But there's more (unsurprisingly). What stinks even more is that when he's not well, he's also unable. Not disabled, so much as unable.
He struggles to do all the stuff he's learned are possible (the things that don't come naturally). Things like:
- it's a good idea to answer people when they ask you a question
- it's even better to look at them
- loud noise is bad, but seriously it won't kill you
- walking on your toes isn't always the best option
- listening to and following instructions is, unfortunately, not an elective choice
- waving your head in the air like Stevie Wonder feels great, and yet, might make your peers freak out
- repeating the same thing endlessly might be soothing to your brain (and even hilarious) but people around you are starting to pull out their own eyelashes in frustration
Now, the accepting all encompassing humanist in me says, 'Who cares about any of those things?' And that is a huge part of me. So really, I don't care. He's sick. Cut him some slack.
But, add Billy's tendency to hold onto a bug for waaaaaaay longer than most kids (we're onto day 15 of this one) and you've got a kid who is at home from school a LOT.
Because there is no point in sending him. Because he cannot control it. And I do not want him hearing that he 'needs to...', 'should be able to...', 'is old enough to...' when he cannot control it. Even at hippy school, which is as understanding and loving as a school could be.
Illness makes everything harder to access.
It's like his neurological capabilities shut down from the extremities first - from the outside in. Who knows, maybe it's a primitive fight/flight/freeze thing. The brain is taking care of core business, and the regional offices close until cash flow is improved.
So (and here's the pathetic woe-is-me bit)... I hate looking like the crazy Munchhausen's by proxy mother (again). He's not hideously ill. He's not contagious (though there's a whole other post in germ risk minimisation coming from Billy, not going in to Billy... it's amazing how generous he is with his boogies). But it doesn't seem fair to chuck him into the world when he's operating on half speed.
Let's face it, it doesn't seem fair to send him out on a good day.
When sound and light and smell and movement flips his chatty brain into a place where responding to a simple 'Hi Billy' seems too hard... it just sucks.
The upside? More time with my boy... who, at the grand old age of seven, has announced that my days of calling him 'Baby' and 'My Tiny Prince' are over.
Actually, that sucks a bit too.
Did I mention the dog is in hospital, having eaten something deeply inappropriate?
I need chocolate.