Not that kinda mother.

img_7617There’s a certain kind of clarity that comes from being 40. Well, er – 41 actually but I’ve stopped counting. I have decided that I’m not going to get any older, Ima stop right here at this age.

Well, last year’s age, but you know what I mean.

And by clarity, I mean, self-awareness. I seriously could no longer care less what other people think of me.

Yeah, that’s a lie too. I WISH I didn’t care but my emotions preeeeetty much rule this girl.

Yep. Always have done- probably always will do.

And that’s ok.

Anyway – as I was saying, I’ve learned a lot about myself in these past few years and I’m gonna write about it here so I can read back on it the next time I’m in full blown self-hatred mode and rediscover why its ok to be me.

Firstly – I am aware that I am different to most mothers. I am not great at the whole example setting thing.

My teenaged daughter is usually the one telling ME to mind my language and it’s usually her asking ME to get a grip when I lose it. And my boys have seen me in a puddle of tears on the floor holding onto a glass of wine for dear life and then been there to comfort ME more times than I care to admit.

But here’s the thing: my kids know they could rely on me to be there for them no matter what happens, and that I will love them regardless of anything that they could ever say or do.

So I’m calling that a win. I’m not always perfect, but my love for them is.

I may not always operate in complete coping mode but I am capable of being what they need when they need it most and that’s what is most important.

I don’t always make the best decisions when it comes to parenting but I do always apologise when I stuff up.

That’s also important.

Secondly: I’m a better mother when I spend (a metric crapload) of time away from my kids. And THAT’S ok to admit too. It doesn’t make me a bad mother; it makes me real. Not all mothers want to spend every waking moment with their children climbing all over them and obsess about every tiny aspect of their children’s lives. We are all different. I for one go stir crazy when I’m not afforded enough “Fi” time.  And the result of that’s not fun for anyone. BELIEVE me. Working outside the home with long hours is what keeps me sane and helps teach my children the independence that they may not have learnt had they not have been forced into it. I’m not gonna feel guilty about that anymore either.

It’s wonderful that some people can post all over social media about how much they LOVE school holidays and simply ADORE having their offspring home and post album after album of beautiful photos of the amazing artwork, craft creations and outings they have done with the neatly dressed, intelligent, well behaved children, – but that’s not me (or my children) either.

No.

Not even close.

It’s taken me a loooooooooong time (and I’m not there yet) to be ok with the fact that I am not like those mothers.

I abhor craft, I don’t have an artistic bone in my entire body and going ANYWHERE further than the corner store with two autistic boys makes me want to stab myself because it is a hell that most people won’t ever fully experience.

And here’s why:

My kids have zero executive functioning skills. Know what they are? They are the skills that allow kids (or adults) to exercise mental control and be able to regulate themselves.  These skills are easily learned and eventually instinctive in neurotypical (or normally wired) individuals and most kids have them down pat by about ten years old.

And by self- regulate I mean, to be able to make decisions for themselves, to instinctively understand what is expected of them in public places and to know how to self-entertain, behave appropriately and in their own best interest.

Put simply:  because my boys are autistic and don’t yet have these skills mastered, a simple outing usually ends in one or both of my boys hitting/punching/kicking/poking/slapping each other in the nether region or screaming out something to the tune of:

“I’M BORED AND HUNGRY AND I HATE YOUR HAIR MUM AND YOU SMELL LIKE BUTT AND YOU’RE THE WORST MOTHER EVER BECAUSE YOU WONT BUY ME A NEW GAME AND WHY CAN’T I HAVE THIS CHOCOLATE AND WHY CAN’T I GO TO THE TOILET RIGHT BLOODY NOW AND WHY CAN’T I GO HOME WHERE MY PLAYSTATION IS BECAUSE YOU KNOW I HATE GROCERY SHOPPING AND WHY ARE YOU SITTING IN THE CORNER OF THE SHOP ROCKING AND SOBBING MUM WOULD YOU LIKE ANOTHER WINE?”

Or, you know, something like that.

And when I remind myself that most mothers stop dealing with toddler tantrums at around the age of 5 and that I am still dealing with them in 10 and 13 year olds I remember to stop comparing myself to the mum who took her four beautifully dressed children on a thirty six-hour car trip to see the beach on the other side of the country and stopped at every boutique café along the way because that isn’t – and will never be – my life.

