Tag Archives: child1

I love my children equally

…and I  also love them differently, because they are two different people and naturally they receive love in different ways.

In the last while I have realised that I spoil Child2 WAY TOO MUCH.

He gets away with things that I would NOT have allowed Child1 to get away with. I am more tolerant with the outbursts and the sass. I tend to more easily ignore stuff that annoys me instead of just nipping it in the bud there and then as I would have done with Child1.

Child2 basically thinks he runs the show.  He’s fairly whiney when we get home and I usually put it down to him coming down from a sensory overload. I make him a cup of tea (which he now EXPECTS!) and he lies in the bath and drinks it.  Like. A. Boss.

If he wants something then he gets it. If he doesn’t want to eat dinner then I leave him. If he wants to do just ONE MORE THING before bed then I allow it. If he wants to snuggle in my bed and fall asleep then I allow that too. These are ALL things that I would NEVER have allowed for Child2. I basically do what I have to do to avoid the screams and the meltdowns and the whines because heaven knows, I have a stressful enough day at work and I CANNOT come home to noise.

I only react to his nonsense IF I feel it’s gone too far. I should be reacting as soon he transgresses. But I don’t. Child2 is affectionate. He’s one of those kids who just crawl into your heart space  without you even realising it.  THIS is how he manipulates me and I only see  it WAY after the fact.

Recently Child1 passed a comment to the effect of me not allowing him to do x but that he knows that I will probably allow Child2 to do x.

Aaargghh. I was mortified that he even noticed this! I never, ever want a situation where one child  feels that I love the sibling more or whatever.  How do I explain to Child1 that I love his brother differently because he is a different person? I don’t know of any kid who will have the emotional maturity to understand that.

I also don’t want Child2 to grow up feeling entitled to the world because his Mom panders to him. I will admit that I am SUPER STRICT with Child1 (always have been) and that I expect A LOT from him. Maybe because I know him and how capable he is? Does this mean that I am subconsciously expecting A LOT less from Child2? I don’t know – I need to think about this some more.

I spent this weekend thinking about why I allow Child2 to get away with so much more and I realise that it started at his birth already!

He was sick when he was born. And then he was ALWAYS sick as a baby. And then there were speech delays. And other delays.  And Super Specialists. And A LOT of therapy. Therapy that will probably continue on and off throughout his life.  Somehow I ended up feeling sorrier for him than for Child1. It’s wasn’t  intentional – it was just the way it was.

Child2 was a terrible baby and to be honest, it took a long time for me to even like him! Yes, I am ashamed to admit that I actually didn’t like him very much in the beginning – he cried ALL THE TIME! He was needy. He whined a lot. Deep down I still feel really bad about that.  I somehow feel like I need to overcompensate and really, I don’t have to. We’ve all got problems already! We all struggle with things and we deal with them when we are in a situation that requires us to deal with them and then we learn from it and move on.

SO yes. I am in the process of re-looking at how I manage him and his “stuff”. And slowly but surely, I am holding back on the spoils and insisting that he takes some responsibility for himself. It’s a slow process but it’s happening! He made his own toast for breakfast this morning and he was soooo proud of himself afterwards!

I must just mention here that Child2 told me things that happened during the day at school yesterday. I was soooooo excited! Do you know how BIG this is for us? Without me doing ANY prompting, I got to hear all about how F had a vomit, D was sent to timeout, J said swear words and also how K shared his marie biscuits with him. Now I know that your kids have probably been doing that for years already but I had to pay a therapist to develop this skill so I am OBVIOUSLY thrilled!

There were no tales this evening though.  While we were driving home he told me that he feels sick and then had a huge vom in my car. He’s been in bed for nearly 3 hours already!

Anyway. Do you have one kid that you are more sensitive towards? Do you allow certain things for one kid that you would definitely not allow for the other? Do you have one kid that is jealous of the other? How do you navigate this kind of thing?


It’s official. I’m taking a step back.

Last week I went to Child1’s school to tidy out and organise his locker.

