Last week I hit the 90 day mark on my first corporate job ever, and at just shy of 40 that’s no small feat. My manager and I sat down and reviewed my job description along side my actual responsibilities, what my expectations were for this position and how different the position had revealed itself to be. Like any halfway decent review, it had it’s highs and lows, it’s good and it’s bad, and at the end I walked away with a much clearer picture of how I fit into this new division and what I needed to do to be more affective and a better asset to the rest of the my team, like spending less time mourning the loss of the job I thought I was getting and spending more time figuring out how to be more valuable on a day to day basis. My biggest challenge was simply letting go of the preconceived notions I walked into the job with and once I did that I could really feel my energy shift. The next day I felt much lighter, much more excited to get to work, and less weighed down by the disappointment I had been holding onto so tightly.
Then I turned around and had to hold back the overwhelming urge to ask Craig to sit down and have a 90 day review with me. Things on our agenda to discuss; the state of our home, the progress on Aleck’s IEP, the lapse in Aleck’s Medicaid coverage (he’s now on my company insurance due to our revenue), our applications to schools for next year, what is considered a quality dinner and when it’s time to break out the salmon patties (only when the only food you have left in the house are canned goods and onion! It’s been an established rule since before we were married). Not being at home and having full control over these issues has been driving me a bit nuts and since I’ve continued to pick up paid shoots during the weekends, have started a paid writing gig for a blog, and have fallen incredibly behind on this blog, I barely have time to switch the summer clothes out of my closet and have now worn the same dress to three weddings this year (about to wear it to my 4th) because who has time to shop for dresses?
And just like I did with my manager I figured out how to let go of these expectations with Craig as well. This is all a big adjustment for everyone and as much as I’d like to think he’s just an extension of me, it’s important to remember that he’s his own person who does things in his own manner. As long as the important stuff gets taken care of, there’s a decently balanced meal on the table every night, and he’s keeping up with Aleck’s vigorous schedule, that’s all that truly matters. Letting go, feeling lighter already.
Things with Aleck’s casting have taken some twists and turns and as we are quickly approaching December we are barely halfway done with this process. After taking off his very first cast our OT noticed how swollen and red Aleck’s arm was and decided not to put his cast back on until it healed, which for us meant another week. Now that sounds reasonable, right, thoughtful and cautious. Obviously the right decision at the moment. But something within me snapped so loudly I thought everyone in the conference room I was in at the time could hear this thunderous crack. I flipped out. I became one of those super hyper moms I often see in the hospitals or even in Snippets, loosing it because there are no more green lollipops left in the basket. Excusing myself from my meeting I called Craig and lost it completely. It was along the lines of, “What do you mean she isn’t putting a new one on? What do you mean we have to wait a week in between? Won’t he lose what he’s gained? Isn’t this going to derail our plan? Isn’t this going to derail everything? I thought we had a plan! You go back there and have her put a new cast on right now!!!”. This was followed by my email to our OT asking if she’s available to talk right then and there. We got in touch with each other and it took every once of energy to keep myself calm and make myself listen. She voiced her concerns and assured me with the very small amount of progress we had made this wouldn’t derail anything. In fact, this isn’t, she informed me, how she usually does castings (oh, now she tells me). Usually she does it one week on and uses a removable cast. With Aleck he’s so close to 90 degrees that we will have to look into a new routine of regular splinting to try and propel him past that 90 degree mark. Assuring me she was in constant contact with Dr. Kozin’s OT and they were on the same page regarding the serial casting, I hung up the phone and took a few deep breaths. It all just felt so frustratingly out of control. This wasn’t our plan. I hadn’t heard any of this additional information until now and I thought I had asked all of the questions.
Of course the real problem is that I’m not the one there with Aleck anymore, that’s my problem anyway, doesn’t really seem to be a huge issue for anyone else. I knew this would be a big adjustment on Aleck and it’s probably been harder on him than we’ve given him credit for. At first he had a string of accidents in the house, sometimes it felt like just to get back at Craig (true story of him having accidents multiple times in an 8 minute time period). In the mornings he was cranky and quick to anger, especially on Monday mornings. He was acting out more, not listening, and everything felt like a struggle. But he’s mellowed out, he’s stopped asking me about why I go to work, and even Monday mornings are as enjoyable as a Monday morning can be. The accidents stopped as well and now it’s just an occasional whoops here and there.
And he’s tolerating this never ending casting process like a champ. We think we are done casting the left arm, got about 11-12 degrees in that elbow and are on to the right arm. However, at night we are switching off with bent casts and straight casts on his left arm. With the increase bend comes decreased extension so he has two casts for his left arm and will eventually have two on his right. There’s a part of me that’s still disappointed that we are using removable casts. Like any parent of a small child, we have to negotiate and coax him into almost every part of his day; from the morning potty, to getting to the breakfast table, from eating his meals to giving his daddy kisses before bedtime. Every small task we want Aleck to do requires a skilled coaxing from his parents, and sometimes from both of us at the same time. Now add removing and putting on hard shelled casts on each arm every morning and every night. It’s another opportunity for Aleck to interject his voice in this somewhere whether he wants to decide where we are doing it(in the living room, in our bedroom, in his room), when we are doing it (before potty, before morning cuddles, after getting his pjs on), and in who’s lap he’s going to sit. Luckily we haven’t hit an all out protest and for that we count those stars every day. We’ve mastered the art of dressing him with it on and even though he’s had some falls he hasn’t hurt himself (no kenahoras, poo, poo, poo).
So it looks like everyone gets to keep their jobs (whew) for now. We’ve made it past these first 90 days and are halfway to being done with casting during the day. This doesn’t mean we might not source any other opinions or options, but let’s first see how far this gets us. He isn’t done in time for the holidays and definitely not in time for winter. Thanks to my Uncle Larry and Aunt Lois his new winter coat fits perfectly over the cast and he’s a total trooper about the entire ordeal. It takes a lot to really rattle our little man though he does miss his mommy a lot (and she misses him too).