Plain and simple.

It’s not even comparing apples and oranges but instead comparing apples with mutant kiwifruit cross bred with an exotic rambutan and bitter melon (they’re real fruits – google them).

But I don’t want you to feel sorry for me. Just don’t judge me for not being even close to having my ducks in a row.  In fact, living this ridiculously insane existence has afforded me a sense of humour that I never knew I had before, and it’s taught me to never ever EVER take anything at face value.

There is ALWAYS more going on in everyone’s lives than what they post on social media.

I’m learning not to compare my off-the-planet home life to Susie homemaker and have come to the realisation that not everyone is as brutally honest as I am.

I may scare a lot of people off with my honestly because it’s often confronting and raw and uncomfortable, but it also filters out anyone in my life who isn’t willing to stick with me through the darker days and has shown me who I can trust and who only wants to be my friend for what they can get from me.

So thankyou to anyone reading this because it means that you’ve stuck by me and I love you and appreciate you more than I could ever convey.

Have a great weekend all. I am spending mine taking my son to the hairdresser to fix up the home hair cut he gave himself (those darn executive functioning skills to blame again).  Or lack thereof.

Haha.

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday 15/2/12…my odd child!

I’m only just scraping in to Wordless Wednesday by a few hours here in Australia and I wasn’t going to post anything today but I just HAVE to share this.

I was heading to bed for an early night and went into the boy’s room to check on them first. I kissed them both and as I pulled up Lucas’ sheets, I noticed a big lump protruding from the bottom of the bed so I felt it but couldn’t work out what it was.  I went and turned on the hallway light to get a better look and had to stifle a laugh when I noticed him sporting an OVEN MITT on his FOOT???

Yup. That’s right. An oven mitt!

It was complete with food stains because it had been thrown in the hallway in front of the laundry (by a lazy me) so he’s obviously seen it on his way to his bedroom and thought: ‘Hmmmm……This big sock is pretty cool, I will put it on!’

What a thoroughly odd child!

But it did give me a giggle 🙂

Behind the scenes….The inside story :)

As most of you would have already have worked out….we had an absolutely fantastic trip to America recently.

Our children travelled brilliantly (a lot of thanks goes to the sleeping tablets that my boys already take on a regular basis) and also as a result of the months and months of forward planning that went into our holiday.

But yes, despite all this…there were still some “interesting” moments as is to be expected but I’m stoked to say that they really were rare and very manageable.

The wheels really didn’t fall off until we returned home this week but that’s a whole other blog post!

We were in the States for a total of eighteen days which seems like enough time to cover a lot of ground right?….Well, yeah, but we didn’t.

We know that overloading kids is never a good idea ESPECIALLY when they are on the spectrum! So we spent a lot of days just relaxing in the hotel room or taking it easy doing things like swimming or strolling down boulevards and lanes as the boys stopped and felt every lamp post, concrete square and blade of grass in their endless pursuit of sensory nirvana!

 

And I believe that we reaped the rewards of this in their subsequent remarkable behaviours.

 Sure, I would’ve loved to have spent more time shopping, sightseeing and I REALLY wanted to drive Route 66 but I had to make the decision to be thankful that we were even ABLE to have an overseas holiday with our kids and realise that this was not all about me.  THIS time anyway 😉

We had to make the decision to not sweat the small stuff and allow the children to do things that normally would be jumped on immediately. Stuff that normally drives us spare and makes us crazy!

Like rolling around on the floor under the chairs at the airport….

Hiding under restaurant tables:

Or Climbing….And climbing….

And even more climbing!

And we had to make allowances for the children when they became tired or grumpy as a result of being kept out late the previous night……even if the strain of this still showed on our faces!

And the technicalities?

Well technically  8 years old is too old for a stroller right?!

Well…no.  No it’s not when you have Sensory Processing Disorder and need a place to escape the constant lights, noise and crowds.   You do whatever works when you’re us.