I know you may be saying that this is ridiculous but trust me, when you have a kid with ADHD it’s actually necessary.  And oh. The stuff that came out of that locker! It’s like a whole new planet  in there.

I’m going to be doing this weekly for the foreseeable future and I do know that at some point he will be embarrassed by his Mommy coming to clean out and organise his locker. I have no issues with this. In fact, I’ll be using it as fuel – we ARE going to conquer the things  that he struggles with and if I have to embarrass him in the process then I’ll do that. Sorry for him! 

Anyway. While we were busy doing this, a number of his teachers walked past and chatted to me and gave me feedback. Of course I loved this, because in High School they keep you at arm’s length.

At some point the Afrikaans teacher walked up to me and we chatted a bit. She started to talk about an assignment that they received the previous week where they had to write a story. I mentioned that , yes I was aware of what she was referring to and as far as I knew it had already been handed in.

She then mentioned that she could see that there was input from me. I responded and said that yes, there was input from me. Child1 wrote his own story and I edited it. I didn’t change the essence of the story or add any  new words. I merely made him fix things like tenses and punctuation etc.

Then she asked me very nicely to  please never do that again. I was mortified!

She was really sweet about it and told me that it happens more regularly than one would realise and that it was difficult for her to see Child1’s true ability if I was editing his work.  I do agree with her. But I was mortified!

She told me that she would be giving him a blank page on the Monday so that he could re-do his own story. I love that she did this. And I actually decided that I really like her. She seems to be paying attention to Child1’s actual capabilities which in my book is AWESOME.

She did tell me that he’d done really well on a test that they had done the previous day. I suspect that she saw how mortified I was and tried to make me feel better. I did feel better.

So this evening there was Afrikaans homework. I had a look at it, made him toss it in the bin and insisted that he redo it because it was untidy. I am hardcore like that. Judge at your peril.

 When he had “cleaned” it up, I saw ALL THE ERRORS. I twitched. A LOT. My breathing became shallow.  I asked him if he was happy with his work and whether he could say with 100% certainty that this was his very best effort.  He responded that he was cool with everything. I then made him put it in his bag.

It took EVERY bit of self-control that I had not to edit his work. It was VERY hard to walk away. But I did it.

How much involvement do you have in your kids homework? Do you help with research? Do you check and sign-off? Do you edit stuff that needs editing?

I DO edit. OK.  As of last week I don’t do it anymore.  But a lot of the time (when it comes to projects/research etc) then I provide guidance and I make sure that the tools are available. Child1 does his own stuff. 

How far do you go? How far did your parents go with you when you were at school?


So. School.

School has been, well, odd.

Both kids are not hundreds.

Mommy’s anxiety has been off the charts.  Daddy is working a lot and so Mommy takes it all in. Fortunately Mommy has relatively broad shoulders,  though Mommy has felt like her broad shoulders are not broad enough. Mommy is quite simply, exhausted and her shoulders are slouching. Mommy is slumping and battling a bit to keep her posture erect and upright.  Mommy is stabby.  Mommy is weepy. Mommy has not had any alone time for weeks, nor has Mommy had computer time (hence the lack of blog posts and comments), nor has Mommy had time to read and just BE.  At the moment, Mommy feels like she can’t breathe because EVERYONE wants a piece of Mommy – she’s one popular girl. Mommy is desperately in need of a beach swim or a good couple of laps at Long Street’s pools.  If only Mommy could find the time to make this happen.

So. Child1. He’s struggling, and so is Mommy.  It’s the lack of nurture that affects us the most. For Mommy, it’s also the lack of control and her inability to manage something that she isn’t sure of.

In Junior School, nuture was a huge feature. So was affirmation. It made Child1 feel loved and secure and confident within himself. It made Mommy feel happy and secure because it really did  feel like there  was a de facto parent in her absence.

In High School, nurture does not feature. Neither does affirmation.  Also. One is left to your own devices. He can’t cope and is floundering and battling to manage himself both during class and after hours. I used to pay for help with this part of his life. Now people assume that if you are in high school you are automatically able to do it, and do you know what? Some kids can.  Just not my kid.  ADHD is a complete cow. ADHD is ruthless. ADHD is a bloody animal.

