Saturday, 31 May 2008
In many ways I was lucky - this time it happened at the end of the day so we haven't had to endure a whole day of screaming and tears. Plus, as it was the weekend my husband was able to take care of James while I rushed to the hospital. There's no way he'd have been able to cope with the waiting area if he'd come along and I don't know if I'd have been able to manage with both children on my own.... She was so brave and let the nurse and radiographers handle her, wiping her tears away with her muslin and whimpering for James. Recently she's developed such a strong attachement to him that at times it's heartbreaking. If he isn't around in the day she'll cry and ask for him and if he is around she chases him around (while he ignores her), desperate for him to play with her. I find that so hard to watch as I worry that one day she'll stop trying. I know as she gets older we'll be able to explain to her that James is autistic and that's why he behaves the way he does, but right now she's not old enough to understand it properly. I do sometimes tell her that James is different and hasn't learnt to use cutlery/ wee on the potty/ not chew his tee shirt but usually it encourages her to copy his behaviour. At least that's a reassuring feature of normal development!
She wasn't too impressed when it dawned on her that the plaster cast was here to stay although now monkey is trussed up to match we're hoping she'll tolerate it a bit more. The plaster will be on for two weeks, which means we'll get it taken off just in time for our annual trip to London Zoo for "Special Children's Day". I guess my plans to take her swimming while James is at nursery are on the back burner for a while....
Wednesday, 28 May 2008
So here we are a year later and we now have a "home" rather than a shell. We have managed to do the following:
- rewire the house
- strip the floorboards and varnish/stain them
- strip the wallpaper and then plaster and decorate the master bedroom, Bea's room, playroom and lounge, including replacing skirting boards and picture rail and blocking up a serving hatch between the playroom and lounge
- build a virtually fitted wardrobe in the master bedroom
- replace the boiler
- landscape the garden
There's still plenty to be done, notably James' bedroom and the bathroom, and as with the Forth Road Bridge, it feels as though we're going to get to the end of it all and need to start again but at least we've broken the backbone. The garden was our biggest project, and has only just finished - just in time for all this rain! Apparently they removed over 6 skips full of building materials in the first week.... I am looking forward to sitting in my summer house, admiring the beautiful planting and landscaping and planning my Summer Solstice celebration!
Sunday, 18 May 2008
Sunday, 11 May 2008
I hadn't quite banked on the traffic on the way up - it was Bea who gave us more trouble than James though! He has always loved the sensation of movement and very rarely complains in the car. Bea on the other hand started crying about 20 minutes into the journey and kept going on and off for the next 7 hours. So on her birthday wish list is an in car DVD player - I remember how I used pat myself on the back and feel so smug about how happy James was to sit in the car and that he had no need of such entertainment. Don't feel so smug now though. It's often hard to sort out what is down to James' autism and what is just "normal" though. For instance, he has become pickier and fussier when it comes to eating and I never quite know how far to push it. His reluctance to try different and "new" things is most likely part of his autism, but there are lots of neurotypical 4 year olds who are pretty fussy. But on the other hand you can usually do some bargaining with them to at least get things tasted if not enjoyed (once again, though, this is starting to backfire on me as Bea is now demanding "teeny tiny Pontipine" pieces of every foodstuff - I thought it was a good idea at the time!!!). No amount of bargaining/explaining/begging works with James - occasionally I can almost force a orsel in his mouth but then I find myself feeling uneasy as that isn't really a long term approach or solution.
Overall, the holiday was really positive - James loved being out in the forest (obviously wearing his rucksack with reins) and Bea had a ball too. We had a wonderful day at Flamingoland where he must have had enough sensory stimulation to last most people a lifetime - he was in heaven with all the rocking, spinning, whizzing and water! He even noticed one or two of the animals - although I don't think he was that impressed to see the baby camel being born.....
But now we're back to reality and are exhausted again already. The washing machine has been on overdrive, I dragged the children food shopping yesterday and Special K that has been scattered all over the kitchen. Some things never change........