PT days are by far our hardest days. The appointment is tough on V, the commute is long and usually at least one feed and/or one nap is messed up or skipped completely leaving V cranky, hungry and very tired and me feeling overwhelmed.
I pack V’s bag the night before with anything I can think of that we might need in case we get stuck at PT longer than anticipated. It really is quite far from our house. That day V gets a pass on exercises because I don’t want him too tired leading up to the appointment and afterwards he’s too exhausted to do anything anyway. I created a little form for myself (You can tell how stressed I am in life by how many active forms I have!) and I fill it out before the appointment with a list of what new things he’s doing and what questions or concerns we have. Plus I make sure to put his actual and adjusted age down because who can actually calculate that on the fly?
On the drive over, I call friends. It’s the longest uninterrupted time I have and it makes the 40 minute drive go by quickly. V loves being in the car so as long as he’s been fed before we begin the drive, he’s generally quiet or he falls asleep.
Once there, we spend a few minutes giving V time to acclimate to the new surroundings. PT is usually a loud, busy place and he being the nosy baby that he is, needs time to check everything out and make sure everyone is doing what they’re supposed to before he gets down to business. The appointment generally goes like this: V is wary of the PT, V smiles and happily does his exercises and stretches, V begins to protest, V starts screaming “I’m done!”. PT then gives us her overall assessment, goes over our exercises and off we go.
The drive back usually begins with screaming because V is angry we didn’t listen to his kind demands to please stop the torture. Eventually he falls asleep and I call S to update him on the appointment.
The routine for the rest of the day is usually messed up so I am left dealing with trying to catch up on feeds and naps. V is left less exhausted than he used to be as a younger baby so the screaming is down to a minimum but we definitely lay low for the rest of the day. Lots of hugs and snuggles and no more exercises.
After V has gone to bed, the toys are put away and while S is washing dishes, I pull out the handouts the PT gave me. I go over them and the notes that I was furiously writing during the appointment. I review how to do his new exercises, update his exercise board and try to plan out the next couple of weeks. Namely, what daily chore or activity will have to be cut out to make room for his new exercises? Cooking? Organizing? Shower?
And then I drink hot chocolate, because I don’t drink wine…or tequila…., watch reality TV and appreciate how much better my micropreemie parenting life is compared to the real housewives of really anywhere.