I blogged about this some time ago because I knew that it would become a problem. 

Unfortunately life is NOT very black and white if you have severe ADHD.

It is not a matter of simply just leaving him to work it out,  because the consequences of this can be tremendous.  They can cause all hell to break loose. They literally can cause him to take at least 12 steps back.  Add puberty and hormones to all of this and things are just simply cray cray.

My problem is that I don’t quite know how to help him. In Junior School there is a lot of support. There was a psychologist (even though I hated her!) and I could call and set up appointments with teachers. In fact, I could text or whatsapp his teachers  anytime – we had that kind of relationship throughout the Junior School years. In High School, it simply doesn’t work that way and to be honest, I don’t want to go against the grain and embarrass my child in the process, because he’s vulnerable at the moment and this will just cause alienation.

I do however need to help him (despite his feelings) and so today I called the school and set up an appointment with the Psychologist.  We are meeting next week. I don’t know what they will do to help us transition but I feel a bit more hopeful. To be honest, the idea that we still have another 5 years of this is overwhelming me and making me incredibly anxious.

On the plus side, he is actually socialising and in his element the way a true extrovert would be. Also, he’s doing Archery as an extra-mural. I know, right? Who even does that? Well. My kid likes to do these odd extra-murals.

Tomorrow I will blog about Child2 and school but in the meantime, tell me how your kids are doing? Are they coping well with the newness of everything? Are they happy with their teachers? Are YOU happy with how things are going?


Child1: of experiments, errands and gaining confidence

Remember I wrote about being stumped for solutions about Child1 wrt the aftercare situation next year?

For the past two weeks, we’ve been doing a combination of things to see what will work best.  I must say that he’s open to trying new things, even though he’s nervous and occasionally needs very detailed instructions. I LOVE that. This is what we’ve been doing:

  • I have collected him at school and brought him to the library where he hangs out and reads and waits for me. This works well but I can’t see him doing it ALL THE TIME. Poor kid!
  • I have collected him at school and have dropped him at home where he stays alone and unsupervised. He has a list of things to do and, each thing must be completed and ticked off the list before he can switch on the x-box or read or whatever. No internet is allowed under any circumstances and he’s not allowed to open the door for ANYONE – because nobody has any business coming to our house during the day. I  have informed our neighbour (she of the dogs ) when he’s home, and she’s been really good with keeping an eye out.  I must say that this has worked out really well too. He’s become extremely safety-conscious and I do leave my cell phone with him just in case. He’ll be getting his own BB this weekend.
  • I made him walk from school to my workplace. He arrives at my office, we have a quick bite to eat and then he goes to the library and waits for me.  I must say I was a bit nervous about the walking thing (so was he) but he has managed REALLY well. His school is about a 10/15 minute walk to my office and it’s basically on a straight, busy road. I gave him very specific instructions as to which side of the road he needs to be on and which landmarks he MUST pass etc. He now does it with  confidence and I am so proud of him! A lady in my office asked me how he manages to cross the road at the big intersection. I told her that I have no clue – I didn’t coach him on crossing an intersection but I guess that at some point he needs to figure it out – he’s 13 years old already!
  • Today the instruction was to walk from school to my office. Then to have them call me so I could give him money because I needed him to go to the post office to send off a letter. HE was SUPER nervous as he’d never done something like this before. I was talking to my friend Cams about this last night, and it turns out that her 13-year old daughter has never needed to go and do something at the post office either! Can you believe the very different lives that our kids lead compared to when we were kids? Going to the post office was a normal thing in my childhood. I used to go and buy stamps and post things for my  parents all the time! I told him that I would make a list of instructions for him and that, if he followed them, he would be fine. Here are the instructions that I typed and printed out for him. I was actually going to write it by hand but he’s told me numerous times that he can’t read my scrawl. 

A trip to the post office in 10 easy steps: ( this is what I printed off for him – have copied and pasted it in here, just removing the name of the shopping centre.)

