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Sunday, September 19, 2010

My Fourth Child

Before you get completely excited (or appalled - depending on your outlook on having kids), no I am not pregnant.

I'm talking about having a husband who is basically helpless and needs my help with almost everything.  Like having another child.

When one of your hands is out of commission, you can't do much.  Don't believe me?  Tie one of your hands behind your back for an hour or two and see how much you can do.

Doug is finding this out.  The hard way.

He needs to wear clothes that don't button or snap.  And he can't tie his shoes.  Which isn't a big deal since he's not going anywhere anyway.

He's not allowed to take a shower, go to work, drive a car, or do anything else that will possibly get his left hand wet or dirty.

He needs me to open his prescription bottles and remove the lid on his water bottle when he needs a refill.  And put toothpaste on his toothbrush.  And wash his right hand before eating. So many things you do when you have two hands that you take for granted.

Friday morning when I was leaving to take Alex to preschool and Keira to her 12-year check up, Doug asked me what time I would be home.  He really wanted to take a bath since he hadn't gotten cleaned (really cleaned) since Tuesday evening.  But he needed help.  I told him I would stop after I took Keira to school if I had time before it was time to pick Alex up from preschool.

So as I got closer to the school, at a red light I called Doug to tell him I'd stop at home in a few minutes, so if he could get a bath started, I'd be there to help him shortly.  I ended up talking to the school secretary for a few minutes, which put me a little behind.  

When I walked in the door, Doug was sitting in the tub with his left arm propped on the side of the tub and a plastic Ziploc bag over his hand.  It was quite a sight, let me tell you.  :)  He said if he'd known it would take me so long, he'd have waited to get in the tub.  Oops!  

I helped him finish his bath and get out of the tub.  It was quite a humbling experience ... for both of us.  I mean, it's one thing to give your kids a bath, but to help your husband is a completely different thing.  I didn't mind.  It was just ... different.

I had to help him dry off and get dressed.  You know how hard it can be to put socks on your kid's feet?  Well, it was quite an experience trying to get socks on a man's size 12 foot.

I've helped him a few more times since then.  Get bathed and then dressed.  It is getting easier.

Being a stay-at-home mom is busy enough.  Handling all the household things and all the things the kids need from me.  Then add in a husband who also needs help and can't do some of the things he would do for himself or for me.  Like giving Alex his bath so I can wash dishes after supper.  Now I must do both.  Not that it is that big of a deal.  It was just nice to have one less thing to do.  

And he always did our grocery shopping.  Because he wanted to and he was good at it.  Tomorrow afternoon I will be doing it.  Please don't think I'm complaining or grumbling.  I'm just adjusting.  When you are not used to having to do these things, it takes some getting used to.

This week he has a couple follow up appointments.  One tomorrow morning and one Friday morning.  Keira also has another follow up appointment on Friday ... in the afternoon.  Same doctor's office.  I was telling my mom that pretty soon when I walk into the orthopedic doctor's office, it will be like Norm walking into Cheers.  Everyone will look at me and yell, "KIM!"  :)  They will know me so well.  Not good.

I've been thinking about what lesson I am supposed to learn through all this, then my pastor said something tonight in class that really resonated with me.  He said, "I don't know why God allows certain things to happen, but I do know that God has a perfect plan."  

I know I can't see what God's plan is right now, but it is comforting to know that nothing happens here that hasn't already passed through His hands.

He is in control.  

And He is good.  



kathryn said...

What does it mean when I tell you that I totally knew you meant Doug in the title of this post?


I know how difficult it is...there's so much we take for granted when you have 4 adult hands helping around the house...and suddenly there...well, isn't.

Hopefully, he'll be able to do more and more as time goes on. Just don't let him do too much or he'll regret it in the long run. It's something about that male pride...

Kimberly said...


I can't get anything past you, can I? :)

He's already regretted trying to do too much too soon. His fingers let him know it.

Keira helps some also, but her left arm is still in a sling ... at least until Friday. I think she'll get to ditch it then.

Hopefully things will get back to "normal" soon! At our house and at yours!