Friday, December 16, 2016

A Little Help From My Friends

I spoke to a friend on the phone the other week. It was just an innocuous conversation, but part way through I found myself telling her about an 'incident' that had occurred in our house that day.

The conversation that followed was everything I could have wanted from someone in my support network. Here's why:

  • She did not freak out
  • She listened to what I had to say, without judgement
  • She acknowledged what had happened and did not try to brush it off with a dismissive 'all kids do that' sort of comment
  • She did not try to defend the indefensible 
  • She acknowledged my feelings about it all
  • She asked me a few open questions with a view to heading towards a plan
  • She let me work out the plan for myself, out loud, while making the odd encouraging noise
  • She expressed full support for the plan, and promised to check in with me to see how it was going
  • She urged me to speak to her any time about it, and reassured me that it was right for me to be supported while I do what I have to do

It isn't rocket science but it's what every parent needs from time to time, especially parents and carers of children with additional needs of all kinds.

Daily, I find myself giving thanks for my support network. They walk this road with me in all kinds of ways and I couldn't do it without them.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Even Numbers

I've always preferred even numbers. I imagine them as rounded, more complete than odd numbers for some reason. The satisfying swirl of a 6 is so much better than the awkward 5 with that wayward top stroke you have to add at the end. A cheeky 2 has so much more character than the uninspiring 1.

So it is with great satisfaction that I can report that in the past two weeks, my children have ceased to be 1 and 5, and have become 2 and 6. And Birdy's new age brings with it the added pleasure that there is now definitively no need whatsoever to include any number of months in the reporting of it. She is no longer 20 months or 22 months. She is simply two. And in a few months I may allow two-and-a-half. I am very happy to now be able to report my children's ages on request without resorting to any level of mental arithmetic!

This is our annual breathtaking descent towards Christmas, packed with birthdays, birthday parties (my kids and so many others too), nativities (OB was a Wise Man this year - he was quite pleased about it), carol services and general discombobulation. And all topped off with our flight to France to spend Christmas with family. I tend to adopt a brace position, similar to how I imagine I looked the first time I braved the vertical drop on Blackpool's The Big One roller coaster. This year, we threw in an early December trip to Centerparcs as well. 

I can begin to see the track levelling out in front of me now though. The birthdays are done and both children were suitably impressed with their gifts, our trip to Centerparcs went off pretty well with only 4 out of 5 of us coming down with a vomiting bug, and OB managed to say his line in the Nativity, although Angel Birdy was something of a no show!

Ahead, there is a week of 'doing Christmas' with friends and family in England, and then we will board the plane and breathe a huge sigh of relief because even though there is the Big Day still to come, it will be my wonderful parents who orchestrate events and all I will need to do is go along for the ride and change the occasional nappy.

Nearly there now....