An Exercise In Trivial Pursuits

Fatshion, Food & Frivolities – Life in Las Vegas & Singapore

10 things I learnt in 2017

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With the turn of the year, I’ve been seeing all these reflections/resolutions type posts all over social media. For obvious reasons, I’m just grateful that I got through the year in one piece and I’m so glad to put it behind me. 2017 was a challenging year for our family and I’m happy to report what I’ve learnt:

  1. Taking turns to be the strong one made our marriage stronger. T and I are powered by love for our son but our confidence is equally shaken with fear for our son’s uncertain future. I’m glad we have each other for support.
  2. Driving is tiring – especially when you don’t have enough sleep. The 2nd half of the year saw me on the road driving for an average of 2-6 hours a day because of G’s appointments. 30-40 minutes each way to and from appointments several times a day.
  3. A Mom Car aka minivan isn’t that bad. Couldn’t have imagined that the 1st car I’d ever own would be so uncool and practical. My Chrysler Pacifica drives great (25MPG), is conducive for toddler naps and hauls a lot of mobility gear easily! No shame in saying that I’ve become the mother I need to be.
  4. Flying with a special needs child requires a lot of planning. Other than domestic flights, our family did 2 international trips in 2017 – Panama and Singapore. Imagine carrying the extra supplies – food, wipes, bottles, nappies, clothes etc; the car seat; the baby carrier for when his body goes crazy and needs to be held down; his stroller; and all his medications – just for the flight. Oh yeah and changing nappies in a cramp airplane bathroom with a disabled toddler is next level stuff!
  5. Special needs equipment is so complicated! In 2017, G received his wheelchair (adaptive stroller), gait trainer, prone/supine Stander and leg braces (AFOs). We also started trialing the Cochlear America Kanso. I’ve had to familiarize myself with all the apparatus and on top of the daily house chores, toddler activities and trek to appointments, I had to be conscientious about setting aside enough time for them all.
  6. Never say no to extra help. The best gift anyone has given me is respite. You can’t pour from an empty jug and I need to be 100% to be the mother that my little guy needs. (That and Americans say res-pit, not ris-spite)
  7. My favourite thing to do with my family is nothing. Our days are long and schedules packed. I love nothing more than just having the 3 of us in our den – tv, toys and takeout.
  8. I cannot afford to look back. Some weeks I just have to power through and tick off one thing at a time. My coping mechanism is to keep going forward and not to dwell on what I can’t change. Hey! Whaddya know? I did 2017! Let’s finish 2018 next!
  9. I like keeping tabs on the little things. G’s happy, he’s eaten several meals, he’s laughing at Mickey Mouse and he’s had more than 1 bowel movement. Who cares if he’s still unable to sit, stand, walk or talk? I’m still thankful for every day we have him. It could be worse.
  10. I have nothing for this point. I’ve learnt a lot of other frivolous things in 2017 but nothing else notable. Oh yeah my son is cute. I made a really cheeky and an adorable human being – I might be biased but maybe someday someone would look beyond his disabilities and love him like I do.

Author: Chloe Happ

I left Singapore for the US of A in 2013 and now live in Las Vegas with my indie game dev husband and our son Gummi Gumdrop. I am also probably much older than you think I am.

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