Wednesday, 21 January 2015

RTFM - or not! With "Same Difference" Link Up

My brother and his partner have just given birth to a gorgeous baby girl - their first child, and I was reminded how simple life was with one little one. That is if you discount the hours screaming, refluxing, washing etc which was pretty much 24/7 with all four of mine, but it's definitely easier riding the reflux roller coaster the first time around, with only one to juggle!

In the lottery of life I pulled four straws all labelled "reflux", "gut allergies", "hypermobility", "ASD" and "ADHD", (and more, but the straws kind of ran out of room at that point... ) four straws - children - with many talents, gifts, personalities which enrich my life hugely on a daily basis.


Except first thing in the morning.

Mornings, are without a doubt, the most testing time known to parents. The knowledge that you are solely responsible for getting your brood to school with all they need, looking immaculate respectable  and clean is a tough call. Add in the necessary physiotherapy exercises, medications, normal teenage reluctance and exquisite ADHD/ASD-type screaming that only H can do and it's a potential recipe for disaster. But over the years, we have perfected survived and achieved this miracle on an almost daily basis. Which is actually quite impressive.

My children are not all at the same school - that would have been cheating, (far too easy!) and contrary to popular opinion this is due more to accident than design. It means my morning and evening school runs are staggered, and require Advance Level Planning to coordinate. I am now at Expert Level in the art of School Run Juggling, using the additional ten minutes gained when H started at High School eighteen months ago to indulge in a morning cuppa before heading out. Utter indulgence - and something I've *really* missed this week.

You see, in the roller coaster that is life with kids who haven't read the manual, sticking to the plan was never going to happen. 

With a child on the Autism Spectrum, the moment they find a friend and they "click" is hugely significant. It transformed my son, and the past few years have been helped enormously by his increased social happiness, and confidence - particularly in school. We've worked hard to support his burgeoning social life, and indeed last summer it seemed that we had it cracked! He had a lovely group of friends and was becoming a little more independent and confident. Not for one day did we take this for granted, and we fervently hoped it would last.

It didn't.
H's salutary, if clumsy social efforts not to exclude any in his new group seriously backfired. One of the newer friends decided the group would be a better place without my son, with all his quirks and idiosyncrasies, so he was eased out. But the complete lack of explanation from these former friends, giving him no understanding as to what he might have done wrong has been devastating. Gone is all his social confidence, his independence and school is once more a trial and challenge on a daily basis. It's truly heartbreaking to see.

Frustratingly, rather than being able to focus on this issue with the others neatly playing ball (I'm sure there is a page in that manual about only one crisis at a time?!) two others decided it was a perfect time to fall apart. Of course it was! So to cut a long story short, my school run is no longer the straitforward single trip with one child walking to school with friends. It's multiple drop-offs and collections starting earlier and finishing later. This is mildly inconvenient at best, (there is a good reason I have avoided the twins'  school car park for the past five years) seriously stressful at worst and most significantly my cup of tea slot has now evaporated. There isn't even time for an espresso.


So I'm currently living in a chaotic, have to make this work, no other options kind of haze, fuelled by the caffeine I should never have attempted to give up and sufficient determination a mother lion would be proud of. Writing of any sort has taken a back seat for now, although I do sometimes idly consider writing my own tongue-in-cheek manual for those with children with additional needs. After all, humour is the best medicine and those chunky books are good coasters.

So huge congratulations to my brother, and here's hoping your  little one has at least a passing familiarity with the manual... If not, it's a total waste of time buying a copy yourself, unless you want the (not insignificant) satisfaction of chucking it out of the window and flying by the seat of your pants.

After all, life's never dull that way!



This is part of the third "Same Difference" Link-up. 
Please add your link below and try to comment on the host (this Blog) and at least one other.




23 comments:

  1. Haha! This did make me laugh! I haven't had the 'one child' experience, as my first full-term pregnancy resulted in my two gorgeous boys!! I sometimes look at other first time mums and (only fleetingly) feel envious that they're able to do things with such ease ( usually when I'm struggling to get two toddlers in the car!!).

