How do I know this? I know this because I live with a child who has Cerebral Palsy which means everything he does takes longer than others (sometimes a REALLY long time) and he also has Attention Deficit Disorder which means he is easily distracted. Hmmm….takes a long time to do basic tasks and is easily distracted. Yeah, God has a sense of humor.
The other day S and I were going to make a trip to the military hospital which is a 15-20 minute drive from our house. Every time we go out there, as soon as he gets in the van and buckles up, I have to start telling him I need his ID card for the gate guard. I have to do this because it will, more than likely, take him the entire time to get his ID card out in time for me to hand it to the guard.
We made it out there, did what we needed to do, and got in the van to drive home. After getting him settled, I handed him his ID card and told him to put it back in his wallet. We drove from the parking lot to the back gate.
“S, you need to put your ID card away.”
We drove through the gate, and he had managed to get his wallet out.
“Put your ID card away.”
He opened his wallet up. We drove to the stoplight.
“Put your ID card in your wallet now.”
We drove a little farther, and I had to tell him to close his wallet. We pulled in the driveway, and I had to tell him to put his wallet in his bag. This is not the first time he has had his ID card out. He is very familiar with the routine involved in this.
What takes him so long? There might be a song he liked on the radio. Or a random thought about _______ (fill in the blank) came up and he had to tell me right then. He lacks the ability to talk and do anything else at the same time. Or he saw something to look at on the street or in the sky. Or he just forgot what he was supposed to be doing with his wallet and ID card that are in his hands.
Because of this child, our family has learned to allow what we call the “S Factor” in figuring time needed to get somewhere. We have all learned to be more patient, and that is not always easy. We laugh a lot at our house because what else can we do?
While he is finishing up _____ (fill in the blank with a task), I will be on the couch with my chocolate.