Of Updates, Self Expression and Bodily Autonomy

So, we have two children. This is not (or should not be) a surprise to my regular audience. If any of you still exist of course!

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#1 Son

He’s almost 12. In exactly 2 weeks in fact! No, I can’t believe it either. My baby boy has graduated Elementary School, begun Middle School and has damn well nearly finished 6th Grade!

From this:

From Kindergarten all the way through 5th Grade

To this:

This is Sixth Grade!

And while I tell myself he’s still my baby (I mean, he’s my son, he’ll always be my baby!)? There’s no denying he’s growing up. Faster than I think even he is ready for. Because puberty? Is heading towards us hard and fast! Boy howdy is it!

Anyone who says that only girls are emotional? And that puberty isn’t rough on boys? Does not have a gosh darned monkey fudging clue – and has likely either forgotten or has never been around pre-teen boys. Add in ADHD rage to a puberty hair-trigger and life is becoming… interesting. Which would be fine but TT is both a target and an antagonist. She is definitely a ‘morning person’ at the moment (in direct opposition to what everybody tells you about kids with ADHD!) and he… is not. At all. And as caffeine has the same effect upon him as it does upon me?

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There’s really nothing we can do to jump-start his brain in the mornings. And for school he has to be up at 06:30!!! So at weekends we are currently letting him sleep as long as he likes – with the caveat that I’ll let his sister be her usual levels of noisy from 10:30 and I’ll start pointedly yelling at around 11am. He needs to get up some time! That’s going to get ‘worse’ before it improves, but that’s normal.

He’s also struggling to study appropriately because all he wants to do is hang out with his friends and play video games.

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And he’s a bright kid so he’s coasting. Sadly, because we are in the USA and no longer in the UK, the grades he’s currently getting aren’t worth the equivalent they would have been were I or his dad the student attaining them. In Trimester 1 he was averaging A- which was awesome. He did have a chance to aim for an accelerated Math programme which would begin in 7th Grade but… Trimester 2 he completely tanked his grades because of the above.

Now, ADHD does impact here of course – but the kid has made choices. Including lying to me about completing a project then doubling down. Which, when I figured that out?

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Fortunately (for him) the child got lucky and there was an unexpected Snow Day called and he managed to complete a 10-slide presentation in 24 hours. And also managed to present it to the class for Extra Credit eventually.


The kid has his dad’s sense of humour (Goddess help me!) and he has no fear of public speaking as yet. Totally opposite to me there. Long may that continue!


So sadly he’s unlikely to be in Compacted Math program, at least from the start of 7th Grade. Which frustrates me, as I know he’s got the aptitude – but he hasn’t demonstrated it. So as much as I hate the saying? He has only himself to blame. Apparently though if he excels during 7th Grade he could be moved up. This is good because there’s a couple of Modules that are only available in 12th Grade if you’re on the Accelerated route – and I think they’ll interest him. But on the other hand, it’s a lot of pressure on 11/12 year olds.

We’ve also had a little discussion about him not being pissy if TT manages to get on to this program if he doesn’t. I will never ever compare my kids – they are light and dark – but if she managed it it would be through her own effort so I don’t want him salty with her.


And I did talk to him seriously about the program. What it would mean, how much work it would be both to get on it and what it would mean load wise going forward. I did not just throw him in at the deep end and force him to do it.


He was initially interested. And I gave him every opportunity to back out. He just didn’t like the effort required. Which is all normal. Honestly I’m completely relieved to be dealing with normal pre-teen kid issues that have nothing to do with ADHD. Obviously it’s always a contributing factor, but this is fine. See there are multiple steps he needed to complete to qualify, and I am certain he hasn’t met enough.

There have been other minor squabbles around school work. As I have his academic life on my phone – because Google Classroom allows for that. So oftentimes I can see when he hasn’t handed something in, or if it’s late. Which led to the following:

If you could see I’d forgotten to hand it in Mom, why didn’t you just turn it in for me?

