August 23, 2014

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Day 15: Child Life

Yesterday Tate came to Scarlett’s appointment with us. He wanted to go to see where Scarlett was going and what she was doing. But mostly he came because I wanted the child life specialists to talk to him.

On the way to the hospital Tate asked how many nights we were going to stay. I tried to explain to him that we were just going for the day and weren’t staying overnight. I think that’s another reason that he wanted to come. He didn’t want to spend another night away from us. It didn’t take long for him to get bored with her appointment. Brock took him for a walk and found a playroom. Once the child life people came in, we got his attention back. They bring in toys and games and movies for Scarlett while she is waiting and getting procedures to keep her mind off of what is going on.

I had a little meeting with the supervisor for child life while Tate played with the staff. I told her my concerns regarding his withdrawn attitude this week and the fact that he is acting out. She reassured me that all of this is normal. We discussed options for including both of the kids in Scarlett’s routines and rewarding all three of them when they do well. She also reassured me that most families feel like they are never going to make it through and then, after induction, they find that things get easier. You get into a routine and learn what works. The kids get used to things quickly and don’t even realize that things are different any more. We also discussed that the best rewards are not monetary but time. Even if we spend an extra 10 minutes alone with each child it is a reward.

Tate got to “play” with both staff members. He was very willing to go and play upstairs with them (which makes me feel better about leaving him at school). They discussed Scarlett’s treatment and that she may have to come back to the hospital and that her hair is going to fall out. He was distracted but absorbing everything. He may not seem like he is listening but he really is.

All in all, I felt like it was a very productive day. Tate has been excellent at covering his mouth when he coughs, sanitizing his hands and most importantly, showing love and compassion to both of his sisters. He has had to grow up in the past two weeks but he has been so wonderful. I couldn’t be prouder of my little man!

Ahhh! We are half way through induction! It’s the hardest part we have been told. It’s been the longest and quickest two weeks of our lives.

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