I have had some experiences before and since Ethan's diagnosis that can only make you laugh.
I was asked recently :"How do you find the funny, just how?"
(Which prompted me to write this piece)
First, let me remind you guys, I have a son living with a terminal condition
, while my middle guy has ADHD and I have a toddler...and yes, I laugh.
We were walking in our local park, years ago, when Ethan yelled "poo" which we knew meant he needed to go to the toilet. With Ethan's condition, when he says toilet or poo you really must heed him. We were in the middle of a busy park on a hot Summers evening. Ethan stood firm yelling "POO" as other park goers looked on. His face started to turn red, that red; which is universally known as 'poo face' red. Yes you know it!!!
He held his breath and pushed, his little legs spread out, he squated. "Poo" he paused , as his face turned a darker shade of red. Clearly it was too late, he was happily making a poo in his pull-up while we were thanking God we had a spare pull-up in the car. We didn't notice the onlookers as we tried in vain to semi block our pooping child. We looked at each other and began to laugh...we laughed the whole way back to the car while D was trying to carry a poo filled Ethan with plenty of onlookers tutting, clearly disapproving of our 'great' parenting skills.
I have met many many doctors, there is only one that I could not warm to
for many reasons but the main reason was his arrogance. He told me over and over that I was a paranoid mother and that Ethan was just 'slow' (hate that bloody word!), when I confided in him that I knew there was something different with my first born son.
Our first appointment with him after Ethan's diagnosis was one I was secretly looking forward to- yes,I'll admit it; I wanted to be smug and tell him I was right and he was wrong. I wanted him to apologise to me and Ethan
; I should have known that would never actually happen,We sat in his office waiting for him to come in.
He did his usual ignorant behaviours; speaking to us over his shoulder, while he scans his computer, or tells Ethan to shh while he is talking slowly to mommy so mommy understands...the list goes on.
I was trying to control my temper when Ethan ran over to his back and gave him such a thump that he jumped. "Not YOU" Ethan roared, as the doctor swirled around in his chair. The doctor looked at me,(for the first time ever) and asked "Are you going to correct him?"
"For what? I was looking out the window while your back was to me, what did he do?" I tried hard to sound confused.
"He hit me"
"Oh,where, where did he hit you?"
"Does that matter?!" his voice got higher.
"Well, yeah. Because if it was on your crisp white shirt I'd check for stains...he's a devil for putting his hands down his pants" I tried not to, but I did, I did giggle.He excused himself, which was a first for him,
and left the room, probably to check his white shirt. He no longer sits with his back to us.
Ethan, when he was younger was one of those kids who had no filter. He would say the first thing that popped into his mind. When he was diagnosed
and we were aware that this wasn't going to last, we stopped correcting him. We laughed instead; even when we were the ones he was flat out embarrassing. It was a short phase in Ethans life but; my gosh how it still makes me laugh. I was sitting in the GP's office, with Ethan and D. We were early for our appointment, which meant Ethan was running around the waiting room singing and dancing for a room full of strangers, they were all smiling and clapping. Suddenly he stopped, walked over to me, smelled me then pointed and yelled "Ohh ohh mommy made poo, ohh mommie 'melly" he even held his nose. Yes, folks, I had just passed wind and my darling son told a room full of strangers.
Ethan once stole raw sausages from our fridge and ate them, he was 11 years old at the time. FYI raw sausages don't do much harm, he pooed it all out.
Ethan will physically grab the food from your hand. My friend T learned that the hard way recently, when she brought her own sandwich to our house while visiting. Ethan didn't like the sandwich, tried to give it back to her (taking it from his mouth and forcing it into hers) and five minutes later he repeated the action. She learned three things that day, 1 -Ethan loves food. 2-Ethan doesn't actually want the food 3- eat fast, if you must eat in my house.
Yes, yes we laugh at the things that would mortify many other parents. Ethan cannot control most (if not all) of his behaviours. Over the years I've learned I cannot control his behaviours either...so why not laugh at things I should be mortified over- after all, Ethan finds it funny and most of the time it is...it is funny.
How can I not laugh eh?!
Ethan has indeed thought me and my boys; life is too short.
Kindly submitted by Ger Renton, who will be keeping us up to date on her crazy family life with Ethan & co.
Follow her on facebook at "It's me Ethan"
and check out her amazing blog at geraldinerenton.com