Frustrated #1 Son – age 11

Ah nope Sonny Jim. That’s not how any of this works. If I started turning in his assignments for him, then it’s becomes a potentially slippery slope to simply doing the work for him. And that? Just won’t happen.

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What the hell will I be teaching him if I start going down that route? So we butt heads often. We occasionally fight. But, as I’ve said to both of them:

I am your mom. Not your friend. At least not yet. Hopefully when you’re grown, we will become friends. But right now? My job is to parent you. So that is what I’m doing. You’ll probably (often) hate me a lot before I’m through. But I’ll never ever stop loving you, and doing my darndest to turn you into a reasonably competent adult.

Me. Perpetually. Often exhaustedly

In other respects though, he is firmly coming into his own. He now self-identifies as HatBoy!

In summer 2023 one of his best mates gifted him a Boston Bruins baseball cap. This thing did not leave his head for weeks. He realized he loved wearing a hat. We did have some issues with older/other MVMMS students knocking them off his head and dropping them in puddles, but apparently you can wash baseball caps so that’s fine.

Then he discovered beanies/toques. He wanted to wear one constantly. So in a winter sale I nabbed multiple. Then I remembered I can knit/crochet. But the vast majority of my yarn stash is sock weight (yes yes it’s also known as fingering weight) I can feel you all sniggering in the back there.

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And whilst I love knitting, and I love the colours and variations you get in sock yarn (most of my stash is hand dyed and it’s all stunning).

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Unfortunately it is as thin as a very thin thing. As a result it means all items made have to have literally hundreds of stitches. And, as I may have mentioned? I have ADHD. So I go from:

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To:

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Practically instantaneously, and certainly with little to no warning. And I needed to churn a few of these buggers out and quickly. So I went scouring the internet for a pattern or two. Because I do not have a head for Math and so I couldn’t work out a way to do this myself from scratch.

Ironically it was a short video on the Book of Faces that found me what I needed. A designer has created a stash busting set of patterns (@knitstitchrepeat) and her Monster Hat gave me exactly what I needed. It’s designed for Super Bulky Weight but gives detailed instructions on how to make up that weight with multiple strands of thinner yarns. So I thought, why not try Fingering Weight yarn? I’ve got so bloody much of the stuff.

I didn’t jump in completely at the deep end and instantly start using all my ‘good’ yarn. I knitted up a few test ones in bog standard DK weight first.

This was my first attempt. I made a hat, but sadly it was slightly too short in the length for #1 Son so we threw that one at TT and I attempted another.
Much more successful, please excuse his rashy face – during the multiple bouts of strep and (in his case) Walking Pneumonia we have discovered that both kiddos are allergic to penicillin’s goddammit.

TT then demanded one made just for her. Which, fair.

Then I accidentally made a Minecraft inspired one:

No, I don’t remember what I said to make him laugh his head off. I might have asked him to discuss his veganism. Which… he’s not vegan so… laughter?

Once I had the basics for a well-fitting hat for him in yarn I didn’t particularly care about, it was time to move on to the stuff I did. Now, the designer herself isn’t insane and so hadn’t tried it using sock, because guess what? It takes nine or ten strands of yarn to do this. So yes, they get tangled. Yes there is swearing. But it’s damn worth it for the smile on his face and the fact that he is loving wearing hats that I have made for him!!!!

I was particularly proud of this one, as it was a really subtle play of colour and neutrals – with a bit of sparkle.
And, as you can see, it earned the seal of approval.
He picked the colours out for himself. All 10 of them. I had no idea that it would work up as pretty as it did.
It’s now one of his most-worn hats.

This isn’t all of them, I’ve put together a lot. Especially whilst the hus-creature was convalescing the basement with the dreaded ‘vid. As it turns out? I craft when I’m stressed. And the ones I’ve made for TT I may include in her section/post.

So now he is HatBoy. But summer is once again heading our way, so we will need to obtain a few baseball caps for him. Because sadly I can’t craft those.