  1. Enter xxxx Centre. Walk past that drunk man who sits  outside. DO NOT make any eye contact with him.
  2. When you enter the centre you’ll see escalators in front of you. Don’t go up the escalators – instead, turn left. You will see two clothing shops on the left and an optometrist and a  health shop on the right.  ABSA bank is in the corner.
  3. Walk past the health shop and turn right.
  4. Walk straight ahead until you find the bookshop. The post office is situated directly opposite the bookshop.
  5. Stand in the queue.
  6. When it’s your turn to be served, walk to the counter and tell the assistant  that you would like to post a letter.
  7. They will take the letter from you and glue some stamps on the top right hand corner. 
  8. They will then stamp the letter and tell you what it will cost.
  9. Pay them and make sure to request a slip. Don’t forget to check your change before you walk out of there.  THEN, drop the letter in the big, red letter box. They will direct you if you are uncertain.
  10. Walk straight back to the library – I will get the slip and my change from you when we go home.

FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS. Go through these BEFORE you step out of the Post Office.

Ps….no going into that book shop unless you are struggling, in which case, speak to Emma who sits at the counter.  If Emma is not there, then come back to my office and I’ll go through it with you again. Go STRAIGHT back to the library when you’re done!

Pps..DO not go to that R5 shop either. Go straight back to the library!

Ppps…I know the people at ALL the shops (including the bookshop and the R5 shop) so I WILL find out if you’ve been there. Don’t do it!

Pppps…Love you and am VERY proud of you! We can get the 2nd and 3rd Spud book  for your kindle tonight? Are you interested?  It will  be a “Mommy-is-proud-of-me”   kind of gift from me.  Xx

Ppppps…leave the library at 16:58 (two minutes to five) and meet me at the car.

Love Me. 


Anyway. The post office errand went well and I just LOVE seeing him gain confidence every time he manages to successfully master a life skill.  Next week we’ll involve my parents and he can spend 2 days there after school.  We are also going to attempt to go on the train and I will have my Dad meet him at the station because I’m really, REALLY not comfortable with him taking the taxi as well. He took a train a few weeks ago with my DH and feels OK to do it alone. Our line is very safe and it’s not a long train trip – his journey will last for 12 minutes exactly.  HE also took a taxi a few weeks ago with my DH and is not keen on doing that EVER AGAIN! I really don’t blame him!

Was going to the PO and buying stamps and posting snail mail etc a  regular part of your life when you were a  kid?

What has your child done lately that has given him/her A LOT of added confidence? You are welcome to brag in the comments!


Would you leave your (older) kid alone at home?

Some weeks ago, I wrote about my concern for next year in terms of Child1 and aftercare.

In the last few weeks, I stopped aftercare and I was fetching him and dropping him at the library so he could study.

This whole move coincided with us starting new medication and I have to say that it’s all worked out VERY well.  Basically I would fetch him, we’d have a quick lunch together and then I’d drop him at the library, help him to set up and brief him on what I expected from him in terms of the study content.  He had MORE than enough to keep him busy.

Well. Now exams are over and yet again, the game changes. I don’t actually have things for him to do and this is the problem. He’s essentially bored. He reads but spending 4 hours in a library EVERY SINGLE DAY can do any extroverted teenage boys head in.

So I basically have 2 options:

Option 1: Fetch him and drop him at my parents house where he’ll probably do nothing except watch TV and play PS.

Option 2: Fetch him and drop him off at home where there’s no one during the day.

Now I know that at first glance, people will tell me to go for Option 1. I would prefer option 1 but I do need to look at a long-term solution.  Right now it’s OK for Child1 to hang out in front of the TV and have maximum screen time but in a few months, when he has homework and projects to do, then this will be a problem.  My parents are NOT strict with their grandchildren and they basically allow them to do whatever they like!

I may have found someone to fetch him from school next year but again, I don’t actually have a plan for after that.

