Tag Archives: parenting

An epic battle lost. 

An an epic battle occurred in my household this week, something akin to Rhonda Rousey taking a beating from Holly Holmes. I was the one who ended up worse for wear. My worthy opponent was left unscathed.

Let me set the scene……

I had come home from a very long nightshift, to find my son had cleaned the house! That in itself was a wonder, I thought the heavens would open and a choir of angels would sing Hallelujah! The dishes were done, the bedrooms and living rooms tidied, the floors vacuumed. I was in complete shock. I knew he’d done it to get his pocket money, but usually that’s not enough incentive do it, obviously he’s completely skint. After singing his praises, and transferring the aforementioned money into his bank account, I took the boys to school. Upon my return, I slipped off my Birkenstocks, cracked a cold Coke Zero and cooked my self some toast. 
With tomato on toast and a Coke Zero in hands, I made my to my very much loved couch. A few steps from my destination, I slipped on what I later realised was spray and wipe which my son had used to clean up his spilt coco pops and milk, on the tiles. Instead of attempting to break my fall with my hands, like a normal person, I instinctively tried to save my Coke and toast (you may now realise how I prioritise my food over my own welfare) I successfully saved both toast and Coke, whilst face crashed into the arm of my beloved couch. It may have brought a tear to my eye at the time, but wasn’t overly painful. So I sat myself down with feet up and enjoyed my breakfast prior to getting to bed, in child free peace.

Upon waking I realised my eye was sore. I attributed it to my being run down and sleep deprived from nightshift and I thought I had developed a sty in my eye. I shrugged it off and pottered around the house preparing dinner, ironing my uniform etc before hitting the shower to get ready for work. It was until I was in the bathroom that I saw what was causing my eye to be sore….. I had a black eye! It looked hideous, just on my right side underneath my eye, but hideous all the same. I thought about attempting to hide it, but after consulting my Facebook family, I owned it and walked into work as if I’d lost a fight to a worthy opponent.

My colleagues took great delight in regaling stories of my foray into UFC cage fighting, to anyone that would enquire about my injuries. My patients stole awkward glances at me, obviously thinking I was a victim of domestic abuse, until I explained my woeful story, luckily it gave them all a laugh. (I don’t think anyone really appreciates the lengths I go to, to make my patients laugh)

 My son apologised, for leaving unwiped spray and wipe on the floor, but as I said to him, I’d much rather a black eye than to have to do housework whilst doing my nights…… so thanks Dean xxx

The moody teenager

Now I know we’ve all been one once….. a teenager that is, and for most of us I’m sure we were all moody at some point. I know I was moody, I remember thinking my parents had no idea how hard my life is, but I really don’t think I was as insolent and egocentric as my eldest has been lately.  (Well, I hope I wasn’t) He seems to have enjoyed the bit of freedom I’ve given him and decided that he wants it all ….now. He wants to be treated like and adult, wants to make all the decisions about his life, without any assistance from any parental figure (what would we know) yet still be financed, fed, watered, taxied and sheltered without so much as a thank you. 
Last weekend said teenager asked if he could go to a friends house on the public holiday Monday. I said it wasn’t a problem as long as he was home by 1200 as I’d already made arrangements to meet a friend at 1230. I stupidly thought we’d discuss travel arrangements and the finer details in the morning. Silly me. I woke at 0700 to find he had already left. I had no idea what friend he was meeting up with, where he was going or what he was doing. He also thought it was not a good idea to answer his phone when this mother, now a raging dragon, called him. 

At 1130 he texted back apologising for not saying good bye and that he was going to head home after he had gone to McDonald’s for lunch. The dragon in me had settled a little and I reminded him that he needed to be home by 1230. I awaited the responding text……. a few minutes later, I get another text saying the train won’t get to the station until 1300, then he had to catch another bus to get home, he’d be lucky to get home by 1400. 

The dragon in me awoke once again. Not only had I been worried sick all morning, but now my plans would have to change once again! I composed myself attempted to calm down my angry texting fingers, which threatened to crack my phone screen with each letter typed, stating I would pick him up from the train station and drive him home. 

He sensed my anger at this point and tried the come up with alternative plans, however, none were going to improve my mood or the need to cancel my plans. 

I then packed my youngest into the car, with many a complaint from him, he was happy chilling at home, and drove to the train station. I used the cruise control the whole way. I was scared my angry accelerating foot, would overpower the sensible me and get me in trouble. I didn’t want to compound my mood with a double demerit speeding fine. 
When I got there, my eldest wouldn’t even look at me. I was able to keep my mouth shut for a whole 27 seconds, before my mouth exploded with what could only be called “accusatory Mum verbal diarrhoea”.
“Why didn’t you wake me?”

“Where were you?”

“What do you mean you don’t know?”

“What were you doing?”

“Watching wrestling, you don’t even like wrestling!”

“Who were you with?”

“Costa, who on earth is Costa?”

“Where do you know him from?”

“Where does he live?”

“Perth? Where in Perth? Perth isn’t helpful in an emergency!”