I’m so damn proud of this kid. He frustrates me to death sometimes, but when I look back on where we were a few years ago? I can scarcely believe it. My current phase of parenting my eldest child can be summed up by vaguely mis-quoting a song:

At the same time, I wanna hug you
I wanna wrap my hands around your neck
You’re an asshole but I love you

True Love – P!nk & Lily Allen

And even though I am regularly Bad Cop? I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Please stay tuned for TT’s update in a Part 2. Because it’s late, and I’m tired and arguing with technology takes it out of me! And she deserves equal page time.

And that’s the FOURTH letter of notification

Of two further positive COVID-19 cases in my kids’ school.

And round and round we go again πŸ€¦πŸΌβ€β™€οΈ

Fortunately (and I cannot believe I’m typing this) these individuals had been previously identified as close contacts of one of the preceding cases.

So no new infection right? Especially as they hadn’t been in school since they were notified.

Except that Massachussetts is running a fucking ludicrous “Test and Stay” programme which means if you remain symptom free after an exposure and agree to daily tests you get to stay in school.

Yup yet again I’m breaking out one of my favourite memes

So yet again my anxiety is spiking and I await the news on the test reports for my children – as they are tested every Monday..


No, they aren’t impressed by this. Especially #1 Son – he hates it. But they both understand why they have to do it.


But I have overcome one level of anxiety and have agreed to sign #1 Son up for Choir after school every Thursday from next week. This technically counts as an “out of school” extracurricular so we shall see how we go on this. I’m telling myself it’s only an extra 30 minutes – but it’s with the entire 4th and 5th grades. Or at least all those that want to sing – there’s no auditions. I can’t decide if this is a good thing or not.

Still they are only 9-10 years old so πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

But it’s still an additional level of exposure. I hope to God that they let the kids keep their masks on, else I will be yanking him out faster than you can say Jack Robinson.

After all, I do own Harley’s bat now…

Another Positive Case

That’s two in the school since the start of the year. Which may not sound like a whole lot, but the first one was Day 2 and was a staff member!!!

This next one is in #1 Son’s grade!


Though fortunately not in his class!


And so round and round we go again. I’ve told both kiddos and reinforced my masking rules again. Fortunately they are part of the pooled testing programme so get tested every Monday morning anyway but it does not help my anxiety.

Literally me right now

I simply feel like we are just waiting for it to hit again. And please allow me to explain just what it is I fear – exactly.

It’s not that I’ll lose my kids. Statistically I’m aware that’s improbable. They’ve had a version of the virus before. Though over 8 months ago and not Delta.

It’s the long term effects on their health and overall well being I’m terrified for.

For example, #1 Son still has his cough. And there’s little data on long hauler syndrome in children. But we’ve seen the effects on previously star athletes and similar.

Forgive me for not wanting that for my children.

So just at the point I was beginning to contemplate relaxing my grip on my anxiety, the midden has hit the windmill again.

However tomorrow I will probably begin discussions on one of the highlights of my year:

Fat Bear Week ❀️❀️❀️❀️

Oh where oh where to begin

I disappeared. I know I did. I’m aware. The Instagram kept me on the social media radar, as has The TikTok to a lesser extent.


Though my work there is veering more into feminist/political content far more than I ever intended this blog to do.


I also completely hate, and I mean truly loathe and despise the new WordPress interface. I used to simply compose posts on my phone, add gifs and photos practically instantly, then post up. Now? I can’t do it. And with everything that has gone down in the last 20+ months? I just didn’t have the head space for it at all.

Now? I need something more to focus on. There’s been so much anxiety and fear, and despair and depression. I’m coping – I have kids, I have to cope – but the Black Dog is definitely nipping at my heels, and in a way that isn’t usual for me.

