By: Stacie Lewis
For those of you who think there is never anything amusing to be found in the most dire of situations, you’ve come to the wrong place.
My baby daughter, May, has severe brain damage. She is delightful. She has endless rolls of chub. She burps like a frat boy. She is an absolute maniac when it comes to bouncing. I skyped my mother last night and she could barely see her granddaughter. She was a blur. Like Superman at full speed.
She also has a disturbing ginger tint to her fuzzy scalp. “Her greatest disability,” my husband called it. It was our first joke about May. I am not noble enough, not rational enough, not level-headed enough to face this situation with the due respect it deserves 24-hours a day. If I manage to complete a day and look back on it with a smile, it is a triumphant one indeed. Seriously.
If you are not the parent of a brain-damaged child, the following list of life changes will make no sense. You will glance down the list, jab your partner in the side and say, with possible exasperation, “Sure, but most of these things happen to all parents.”
Even if they happen to all parents, they don’t ALL happen.
1. Your income plummets. (I can only teach 3 days a week because I miss at least one day a week to attend appointments – a 20% drop in pay.)
2. Your arms hurt from supporting her. A lot. And, the baby just keeps getting heavier…
3. Your arms look super-toned. Bonus!
4. You never say “No” to your child.
5. You buy the fattiest baby food containing the most sugar. Then, you add butter to it.
6. You might never have another child and it’s not because you can’t physically.
7. You cuddle more because your child can’t sit unsupported. Not so bad.
8. You allow your husband anything, because he gives you everything. (That one might just be me, but highly advised.)
9. When your daughter lifts her hand to her mouth at 1-year old to chomp on some peanut butter, it is the most miraculous, wonderful thing you have ever seen. (Cute baby alert! See video and gallery below!)
10. Don’t pity me, people. Everything else is the same as other parents. Love love love.
Stacie Lewis blogs at Mama Lewis and The Amazing Adventures of the Half-Brained Baby. She lives with her amazing baby and husband in London, England.