a day like today, when I’m chasing him around all day, this is going to be difficult for me.


I sit down and try to work one more time before starting dinner, trying to shove everything out of my mind and get some work done before the evening routine kicks in.


Which looks a lot like the day routine…


Click here to visit “The Zachary Effect” blog.


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