I usually simply shut down. Climb into my box without even being aware that it’s what I’m doing, but right now, it’s sheer exhaustion. On a weekday I am crashing out regularly for a minimum of an hour, sometimes two, long nap. Usually after the afternoon school run, but not exclusively. Today it was after – from 2:50ish til about 4:20ish. I can’t help it – I try so hard to keep my eyes open, but it just… stops. And although I am walking to and from the Elementary school twice a day most days (on rainy/stormy days the hus-creature tends to take pity on us and agrees to take the car) it’s only a 40 minute walk in total, and we are already speeding up.

It is uphill in both directions though – and yes that is possible πŸ₯ΊπŸ™„πŸ₯ΊπŸ™„

So, let’s divide this post up into some things of note that have occurred since I was last here. The first obvious one would be:

School:

Yessiree Bob, both kiddos are now proud Winthrop Wild Cats. And while I can’t believe that #1 Son is now in Fourth Grade, I find it even harder to credit that TT is now a KINDERGARTENER.

First Day of 4th Grade ❀️❀️❀️
First Day of Kindergarten πŸ™€πŸ˜­πŸ™€πŸ˜­
I couldn’t resist the tshirts for their respective first days πŸ€£πŸ˜‚
So grown up 😭😭😭

Those of you who followed me purely on the Book of Faces know that #1 Son basically rocked out Third Grade entirely remotely. We did an entire full school year via Zoom and associated technological processes. And for a kiddo with ADHD and related issues? I truly, truly, could not be more proud of him. He met his academic expectations in 99% of all subjects and areas within them. And the areas he didn’t? I truly don’t remember where those are.

And he learned to play the violin entirely remotely. And the kid has TALENT he really does! He’s agreed to keep it as his ‘in-school extra curricular activity’ for this year, so watch this space to see how that goes. I can’t wait to see how his skill expands with proper 1:1 in-person learning. There’s serious musical talent on his dad’s side of the family, so I know it’s not just the usual parental bias of ‘oh, my kid is just amazing’ – begone Roald Dahl, thou hast no power here!

He even had his first recital ❀️

TT? Well her last year home with me was not what I had planned. I mean, she shared me with her brother – he was around 100% of the time. And he was her only source of social interaction for 95% of the time. We kept her in her Dance Class, but that was remote for most of 2020 and early 2021. The girl has suffered. She has always been my social butterfly and this has become more and more painfully obvious since the start of school.

She runs in every day – she doesn’t even glance back. In fact, 3 days out of 5 she tells us both very specifically:

Mommy/Daddy don’t follow me in!

TT – aged 5

I mean, we get a hug and a “see you after school” but she’s completely independent!

For any of the audience who remembers the year that was #1 Son’s adventures in Kindergarten it already couldn’t be more different. I mean, she’s sassed the Superintendent (Day 1) and the Principal (Day -1 – the week before school started!) but honestly? She’s happy. She’s learning and she’s thriving.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve already had to sign and return a “home – school behaviour form”, but it’s still so much better overall.

It’s not what I wanted for her, it’s not. I fully expected the complete William Wallace effect.

Literal footage of me…

Instead, I’m stuck on the side lines, praying (to a God I don’t believe in – don’t @ me) that masks, hand washing/sanitizer, social distancing (of only 3ft), assigned seating and eating outside (weather permitting) is enough to keep them both safe. But what else can I do? Massachusetts beloved Governor has decreed that schools are safe. That the virus will, of course, respect all of the rules laid out above, and of course will take weekends off.


Believe me, I’ve seen the back of my own skull so many times since the option of remote learning was taken off the table for the 2021/22 School Year.


But what else is open to me beyond de-registering them then attempting to homeschool them both? By myself. With no classroom support. I mean, I did manage to teach TT to both read and write her letters, the short version of her name, and read 1,000 books before Kindergarten.

All 1,000 recorded ❀️
Her sticker ❀️❀️❀️

But that’s basic skills only. Social Studies? Science? Art? Music? Digital Literacy? I can’t do those. So, I take all the precautions I can, and pray. And count down the days until the end of the school year πŸ€¬πŸ˜¬πŸ€¦πŸΌβ€β™€οΈ

And believe me, my own rules? Draconian compared to those of the District.