Option 2 essentially means that he’ll be unsupervised. It means that there’s a security risk – I don’t live in an estate but my house is relatively secure. It means that I will have to learn to trust him to manage himself, his safety, his school work and his chores etc. It’s actually not as black and white as that when there’s ADHD and impulsivity  involved and to be honest, this option makes me feel nervous but I am aware that I do need to let go and that he does need to show me that he can be responsible.

Thing is, I don’t really have choices. There is not a single aftercare facility that accommodates high school kids. I can’t afford an aupair to fetch him and supervise extra-murals and homework. I can’t afford live-in help so that there is someone at home when he gets there in the afternoon.  I don’t work flexible hours and so can’t drive him around and drop him at an extra-mural or whatever every single afternoon.  Count yourself lucky and VERY blessed if you can afford even one of these alternative options because that is not everyone’s reality.

I do get that I’m not the first parent to have this problem. There are PLENTY of Moms in this situation who have no choice but to leave their kids alone at home after school. It’s not an ideal situation but what exactly are the options? It is what it is when you don’t have money to pay for solutions.  It is what it is when you’re a single parent with no support and I would never judge anyone for doing it.

So would you at any point leave your (high school or even primary school)  kid alone at home after school? Do you know anyone who does this? What do you think you would do given my current situation?



Sometimes one needs to think ahead

For the most part I feel my way through Motherhood. I go on what feels right at that moment, I trust my gut and  I look at WHO my child is and WHAT they can handle. A number of my decisions are often based on environmental factors.

However, this approach (i.e. the one where I just wing it and “feel”  all the answers) doesn’t always work well, especially with kids like mine. Sometimes I need to make very calculated decisions.

Sometimes a bit of foresight is required. Sometimes one needs to nip things in the bud BEFORE they could potentially become a problem.  Sometimes one needs to think ahead about  the possible consequences that could arise if you don’t act in good time.

So I have had two issues playing in my mind these past few weeks.  Both of them relate to Child1. 

Issue 1 – Child1 and medication:

I am considering changing Child1’s medication from Ritalin LA to Concerta which has a 12-hour release. He’s getting older and has a lot more homework and projects to do after hours. He needs to study a lot more and there is  also way more planning (AND execution) involved in his life. It’s not going to get any easier – High School is a whole new ball game. By the time we get home, his meds have worn off and he just CANNOT focus enough. I can’t medicate him at night as there are other issues involved.  From where I am sitting we don’t really have a choice.

Deciding to medicate or even changing medication involves quite a process.  We’ve got to go back to our shrink, we need to thrash it all out, we need to make the best possible decision based on his lifestyle and routines. There is also a fair amount of monitoring involved and we may need to go back and forth until the dosage is perfect, so it’s quite an expensive process – these Super Specialists don’t come cheap. I could wait with this until next year when he’s going to be going through other changes in his life or I could do it now and get it over and done with.

We’ve been extremely lucky to not have gone through horrible side effects with meds and so I guess this is what I’m really afraid of. What if we do it now (or next year) and it just DOES NOT WORK OUT. Then I’m going to have a disillusioned child with gaps because of school work missed and and and. Also, the puberty will probably come in full force next year so there are also going to be hormones at play.  What would you do? Would you take a NOW approach i.e 3 months prior to a big change and slowly phase it all in or would you wait until the sh*t really hits the fan and you are forced to make the change?

Issue 2 –  Child1 and after care:

Child1 currently attends after care at a place close to his school. He gets collected, they give him something to eat and there is also homework supervision.  I pay good money for this and this arrangement has worked really well for us.  The problem is that no after care facility takes High School kids which means that we are stuck for next year.  I can probably fetch him every day and take him home but that would mean that he’s home alone without any form of supervision. I am really not comfortable with that.  Also. Petrol. I don’t have unnecessary money for that.

At the moment, the only solution that I can think of is for him to walk from school to my work place (it’s a good 15 or so minute walk – maybe less, and the route is quite safe) and then stay in the library (directly opposite my workplace) until I’m done working. He can do homework. He can read books.  HE can study. We are talking about 2 hours between him getting to the library and us leaving to go home.

