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.

Of Diagnosis and (Self)Acceptance

So, just over a year ago I wrote Of (undiagnosed) ADHD and Executive Dysfunction. Where I outlined my reasons (which at the time seemed completely reasonable, cogent and sane) for not getting an official diagnosis of my own brainworms.

It wasn’t all bullhockey. I genuinely had terror of either being told that there was nothing wrong with me OR, more terrifyingly, that there was something wrong, but that there was nothing they could or would do.

I was worried that if they prescribed me medication that it wouldn’t work. Or, worse, if it DID work and then either I couldn’t afford it (thanks America) or insurance wouldn’t cover it (thanks America) or it would suddenly be taken away from me due to FDA fuckery or the (apparently global) ADHD medication shortage.


Because apparently The Powers That Be feel that these late-in-life-diagnoses for people my generation and older (especially women) is a fad, or excessive, or we are just making it up. Because the fact that ADHD has been considered a boys-only disorder for decades has nothing to do with this right????

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But, I bit the bullet. At my physical last year I had a new doctor. So I opened up about what I thought was wrong with me. I talked to her, she listened and gave me the forms I needed to complete for a late-in-life ADHD assessment.

I don’t want to cast aspersions, but I do feel like her being young (younger than me in fact) and female actually meant she was willing to consider that I wasn’t just drug-seeking or being “trendy”.

So I have a diagnosis.

I have ADHD. Combined Type.

I have an ADA-recognized disability.

This was surprisingly hard to accept. I knew it. Logically I truly did, but it’s been a real rocky road towards self-acceptance.

And a big part of this is accepting the medication I need to take. You see, I am now prescribed Adderall. Which, for those who don’t know (because I sure didn’t) is a drug known as Dextroamphetamine.

Why yes you are reading that correctly dear viewer. I am now legally prescribed 5mg (twice a day) of speed. That… took a lot of coming to terms with. Especially the simple fact that it worked. My brain was quiet.

The doctors wanted me to start on one 5mg tablet a day or 10-14 days, then to titrate up to the two pill dose if it was working for me.

So I chose a Sunday to start. Because it was a day where I wouldn’t be busy. I took the pill and sat and waited for the 30 minutes recommended.


I’m on the quick-acting version rather than slow-release. And I currently do not wish to change this. In the main because this current regime is working, but also because the slow-release tablets are currently in extremely short supply.


It was… overwhelming. The silence was so much. I hadn’t realised just how much noise was in my head. Imagine several hundred conversations constantly being the background noise in your head. That being your normal. Then that suddenly stopping. I nearly cried. I did tear up. I had to just sit, in silence, on the sofa until I adjusted to what was not happening in my head.

Then we went to the mall. Which, looking back probably wasn’t the best idea I’ve ever had, but we needed to buy some performance clothes for #1 Son – as he has been in chorus full time in Middle School (!) this year and he needed gear.

I had impulse control. I didn’t buy everything I saw in the children’s clothing stores ‘because they might need it later’

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I saw these amazing bottle green velvet (tailored) pants in Old Navy. I fell in love with them. I wanted them so badly. But I… walked away. Because I told myself that I’d never wear them, even though I loved them. And I believed me. I left them there.

Do I still think of them wistfully from time to time?

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But do I still believe I did the right thing?

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And that is purely because of the pills. I will not claim to understand why speed slows me down, but it does. And my life is infinitely better. My anxiety is significantly improved – and definitely under control when the meds are actively in my system. The same is true of my temper. I always knew I had one, but I didn’t understand that my bouts of rage were often disproportionate. I blamed on hormones what was often dysregulation.

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I want to be clear – I followed the advice on titrating up to the letter. It was Day 15 before I took the second 5mg pill.

And in the last six months I have had two bouts of Strep and one of COVID-19 (which sucked) and in each case I had to come off the Adderall completely. And after each infection I had to re-start my medication from Day 1. Because when I don’t? My blood pressure sky rockets and I get debilitating headaches – alongside other side effects within my body that might not be as immediately clear and present as said headaches.

I had my 6-month follow up appointment today. And I am not ashamed to say that I begged the doctor not to take the pills away. Because I’m functioning. I can housework. I can parent. I’ve even been able to sign up to have a CORI check and will be chaperoning my ever first field trip for TT on Friday.

