So, He’s Like Me In *Some* Ways…

Adam and I went to the dentist this week. We know how to celebrate half term, let me tell you!

And it turns out both Adam and I have cavities. So yay?

The other thing that was noted was that his 6-year molars have very deep crevices on the inside face as well as deep craters on top. And when they fill his cavity in a few weeks Chris, our dentist, is going to see what he can do about those as well.

Now, anyone who has seen my son and my husband will tell you, without a doubt, that he is Simon’s son. From the colour of his hair to the shape of his face he is Simon’s Mini-Me. Adding glasses on his face just made it more obvious! I often joke that if I hadn’t been there when he came out, I’d doubt he’s mine.

But this is something we have in common. I have a very strong memory, recalled again when the crevices were mentioned, of my childhood dentist telling my mom the same thing about me. I was older than Adam, probably 9 or 10, when it was mentioned and dealt with.

And I have another very clear memory of the sigh my mom gave and the look she gave me when she was told this. I remember asking later ‘Did I do something to make those craters?’ as I had interpreted the look as ‘great, she’s done it again’. My mom said, ‘no, of course not.’

And now, 40ish years on I realized what that sigh and that look meant. It wasn’t ‘Great Robyn’s causing more trouble’ it was ‘Great, more money spent/insurance papers to process/similar adult thing that I couldn’t understand then’.

Not what our dentist is like

By Uncredited WPA photographer 1936 New Orleans. Not what our dentist is like. Thank god! 😀

But I understand now. Because I didn’t sigh or send my son a look, but I did start planning, in my head, the social story I was going to create about getting a tooth drilled and filled. And wondering if I should ring school and let them know and see if they had one available. Adult thoughts. Mother thoughts. I’m not much of a sigher but I might have sighed at this.


My concerns now are different than my mother’s concerns then, since I have the additional challenge of autism in these situations, but a mother’s concerns are all based on the same thing.

Doing everything we can to help our children.

Usually after a moment of ‘oh god, I’m so over this.’


Giving them Roots and Wings

Last night I was talking to my sister in law and 2 nieces on Skype and we were trying to remember how old my oldest niece, now 14, was when she was first allowed to walk to their downtown on her own. We all concurred that she was probably 10, the same age she was allowed to walk to school on her own.

It got me thinking about the things we are working on with our son. He’s 5 and most definitely Not Neurotypical (NNT) in some, as yet undiagnosed, way. But his father and I are doing our best to make him as independant as possible. He has no sense about cars or other danger, so I’m not sending him to the corner shop, but we certainly expect certain things, i.e. clearing his plate, throwing out his own garbage, tidying his toys.

And I was reminded of a story a friend of mine told me. She was visiting a friend with a child the same age as my son. This child handed my friend a piece of paper or something to throw away, even though they were both standing right next to the kitchen bin. When my friend pointed this out, the child looked at her like he didn’t understand what she was saying. He had obviously never thrown anything away before. At least not at home.

So, by logical conclusion, my NNT son is more independent than her NT child.

So now I’m wondering, in general, how much you let your child do themselves. How old are they?

Are you giving them roots and wings? Or just roots?

Lessons From The Not Quite 5 Year Old…

“What did you do today mummy?”

“Well, I walked you to school and then I went to the GP’s office for prescriptions and then to the chemist to get them filled and then to the supermarket for bread and pancakes and cereal bars. And then I came home and had a coffee and did some knitting and then had some lunch and then came to meet your bus. So, really, I did nothing today because I’m not feeling well. Again.”

“But you took me to school and then went to the chemist and the supermarket!”

“True, but I meant I didn’t do any housework today, like I had wanted to.”

“But you knitted! That’s housework!”

“Is it?”

“Yes.” With nearly 5 year old conviction. “You did lots today.”

My Newest Acquisition

So my lovely parents in laws gave me a voucher to Debenham’s for Christmas. Today I set off to spend it.

As has been recently discussed on Facebook, us mummies have a hard time spending money on ourselves. Even a gift card tends to be used for school shoes or sports equipment or a new pot to cook in. Our families always come first.

But I was bound and determined to spend my voucher on me. And realized the one thing I really wanted was a tea pot. A proper put tea bags or leaves in and let it steep and drink it properly tea pot.

And so I found one:

Tea tastes better from a pot. Even into a mug.

I adore this pot with an unholy love. Nearly as much as I love my husband and son, who will never be allowed to touch it. 😀

Actually, that’s not true. This is a Denby pot, from their Halo range. I love the whole range and would buy it if I had the money. Since it’s Denby, it’s dishwasher, oven, freezer and stove top safe. So Simon may be allowed to wash it. If he’s very very careful. He may even be allowed to drink tea out of it. If he ever drank tea.

So that’s my new acquisition  It looks like it’s for the family, except, really, no one else in the family drinks tea. 😀

My Worries, Personified…

So we were at the GP Friday (Another chest infection. Good thing he actually likes banana liquid.) and also there were two other boys.