However, this is Child1 we are talking about.  He has severe ADHD. He cannot work without some kind of supervision. Thing is, there doesn’t seem to be any other solution so we’ll have to make this work. I am thinking that perhaps we should start this year – maybe in term 4. Just to get a feel for it, just so he can get used to the walk from school as well as my expectations/requirements.

What would you do? Would you start in term 4 or wait and see what happens in term 1 of 2014? Are there high schoolers in your life? What do they do after school? Are they supervised? Do they stay home alone? What on earth do their parents do with them during school holidays? This is another thing that I need to think about.

How do you Parent with the long-term stuff? Do you pre-empt situations and try to ease your kids (and yourself) into a different routine? Do you take it as it comes? I am by nature a take it as it comes kind of parent but the type of kids that I have force me to be otherwise a lot of the time.  My DH is quite happy to take it as it comes. He feels I’m worrying about things too long before the time.  I say it’s fine to wing it in some situations but in others, specifically where your kids have different needs,  a lot more prep is needed. What do you think? How would you handle either of these situations?

13 things I love about you

  1. I love that we can actually have a pretty decent conversation these days. You don’t grunt as much as you used to. Snort.
  2.  I love that you’re always game to try new stuff with me.  You are the only one in this house who has no issues indulging your Mama’s crazy whims. You are so cool without even trying.
  3. I love that you love all the gadgets as much as I do – it means I can give them to you to figure out so I can get a lesson afterwards.
  4. I love that you are never rude to me, or any other adult for that matter.
  5. I love that you love your brother and don’t find him embarrassing. Yet. I do love that you let him get away with so much and that you are very proud and excited when he reaches a milestone.
  6. I love that you still love to play and that you are completely comfortable with who you are. You embrace your quirk and your odd. I LOVE that.
  7. I love that I can watch a TV programme with you and if there is a kid who does something wrong, you can tell me what the right thing would have been to do or what you would have done in that situation. That thrills me because it means that you are not ignoring your Dad and I!
  8. I love that you really love spending time with your grandparents.
  9. I love that we can (mostly) listen to the same music and read the same books – even though you are not a big fan of my reading tastes. According to you I have boring taste in books!
  10. I love that you enjoy making breakfast for me on the weekends and I love that you try to do it as quietly as possible so that I don’t wake up before you’re done. Your entire life is a sound effect so I know how hard this is for you.
  11.  I love that you still enjoy hanging out with me and just for tonight I will play some x-box with you, even though it’s really not something I enjoy. Just for tonight I will have just one slice of pizza even though it’s not on my eating plan.
  12. I love that you know all about extending  grace to me and others without even fully understanding the concept of extending grace. It’s in your actions. Every single day.
  13. And of course I LOVE your heart. I learn something new from you every single day without you realising it and you have absolutely changed me for the better. Thank you.

I suppose my parenting will change somewhat in the teenage years. There will be a lot more coaching and significantly less mothering/hovering/helicoptering. There will be more of reading between the lines and listening to what you DON’T say.  I guess I probably will make mistakes.  Know that every single thing I do is done out of love for you. Also. Someone needs to keep the therapists in business and I consider it my duty as a good citizen to help to contribute to the economy in that way!

Happy, Happy Birthday my boy.  You are truly my FAVOURITE FAVOURITE first-born. How blessed am I to be your Mom?  It is SUCH a privilege and an honour. Thank you for choosing me.






Extroverted kids and 13-year old birthday parties

So the gift is sorted (a kindle! I am too excited) and now we are planning a party – something that fills me with complete and utter dread. The other day I read this post. I nodded after every single sentence. Because I feel EXACTLY the same way.

I don’t usually plan parties 2 months in advance. I am that mother who does everything (including sending invites) 2.5 weeks before the time. It’s easy to do that when your kid loves a Spur party. Alas, we are past that age group so proper planning (including the financials) have to be in order now.

This is the only time that I can’t cope with my extrovert child.

He WANTS to entertain. He LOVES to entertain. And he wants EVERYONE in his space.  The Judo friends, the Chess friends, the class-mates, the cousins, the friends at aftercare. And of course, the family.  I can’t cope with more than 8 or so kids in my space at a time without getting frazzled. Thank goodness I was not called to be a Teacher. I would have been a horrible teacher!