    99% of the time, for me having two is a total blessing though!! I think in some ways it's almost — dare I say it? — easier. That they have a little playmate and are generally not too demanding as a result.

    That said, they're only 22 months and of course this will probably all change!! I'll be hollering for your manual when it does!! :) #multiplemadness

    ReplyDelete
  2. Tee hee! I can just about cope with one in the mornings but not 4! yikes! :) x

    ReplyDelete
  3. This so reminded me of my mornings. I try and make them look like they haven't been dragged through a hedge backwards!

    ReplyDelete
  4. It can't be easy, but it sounds as if you are getting along so well. You never know what life will throw at you, as you say, and yours are lucky to have you to look after them.

    ReplyDelete
  5. After trying to rustle my 4 into gear every morning I totally sympathise. At least I have only 1 school drop off, multiple ones would be the end of me!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I thought my two school drop offs were hard but compared to your- mine sound like a luxury. My heart goes out to your son whose friends have excluded him from their circle. I am sure it must have been so hard to explain this to your son.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I work from home and we have in-home care for our triplets, so while I am responsible for getting my kids ready, its not nearly as bad as it could be. I sometimes think about having to get them up and out the door at a specified time and shudder.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow you sound like superwoman! Suddenly dealing with my three year old seems really simple! xxx

    ReplyDelete
  9. Mornings are horrendous in our house with arguments and squabbles over the Weetabix. I am so sorry for your little one who is being excluded..........Your Fab 4 are bloody gorgeous and you are so very lucky to have them xxxxx

    ReplyDelete
  10. One is easy - I was just thinking that the other day as my eldest sat quietly reading whilst my daughter was running around like a mad woman screaming and my ever growing bump was kicking me! It certainly sounds like you have your hands full but I'm sure you wouldn't change them for the World!

    ReplyDelete
  11. That must be really upsetting about your son and the friends... so unfair. Hope you find a coffee time slot again soon! Also hope my post is OK to add to the link-up... it's the first in my series of how different our PDA lives are... x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course Steph - thanks for adding it :)

      Delete
  12. Oh your poor son, I imagine he must be feeling so sad to have that circle of friends taken away. I hope he can re-establish the connections or make some new, better friends soon. Well done for keeping it all together so well!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Sounds like your doing amazing! I couldn't imagine it, i struggle with just the one mainly because I don't get enough sleep which my fault for not going to bed early enough! x

    ReplyDelete
  14. Coping with one husband in a morning is enough, add to that 3 cats and I am in one before ive closed the door x

    ReplyDelete
  15. I'm definitely not a morning person but thankfully my two are unbelievably organised and quiet first thing! The Mr however... ;) x

    ReplyDelete
  16. Wow. I struggle with 2 that's definitely my limit.

    Oh the days of one child, afternoon naps and no schedules

    ReplyDelete
  17. Having one child seems a dar distant memory (and an easy one)

    ReplyDelete
  18. What an amazing read Emma. I absolutely admire your coffee fuelled determination and how you support your family. It was sad to read about your son and his friends, as a parent that would have broken my heart. It can be such a cruel world, at the best of times

    ReplyDelete
  19. I struggle to keep up with my one! Yours is truly a juggling act :-) x

    ReplyDelete
  20. I can't relate as I don;t have kids yet but I love reading other people experiences ;)

    ReplyDelete
  21. After reading about your school run experience I am well and truly grateful that my older 3 get the bus to school and my 8 year old happily walks by himself. I hope you manage to find that caffeine fix slot again, or maybe they do patches!?! Thanks for linking up with #multiplemadness

    ReplyDelete
  22. crikey, I often find myself overwhelmed with just the one, lack of sleep has a lot to answer for! x

    ReplyDelete

Many thanks for taking the time to comment, I really value your responses.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...