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It’s taken 40 years, but I’m finally able to function as a ‘normal’ human and I’m finally becoming the parent I wanted to be.

I’m also taking the medication because I have a strong suspicion that TT is going to need it within the next few years to help her with school. So I’m modelling it for my kids. If they see how much these pills help me? Then hopefully they will not be too scared or ashamed to ask for them themselves.

Oh and I just realised (whilst writing this post) that one of the main reasons I stop(ped) posting on my blog is because “they” keep changing the settings and layouts in the apps and on the websites that I use to create it. This is really fucking hard for me to deal with. I do not deal well with change and when my creative outlets get messed about with, outside of my control and without my consent, it sends me into a spiral. And I have a meltdown. I used to refer to it and internalize it as a tantrum. And as an adult who knew damn well that she was too old to have tantrums I would shut away whatever hurt or upset me, and ignore it. Which often included this blog.

I ADHD-d my own blog!

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But it’s not a tantrum. It’s overload. Be it sensory, or emotional, I become dysregulated and I have to handle that. And there’s a real sense of shame that comes with that. Or it did. Now I know why and how it (often) happens, and I am handling it better.

So I’m no longer going to apologise for taking space or breaks from here. Clearly sometimes I need them. It’s not dramatic, and it’s not attention seeking. It’s working within the confines and limitations of my own brain and headspace.

I’m still internally yelling at these website developers who keep bloody changing things and that’s not good for neurospicy humans but I’m going to try and work within the system and keep at this. Because writing in this space makes me happy. It’s an outlet I need, and I hope that by continuing to share my journey with my little family I can maybe help other humans who might not have realised that they too fall on the neuro-spicy spectrum.

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…

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.

Taming the beast

And by this I mean purely TT’s hair πŸ€£πŸ˜‚

The hus-creature and I disagree on her hair muchly.

This is his belief:

Whereas I see it more like this:

The truth? Is probably somewhere in the middle.

Anyway, a bone of contention is “Baby’s First Haircut”.

Now please let it be known that I am actually not totally averse to her having a trim. I just don’t want her hair as short as her brother’s!

I mean, since she’s never had it cut, it’s all over the place length-wise and it’s fine to the point of unmanageably flyaway – but it’s so pretty.

But as a result, it’s bloody hard to keep neat. Loose is…. not possible. Not when she persists in still getting food everywhere at every meal πŸ™„ She also hates having tangles brushed out, so no, we don’t wear it loose unless (and until) the band(s) fall out.


And did I mention the flyaway? This happens often πŸ™„πŸ₯Ί


A ponytail seems easier, and it’s certainly the easiest style for me to achieve. But it doesn’t stay. The standard baby hair bobbles don’t stretch far enough, the interim ones don’t grip, and the smaller adult style? Like the ones I use? Her hair is too fine to use them singly.

So, I learned to braid.

This seems like a simple skill no? Especially as I can crochet (Also knit but crochet seems the most directly comparable skill). But I had never, ever, mastered it.

I’m also dyspraxic, as well as suspected ADHD; and so these aren’t conducive to learning this type of thing. But here is my current skill level:

On the left was a few days ago (we’ve since lost that pink band πŸ™„) and on the right is today’s.

I’ve since added a new product into our hair care routine.

Hair Shots By Amy

I discovered them while we were away at Great Wolf Lodge (having a Mommy and Me Pedicure πŸ₯°) and we picked up the Cupcake one as that was:

my favourite

According to madam

Thing is? To me and her dad it smells vile πŸ€£πŸ˜‚ totally fake and cloyingly sweet. But it does make her hair smell nice to her. She adores using “my smelling”. It also dries and fades out to something more tolerable to my nose at least.

It also seems to act as a slight detangler and, I discovered today, controls her hair enough from ponytail to braid, to allow me to braid almost to the bottom of her hair.

Technically, you’re only supposed to use it on the scalp – the instructions are:

Lift hair and spray directly onto your head, 3-6 times depending on hair thickness.

But that’s tricky, so I spray on her parting, especially as that changes through brushing, and lift a few segments. Now also along her ponytail pre-braiding.

And, I wanted to try it myself. Yes yes I know, but it’s marketed to “all ages and all hair types” and I’m suffering in this heat wave.

I’m also an addict of all things Cotton Candy scented. No, really, you ought to have seen the amount of Snow Fairy crap I purchased from Lush over the winter.