They came over to us when they saw Adam was wearing a Fireman Sam shirt and were asking Adam about it. Adam, of course, did not answer as he’s not big on talking to strangers.

The younger boy said, ‘Doesn’t he talk?’

I said, ‘Of course he talks, but he’s not yet three. How old are you?’

‘I’m three!’

‘How long have you been three? When is your birthday?’

His big brother said, ‘October is his birthday.’

So I said ‘See? You’ve been three for *ages*! He’s not three for two more months, so he’s only two.’

At that point they got called in to see the GP so I couldn’t ask my next question which was ‘And which preschool are you going to in September?’

Because it is very likely that his boy, who will be four two months after the start of preschool, will be in the same class as Adam. Who will be three three months before preschool starts.

That’s nearly a year apart in age. In the same class.

I know they have to have cut off dates and some kids have to be the youngest in the class, but I don’t know why they can’t split the year and have two classes. So children turning three from 1st July to 31st December go in the morning with those turning three from 1st January to 31st June going in the afternoon. Or something similar. Wouldn’t that make more sense than having just turned three year olds in the same class as just about to turn four year olds?

Because at that age? It shows. That 3.6 year old was miles ahead of my 2.10 year old in terms of verbalization, self-assuredness, really everything I could see in a five minute interaction at the GP’s. The only thing they matched on was height, and that’s only because Adam is so tall.

Which is another worry. Already more than one person has commented on such a big boy acting like such a baby at times. When questioned, they assume he’s three or even four. He’s not. He’s two. Nearly three, but really still two. And he acts two.

He has a dummy, he’s just beginning to be articulate around other people and it’s not all that often that he is and they can understand him. He still has milk out of a bottle. And he’s no where ready to be potty trained. Which he has to be to start school in September. He still naps at least an hour a day.

Within the next year or two none of this will matter, of course. Nearly five and just four are a lot closer than nearly four and just three. And it will get closer and closer as he goes through school. Soon his peers will catch up with his height, even if he remains tall, he won’t stick out so much. Eventually.

But a Mummy worries.

So I worry.

I worry  he’ll be picked on or overlooked. I worry he’ll have no friends and no one will come to his birthday parties. I worry about things I can’t do a damn thing about, which I hate and refuse to do in everything else.

Being a Mummy is hard in ways I never expected.

And I do hate the unexpected.

Learning To Accept My Limitations

So, as I’ve said, Sunday the 5th was my birthday. And we had plans for the Saturday. Plans for lunch, for a nice evening meal, a glass of wine, some cake.

Instead, I woke up with a migraine Saturday morning. So I spent the day in bed throwing up and resting. And resting and throwing up. And sleeping. And did I mention throwing up?

And I cursed my head. My body. For once again letting me down. For ruining my plans. Something it does all.The.Time.

I mentioned this to my mother and she, correctly and sagely, pointed out I should get over it. It’s the body I have.

So I am trying to remember that. That it’s the body I have and the world isn’t going to end if all of our boxes aren’t unpacked yet. Or if Adam’s toys aren’t picked up.

I’m finding it very hard, though.

To accept that there are days when, truly, all I can do is sit and rest. Unfortunately, sometimes those are days that Adam is home. And we do nothing but play quietly, colouring and watching TV. And I try to at least take him for a brief walk or have a romp in the back garden. But sometimes even that doesn’t happen.

I know soon he’ll be in school full time and it won’t be a problem any more. For one thing, if he goes where we want him to, it’s a 1.5 mile walk one way to get there! For another, of course they have recess or whatever they call it in the UK.

But I still wonder what he’ll remember. Will he just remember that Mummy loved him always? Or will he remember being bored out of his mind stuck inside because Mummy Hurts?

I’m also really fed up with not being able to do what I want when I want. To run out of spoons some days as soon as I get out of bed.

And it happened again today. I woke up at 5:10am with a headache that felt like it was heading into migraine territory. So I got up and took some Migraleave. And I never puked but I was in bed all day with pain. And it was a beautiful sunny day. And I missed it. Again.

Simon and Adam went to the park. And for a coffee. And to get some shopping done.

And I lay in bed all day. In pain. Sleeping. Missing it.


And I don’t accept it. I don’t know how to accept it. I also can’t change it.

I like to think I live my life not worrying about things I can’t change. Except I can’t change this and I worry about it. It’s a huge disconnect in the way I want to be, to live.

It has taken me over a week to write this post and I’m still not sure what I am trying to say. But I think it’s time to hit publish and get it out there.

I usually like to end on a high note.

I have no high note on this issue.

I Am Trying To Write A Very Hard Post

And I’m really stuck. It’s about accepting my physical limitations.

So let’s talk about something else.