“Do you realise that if something happened, I’d have to tell the police the last time I saw you was last night? I had no idea where you were, what you were doing, or who you were with!”
It was at this point I think I took a breath. It was also at this point that I saw in the rear vision, that not only was my son not apologetic, but he had a look of disgust on his face, as if I’d had no right to even ask him these questions. At 16, he was obviously an adult, and what on earth was his Mother raving about?
I stopped. Realised I was getting nowhere. Then just said, I was disappointed. 
A few hours after being home and me not saying another word, he came out of his room and said sorry. In the same breath, he asked what was for dinner.
Back to normal. 
Now I know this is normal, but I wish it could be over now. I want my kind, caring, fun, loving, son back. Not this long haired, infrequently bathed, over deodorised, lout that inhabits the front room of my house. I really hope this stage is short lived.
I really apologise to both my parents for my moodiness. My parents, who for some unexplained reason decided it was a good idea to have 4 children. How they survived the teenage years 4 times over, I’ll never know. xxx

What not to say to me in the supermarket

“I’m doing a public service, I’m doing a public service, I’m doing a public service” This is a little mantra I say to myself on regular basis when I go out shopping with my boys, along with the phrase “just breathe” and “keep your hands on the trolley”
As a Mum of a son with Autism, going out can sometimes be an ordeal. Adam doesn’t like big crowds or noisy places. But on the whole, he copes quite well. He loves to wear a hat and sunglasses everywhere we go, it blocks out some of the unwanted stimulus and helps him cope. He also like to have his iPad and earphones on hand. Although it appears the he doesn’t hear you, when he has the earphones in, he can hear everything, they just block out some of the white noise. 

When he was little it was fine, people accept kids behaving differently when they are little, they are cute, or it’s just put down to a toddler tantrum. But when my son, who is taller than me, goes out, wearing a hat, sunglasses and headphones indoors, whilst hand flapping, making funny noises, inter-dispersed with loud burps….that, that is generally frowned upon. 

I’ve lost count of the amount of stares, angry looks and mumbled disgruntled comments I’ve encountered. But generally (if I’m not sleep deprived), I can cope with those. It’s the comments to my face, usually made by elderly men, that I don’t cope with. Comments that Mothers (or fathers) should never have to hear, comments that should never be said out loud to be honest. They’re not all worded the same but go a little along the lines of…….”if he were my son, I would have drowned him at birth”

I have heard comments like this on a number of occasions, usually whilst I’m on holidays with the boys or whilst doing my weekly shop. 

I react in a number of different ways and never how I actually want to react. I want to say “thank God, he’s not your son then” or “why didn’t your parents drown you?” Or just punch them in the mouth. But usually I turn around and leave, generally on the verge of tears. Trying it to hold it together for my boys. 

Once I was in the shops and a man said the aforementioned comment, Dean my eldest heard it and saw the look on my face and told me to “keep moving mum” I white knuckled it to the next isle fuming. Adam wasn’t even being particularly noisy. But I immediately wanted to wave a magical wand over him to make him “not autistic” Unfortunately I seem to have misplaced my magic wand, so I shushed him through the shops. It wasn’t a pleasant experience.
My Mum, the amazing woman that she is, always has sage advice. She told me years ago, that taking Adam out is a public service, it educates people. 

Forty to fifty years ago, people with disabilities were locked away. Those relatives were never talked about. But today, with inclusive schooling and parents not giving their children up, people with disabilities are a lot more visible. Generally most people now knows someone with a disability. We now have to educate people, that it’s not okay to say to me that I should have aborted my child or drowned him at birth. It’s not okay for adults to stare or point. It is okay to say hello, or ask me if I need a hand, it is okay for you to explain to your children that my son’s brain works a little differently than theirs.

I’m not expecting for everyone to change overnight, but I can prevent one person from saying these things to another mother, it’s worth it.

Be nice to everyone people. You don’t know how your words can change someone’s day. xxx

I’ll never be cool

Apparently when you become a Mum, you lose any ability to ever be cool again.

Is it just me? Surely I’m not the only parent out there with the uncool status.

I know my English and grammar have never been great, but does every sentence of the youth of today need to be completed with phrases such as- “That’s legit” and “totes” and finished off with a dance move known as a dab???? WTF?? I was just getting used to the whipping and naynay-ing. I can’t keep up. If I even attempt to copy what my eldest does, I get the look of disgust and the comment “don’t even try mum, you’re not cool”

This is the look I mean.

Why am I not cool? I wasn’t even cool when I went to school. I have no hope of being cool now. I wasn’t in the “in” crowd, I didn’t wag school, I didn’t go to parties, I didn’t try alcohol or smoke, I never got in trouble ……..and boys, I don’t think they even knew I existed. I don’t understand teenagers. I didn’t understand them when I was one, let alone now. Doesn’t anyone converse face to face now? My eldest son seems to be constantly on Facebook and snapchat. I don’t think he has a twitter account, but who knows??? I’m completely out of the loop. Within minutes of leaving school, he’s messaging his mates, people that he’s spent the entire day with. I must seem so old and out of touch when I say “haven’t you just seen these friends, sat next to them in class, eaten with them at recess and lunch? What could you possibly need to discuss, that you couldn’t do face to face, 2 minutes ago?” Once again, I get the look…..I’m sooo uncool. What would I know??

I should be cool, I do cool stuff with my boys, I go paintballing, I ride the roller coasters at Adventure world. I even wear cool shoes. Adidas superstars! Now come on, they are super cool. But apparently they lose all coolness as soon as they touch my feet. Same can be said whenever I wear my Doc Martens. The cool properties drain away when the come in contact with Mum skin. 

To tell the truth, I don’t really care if I’m cool. I just don’t want to be seen as one of those parents that you never want your friends to meet. That parent that embarrasses you just by breathing. I don’t think I’m that parent, I have met some of my boys’ friends, I’ve even exchanged a few words with some of them!

Mind you, if I wasn’t embarrassing before, I probably am now, with some of the blogs I’ve just written. Oh well, better get used to it , I’ll never be cool and just to put the final nail in the coffin…………. I love you Dean and Adam