Yes, I agree that Lush has turned devil incarnate on the marketing campaigns, and the prices are ludicrous, but apparently bubble bath is not a thing out here, so I occasionally indulge myself. Also the USA products are manufactured in Canada not the Poole factory so I can pretend it’s not so evil.


So I decided to try this one

I love it.

I’ve had numerous compliments on my hair when out and about since I started using it. It’s particularly good as I don’t like over-washing my hair given I basically fry it to oblivion once every four months in order to go full unicorn πŸ€£πŸ˜‚

There’s also anecdotal evidence that it helps prevent head lice – something to do with “disguising the smell of the hair” (for which I read: disguising the smell of blood under the skin on the scalp).

That’s clearly not been proven in any kind of standardised FDA approved testing, but paediatricians out here are already starting to spout it so why not.


I’m not certain which scents are unisex though, so for now #1 Son is safe πŸ€£πŸ˜‚


But hey, so far we’ve only had one bout of those nasty crawling buggers in total so anything that is chemical-free and might help keep that so? Gets a huge thumbs up in my book.

I will say though, that these aren’t cheap. Just under $15 a bottle, but it seems to last a while. Going to try the strawberry next on her when I need to replace my own bottle – I use more than she does πŸ€£πŸ˜‚

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™„

Apartment Life

Can suck. Suck utter balls.

We live on the first floor. The landlady lives above on the second floor.

Around December last year, after significant unpleasantness, new neighbours moved in downstairs on the ground floor.

I took down soup and apologised in advance as I have two children, one of whom is around full time.

Everything seemed fine.

While we were away, one of said neighbours complained to the landlady that:

The children run around so much it shakes the light fittings.

Now I admit, my children can be… boisterous… but no more so than any other 3 and 7 year old pair of siblings.

In fact, #1 Son, when left to his own devices, is perfectly happy snuggled in his room with his tablet.

So I was mortified. Since I thought we had dealt with this issue last year.


Apparently there were issues with doors slamming. We put large rubber bands over the relevant door handles and the problems went away


However, more information has just come to light. The landlady and her partner came to do some light maintenance (with about four hours notice this time πŸ™„) and the topic came up.


Side note: if you’ve never had kids do not try and discipline someone else’s thank you very much. Yes the landlady attempted to talk to TT and #1 Son about the excessive noise and, rather unsurprisingly, was ignored.


However, as it turns out, downstairs have set up a Meditation Room and have placed it under my kid’s bedrooms.

I’m more than willing to work with my neighbours, but that? That is taking the piss.

Fortunately, the landlady’s partner has grandchildren. He understands kids. She is child free, and kind of seems to view children as little aliens/a different species. Which is fair, but I am not hobbling my kids. They are entitled to live in their homes.

And though I would never put it like this – we were here first. They saw us all leaving the house en masse on the day they viewed the property. So they knowingly rented an apartment where they knew there were kids living upstairs.

So, there have been discussions of what can be done. The landlady and partner have suggested they will buy large Ikea rugs for the relevant rooms.


I’m not footing the bill for it. Rugs are a bastard to keep clean.


And I have suggested (and will follow through with) buying slippers for the kids. I have no problem with that.

But I have stated, on record, that while I will happily have “no running in the house” as a rule (indeed have been trying to institute that since we moved in) I am not stopping my kids from playing in the place where they live.

TT is in bed before 7pm, #1 Son before 8pm. That is not unreasonable. I am not putting their lives on hold for a Meditation Room.

I will not be shitty about it, we all need to live together, but I have my limits. I know my kids well, including their flaws, and they are not as bad as is being made out.

Mama Dinosaur mode has been engaged.

MLK Day 2019

Well dear audience I’m back.

There’s been such a huge mental block for me with writing since October. It’s not that there weren’t things to write about, it’s that I just….

Couldn’t do it.

I just could not put pen to paper. Or words on a screen. Every time I tried I felt so anxious it was ridiculous.

And this is my escape from anxiety.

So, I’ve decided to just take the leap.

Today is Martin Luther King Day. So #1 Son is off school, and the hus-creature is off from work πŸ™€ so we decided to go into Boston and visit the New England Auto Show.

One teeny tiny issue? It’s -15/16C out there at the moment. And there’s a foot of frozen solid snow outside.