And chewing…..NORMALLY chewing on a hat cord would make me wild but I realised that Disneyland is quite a lot to take in and I had to  let it go…. MAN that was hard for me! I had to let a LOT of things slide and there were times that I had to just close my eyes or look away because it wasn’t worth the fight!

And you know what? I think I may have gained a little bit more tolerance and patience as a result!

But only a little bit mind you….let’s not go crazy now!

~

Yes…..There were a lot of different and unusual happenings while we were away.

But….

A lot of things were exactly the same as if we were back home…..

For example….we still had Lucas on constant sensory seeking missions:

And sometimes I had to help him by doing some O.T. on-the-go

Spinning anyone?

~

Car travel was pretty much the same as it is here:

And my kids still displayed impeccable table manners:

And….there was more climbing:

Thankfully, I’m an amazing mother who keeps up with her children by always staying fit EVEN when I’m on holidays:…..

Ok ok…..

You got me.

I totally lied about that……my choice of footwear kinda gives me away I know!!
But kudos to my Mum for playing along when I asked her to grab her camera and snap me “hard at word” LOL

All in all, it was quite a funny 2 1/2 weeks if you choose to see the amusing amidst the frustrating.

Thankfully, in Vegas you could buy Margaritas on the STREET:

And they were GOOD:

To the very last drop 😀

We had such a wonderful time away……I hope you enjoyed this walk on the lighter side of life 🙂

Cheers: 

Fi xxx

Why traffic lights SUCK!

Lucas has a new ‘thing’. He likes to sing in the car.

But it’s not just any old singing. Oh no…..because that wouldn’t bother me so much.

Regular singing would be cute and bearable and maybe even catchy, but his is the repetitive nonsense type of singing that makes you want to poke yourself in the eye.

Until it bleeds.

Because that would be less painful.

UGH!

And it’s not that he is terribly off-key, in fact – he seems to be the only child of mine that picked up any of my musical abilities but it’s more the type of songs that he chooses to sing that do my head in.

For example: Does anyone remember the Traffic light song by the Monty Python guys?

Well for the uninitiated: here is the worst song you could possibly imagine.

Now try to imagine it being sung to you over and over and over again…..

Do you feel sorry for me yet?

Oh….and a huge thankyou to my lovely husband for showing it to the boys in the first place

Awesome.

Totally Awesome.

Lucas regularly sings this insidious song in the car, but that wasn’t what he chose to sing this morning.

No, this morning’s song was a made up song that stemmed from an episode that we had a few weeks ago where he completely pushed my buttons and got the desired reaction from me and therefore obviously never forgot about it.

It also happened in the car on the way to school one morning.

Harley had whispered to Lucas that it would be funny if he told me that he’d peed his pants. Which was just lovely as you could imagine.

So…. he did and he acted the part so well that I totally took the bait and completely freaked out. I pulled over to the side of the road and got out of the car whilst going off my head ranting at him: “Why didn’t you tell me you needed to go?”.

I opened his car door and reached in and put my hand on his legs to check the relative humidity and at that exact moment they both started giggling hysterically saying: We tricked you Mummy! We were just joking!”

I failed to see the humourous side and they knew it but they couldn’t stop laughing for the rest of the way nonetheless.

~~~

So anyway….back to the song.

After I’d dropped the older kids at school this morning, I started to drive Lucas to pre-school. I turned onto the freeway and a little voice from the backseat piped up singing a song to the tune of “The Farmer In The Dell”.

Here’s the tune:

~~~~~

Lucas’ version went like this:

“I think I peed my pants,

I think I peed my pants,

Uh-Oh Mu-u-mmy,

I think I peed my pants”.

Ok….So I laughed at his cleverness the first time and maybe even smiled the second but by the 93rd time in 15 minutes ….I was ready to commando roll outta that car going at high speeds and make a run for it!

And I’m more than a little suspicious that he had some help coming up with the lyrics for this….Hmmmmmm?

