As I mentioned a while back, the wife and I are hiring someone to watch the Monster and R while we’re out of town.
This is going to be our first vacation without the kids since… well, my sister’s wedding, back when we only had the Monster, and well before his diagnosis. (For reference, he was a 10 month old at the time, and stayed with his grandparents.) We’re fortunate enough to find someone with experience with children with Autism, coupled with the fact that the Monster is going to be out of the house for most of our time away, as he’ll be at camp from 8 AM to 5 PM each day.
Still, we’re trying to make it as easy as possible for the sitter, so the wife is making her all kinds of papers that talk about what passes for normal around the house.
Setting aside that in this list of documents are her contract and written documentation to grant her rights to take the kids for treatment in an emergency, the bulk of the papers are a huge litany of schedules, lists and other such things.
When the boys go over to my in-laws, they already largely know what to expect with the kids. What each one eats or won’t eat, and what the (basic) schedule is. Even when we have a sitter for the night, they’re just really dealing with bedtime, which is fairly straight forward even if it’s a bit drawn out.
All I can say is, the lists are insane.
There are four separate daily schedules:
- one for Monday/Wednesday/Friday, when the Monster goes to camp but R is home
- one for Tuesday/Thursday, when both children go to camp
- one for Saturday, since there is nothing scheduled
- one for Sunday, when the Monster has therapy
Each of these schedules include the nuances for each day (that R has swimming on Tuesday, but doesn’t require anything with him on Thursday, for example). And these don’t include the packing lists for each day to handle the backpacks and lunches and snacks, or the list for what she needs if she decides to take them to the pool, or if they go to an Autism Society of Baltimore/Chesapeake outing to an evening movie, or the zoo, or whatnot…
I swear, I think that any parent who has a special needs child is probably nodding their head at the litany of things I just listed out, and everyone else is going, “Oh, heavens, you guys are helicopter parents…”
Personally, I’m just hoping that it’s enough information to get her through the eight days…