Do you see why I am not coping with my extroverted kid? I feel TERRIBLE at having to rein him in and it feels almost like I am squashing every single (ridiculous) idea that he has.

I am really battling with this and can’t quite figure what is appropriate for this age group. Laura wrote a post earlier today on the awkward age. I think that 13 is still awkward. You are no longer a kid kid. But you are not exactly a fully fledged teenager either. You are kind of in-between which has its own set of complications.  And here-in lies my issue because really, what kind of party is appropriate for an in-betweener?

I know that there are no party packs for 13-yr olds. WIN. My Mother disagrees with me on this btw. She says EVERYONE likes a party pack, no matter how old they are.

I know that I can’t do a too early in the day party because that’s probably not cool for this age group. NOT A WIN –  I like to do things early (I am a huge fan of the 11:30am to 13:30pm slot) so other peoples kids can go home and so I can go home and spend the rest of the day unwinding in silence.

I also know that my soon-to-be-13yr old is quite childish compared to the average 13-yr old. WIN.

I don’t even know if one does a cake at a 13-yr old birthday party. We’ll definitely have one for the family but does one have a birthday cake with friends if you are a boy?

I have absolutely no idea what is normal and allowed. I don’t want my kid to look “weird” in front of his peers. I don’t want to embarrass him.  I don’t want to draw unnecessary attention to his awkwardness.

I suggested a movie and pizza for a couple of friends. I think it’s an awesome idea – he thinks it sucks.  Pffft.

I also suggested bowling and a pizza. He’s kind of open to this. Just a little.

So I need to know what one does for a 13-year old party for a boy –  a quirky boy with unusual interests at that.

He’s not big on sport.  Or hip hop and dancing. Or anything that the average 13-year old boy likes.

He’s into 80s music. And gaming. And reading. And comics. And swimming. And super heroes. And guitars. And wrestle mania.  And lego (still).  And cars (still). And he LOVES clothing. Hoodies and cool t-shirts  and sneakers are the way to his heart.

What can I possibly do to make this a memorable, fun, age-appropriate occasion for him?

Do you have an extroverted kid? If you are not an extrovert then HOW do you cope with them without losing your nuts?

Preparation 101 and so far so good.

Yesterday was day 1 of Big Changes in the house of odd kids and adults.

We took Child1 to school – he was sad because he really loved his teacher and couldn’t understand WHY she had to go and have a baby now. Gosh, I had no idea what to say. I couldn’t exactly tell him that the situation irritated me too.

So I told him that “life is life, na na nana na” and that he needed to deal with the issue, get over himself and make the best of the situation, because the new teacher would feel very bad if he didn’t make her feel welcome.  He came home and told me that she was an old woman (according to him she looks like she could be about 90) and that she was very kind and funny and that he was happy. So far so good.

We also took Child2 to the school that I don’t want him to attend so that his two weeks of observation could start. I tried to prepare him for it all weekend. He asked me about it all the time. And I repeated our routine all the time. This was what I said to him. ALL THE TIME.

Me:  On Monday morning, you will wake up even though it’s still dark outside. I will put on the TV and you can sit on the couch under the blanket and have your toast and water.  When you have finished eating, you will take a quick bath,  and as soon as you are done we’ll dress you in your blue corduroy pants and your red long-sleeved top with the truck picture on the front. You can wear your wellies if you want to, even if it doesn’t rain and we can put on your ben10 socks and underpants too.  And your new favourite blue and grey hoodie jacket.  Are you still happy with your choice of outfit?

Child2: Yes Aunty Julia. Want to wear boots.

Me: OK, you can wear your boots (btw…I can’t say wellies, I MUST say boots).

ME: Once you have finished dressing yourself, Mommy will help you to brush your teeth. After that, we will take your new pink lunchbox out of the fridge and put it in your bag. Do you remember what we packed in your new pink lunch box?

Child2:  muffin and vienna and cheese. And apple. And yoghurt. And water.