So…what do your kids like to sing in the car and does it drive you completely batty too?

~~~~~

The helpful husband

He walked in the front door shortly after 5pm and I was surprised to say the least. I double checked the time on both the wall clock and my watch to make sure that my eyes weren’t playing tricks on me.  But no, it was definitely happening. My knight in shining armour (ok…a middle aged dude in a shirt and tie) had come home early to help out with the afternoon and early evening routine.

“What do you need me to do first” Mr Patient asked me cautiously.

“You could start by running the boys a bath” I ventured.

“Alrighty then fair maiden” he answered in that adorable but frustrating echolalic way that he does as he headed for the bathroom scooping up one of the giggling boys on his way.

It didn’t take long.

Actually, it was probably only about three minutes before I was summoned. Coming down the hallway in a pitiful tone was a faint but distinct…...”Fiiiiiiiiiiii”

I rolled my eyes and put down the onion I was chopping for dinner and made my way to the scene of the chaos.

“Where is the bubble bath”? He asks innocently.

I reached up on the shelf only centimetres above him and handed it to him and walked back to the kitchen.

Seconds later I heard it again.

“Fiiiiiiiii”

I ignored it this time hoping he would give up.

“Fiiiiiiiii” he calls out much louder.

“What?” I scream back “I’m busy”

“Where is the plug?” he calls out sheepishly.

“In the top drawer – I saw Lucas playing with it earlier so I hid it from him so he didn’t fill the tub up when I wasn’t looking”. I yelled back impatiently and went back to chopping.

I swear it was only a minute later when he bellows out again….”Fiiiiiii” but this time in a much more desperate petition.” I neeeeeeed you”.

I throw the remains of the half chopped zucchini into the pot on the stove and glance at the clock. Only 7 minutes has passed and I have been called on 3 times. The boys are still running half naked around the house and the tension and noise levels are rising rapidly.

“Yes P” I snap angrily with my hands on my hips “What now?”

“Would you please help me catch Lucas so I can bath him. Quick, there he goes…..corner him”.

I grab the offending child, strip the remainder of his clothes off him in one swift motion ignoring the protests and ducking the kicking and hurl him into the water.

“Wow”, he says obviously impressed “How about you bath the boys and I’ll go cook dinner”.

“Fine”  I lift Lucas out and dry him off then send him out to the heater with his pyjamas, singlet and underpants that I’d already laid out for him earlier and clear and precise instructions on how to dress himself.

I grab Harley in much the same fashion and bath and dry him and send him out to his brother so  he can finish getting ready for bed too.

I let the water out of the bathtub and walked back to the kitchen to see how dinner is coming along and I find Mr Patient sitting at the computer, vegetables still on the chopping board where I left them and two completely naked boys playing lets-see-who-can-flick-each-other-the-hardest-with-our-wet-towels giggling hysterically.

“Thanks for coming home early and helping out with the evening madness honey” I call out sarcastically.

“Oh no problem, glad I could help” he answers oblivious to my ire!

“Oh, by the way” I add venomously….“If you ask me why the kids haven’t yet downe any homework – I’ll bloody flatten you!”

“Wouldn’t dream of it love….wouldn’t dare”  he says with a kiss on the cheek.

I shook my head and went back to the veggie chopping and with every slice, dice and chop that those poor vegetables endured I felt my frustration start to evaporate. 😀

THIS is how I cope ;)

My daughter Ella likes to take pictures. She can often be seen jumping out from behind furniture to capture that all important candid shot. Some of them turn out to be fabulous pics but a lot of them are just downright embarrassing!  I must admit that she has captured some fabulous memories though!

Anyway, I was looking through her latest album of randoms and I noticed a bit of a theme with the photographs of me. It is a theme that relates to how I cope.

I decided that it was time to come clean on here but first – I need to give you all some history.

Harley and Lucas are loud.

No, I’ll make it clearer than that… Harley and Lucas are REALLY LOUD!!!! 🙂

Harley has major sensitivities to noise and Lucas is like a human foghorn.

Now….you would think that with Harley having such strong aversions to loud noises that he wouldn’t make too much of it himself wouldn’t you? Um…..no, sadly that’s not the case!  He can often be found screaming at the top of his lungs at his siblings, at me, at the toy that just.won’t.do.what.it’s.told and at all of the screens in the house that don’t give him the result he requires.

He also has a loud monotone talking voice and I gotta tell you that the constant noise in this house DRIVES ME NUTS!!!!!

