Our time with Angel Boy is ticking down, down, down. We feel joy in the success of his family, and sorrow at the thought of letting him go. It’s been an intense seven months, in which we learned more than we taught. Some things were very hard, and I will not miss them, but oh, so many I will…
This post will mean little to many of you, but I put it out there because I want to pass on the things it took us too long to learn.
Mothering any child exposes you to all types of body fluids, but when we began parenting a preschooler with Angelman’s Syndrome, on a liquid diet, not potty trained, and prone to everything from gagging to nosebleeds, our experience with childish fluids went to a whole new level. I remember the day when, desperate for answers, I googled “dealing with drool in large kids.”
Here are some things that helped us. I share them on the off chance that they will help you too.
1. Wet wipes—lots and lots of wipes
Just keep them on hand, tucked in your purse, in your vehicle, in various rooms of the house. You will need them for diaper changes, spills, leaks, mishaps, and random boogers.
2. Waterproof pillowcases
After we got tired of buying new pillows, we stumbled on this easy fix. Now, drool in the night or throw-up episodes don’t ruin the pillow. We layer the waterproof case between the pillow and a traditional cloth case.
3. Washable bed pads
They work like a charm. These are quilted for thickness and durability, lined with waterproof fabric on the back. They absorb any liquid and protect a mattress.
4. One-piece pajamas
I will say this as briefly and respectfully as possible: in case you haven’t noticed yet, kids are squirmers, disarrangers, and explorers. Sensory kids? Doubly so. One-piece, footed PJ’s keep a child’s diaper in place. We went from “regularly soaked through by morning” to “comfortable, dry, and as it should be.”
5. Big-boy bibs
Some people call them bandana bibs, for their rodeo look. You can make your own, or buy them online. They combine a suave older-boy look with great protection for clothes. Flannel bibs for light droolers, terry cloth for heavy hitters. If you line them with waterproof fabric, they won’t soak through to clothing. I never got my pattern quite down before Angel Boy’s drooling dried up as suddenly as it had sprung.
Thank you, Jesus.