Murphy’s Law of Special Needs

A picky eater WILL be attracted to the dog's food.
Picture by Robert S. Donovan at flickr

We all know Murphy’s Law:  “If anything can go wrong, it will.”
There are corollaries that expand on this:
  • the most inopportune time.
  • the most costly manner.
  • The greater the importance that everything go right, the greater the likelihood things will go wrong …
Parents dealing with medical, behavioral, and other issues related to disability have corollaries unique to our lives. It seems there are days when Murphy’s Law seems to swing into full effect, doesn’t it? I have to stand back and laugh…or I’d probably burst into tears.
Here’s a brief list of extensions to Murphy’s Law for families dealing with special needs that might ring true for you, too. There are ones we’ve experienced and ones shared by friends parenting kids with special needs. Enjoy a smile from them!
  • The likelihood of a spit-up is directly proportional to
            a) the urgency with which you need to leave
            b) the cuteness of an outfit (and the lack of backup outfits)
            c) the staining factor of the most recent meal
  • Anything that is not written on a list WILL be forgotten as you pull away for a cross-country vacation. Therefore, DO write things like shoes. Trust me.
  • The likelihood for an illness is directly proportional to the anticipation and preparation behind a family vacation.
  • [Toileting mishaps would fill a book, wouldn’t they? I won’t even go there…but Murphy thrives on these!]
  • The better prepared you are, the less likely something will go wrong (we LIVE by this one!).
  • When a child’s alertness, health, and motivation finally peak at the same time, the Assistive Technology WILL crash. This is especially true if the AT is being used for an evaluation.
  • Once you figure out exactly what to order from your home health supplier, the manufacturer will change the amount of diapers per package.
  • The item you most urgently need from the home health order will be the one item on back order.
  • The less appropriate the action (nose picking, grabbing ice cream from a stranger’s hand), the greater likelihood a child with no motor control will mysteriously be able to perform it. In public.
  • If a child cannot speak clearly, the words they can produce with impeccable pronunciation will be swear words. Or  their mispronunciations will sound amazingly like swear words.
  • The likelihood of finding an open handicapped parking space increases when you shop without your child. In the slim chance you find an open space when your child is shopping with you, the ramp opening will be on the wrong side.
  • The symptom that has been worrying you will disappear the second you walk into the doctor’s office.
  • The best way to prevent a seizure is to go in for an EEG.
  • The best way to insure a child will learn to walk is to buy him a wheelchair. The likelihood increases if you have had to fight relentlessly for ages to get it funded…or buckle under and pay for it yourself.
  • The likelihood your child will need to be assisted to the bathroom right now increases with the delicacy of timing of the gourmet meal you are cooking.
  • The feeding pump will wait to alarm until after you have finally sat down to eat your own dinner.
  • The farther from home you must drive to specialty appointments, the greater the chance they can’t be scheduled on the same day.
  • Feeding tube accidents will involve the greatest amount of bedding possible. Especially if you just washed the comforter and blankets the day before.

What corollaries to Murphy’s Law would you share with us? We could all use a good chuckle…


Tasha said...

This made me laugh in agreement! So very very true!

Aadhaar said...

Haha, beautiful.

Rose-Marie said...

So glad you are enjoying these, Tasha and Eric! Do you have any "Murphy moments" to add?

Anonymous said...

So.true! Use of a wheelchair DOES promote the ability to walk! Not a well-accepted message....these walking and use of a wheelchair are not mutually exclusive.

The others - sadly funny. Thanks for great read.

Unknown said...

what an awesome post! Love the insight and the humor!