I also want to add that after I had brain surgery to remove a tumour 5 years ago and am now 100% deaf in my right ear and as a result – I have become extremely protective of the hearing that I do have left. So the boy’s constant noise can start to get to me a lot sooner than it used to because I have trouble filtering sounds nowadays. I never had a problem with crowds in shopping centres or loud music in other people’s cars at the traffic lights or even general kid noise but over the last few years – I really really can’t take it.

I suppose my stress levels being at a constant high wouldn’t help much either – but back to Ella’s penchant for candid photos…

These next 5 photos that Ella took of me feature me “coping with the noise”…..or not! (And for the record…..the horrible black leggings in most photos are my “house pants”….eeeewww I know!)

⬇THIS⬇ is how I cope 😀

Cooking in silence (look closely at my head)

Vacuuming in silence

Blog reading in Silence

Making beds in silence

Cleaning teeth in silence

And occasionally I drive wearing my trusty headphones because you CAN’T ESCAPE when you’re in a car LOL!

Personally, I LOVE a bit of randomness!

I think I hit the jackpot finding an image of a waffle and a truck together! image via http://www.dribbble.com

Last night at about 10pm, I was sitting down in front of the TV just relaxing when I heard some little footsteps heading towards me. I looked over and saw Harley making a beeline for me. When he was close enough I looked at him and asked him what the matter was.

I like Sonic” he replied and turned on his heel to head back to bed.

“Hey….wait a minute” I asked him grabbing his arm to stop him from leaving. “Did you come all the way out here just to tell me that?”

“Yes”, he nodded.

“Um, I know honey – you’ve liked Sonic for a while now” I replied.

“Yes, but that was when I was seven. Now that I am eight, I need to tell you again for this year” he said with conviction and then turned around and walked back to bed!

I’m used to this kind of randomness from my boy. One of the first instances of this was when he was about 3 years old (about 18 months before he was diagnosed with aspergers). We were at church and it was Easter time. The Sunday school teachers had gotten all the kids up on stage so that the parents could ooh and aah over the cuteness of their cherubs.

The leader had a microphone and asked several children “What does Easter mean to you?” and held it up to most of the children’s mouths to wait for their answer.

There were the predictable answers and some really cute ones too but when the microphone was put in front of Harley and the question was asked – he stared at it with a blank face and replied with just three small words.

 “I-like-trucks”.

Everyone exploded into laughter and I distinctly remember it like it was yesterday. My little boy was wearing an expression that I’ve never ever forgotten and one that I see regularly today. It was a mixture of hurt, confusion and fright.

I don’t think that he realised that his thoughts came out loud. I’m pretty sure that he didn’t understand the question and that all the sensory stimulation was overwhelming him so much that he had retreated into his “happy place”. He was having an obsession with Tonka trucks at the time so it stands to reason that this was what he chose to talk about.

Like I said – I have never forgotten this but it has only been recently that I have understood that this was a prime example of what we now know to be his one-track mind. And what an awesome mind he has!

Someone once told me that men have waffle brains and women have spaghetti brains. I forget where I heard it so I can credit anyone with it, but I really really loved this!

The analogy is meant to mean something along the lines of a man’s brain being compartmentalised and that they are only able to do one thing at a time. The several single squares on a waffle represent the boxes that men file useful information in so that they can access it whenever it’s required. The boxes are all separate and individually maintained.

Work is in one box which is totally separate from the home square. That’s why (some) men find it a little easier to find balance between work and family life and women not so much.

The spaghetti however, represents women’s brains and how hundreds of strands are intertwined and crossed over and how every little thing is connected to each other and that a woman can process and achieve many things at once and that doing just one thing can be the launching pad for many other things to occur at exactly the same time.

It also explains why (some) women are unable to simply shut off the emotions of a tumultuous family life once they reach the office or leave the woes of the working day behind when they come home to their families.

(This is all generalised by the way –I know that there are of course a lot of men and women who are exceptions to these rules;))

And then there’s the autistic brain.

I have heard it compared to a huge chest where everything is just thrown in all together.

And when the owner of this chest is required to access a piece of information or remember a previous event – they are able to find it and they manage very well without help, but because there’s so much to sort through, it can take a lot longer than an NT person to find what they’re searching for.

