I feel like I’m walking a fine line between my kids and my clients – this is something that I have always worked on…balancing work life and home life but now it comes down to keeping the germs and the illness at bay. When you work with kids with special needs there is a different mentality when it comes to germ containment. It’s not as easy as it is with a typically developing child. Staying home every time you get the sniffles or have a cold isn’t always an option simply because often times the child is immunocompromised and therefore a runny nose or a hacking cough may just be a regular part of life. When a child vomits, even if it’s days in a row there is always the question of “is this illness or is this behavioral?” this has never really been an issue for me, I’ve always worked with the snotty ones, the sick ones, the ones who are throwing up mid-session and I’ve never given it a second thought…until now. Now it’s my children who are suffering as a result of the population I serve. I obviously cannot just up and change careers – this last week I changed my clothes every night in an attempt to keep the germs at bay and still caleb spent a good 5 hours on Sunday night throwing up and jared has the runniest of noses…he was so stuffy that I had to hold him sitting upright against my chest in order for him to fall asleep in the middle of the night...(3/6/2012 update...phase 2 of stomach bug central has begun)
Ah balance…something I’ve never quite been able to get the hang of. Over the last 7ish years I’ve gotten a lot better but I have yet to master the art of walking a fine line without faltering. I guess that’s part of being human…if we knew everything there’d be no point in experiencing – there’d be nothing to learn from those experiences…I guess here the hard thing is how to protect the boys from the thousands of germs I bring home every single day. I cannot douse them in antibacterial goo every time I walk in the door – nor can I feasibly douse myself in the aforementioned goo before setting foot in the house.
It’s incredible to me, how much changes in 9 months. When you work in child care or you work with children with special needs their development seems to be suspended in time. In child care the children develop most often at a typical rate but because you’re seeing development constantly the little changes or the transition from sitting with a wobble to just sitting are not changes that are noticed. Someone else is inevitably making a bigger transition from crawling to cruising or from baby mush to finger foods. With special needs children whose development is nothing close to typical you have some children who are blessed to have someone who unlocks their world and their development takes off with the speed of a bullet train...with all of this i am often amazed to wake up one day to find that my newborns are infants and that my infants are close to fitting the terrifying description of toddler...
however, as much as all of this is crazy and some times even a bit overwhelming there is something so awesome about looking over at your baby to see him clap his hands for the first time