Tuesday, 21 June 2016

The One With Bing Bunny And The Bit Of Inspiration

You know me. I'm never going to win any 'Mother of the Year' awards but the other day I surpassed myself. 

I was getting the boy ready for school and he was quite reluctant to clean his teeth, wash his face, have a wee, get dressed, generally do anything he was being told to do. You know the usual morning drill. 

He just stood there in the bathroom looking grumpy.

'Don't be angry honey.' I said in soothing tones 'You need to blow the angry away' 

I must explain that 'blowing the angry away' is a concept in a cartoon on CBeebies called 'Bing'. 

Bing is a large and annoying bunny who seems to have no gasp of basic grammar and who I once told the boy I'd like to put in a pie because he annoys me so much. This of course amused the boy greatly and now he insists on watching Bing Bunny on the I-Player just to wind me up.

'You want to put him in a pie don't you mummy?'

'Yes I do darling.'

'With the Chipmunks, don't you Mummy?'

Oh don't get me started on the Chipmunks.

So anyway back to the story.... I suggested to the boy he blow his angry away and let it all out.

'I don't want to blow my angry away. I want to stay angry forever' the boy declared with a red face and a stamp of the foot.

Time was ticking by, we were both still in our PJ's and nowhere near ready to leave for school. In desperation I came up with the following bit of inspired nonsense,

'You can't stay angry forever. If you don't let the angry out it's got nowhere to go and..... poo shoots out of your nose.'

Yep ladies and gentlemen, I was that desperate I went with a poo gag. 

The boy started laughing,

'It doesn't.'

He was smiling and starting to get ready so I ran with it.

'Yeah it does. If you don't blow the angry away then poo will definitely come out of your nose.'


'Oh yeah that's well known that. And you can't have poo shooting out of your nose all over the place.'

The boy was really giggling now. He'd laughed his angry away and was getting ready for school quite happily.

It might not be orthodox but it worked for us. We were chuckling all the way to the school gates and as the boy walked down the corridor I could see him shaking his head and muttering 'Poo. Out of your nose. Outrageous.' 

Job done. Now if I could just get some pastry round that bloody rabbit I'd be laughing too. 

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

The One With the Power of the Positive

I've written a story for Mode again, this time all about saying yes to yourself and the power of the positive. 

Saying yes to ourselves and our children just isn't something we do enough of in my view. 

The whole article was inspired by the first link in the story, all about a lady who decided to say yes to her children all day. It's not as mad as it first sounds and she ended up really enjoying herself too.

I'm thinking about having a yes day with the boy soon. If I am brave and do it I'll let you know how it goes. 

Check out The Power of Positive – Saying yes all day.
by Georgy Jamieson at Mode

Friday, 18 March 2016

The One With The Non Uniform Day

Today is Sports Relief, which means the boy had a non uniform day at school.

Normally this isn't a problem but currently the boy has an obsession with being very smart and wearing certain clothes. Hubby is at a loss because he quite clearly doesn't take after his 'fashion sense' (and I use that expression loosely). 

Of course todays theme meant you had to wear sports gear, football strip, trainers, tracky bottoms that kind of thing. This isn't in keeping with the boys current garb. For his birthday he wanted a tuxedo suit complete with waistcoat and bow tie from myself and hubby. Seriously.

This morning I made the rookie mistake of completely underestimating how much you have to prepare an autistic child for any kind of change in their week. 

Even though I'd said he didn't have to wear uniform on Friday I hadn't specified the boundaries of what he had to wear.  This morning the boy was determined to wear a smart white shirt and black jeans. It took a lot of persuasion, tears and will power to talk him into black joggers, a white T-Shirt and a hoodie. 

'I just want to be like the headmaster and wear a suit.' he bemoaned. 

'But it's Sport's Relief darling. Everyone will be in sporty stuff, including the headmaster.' I said hopefully with my fingers crossed behind my back.

The major stumbling block was the jeans. I know it was a non uniform day but I thought jeans was pushing the 'sports clothes' brief that bit too far, so I'd picked out joggers but it was a battle I can tell you. 

When hubby arrived at school with the boy the headmaster was indeed in casual attire, no suit, just a t-shirt and... wait for it... black jeans.

Luckily the boy didn't seem to pick up on this and a crisis was averted.

It just goes to show even if you think you've done something loads of times before and it'll be ok, you can't assume it will be. 

Preparation is the key... that and checking in advance what the headmaster will be wearing..... 

Thursday, 10 March 2016

The One With the A Word

So here's the thing. I haven't blogged properly for a long time because although there's been loads to talk about I haven't known exactly how to say it.

So I just need to plunge in and say it. 

The boy has been diagnosed with high functioning autism. High functioning means he's the lower end of the autistic spectrum and more able to function in everyday society. It's sometimes called Aspergers - but to be honest when I read about Aspergers I don't recognise a lot of the characteristics in the boy at all - and apparently the modern day thinking is to use the term 'high functioning' anyway as that's more positive. 

So there you go.

Even though we were kind of expecting it after all the appointments, observations, reports and analysis it still came as a bit of a shock to hear someone say it out loud.