That’s not to say that it’s not an organised chest. It may have tidy compartments in there and they are probably well labelled, but because things that make their way into that chest aren’t thrown in haphazardly, and are placed very carefully where they are for a reason…Only the owner of that chest can find their way around it with any success.

 

And once again….this by no means applies to ALL people on the spectrum. I am writing about my own son and what I have observed myself).

Often I will ask Harley a question and see his contorted face as he searches for the correct answer. It can take several minutes for the right one to appear but he does usually come up with it in the end.

But…..if I push him and demand a speedy reply – he will usually give me a random statement or an unrelated piece of trivia because he is trying to substitute by using the first thing that his brain has latched on to.

Usually that piece of trivia is somehow related to whatever his special interest topic happens to be at that present time.

Like the comment with the trucks!

And anyway – I personally think it was a fabulous answer because trucks really are pretty cool, he was only stating the obvious. I mean…..all the rest of the children had already given the correct answer. He was just issuing a community announcement that day after all.

I LOVE how wonderfully wired these kids of mine are! They’re simply amazing little creations . And in case you’re wondering – the reason that he walked out to tell me that he still liked Sonic at 10 o’clock at night?

Simple – he was looping on that thought . Apparently I’d asked him a question earlier in the evening about his party invitations and wanted to know what character he would like printed on them but at the time he couldn’t quite find the answer he wanted to give so he couldn’t sleep until he got it out.

Duh Mum!

And remember…..it’s still Sonic in case you were wondering 🙂

Losing dread, finding joy

Dread : to feel extreme reluctance to meet or face something.

I used to really dread the school holidays.

The thought of having the kids home every day made me want to hide under my blankets and stay there until they were over and I knew that the possibility of having a peaceful household was all but gone for the duration. Often the constant drama that continually unfolded was usually more than I could take and I would spend the days wishing for school to go back just so I could get a moment’s peace. I regularly locked myself in our walk in wardrobe with my iPod turned up loud JUST to drown the kids out. It was the only way I could cope.

But that was then.

THESE days, I understand the reason behind the tears, the tempers and the general unrest (well…MOST of the time anyway) and can usually take some measures to try to avert them before they occur. I have learned that dread is a very close cousin of fear. I no longer feel afraid and therefore no longer feel the need to sit in the corner in the foetal position rocking and chanting “It will be ok, it will be ok, it’s all going to be ok” until I finally started to believe it.

***

Today was the last day of school for my kids for this term. They are now on holidays for almost 3 weeks and this time – I couldn’t be happier.

20 days of stress-free mornings, 20 days of not having to be anywhere at a particular time and 20 days of semi sleep-ins. (Well – 6:00 am is a sleep in here 🙂 )

Many people think that children on the autistic spectrum need rock solid routine and while that’s true on some levels – my kids cope ok with only a loose routine provided that they are not rushed or expected to be something that they’re not.

The more “out” activities – the more stress. It’s a simple formula really!

I used to take planning to the tenth degree and schedule holiday activity upon activity thinking that they needed that structure to cope, but in essence – what I was really doing was over scheduling them and kind of replicating school – they very thing that they were supposed to be on holidays from! The expectations that I put on them was causing all of us so much stress that it hardly seemed worth it in the end!

They got so tired from having to be here at a certain time and there at another when all they really wanted to do was to just chill out at home with a DVD and their favourite things surrounding them.I discovered that play dates are great – but not when they turn into another “requirement”.

And now that I know all of that – I can also relax more easily. It turns out that they don’t WANT to be traipsing around parks, bowling alleys and cinemas all the time. They are completely happy to just stay at home and do their own thing. It’s easier, MUCH cheaper and allows them to actually benefit from the break by recharging their batteries and refuelling so that they can cope better with term 3.

My beautiful Mum is arriving next week and both of the boys birthdays AND mine are also coming up so we still have a LOT to do this holidays.  I’m very excited and have just started to see the light at the end of the so-I-guess-I-don’t-get-to-move-to-my-mum’s tunnel.   And that light is in Ella. She has really blossomed this year and her and three other lovely girls have joined forces and created a lovely little group.

