Quotidian Pleasure #3: School
Step into the Child Development Center and see me and other special needs children navigate their way through the disorienting world of physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. Walk past the wall-to-wall windows, which give glimpses of well cultivated gardens and bowers where tree boughs shade the basking birds. Sit in the waiting room and greet the aged women talking in sepulchral tones as they fuss over their fidgety children. Wait until Yasin’s therapists call you in and lead you to one of the therapy rooms where Yasin is placed onto an adjustable therapy bed. Change him into his exercise clothes and step back.
First, Yasin’s two therapists lie him down. They lift his legs in the air and grab the kneecaps as they are pushed simultaneously backward and forward. Yasin’s arms are pushed backward and forward as well. Then Yasin’s therapists place him firmly on all fours. He leans to the left, and then to the right – each time balancing himself on one arm. Then they put a wedge-like block in front of Yasin, put him on top and make him balance his whole body as the lower tip of the block is placed near his head. After that, they put Yasin on a therapy ball where he is rolled backwards and forwards as he sits down tentatively on it. He enjoys this after a while, and laughs. Yasin is then placed onto a bed which is able to move horizontally up in the air while he is strapped into it. His legs are put into gaiters and his feet into splints. He gets rather sleepy when the bed is moving to a slight angle but cries as the angle increases. He is then forced to distribute his weight evenly, and stand straight.This is the end of the lesson, and after 15 minutes or so, Yasin is lifted off the bed and given to his Mummy. She changes Yasin back into his home clothes and gives him a bottle of milk.
When they reach home, Mummy praises Yasin for his efforts. Yasin smiles. School itself is not a pleasure, but the process of getting there and seeing my friends and being sated and falling asleep with an empty milk bottle in my mouth in the taxi after school is.