Yesterday’s dentist appointment wasn’t as bad as I feared it would be. Adam was scared, for sure, and I had to force him to open his mouth, after the hygienist and I spent quite a bit of time trying to coax him. He isn’t verbal enough yet to say ‘XYZ is why I am scared.’ Maybe next time and we can talk about it and he can get past it. All the hygienist does is look at this point, so really nothing too scary.

He then went into their waiting room and we put CBeeBies on the TV for him and I got my teeth cleaned without a hysterical boy in the corner. Hygienist very pleased with my teeth and my gums are finally improving.

We then and got a treat at Co-Op of crisps and chocolate chip cookies, both to have with our lunch. And then we came home. And had said lunch and a long snuggle on the sofa. Which is how we like to spend most afternoons, after doing things in the morning.

Today he is at nursery and I did some work and am doing some stuff around the house. A bunch of curtain rings broke on our front window curtains so I replaced those today. They look much better now that they are hanging correctly! Also unpacked some more books and dug out Adam’s 3T pyjamas that grandma brought last time she was here.

I knew it was time when I was changing his nappy this morning just after he woke up and I noticed his big toes poking through the feet of his pyjamas! My son, The Hulk! So I pulled the 3Ts out of the drawer and held them up to me. They should fit him just fine now!

And then I had some lunch and then I did some more pottering around the house. Now I’m going to switch laundry over and then I’m going to clean up the kitchen.

And then I am going to chill for a bit and then I’m going to go pick up my son from nursery.

And that’s a day in the life of a SAHM/Freelance Online Media Specialist.

Not all that exciting.

But it makes me happy.


Got off bus, with Adam.

Took a step along the pavement.

SLIDE! Goes my left foot.

CRASH! Goes Robyn onto her left leg. The bad leg. Right onto my hip.

Adam! Don’t move! I say as I crawl to a non-slippery bit and haul myself up.

Carefully we walk up the pavement to nursery.

SLIDE! Goes Adam’s foot. CATCH goes Mummy’s hand in his.

Even more carefully we continue to walk.

Whew. Made it. No great damage done.

Until tomorrow when I won’t be able to walk.


Last Night’s Trip From Nursery Was A Bit Hairy Scary…

It was pouring rain. It was freezing cold. And it was dark.

I never used to be afraid to be out after dark, walking confidently in all sorts of places. But with Adam with me I get very nervous about fast cars and slippery pavements.

And Adam is very stubborn. I can’t imagine where he gets it from. The words ‘It’s raining, put your hood up.’ before we leave nursery gets me a very firm ‘No hood!’ And then we get outside and the rain hits his head and he says ‘Mummy, hood up, please!’ If only he’d listen to begin with…

Anyway, we headed to the bus stop, in the rain, and the cold and the dark. And he hates walking right by me, but always in front or behind me, especially on the narrow pavement on the road that runs by nursery. I, of course, prefer in front and try to arrange us that way, but it doesn’t always work. Then we get to the wider pavement and the busier street and I make him walk beside me away from traffic, not moving until he’s where I want him.

And it was dark and cold and raining. And we get to the bus stop and wait. And wait. And wait. And I start to get a bit nervous with the cars flying by about 3 feet in front of us and know Adam is feeling a bit scared as well as he insists on holding my hand the whole time, which he never does. And we wait, in the dark and the cold and the rain and the cars flying by 3 feet away, spraying us with water nearly every time.

And we wait some more, me peering up the street constantly looking for the lights of the bus and then finally they appear. Warm and welcoming and dry.

And my big boy and I get on the bus and go to the back, where Adam likes to sit because the seats are higher and he can see out, and we settle in for our journey home, finally dry and warm and lighted.

And then we get to our stop and it’s still cold and still raining and even darker. And I put his hood up again and we go as fast as we can up our little hill. Our front light is being temperamental and it decided last night to not be on when we got home so I am relieved that I had left the inside light on. And the key goes in the lock and the light welcomes us in.

And we’re warm and dry and lighted.

And no longer scared.

CAKE! DRINK! Tour 2011

If you follow my Twitter Feed you’ll have seen me mention this a few times. What is it, you ask?

It’s the women I know from MN who are part of the thread known as Forty Towers. We are all over forty. Most of us have had babies after forty, but not all. We all do have children of some sort, however!

Every 6 months or so we get together. I missed the last one, in London, due to finances, but was at the first one in Manchester.

This one is also in Manchester and I didn’t think I’d be able to go.

Then Simon said ‘You just arranged this entire move, including finding us a house and movers. Go to Manchester.’

So tomorrow at 0615 my taxi arrives to take me to the airport and whisk me off to Manchester for the night.

There will be DRINK! and CAKE! and laughs and giggles and gossip and jokes and Christmas Markets and DRINK! and CAKE!

All over the UK 8 (I think it’s 8…) forty plus women are already giggling like school girls in excitement. Both to see each other (it’s been a hell of a year, all the way around) and to have a night off from kids and partners and work and guilt about DRINK! and CAKE!

So off to Manchester I head.