I am happy to report that we’ve all survived the first of ten weeks with Daisy in recovery. We are exhausted and sore but thriving in spite of it all thanks solely to the outrageous (I mean truly outrageous) amount of love and support coming from everywhere. I have been so overwhelmed by the kind words, prayers, letters and gifts – I am still struggling to keep up.
Every afternoon when I open the door to check the mail there is a small mountain of Amazon boxes filled with sweet treats, genius playthings, creative toys, art supplies, dolls, puzzles, books – I am moved to tears when I think of the thoughtfulness and generosity being extended to our family. We have received care packages from readers of this blog we’ve never met, emails from people we knew in other lives (example: a lovely gal I met in 2008 when my then-boyfriend was interning with her at a law firm in Boston reached out from her home country of Ireland!), cards and letters from old coworkers and their children, holy water from Lourdes sent from the Ministry at St Paul’s Parish in Hingham where I grew up, donations to CHOP on Daisy’s behalf from distant friends from college… All I can say is thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for being in our corner throughout our journey with Daisy. We are so fortunate to know such wonderful people who are so generous in spirit. Your kindness and encouragement help us remain hopeful, positive and patient. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Daisy is slowly adjusting to her new normal. The pain has completely subsided which is tremendous. Her biggest challenge now is accepting – and making peace with – her cast. We are at a difficult age in that Daisy can clearly communicate what she wants and needs (“please help me” “get me out” “I walk” “I sit”) but her command of language is not yet sophisticated enough to understand why we can’t help her and the reason for being in the cast in the first place. It is absolutely heartbreaking to look into her eyes as she reaches upward begging me to get her out, knowing that she’ll be stuck there for so much longer than she knows.
Nights have been difficult too. Daisy was always an extraordinary sleeper but now she wakes up several times a night writhing in discomfort and shouting for us to help her. She seems to be experiencing night terrors which she never had before and it often takes a long while to calm her down from sobs. We are doing our best to take turns caring for Daisy in the night but the lack of sleep is taking a toll on my pregnant body.
On the bright side, we have gotten to spend some wonderful quality time with my mom and now Nick’s mom who have been so generous with their time this spring. Daisy spends her days in good company switching from one activity to another until she is ready to rest and watch a movie. We have discovered so many new toys, games, books and art supplies through all of you!
Some of our favorite activities right now:
Drawing with Kwik Stix Tempera Paint Sticks – several of you sent these and they are AMAZING! Daisy gets frustrated with colored pencils because the color is so faint, crayons break and markers always end up on her skin leaving a mark. These solid paint sticks glide over paper smoothly producing bold bright color and are easy to grip and manipulate for her little fingers – and the “paint” dries in 90 seconds! We are flying through these. They work on any kind of paper but we’re especially enjoying them with finger paint pads which are glossy and fun to color on.
Melissa & Doug Water Wow Pads – these are another diamond in the rough I would never have discovered without our amazing friends! These are fantastic for kiddos still developing motor skills – they can scribble away at one picture for as long as it takes to fill it with color – and it’s all using just a tiny bit of water! No mess and reusable mean these are a big hit for us.
Melissa & Doug Reusable Sticker Pads – I never knew that stickers could provide so much entertainment. When I initially reached out to friends and family who are teachers in anticipation of this period at home for Daisy, everyone suggested stickers and I was skeptical but bought some anyway. Turns out, our girl loves choosing each one, placing it carefully, admiring it, talking about it, naming the object then choosing other stickers that are complementary. My wonderful Aunt Kathy, who is a school psychologist, sent us a big package of these Melissa & Doug reusable sticker pads and they are fantastic for learning AND playing. Daisy’s vocabulary expands as we name each item and find a proper place for it within the scene.
Our Radio Flyer Canopy Wagon has been a lifesaver for taking Daisy on walks around town as her cast does not fit in our stroller – or any conventional stroller for that matter. We have figured out how to prop her up carefully using various moldable pillows and fabric supports so she can watch the world go by as we walk her the few blocks to an ice cream shop or downtown for a fresh juice.
Finally, this post would be incomplete without acknowledgment of the true heroine in our lives right now: Disney's Moana. Daisy has never been so transfixed by something on the television before but she connects to the characters and the music in the most endearing way. We do our best to limit screen time but given the circumstances, we have no choice but to make peace with the occasional movie and Daisy has room in her heart for only one Disney character - and she is an adventurer instead of a princess! My feminist maternal heart is bursting. Daisy now only wears clothing featuring Moana and she refuses to go anywhere without all of her Moana gear and figures in tow. (Thank you, everyone, for the wonderful Moana gifts, you have made every day Christmas for Daisy for the last week!)
I will continue to share favorite toys and activities as the weeks progress in the hope that they may be helpful to other families. Thank you for all of your imaginative ideas and suggestions – they are keeping us entertained and learning every day! We love you all so much and are more thankful than ever for the incredible people in our tribe ♥