  • Masks are worn at all times – NO mask breaks.
  • This includes eating – they raise the mask, take a bite/sip, then lower it, chew and swallow.
  • We wear our masks on the walks to and from school – I am allowing us all to not have to wear them whilst schlepping up the big hill on the way home.
  • If anyone tries to tell them they don’t need to wear them? I’ve told them to tell them that “these are our family rules and my mom says I have to.” And then to tell me, whereupon I will rain true hellfire and damnation down. I have already sent multiple emails to the school over lack of rule enforcement and policy weakness. I do not give a flying fuck what they think of me – I am keeping my children safe. Every other person can fuck right off.

In case it wasn’t obvious? I AM TIRED. So tired. Once my kiddos are fully vaccinated, I will have nothing left.


And that is looking like being possible from October (plus 5 weeks to full vaccination status)


For every other utter moron who wants to claim their Darwin/Herman Caine Award? Please do so. I’m done arguing with you. Get the vaccine or don’t. I no longer care. But you are not taking my family with you. And if you are unvaccinated? You are not coming into my house. End of. I’m not even thinking about boosters yet – though as I am J&J I am desperate for one – but no needle? No visit. I’m not even joking.

This segues me in a little to the topic of:

Homework:

Yep, as of next week they both have the dreaded homework.

TT’s is, fortunately, currently nothing more than reading for 20 minutes a day. Which can be in numerous formats:

  • Reading with someone
  • Having someone read to them.
  • Audiobooks
  • Closed captions on streamed programmes – which I have as standard on all my own accounts anyway.

So she has a 5-10 minute bedtime story every night, so adding in additional minutes shouldn’t be too difficult right?

Well, what about #1 Son?

Well, the expectation for homework is: Grade level times 10 for number of minutes. A night. So, for him that’s 40 minutes a night. For a child with ADHD. Oh deep joy. At least it’s being divided into 20 minutes Math – which is a major area of strength for him, and 20 minutes reading. Which again, everything listed above counts, plus:

  • Reading aloud
  • Reading silently (in his own head)

Now, as I have zero desire to play the ‘let me test you on what you’ve read’ game, option two is out. However has anyone else spotted what I have?

He can read aloud to his sister for 20 minutes, and that covers BOTH of their reading homework.

And yes, I checked with his teacher, reading books at her level rather than his own will count. Especially if he does the voices. Which he does. She’s already noticed that, and she finds it just as adorable as I do!

So he started that tonight and it seems to be acceptable for both of them… For now 😬😬😬

I was going to write more, but I’m hitting a wall, so dear audience?

Γ€ bientΓ΄t mes amies. Γ€ toute Γ  l’heure!

Last Day of Summer 2019

Tomorrow (well today really) my boy starts Second Grade.

I am nervous.

You see there was a chance that he would have been reassigned his Homeroom teacher from last year. Except we found out on August 15th that he hadn’t.

Not only that, but the friend he had specifically been partnered with last year has been given that teacher again, so they have been split up.

So allow me to summarise. The kid who doesn’t deal well with change (understatement of the freaking millennium there) has had everything that he was used to ripped away from him.

I. Am. Not. Happy.

Not one iota. I actually sent an email to the Principal a few days ago outlining my concerns. I received back a reasonably long reply but it mostly just amounted to a hand flap and an “it’s fine”.

Well. Ok that’s the way they want it, fine. I hadn’t ever told #1 Son that it was a possibility (I’m not so green as I am cabbage looking) so he’s not disappointed. He also seems to already know his new teacher and seemed pleased to have her, so that’s a relief.

She has brown hair.

She is a girl.

It’s something I guess? πŸ€£πŸ˜‚

So I’m trepidatious but hopeful. Hopeful that he will prove my fears groundless. But if he doesn’t? If there is backsliding? Oh you best believe that Mama Dinosaur will be coming out all teeth and claws.


