When mummy O, who has come to be a friend told me in 2007 that children like Ziim are called “owolabi” by the Yorubas I did not quite understand the reason. But five years down the line, the reason is getting clearer to me by day. Raising a child with special needs, particularly one with Cerebral Palsy can be financially challenging. So it calls for wisdom! It means that one has to consciously make effort to save little pennies, tighten holes that can be tightened.
Over the past two weeks or there about we started working on saving on diapers. Yes, diapers! At six we are still on diapers, that is spastic quad. c.p for you. We used to use two a day, one during the day and one at night, that is if we did not do the big one. I try to make sure that she sits on the potty for the big one, but sometimes, you just do not get it. But as she gets older, I find out that one diaper can no longer take her through the day, she needs to be changed before the end of the day, that means three in a day, let me add a good day meaning the day the big one is done on the potty. On a bad day that will be like four, OMG!! Lots of money!
For over a year now, one of the saints that accompany me in this my journey has supplied us with diapers, (let’s say that she stands at the station marked diapers) but the cost is not lost on me. I keep track of the cost and each week I check what we used, I silently thank her, say a prayer for her, and put the money to some specific use. I know the sacrifice she makes to do this so it is important that I consciously stretch out the supply.
Toilet training a non verbal, non ambulatory child could be a herculean task but it could not just be money saving but it would help in the hygiene of the child. Also, it is important that I put a sort of pattern in place lest I one day get a carer like I am dreaming of.
So what we do…..I decided to periodically put her on the potty. And you won’ believe how much we save! We started during the long Sallah holiday, it is always good to start such things when you will be home most of the time.
Today I am so excited for we saved big, luck was on our side too. I was up about 4 a,m, it’s normal for me, I waited, woke her up about 5 a.m , she was dry! (we have to go for mass). I quickly put her on the potty and surely the wee came. We had our bath and went for mass
As soon as we came back from mass about 8 a.m, to my joy she still was dry, I quickly took off the diaper and sat her on the potty and went to make breakfast. Thirty minutes later I was up, but no wee, hm.. ok, we had breakfast and as soon as breakfast was over, to potty Ziim went and surely she did, then she went to sleep. As soon as she woke up, yes you guessed right, to the potty she went, sat there for like 20 mins which looked like forever to me, but at the end she did. We did this two more times before lunch but nothing. You can not imagine my joy when she did the big one on the potty after lunch.
So all through today we saved real big, no diaper was used! That is some savings!!
I know you are wondering why the saving of three diapers or so can be exciting. Ask a mother with a six year old with cerebral palsy.
And there is that other joy of getting her do her thing in the right place, prayerfully, she will begin, with time somehow indicate that she wants to visit the potty or we may work out a schedule for her.
Like everything , or most things, it has the converse side. We were home all through! So if you failed to see me at choir in the evening mass, know that I was home with my dd working on saving some