However, we have gone native. I merely shrugged it off and we all headed out. And it turns out that there was one more small issue. We had left TT’s stroller on the front porch. There’s been a major snow storm. Yep, it’s full of snow and frozen solid πŸ€­πŸ˜’πŸ˜€

So, may I present TT’s first official free range bus and T ride:

She loves her “bear hat” and it’s so damn cold out that I didn’t have to argue with her at least about bundling up.

#1 Son on the other hand? Well he made it the 10 feet to the bus stop before he was whimpering that his ears hurt from the cold. We had packed his hat because we knew this would happen. So yes, he wore that too.

So we got to the Conference Center and stripped off to ensure we wouldn’t freeze on the way out.

I think you can see that one child was enjoying life significantly more than the other bless them!

So, the Motor Show was… genuinely interesting. It was all about the new cars coming in 2019/2020 – and not all of them either. Kia for example did not have their next generation hybrid available. Which was most disappointing to the hus-creature, as we are looking into future replacements for our trusty Bolt, and Kia/Hyundai have some great options.

But because it was basically a “see what we’ve got coming up and buy buy buy” event, something magical became possible.

You could sit in the vehicles!!!!

Honestly, it was like we had taken TT to the best theme park ever.

Now, she was insisting on dividing her car choices by colour.  Or if they were a truck.  We were forced to sit in/stare at so many trucks.

THE BIGGER THE BETTER MOMMY!!!!

Honest to goodness, the sheer size differential was amazing – I’m still laughing!

Why yes, yes this is my daughter behind the wheel of an orange Camaro! I’ve never seen her so happy!

 

However, she was desperate to get her hands on “a purple one”. Except that there weren’t any.

Well, until we found the “super cars” section anyway:

Say it with me, “hubba hubba” why yes, yes I would very much like to sit in a purple Lamborghini thank you. Sadly both mine and TT’s hopes were cruelly dashed.

It’s sibling is retailing at over half a bar!!!!

But oh so pretty.

There were a few “classics” too:

And from a sheer interest perspective, a hydrogen fuel cell Honda:

Which is fascinating to both myself and the hus-creature, but sadly re-fuelling something like this in Massachusetts is… problematic.


All 38 refuelling Stations are only in California


At this point we had been wandering around for over two hours. #1 Son was bored out of his mind. TT on the other hand? If it wasn’t for the being exhausted due to no stroller? She would have happily kept going.

My girl is a complete petrol head!!!

Sadly, the journey home was not so easy. The Silver Line bus broke down in the tunnel so they had to send a shuttle bus.

However as they kept us waiting over 15 minutes and it was an over 15 minute bus trip to South Station? I lost my train fare. And I was pissed. It doesn’t matter that it’s “only” $2.75. That’s my $2.75 and they shouldn’t get to keep it.

Then we missed the connecting T. Then when we got back to Oak Grove we missed the next bus.

It was a cold wait. So when we got home it was hot chocolate for all – with a large dash of bourbon for the parents!

It was such a long day for TT that she did something she’s not done in over a year:

Passed out. On the T! Poor thing was exhausted. Hopefully she will sleep well tonight!

Stay tuned for the festivus look back. I’m hoping to get my mojo back.

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.

School Science Fair

Well not really, but sort of.

On Thursday #1 Son had his Kids Enquiry Conference. It was 18:30-19:30 and attendance was strongly encouraged.

I can’t say that I was particularly happy about it as it was after TT’s bedtime and ran past his own for a school night. Still, since it was the school making him go, I figured that they could just suck up any residual issues potentially caused by him being late to bed.

As it turned out, it was more of a “kids showing parents what they had been up to during science” in the same manner as the writing wherein we learned all about dolphins

(Please to be remembering that it is, in fact, about dolphins):

And the Maths one I previously wrote about.

So daddy took him up as someone needed to stay behind with TT and I had seen the others. I felt it would be good for #1 Son to spend some time with daddy.

I think they had fun?

πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

It was all pretty standard. The class had been doing group projects building bridges out of cardboard, egg cartons etc.

We also had the school reading and maths lists for the summer sent home.

Big stuff to do sigh. I just hope we can get most of it done.

We are now all signed up with the Melrose Public Library now at least.


And I am also endeavouring to ascertain whether all the reading he does must be off of the prescribed reading list. I’m hoping not.