Seriously the T-Rex from Jurassic Park: Lost World will have nothing on me


And the reason I’m still up at almost 2am? I was sewing a name label in his denim jacket. Yes, I was.

See I ran out of spoons again today and did another “Stop, Drop and Nap” at about 5pm so I’m wired.

Which segues me in neatly to my one week post-surgery check update

Overall I was doing pretty well but then I accidentally overdid it somehow on Saturday and paid the price on Sunday – and I crashed out completely whilst feeling exhausted and nauseous, much to the chagrin of TT.

#1 Son had a pool party that day too, and I was determined he was going to go goddammit. However I couldn’t take him for many obvious reasons:

  • Not allowed to get incisions submerged.
  • Not allowed to drive (not that I can out here yet)
  • Still fucking exhausted.
  • Would probably drown.

But the hus-creature did not want to leave me on my own with TT. So we arranged for the eldest daughter of the lovely lady who picks #1 Son up from school to come sit with her and me for those couple of hours. TT was in heaven πŸ€£πŸ˜‚

The boys had fun, though it was an outdoor pool so the water was cold.

There was also a playground where he chilled out when swimming got a bit much:

So that was my weekend.

So I had my one-week follow up today and as the doctor was running over an hour late I spent that time sitting in typical doctor’s office chairs which completely did me in – I’m not supposed to sit completely upright for extended periods of time right now πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

It did go reasonably well though. I’ve had both sets of stitches removed; we’ve gone through the packet of photos I was given immediately post-surgery.

I found them deeply fascinating surprisingly; and actually understood a fair amount of what I was looking at. It wasn’t just personal viscera.


It did remind me of what happens when you trim the fat off of raw chicken before you cook it though πŸ€£πŸ˜‚


They also included some incidental shots of my β€œvery healthy” appendix and liver which is always good to know πŸ€£πŸ˜‚

I have to see him again in two weeks and am to gradually increase everything activity-wise up to approximately 50% of normal in that fortnight. I’m still not allowed to lift heavy things.

So I can go up to school with #1 Son tomorrow so that’s a relief. To him as well as me – though the sweetheart would never have asked me.

So the doctor says it’s okay for you to come mom? That’s good. You have to do what the doctor says you know – the doctor knows best

I don’t mind admitting that my heart swelled and broke simultaneously there. He’s so so special my lad.

I’ve already decided that I will not be going up to knitting tomorrow, as I can’t face walking that far, or sitting in a hard backed chair for two hours; or to have my nails done on Sunday – that’s an even longer walk, plus two trains and I just cannot justify that. I’ll provisionally rebook for the following Sunday – lord knows that my amazing Matthew will understand.

Goodnight dear audience, I ought to try and get some sleep tonight. Of course I know already that going up to school tomorrow is going to wipe me out.

I don’t care. My boy deserves this. I am going.

He asks for so little, I’m bloody doing it. For him.

And so the end of Summer Camp

And, as we were leaving? This quote from #1 Son:

It’s going to be a whole year before I come back

Honestly? You could have knocked me down with a feather.

He’s grown so much. His progress report has him so much improved from Week 1 to Week 6 that I could just burst with pride.

His teacher was full of praise for him

#1 Son is a child with a lot of love to give

She also noted that Math is his strongest subject, but that he needs to continue with daily reading aloud practice to maintain fluency.

You can imagine his joy with that πŸ€£πŸ˜‚

I also got to go in to get him an hour early on Thursday to see what he had been doing, and to watch the children put on two plays.

He was in The Three Little Pigs and he played The Big Bad Wolf. And he did so, so well. He only got a little overexcited at the third “act” and did his bit over the narrator. But the other little pigs just rolled with it- so it was only the narrator herself I ended up feeling sorry for.

Then we were shown examples of their “Persuasive Writing”

And my son?

Where the other children had written statements and arguments about why they should be allowed a puppy? (Or at the very least a bunny?)

