Sunday, July 8, 2012


Our nanny of three + years left in May to go to nursing school. I've missed her ever since. When I'm at the pool with the boys, I think I see her out of the corner of my eye, but its not her. She's in Arizona for at least fifteen months. When she returns she will hopefully get a job in the pediatric ward of a children's hospital. She's perfect for the job.

I found two other people right away to take over for her and watch the boys. I thought it would take some time to adjust. Two months later, I'm still adjusting. I interviewed the new people, they both have experience with special needs so I was comforted by that. I've trained them in on how to feed and change Dermot. Showed them how to administer his medications, fit his new TLSO brace around his body properly. Instructed them on how to use the various equipment, the wheelchair, the stander, the bath chair. Both caught on quickly.

But there's something missing, I remember mentioning in the interviews how important it is to us that Dermot be involved and in the action while they supervise my other boys. That he not be ignored or forgotten. For all intensive purposes they are following my instructions quite nicely. But I can't help feeling a tinge of guilt when I leave the house. I know there's something missing.

Coming in the house at the start of their shift and making sure to greet Dermot and wait patiently until he sees they're there. Explaining to him every next move of what was going to happen next and how they are going to position his body. Telling Dermot's younger brother that he's going to have to wait, because it's Dermot's turn for attention. Holding him in their arms while reading a series of books to him, because every boy likes to be read to. Running Dermot thru the sprinkler and not caring that they're all wet. Handling the countless "urp-up" messes with quick nonchalentless. And loving him, as he is, a person, a brother, a little boy.

I know that some of these things that are missing are because our nanny knew Dermot for three years and she learned by watching us, but she amazed me and motivated me to do things with Dermot that I wouldn't have before. I consider myself and my family incredibly lucky to have had her with us for so long.

As I look toward the fall and my summer help returns to college, I will hunt for someone new to help a bit. Someone for Dermot and not so much the other boys. The other boys just seem to need a referee now and again and I can handle the rest of their requests. But someone for Dermot. Someone who's seen a mic-key button before, knows the proper positioning of a TLSO brace, isn't intimidated by a little spit up now and again and can foster his ever changing special needs. But mostly I need someone to love Dermot.

I often get asked if I have a PCA for Dermot, I always say no, I didn't think we needed one until two months ago when our super nanny moved away. But now, I'm convinced that we do indeed need a PCA, more than I thought.

What does PCA stand for? Person who Cares A lot.