image blurred because I won't put other people's children faces on the internet 🙂

The group is made up of two 12 years olds & two 11 year olds so it’s a great mix, they all complement each other brilliantly and are as different as they are alike. They all Skype each other EVERY afternoon after school and have already planned 2 sleepovers in the holiday period. It’s ALL they talk about and their excitement is contagious plus it’s making this mothers heart sing after the horrible bullying that my princess has had to endure in past years.

I couldn’t be happier.

And as much pain as I have been in recently as I have witnessed my dream of moving home become less and less achievable – I have found a way to rejoice in the beautiful friendships that my girl is developing and I’m relaxing into the knowledge that she is going to be A-OK as she heads to high school next year.

It’s true that God works in mysterious ways and that His ways are not our own, but I also think that sometimes I need to just pull my head out of the sand long enough to observe the sun shining all around me instead of just noticing the dark shadows that it causes instead.

Happy holidays everyone 🙂

Fi xx

Um yes, that’s MY son :)

 This afternoon my kids have made me laugh on so many occasions that I could almost write an entire post just by writing them all down here.

But I won’t. I have the sneaking suspicion that a lot of them were really only funny to me. You know – mother’s love and all that!

But I will say that my joy and delight in them lately has all been about choice. VERY much so.  This afternoon as I sat on the computer on a Skype call to a close friend in the UK – the boys were tearing around the house screaming and laughing like maniacs.

.

I turned around in my seat and bellowed at them “You boys are so bloody noisy, you can be heard in England at the moment!”

My friend and I giggled and Harley gave me a puzzled look. Maybe he thought I was serious?

Anyway, I’d better get this post back on track because there are a number of different tangents this could take if I don’t pull back on the reigns now! I want to write about the parent/teacher interviews that we had last night.

Mr Patient was going to go alone but I didn’t trust him to ask the right questions in the end we decided to go together and take the kids with us.

Well….it seemed like a good idea at the time! 🙂

First we headed over to middle school to meet Ella’s teacher.

We waited for our turn and Harley threw himself on the floor in absolute disgust because he was bored and didn’t make a secret of it which I thought was rather funny but Mr Patient wasn’t impressed!
Ella’s teacher is lovely and she got a fantastic term 2 report . One line in her report said : Ella is very accepting, I never hear any negative comments or actions from her…

THIS made me beam with pride because she lives in a household that is very different to those of her peers and it has obviously taught her to be more tolerant.

We explained to him that she lives with a lot of “action” (I think that’s what we called it) and that if she sometimes appears a bit distant or vague – it’s probably because she is dealing with a lot after hours. He smiled and said that students with “action” at home tend to mature quicker out of necessity and I know that this is definitely the case for Ella. She’s my right hand and my helper a lot of the time and I often have to remind myself that she’s only 11 and realise that the boys are not her responsibility.

He asked us how she is coping “socially” which I thought was an odd question for a male teacher to ask but then it clicked that maybe it’s been mentioned to him that I suspect that Ella is a bit spectrummy herself. I’m not sure but if this IS the case, – I’m thrilled! I answered by telling him that the 3 girls that she has recently bonded with have been an absolute God-send for us and that we haven’t experienced any of the bullying from previous years.

All in all – we didn’t need to stay and chat with him for long because Ella got a glowing report and we couldn’t be more proud of her 🙂

Next we walked down to junior school to see Harley’s teacher and the entire interview was absolutely hilarious. She told us little happenings from the classroom which made us both roll our eyes because we could picture them all-too-well! Apparently he’s the little class clown. NO surprises there!  Only I don’t think he actually intends to be funny. He just is!

One of the funniest things she told us was about the day that Harley wrote out a story and handed it in and she was unable to read it so she asked him if he could read it to her. She said he looked at it and then back at her and said: ” I can’t read THIS – whoever wrote this is a TERRIBLE writer,How do you expect me to read it?”

When she told him that it was in fact his story, he shook his head and said “I really need to learn to write better don’t I!”

Yep….that’s my boy! Cute as a button but he makes me CRAZY!!!!!

At least things are settling down here now – only 2 more school days until the kids are on holidays for 3 weeks.

Now….where did I put that Valium?