My little socialist is trying to persuade his teachers that they need a recess.

He was also the only kid in his class to receive a certificate for 100% attendance. Which I struggle to understand, but a. It’s a free programme and b. The sheer cost of summer vacations of any sort more than triples in August.

But it’s a programme run for kids with IEPs, so in my opinion it’s beneficial for them to attend the full 5 weeks (and change)

However I can see why it might not happen, and I’m pleased his perseverance was acknowledged.

And I very much hope all the teachers who have given up so much of their summer now have a very well-deserved break!!!!!

The First Day of Summer Camp

Which is what we are calling the “Summer Learning Academy” which is a 6 week long, 4 day a week (except the week of Independence Day πŸ˜‚πŸ€£) for Elementary aged kiddos with IEPs.

#1 Son is enrolled and it started today.

Last year he was put on the fast track side for education. This year they will be focusing on the social side of it.


He’s actually got a specific slot every Tuesday for it, which is great!


That wasn’t too successful, as he resented having to redo Kindergarten work. Now today when I picked him up?

Came running out with a big smile 😍

Now, admittedly it’s only Day 1, and we’ve just had a pretty decent family vacation, but I’m taking that as a positive sign.

Also, given he read an entire story to his sister first thing this morning, and did a reasonable amount of additional reading in class today, he’s thrilled to be told he doesn’t have to do more today πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

So, since it’s being held 8-12 at the most local school, which is next to our usual playground, I’ve decided to let them both spend an hour or so (depending on weather) in said playground to burn off some energy.


You never know, it might help with the whole “herd of elephants” issue πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„

And then he was 7

Yes today my pride and joy, the light of my life and my first born turned seven years old.

What a ride it has been.

The Birthday Boy with his (ice cream) cake ❀️

I couldn’t ever have predicted parenthood. Certainly not the journey we’ve had.

But, and I really feel the need to state this:

I would not change him for the world.

I’m so gosh-darned proud of my boy. He’s kind, funny, caring, intelligent and just all-around amazing.

Do I wish he didn’t have certain struggles? Yes, yes I do. But only because I worry about the world. He has such a beautiful soul, I don’t want anything to harm or mar it.

But, those struggles have helped me grow. Through him I’ve become a parent and he helps me become a better one. Day by day, week by week, month by month and year on year.

I know what is and isn’t important. It’s not about grades or accomplishments or academics. He will find his place in the world without those should that be necessary (though I don’t believe that it will).

I shall end with sharing the First Grade section of the school concert we went to last night. We stayed through Act 1, which was Grades K-2 and not only did he perform, he stayed through the whole thing.

Readers may remember last academic year’s Christmas concert, where they moved him into the first part of the performance because he just couldn’t handle it.

Not this year – he did it all. And if TT hadn’t been nearly an hour past her bedtime we might have stayed for the rest.

First Grade Concert – listen at your own peril πŸ€£πŸ˜‚

(For the relatives reading this, he’s in the second row from the front in a grey hoodie and camo pants)

I cried many happy tears last night.

I love you kiddo. Here’s to the next trip around the sun.

I am one very proud (and introspective πŸ€£πŸ˜‚) momma this evening.


I also turned 36 yesterday – but no one needed a blog post about that!!! πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£


Pumpkins, Mums and the PTO

Oh my!

There was a Pumpkin and Mums sale up at #1 Son’s school today.


Last year I was completely confused as to why they might potentially be auctioning off fellow mothers…

It turns out the hus-creature was also, as he checked – ‘mums = chrysanthemums

Which was a relief I have to admit πŸ€£πŸ˜‚


There was also hot apple cider sadly, (or perhaps not given my liver still seems to be crying after Friday), not alcoholic, and ring donuts and…. a petting zoo.

I’ve made a vow this year to actually do more of the after/outside of school activities and so I insisted we head up.