Me: Clever boy! You remember so well.

Child2: You have to clap your hands for me.

Me:  *claps hands for child2*

ME: So once your bag is packed, we will get into the car and then we will take your brother to school.  Then Daddy and I will take you to Alice. You will stay with Alice for a short while and she will play some fun games with you.


Child2: Want to say hello to the bunnies.


Me:  Daddy and I will fetch you from Alice and then we will take you to say hello to the bunnies. Then we’ll go to Sheila. We will leave you with Sheila and then after a few hours, we will fetch your brother. As soon as we have collected  your brother we will fetch you and then we will all go home.


The part that is highlighted in purple needed to be repeated at least 17 times. I was exhausted. But I repeated it. Because it was what he needed to feel prepared.

Anyway, the routine ran smoothly and everything happened EXACTLY the way I told him it would, which in turn meant that he was prepared and not anxious at all. Quite honestly, it went REALLY well.

We dropped him, I briefly chatted to his team (he has a TEAM of professionals observing him. Can you handle that?), I walked out. And then I broke down and cried a few buckets because I still find it hard to believe it sometimes.

I am so glad that I wasn’t alone and that my DH was with me.

We ended up having a lovely day together which included bookshop browsing, a long, long, long beach walk and coffee and cheesecake. The weather was gorgeous and we made the most of it. I also ended up going to the Dermo Dr to have a mole removed – I have been putting it off and postponing for weeks. It was fine. I LOVED the Dermo and would go back to him anytime.

The routine changed slightly today as my Dad took  him in and will be doing this in the mornings for the next two weeks. It all went perfectly and my Dad, knowing that I was probably anxious sent me a text as soon as it was all done to tell me that it went perfectly. Sjoe. What a relief.

Do your kids also need to be prepared to the nth degree for EVERY SINGLE NEW SITUATION?

Gosh. I find it all exhausting and it does make it difficult for us to be spontaneous and impromptu. But, at least it means NO MELTDOWN.

How are you doing and how was your Tuesday?

Life is life. Na na, nana na – Opus

Sjoe. It’s been a while, yes?

I have been a bit on the busy side. So busy that I haven’t really been reading blogs or commenting. In fact, I’ve hardly been online.  I even have unanswered emails – soooooo unlike me. I did a bit of a catch up today though and I feel a bit better.

My NBL put me on a new account at work (just for this month) which has been super interesting. I LOVE learning new stuff and it’s kept me very busy, which is lovely. I needed to be challenged – she could see that I was bored and ready to stick some pens in my eyes. Let’s see what happens next month.

My home life has been busy too. My husband has been working late and so I’ve been a Single Married Mom, very busy with ridiculous projects with Child1 and helping him to study – his entire exam takes place within one week starting on 27 May. I’ve also been trying to prepare him for tomorrow when the new teacher starts. And I’ve been trying to (unsuccessfully) prepare Child2 for the next two weeks.. He’s going to this school that I don’t want him to go to for some observation. I don’t think he’s understanding that life is going to be a bit different for the next two weeks. HE does not appear to grasp this.  AT ALL. So, fun times ahead in this house.

People around me are having lots of problems too. Some friends. Some family. I don’t get involved but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t affect me. I am a feeler after all. Terrible, but true.

And between all of this I have been catching up on sleep, on reading,  and watching House. I LOVE House. Do you watch House? I think he’s really cool but I would NOT be able to cope with him as my Dr.

Anyway. That’s where I’m at right now. I spent the day nursing Child2 because he’s not hundreds. There’s this cough and fever thing that he has going. Can’t have him getting sick now. I think he’s getting better because he just screamed at Child1 (who is being himself and trying to nurture his sick brother) to leave him alone to watch his Barney and go and tidy up the bedroom! I tried to keep a straight face but I couldn’t.

I hope that you are well. And I hope that you will have a fantastic week.

Bags and lunches and clothing are all sorted for tomorrow and so it’s all systems go.  Am going to test Child1 quickly and then I’m off to bed with my book.

How was your weekend? What’s happening in your life?