I survived and thrived with my sister home for a week.
To say that my son and sister don't actually get on would be an understatement. For the first 4 months or so my sister acted as though Denis wasn't there, that drove Denis crazy as he tried to get her attention. Then suddenly last month, during the Canada weekend, Kathryn started to demonstrate her awareness of Denis. Sometimes she points at Denis, sometimes she smiles, but mostly she gives him the evil eye or makes her mad sound at him.
Denis is forever telling my poor sister that she can't do things (as in get out of bed, use the shower, drink milk etc, etc). One day this week, Denis ran to the car as we prepared to go out and threw an imaginary item out to the seat where Kathryn would sit crying 'SNAKE' as he did it. As I helped my sister into the car Denis cried, "SNAKE BITE" I'm not sure if that was a warning to my sister or an order to the snake.
For years we as a family have said that Kathryn's abilities were at the level of a 2 1/2 year old. Since bringing Denis home I've realized that my sister's abilities are well below those of his age, she is much needier than Denis. I can show Denis something once and he adds it to his store of knowledge and moves ahead. Kathryn learns but a much, much, much slower pace, as in years slower.
But we all survived the week of Kathryn's day program holiday. Here's what we got up to.
Denis and I picked up Kathryn last Sunday and we went to TimHorton's and then to the farmer's market, all on my own with the two of them. We all walked into Tim's but at the market I put my sister into her wheelchair, and shortly afterwards I put Denis into his stroller (he was way past his nap time and getting very difficult). I then pushed both the wheelchair and the stroller back to the car at the same time. (The parking lot was very quiet other wise I'd have done one at a time)
Tuesday my brother joined us for a morning at Pioneer Village.
Wednesday my brother babysat Denis while Kathryn and I went out to knit night.
Thursday evening we all went out to Wendy's for dinner.
Friday Kathryn join us as we (my brother, Denis and I) had our chiro adjustment, shopping and a snack at TimHorton's.
And on Saturday evening I took Kathryn back to the group home on my own, she was not in a good mood and I was afraid she might attack Denis as I was driving.
I'd dreaded the week as I knew the needs of both son and sister, and I wasn't sure if either would accept me going out with the other, but it didn't seem to be a problem. Denis and I either went to the park each day or to ride the escalator at the mall while my sister watched her beloved Lawrence Welk.
There are 2 multiple day closures of my sister's day program, summer and Christmas. Next summer Denis can go to daycare during the day when my sister is home, so this summer was the real challenge. I feel very successful, like I've conquered a mountain or something. I'm not thinking about Christmas just yet, well not much.
Sad thing was dropping her off at her group home and the feeling of relief that washed over me. My anxiety level hovers around 9 out of 10 when my sister is with me. To think I lived that way the entire time she was with me and on all those weekends. No wonder my poor mother passed away at the early age of 71, the stress is a killer. Raising Denis requires I decrease the amount of time I have my sister at home which will decrease my stress a lot. So sad, but true.