First came the petting zoo:

Sadly, #1 Son was not keen, but TT was enthralled. So I sent my boys off to forage for pumpkins – but sadly not mums as it turns out that they are highly toxic to cats and dogs, so no plant for me – while TT went in with the animals.

It wasn’t completely successful as she has actually listened to me about not petting strange animals it seems, and took a lot of convincing that it was ok to do so. There was a lot of “Mummy no, I not touch animals” but she had fun.

Then came… pumpkin decorating:

Both kids had so much fun. I had to intervene a little when #1 Son kept trying to attach stickers to his sister’s pumpkin (and believe me, she was not impressed by that!), and my role was “Chief re-attacher of pen lids”, but they both had so much fun.

Also TT was hilarious – she was most definitely choosing her own pen colours and would not be swayed.

Serious artist is serious

She would not relinquish that red marker.

Then it came time to leave. She would not be parted from her precious pumpkin. She had a full on level 10 meltdown when we left it in the boot of the car to, you know, dry and set.

Her precious:

Both children decorated a pumpkin of course:

And we had to let her have it on the way home from lunch, so she cradled it like a teddy bear:

Such pride many happy πŸ€£πŸ˜‚β€οΈπŸ’—

But then once we returned what were we to do? I had visions of her sleeping with the darned thing. However through some judicious use of lollipop based bribery, to prevent her from sitting outside all afternoon, both pumpkins now have pride of place on our front porch:

But this does mean that for once I have contributed to the Halloween decorations hurrah!

It’s the differences that hurt

I started writing this post in late May this year. Mostly to quietly vent. I’m not sure if I ever intended to publish it. But I feel I should. It’s important to be honest, with myself as well as everyone else.


I’ve been ruminating on this post for a while, and I suspect that it will be a good few days in the writing before I hit the publish button to be honest.

We all know that I have my two kidlets:

And

And I love them both to death. I do. I would both die and kill for these two. I have been a mama lion for #1 Son over the last year or so, and will continue to be for as long as he needs or wants me to be. But, can I admit something?

I get so tired.

It’s so hard. So so hard. And half the time at least it’s just not his fault or anything to do with him as himself. He continues to be one of the kindest, funniest, sweetest boys that anyone would be lucky to know.

But it’s his condition. It’s his disability (and I bloody loathe that word).

He is not a standard child. And this world is set up for the standard. For the “normal”. And everyone else is left to sink or swim.

TT is growing up. Every day it seems she does something new.

And she is blowing right past him

I don’t mean like for like now, at almost six he still ahead of her, but at their comparative ages she’s miles ahead.

  • She plays with toys.
  • She has proper imaginative play.
  • She is capable of playing on her own.
  • She wants to play with her brother. She idolises him if truth be known.
  • Her language skills are amazing
  • She has concepts such as sharing down. Admittedly mostly when they benefit her but she’s got them.
  • Milestones such as crawling, walking etc she already blew past him with.

There are more, so many more, but these are the ones that stick in my head.

It’s almost daily that I will look at the hus-creature and say:

He was never like this.

Or

He never did this/that.

And I wonder if he has somehow been short changed by my just not knowing that he was non-standard.

How did I not know? Well for a premature child and a boy, he was hitting all the relevant milestones within the age-appropriate ranges.

We didn’t see a problem until he first started formal schooling.

I worry for him. I worry about him. If I, as his mother, can get upset and frustrated


And I do, believe me I do


Then how will the rest of the world cope? How will he cope with it?!?!?


And that is where I stopped. I couldn’t carry it on.

I think my pain, worry, fear is quite obvious no? But, I’m pleased to say, that things are once again on the upswing.

He’s had a few knocks since the start of the school year. For example he started leaving class again, particularly after we got back from England. However that was two weeks ago, and he’s getting better.

I still haven’t had to visit the new Principal (which is great) and he’s making great strides in his reading, writing and math.

I’m just so proud of this kid.

He’s a trooper. He’s my best boy. And I will continue to be the Mamasaurus that he needs me to be.

He got that star in his first week and we have also had another since.