When I was working full time at Chewonki I sometimes dreamed of staying home with Maddie and growing our own food on our own land, though it always seemed like an unlikely scenario (to say the least.) Now Maddie and I spend most days here at home while mom works off the farm to keep us afloat.
The new schedule in our lives seems to suit us both very well, but we sure do have our fair share of battles. For better or worse I see much of Emily and myself reflected in Maddie’s many personality quirks. She is a chatterbox, full of energy and determination to make her way my way as well. For the moment, Maddie’s world revolves around Maddie and little else. Was I like this at age four? I know at least two people who would answer with a definite “Yes!”
Needless to say I spend much of the day trying to strike a balance between pushing my own agenda and allowing Maddie to do the same with her priorities (of which there are many). In the early days of her sickness and treatment I frequently attributed a particular behavior (particularly the not so endearing moments) to her medication, her tiredness, the side-effects of her meds and treatments–on everything except the natural tendencies of a growing four year-old. More and more these days I see her behavior for what it is, and I am less likely to blame her sickness or her meds. I think this realization on my part makes our time spent together less likely to end in frustration, tears, and time-outs.
Physically, Maddie is doing great. Other than the same cold that all the kids at preschool are fighting off, she feels good. Her hair is now long enough to put a clip in, which she loves. It appears to be coming back in with about the same color and curl she had before she got sick. Folks meeting her for the first time do not usually know that she is still in treatment. That is, unless their kids play doctor with Maddie and she trys to give little Scott and Julie chemo treatments, a lumbar puncture, and a blood transfusion. Boy have we had some funny moments with those parents we just met…
Maddie loves this time right after treatment when she knows that we don’t have to access her port for two whole weeks, and today we are waiting for a friend from Maine to come visit. Life is good. At the moment Maddie and Star (our one-year old Border Collie) are playing fetch in the dining room with a tennis ball. I will hope for the best!