My favorite day of the week

Victoria Tkachuk by Victoria Tkachuk Additional Needs

Victoria Tkachuk

Victoria Tkachuk

I'm from the Midwest region of the United States and I have four children, three neurotypical daughters and one son with dyskinetic cerebral palsy....

We read a book in our house called, “I Had a Favorite Dress.” It's about a little girl whose creative mom helps her modify a favorite dress as it becomes too small, torn, and wrong for the season.

All my kids love this book, and are visibly happy when the girl sees the new incarnation of her favorite clothing.

I'm not attached to clothes, but I get attached to routines. So, I have a favorite day of the week instead.

Currently my favorite day is Thursday; it tends to be full of errands, but after school we have movie and pizza night, where we lay about as a family and just enjoy each others' company.

About a year ago, I loathed Thursdays. They became the only day my son could see his OT, and it was at a very awkward time of day.

My son had to attend school for a half day, then, at lunch time, muddle through an hour of intense therapy work. While he was hungry. And already worn out from school.

Not to mention I had an 18 month old little sister in tow. You can imagine how much fun these days were.

Back then, Mondays were my favorite day, because it meant older kids going back to class after a weekend of busyness, household chores would be done during the morning, and I could get everything back on track.

In fact, all the other days were fine, too. It was just that awful Thursday, looming over the week, filling me with dread.

I tried my best to be hopeful and helpful to my son on those days, so he could have some success.

Unfortunately, most Thursdays ended up a wash. Disappointment and grief would come to me as well, in thinking another week had gone by without good OT practice, that I was failing my son for not being able to help him more on those days.

It was rough.

What I needed to do was adapt, like the mom does in the dress book.

When the dress shrinks, it's made into a shirt. When it rips, it becomes a scarf. When all but shreds are left, mom crafts it into a hair bow.

Adapt, adapt, adapt. That's what a special needs parent must do.

A lot has changed since those awful Thursdays.

My son started preschool, and the bulk of his therapy is done in a fun classroom, with friendly peers, in the morning when his concentration is at its best.

We took a break from outside therapy because – let's face it – it just wasn't working for us.

We moved into a house, which provides more space to do therapy at home, and my son is having great success.

We've adapted, I've learned, and my kids are happier. Any day that comes together is my favorite.


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