It felt a bit final, even though this is an initial diagnosis and there's more tests going on, but to be honest with you I don't expect it to change greatly. 

Part of me was relieved to be getting somewhere at last and part of me was heart broken that it wasn't all a massive mistake and they'd got it wrong. 

Several weeks have now passed since we saw the paediatrician and life has settled into a normal pattern again. The boy is still the boy. He hasn't changed. His world is still as it always was and we're very keen to keep as much stability and normality in his life as possible. The school are being brilliant and so supportive. We have an additional homework schedule in place to assist with his phonics, letters, numbers and handwriting and as a result they are all improving.

Which begs the question is it just that the boy can't be arsed but when he does turn it on it's all there?

I'm not denying he's 'quirky' and doesn't fit the boxes and he does display some autistic traits but there's always this feeling in my heart that sometimes, just sometimes, he's playing us all. 

Time will tell I guess, but after the initial shock, the 'why us?' and upset I've actually cried less and felt more positive since the diagnosis. We're no longer in 'limbo' waiting for something to happen and feeling lost somewhere in the system. 

Don't get me wrong there are days when I look at the big blue box file I keep all the reports and observation notes and appointment details documented in and I want to take the bastard thing outside and burn it. But on the whole things are good.

The boy is as funny as ever. His manners are beautiful. He's caring, getting more sociable each time I see him with school friends, he has the growing maturity to deal with his rages and think about making the 'right choices' as they say at school. I see progression as a person, academically (when he can be bothered) and socially every day. He's my pride and joy, he's my life, my love and we all adore him.

We're very lucky and things are ok.

On several occasions we've been told 'the trouble is he doesn't live in the real world', to which I've replied 'who the hell wants to live in the real world? I'd rather live in his world thanks' - and drawn worried looks from doctors, therapists, SEN co-ordinators and health professionals.

But you know what, the boys world is safe, warm, full of love and support. And I for one am more than happy to live in it with him. 

Monday, 1 February 2016

The One Where We Ask Is It Ok To...?

Alright I know, it's feast or famine with me isn't it. Well I said I was back and I realise twice in one night is going a little two far, but I have another one of those 'Stories' for you and it was inspired by this. 

I've grown my hair long. Longer than it's ever been. Longer than it ever was when I was a little girl and mum lopped it all off the day before school started. She thought it would be easier to manage for PE and swimming but then I got to school to see all these girls in my class that could sit on their hair and I cried. 

Why I've grown it I have no idea. Maybe that little girl who cried on the first day of school has never got over it; although I'm a long way off my being able to sit on it. Maybe it's just because I can. After all it's growing better and stronger than it ever has and hasn't got stuck at that awkward stage, so it could be my body having one last hurrah of hormones before the menopause sets in.

Or maybe I'm doing it to stick two fingers up at the people who always said you can't have long hair over 30, let alone 40. It used to be frowned upon in all the fashion magazines. The advice was have a nice short cut, or a bob if you must, but nothing longer than your chin. It'll look better when it goes grey and will be easier to shampoo and set. 

Well curlers to that. 

I'm such a rebel. 

Check out Is it ok to…?  Trends you can still follow over 40.
by Random Woman at Mode

The One with the Stories

Hello, it's me. I know, I know I've been gone for ages and I've got loads to tell you but right now I want to tell you about a new venture.

I'm writing stories for Mode. Now by stories what I mean is posts from the T'internet that illustrate a certain point of view or a theme.

I've published my first two tonight and I hope to do loads more. 

So yes I'm back blogging and I'll be with you all much more now but first off let me know what you think of this 

Check out Getting Away. Me time for when motherhood gets too much.
by Random Woman at Mode

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

The One With The Listening Project

I'm not really sure why I didn't blog about this at the time, but it appears I didn't.

I thought I had. My friend Ice Cream Sundae from the radio station who set it all up thought I had.

But I didn't.

So I'm doing it now.

For those not familiar with The Listening Project it's a partnership between BBC Radio 4, BBC local and national radio stations, and the British Library. The idea is to record intimate conversations between friends or family to put together a picture of life today. Some of the conversations get broadcast and all get stored in the British Library. You can find out more about it here

Your local BBC station, where you recorded it, will broadcast an except from that conversation and some get chosen for BBC Radio 4.

Back in 2013 myself and Lemon Cake Lady had one of these conversations all about motherhood.

I've been reminded of this recently because The Listening Project is back in Suffolk, recording more conversations and making more memories. 

I listened back to ours today and it made me laugh. Not just because some things don't change, but because some things do. If that makes sense. 

This conversation was pre- 'Can we have a word?', pre- early years developmental specialists, pre- speech and language therapists, pre- IEP's and pre- endless forms, reports and observations. 

Listening back my main concerns seem to be, did I have enough rules for the boy and people tutting at my parenting skills in public.

Didn't know I was born did I? 

I have a copy of the full conversation on CD and it's one of my most treasured possessions. How often do you get to record you and your best mate just talking. A time capsule of your life and friendship on that day. Then to have it broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and archived at the British Library, well that's pretty special in my book.

You can hear us wittering on here - we hope you enjoy it. 

And mums, whether you're a Penguin or a Vulcan don't beat yourself up about it. 

Either is just fine.