Parent24 chats to Stacey Vee
Supermom Stacey didn’t plan on being a mom to a kid with special needs, but she calls it her "second childhood".

Real parents have been chatting to Parent24 about their experiences, which range from side-splittingly funny to deeply moving. Why not find out more about these moms and dads, who are, very often, just like you.

Who is Stacey Vee?

Stacey didn’t plan on being a mom to a kid with special needs; she was thinking eccentric, pipe-smoking novelist by day and spatula-licking pastry chef by night… but she wouldn’t change a thing. Mom to Travis the Lionheart (4.5yrs), Ryan the Squishy Gorilla (6mths).

What have you enjoyed most about being a parent so far?

Raising the Lionheart and the Squishy Gorilla is my second childhood. 
Baking cookies, blowing bubbles, dangling my feet in the pool and watching Disney Junior… I have discovered the fountain of youth: it’s comes bottled in your children.

Are there any challenges you've found which have been particularly tough?

Our first son Travis was born with a rare brain malformation called Septo Optic Dysplasia. Living under the weight of this tragedy nearly crushed us. Our dreams for Travis disappeared in a vacuum of hopelessness. With the support of friends and family we hung in there, and Travis has grown into quite the character. He’s called the Lionheart because he’s courageous; but also because his ‘roar’ is terrifying to behold when he’s frustrated. The second biggest challenge was deciding to have a second child. After genetic counselling and one miscarriage, baby Ryan joined the clan in October. 
Travis was not amused; I spent hours in the bathroom in ‘snot en trane’. But Ryan, bless him, met his big brother’s sulks with smiles, gurgles and blatant hero worship. Travis just crumbled in the face of such adoration.

If laughter is all that's keeping you sane, what makes you smile?

Having a disabled child means we are a family of Wombles (we ‘nest’ in our house). This type of behaviour makes you lose your marbles eventually, so I’ve trained myself to seek joy in the teeniest things. 
Lately, it’s watching my children interact… Travis mostly treats Ryan with cool indifference. To see him scoot over and make space for his baby brother in the bathtub, which is the Lionheart’s holiest of holys- that makes me smile right from my bellybutton out!

How do you think your kids would describe you?

Travis: strict, frazzled, and sometimes annoyingly cuddly
Ryan: pineapple-haired peek-a-boo queen

Your craziest parenting moment?

Let’s see… The time I kissed Travis and surfaced with a big blob of snot glued to my lip? Or the time we carried him down a 15m-drop rocky embankment in his special needs push chair, supporting our friend at the Comrades? While Ryan is innocently batting away at his cot mobile, he’s probably plotting his own crazy moments. My kids, the evil geniuses.

Follow Stacey on Twitter, or find out more on her blog.

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