Some challenges as a stay at home dad…

… who just happens to be Deaf-Blind with ataxia…

Our first son, Chase, was born in January 2007 in Sudbury.  I was 39.  Not too shabby.

We lived in Sudbury, a large city in northern Ontario.  We lived on welfare.  My wife, Carrie, was a professional intervenor (one who works with Deaf-Blind individuals), but tried as she did, she could not find work as an intervenor in Sudbury, the reason was because of her lack of drivers licence!

So, we decided to move to Toronto.

It was decided that I would stay at home while my amazing wife went to work.  We arrived on August 29, 2008, Carrie was hired September 1st, and started work September 2nd.

The first two weeks of September, mom in law was there.  To help set up our apartment.  It was a tiny thing, a small apartment!

After Mom in Law went back to Sudbury, the fun began!

Chase was 20 months old when we relocated to the big city.  After almost 41 years of looking after myself, my wife, and my dog, I had a son to look after too!   Welcome aboard the Daddyhood train!  No stopping, no turning back, just going forward, and forward we went!

I remember the very first day I was on my own with Chase from morning until night!  I did two things, I overfed him, he had at least 4 bottles of milk that day, and didn’t change him!  haha!  Carrie arrived him and Chase was padding around with a very full diaper!  Wink!

After that I varied and limited the food intake.

We started playgroup about a month or two later.  Chase did like to play.  I scheduled an intervenor for times we did go, and it made communication better, but not a lot of fun!

Over the next two years we had many adventures and fun, some of them included: rushing to get to the doctor’s, playing at the park, at the waterpark, meeting up with mommy for an evening of fun.

There was also frustrations, to be honest, I cannot remember these to well, I am focusing on the positives.  One that I remember is now a laugh; we were waiting for the bus to meet mommy, but Chase would not listen and ran and ran around the basketball court in front of our building.  I was trying to “catch” Chase, but I had to chase him!  Fun!

When I was taking some O&M classes one night, I missed Carrie and had to bring Chase with me.  This was probably when he was 20 months.  Other than the going to the areas around our building, this was the first time I brought him far.  And didn’t pack any food!  So, on the way back, Chase was getting hungry and looking back at me, with those pleading eyes that kids use when hungry!  “Mommy will have something for you,” I soothingly said.  But, Mommy was mad at me for not buying anything!  haha!  That was probably Chase’s first realization that I am Deaf.  Moral for that story is now I always pack something with me when go outings… even if it doesn’t get eaten!

There was another frustrated situation that was a embarrassment to me, but Chase, apparently, enjoyed it.  We met Carrie downtown, but for some reason unremembered, she went her own way.  Chase and I had to go home ourselves.  We were waiting and Queen Street and Yonge waiting forever for a streetcar to our apartment.  Since the GO train was quite close by, I asked if Chase wanted to go on the GO Train to Long Branch, the closest station to our home.   He loves GO train, so naturally the answer was YES!  We rushed down to Union, grabbed a ticket, then finding the accessible eye-level departure screen, I found that we had about 5 minutes to get on the train!  So I hauled posterior and found the elevator (Chase was still in the stroller stage), raced up and got the over crowded train… to Port Credit!   This is the next stop after Long Branch!  It was embarrassing because I didn’t read the full line on the departure board!  I was steamed!  But, I thought, hey, we need to go back.  And that train will stop at Long Branch!  Cool!  We got the next train east, and got off at, you guessed it, Union!  Serious!  So, to make a long story short, we finally got home, by streetcar!  Moral: always read everything before jumping into action.  Because I can’t see the high up announcements, and can’t hear the verbal squawking announcements: use what is accessible first!

Fast forward to school and Calyyb entering this world, and kindergarten and mornings with Both kids in school!  Never. A. Dull. Moment!

I will add on later!


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