- Please stop trying to reset my password. The second factor messages are pissing me off. 2 weeks ago
Raising little Westies, and life as parent of a special needs son
Oops. I have missed a day, it seems, so I am playing catch-up.
My week… for my own sanity, I will start on a Sunday afternoon. Which seems to me about the time my new week commences!
Gather all my clean laundry, pack my bag, pack the car, have dinner, say goodnight to the kids, have a bath and a shave, say goodnight to my wife and go to bed. That generally fills in about four hours quite thoroughly!
Wake at 4 am. Eat without waking anyone if I can manage it. Tuck all the kids back into bed, and give them a last cuddle and kiss before I hit the road for the week. Go back upstairs, brush teeth, get dressed, kiss my wife and jump in the car.
Drive half way or so to Canberra, stop for a coffee, then drive the rest of the way to be at work before 8:30.
Have lunch with Alan, then return to work till 5 or 6pm.
Go to my “home away from home” and unload the car for the week, before having dinner and spending some time online. Generally, be in bed… just before midnight, for usually a 20-hour Monday. Life’s grand!
Be up, showered, eat, and on my way to work… sometime before 8:00 am, but often before 6:40am.
Get to the office, have a coffee, and start work. Work consists of hassling people about what software does, or does not, work with Windows 7, and why they should be using software that is easier to make work. It’s quite repetitive, and my colleagues and I seem to keep having groundhog day moments every week or so.
Knock off work sometime before 6:30 pm, before heading “home” for dinner. Hopefully, catch up with Bec online and be in bed before 11 pm.
Wednesday and Thursday: Often, much like Tuesday. It’s normal for me to eat out at least one of these nights, often with Alan, sometimes with the Aunty I live with while I’m in Canberra.
Get up before 6:30 am, have breakfast, pack my bags and car, head to work hoping to be there by 7:00 am.
Work on Friday inevitably ends up being “chase up some absolutely critical things that won’t actually change the world if they aren’t done before Monday, but it’s essential you get it done TODAY.”
Hopefully, I’ve already worked 40 hours by the time I arrive at work on Friday. So by lunch-time, I can jump in the car, grab some lunch and hit the road for Sydney. I often have to work till 3 or 4 pm, though.
On the way home, I almost always check in at a roadhouse for a coffee and to break the trip. Hopefully I am home by 8pm, in time for dinner with the kids, and in bed by 10pm.
The least structured day of my week. Hopefully I get to sleep in, while Bec goes to a regular meeting – assuming the kids stay quiet. I will catch up with some of the things I can’t do around the home while I’m away, and hopefully get the kids involved. Ideally we will get out of the house on bikes, for a walk, to some organised sport, or for a swim. Bec will usually cook something pretty wonderful on Saturday night, and Magpie will often cook sausages for lunch. It’s just “his thing“!
Sunday morning I will again attempt to sleep in. Something will need to be caught up on that wasn’t finished the day before. Before I know it, it will be lunch time, and I’m back on the whirlwind for another week.
Sport is a great metaphor for life, just as war is. My wife already discussed life through the lense of war, so I’ll think about sports on the day of the Grand Final for the Australian Football League.
What did the Swans and their opposition the Hawks teach us this year during the Grand Final?
Well done to the Swans. Keep chipping away, you might share some success like they just did.
The end of a long day, with the Sydney Swans having won their way into the AFL grand final for 2012.
I’m stoked. I’m also tired. I’ve also come home to a place I haven’t been back to for two weeks, on the last day of the school term. I’m sure my weekend will be extremely busy; even though it won’t be the trip to my wifes’ parents’ house which I had been expecting.
So. Even though it’s already late. I’m having an early night.
While I’ve been having a pretty busy year, I have been tangentially following the game as the season progressed. Sydney Swans are still “my team” and the more time I spend in Canberra hearing about “the Giants” rather than “Greater Western Sydney Giants” the less likely it becomes that my overall allegiance will change at all.
As first seasons go, GWS didn’t do too badly.
As football seasons go, Sydney Swans should be quite pleased with themselves. They set goals, and identified plans on how to achieve them. They tracked progress, and celebrated success without taking their eyes off the idea of continuing to improve week on week. All concepts that we should all take, “from the football field, to life”.
I wish the Swans the best of luck and that all their planning and preparation pays off this week as they take on the Magpies at Homebush.
Here we are in September, in Australia that means only one thing…
well, depending on your state that one thing will be one of a few different things!
It is the finals season for the major codes of AFL and NRL. “My” team, adopted relatively late in life, is the Sydney Swans who had a pretty strong season till quite late, which means they were eligible for the finals season but have failed to qualify for a home game.
Away games are hard. Away finals, even harder.
Good luck Swans.
This weekend, also marks the presentation day for my kids junior AFL football team – the St Clair Crows. Hopefully, it will be a great day for all involved – kids and parents.
WTF? I hear.
Yes, it’s day 11 of the 10 day challenge.
A blog a day, for ten days.
My question of course, is, what’s the point, if all I do is follow the bouncing ball?
Why is it that I embarked on a ten day challenge?
It was all about “motivation and inspiration”.
My blogging started as simple lists. It has included lists, prose, images, and video, including music videos. I rediscovered that I can in fact write about anything. I just need the prod in the right direction.
Separated from my family as I am, that inspiration is proving somewhat difficult to chase down. But I am of course chasing that inspiration, the feeling, the Mabo or “the vibe“.
If you’ve followed me for the ride, thanks! I’ve enjoyed chiming in with what has been a pretty random blogging challenge not related to anything much at all. In itself, the blogging challenge didn’t refer me to AFL, Autism, children, parenting or relationships, however these are the themes I found – within myself – through participation in this blogging challenge.
Here we are in August and the mighty St Clair Crows under 10s have one round left. Since commencing our involvement with the Junior AFL, this has been our most arms-length season to date.
About this time last year, I was all but announced as a coach for 2012, when it beck clear that something unusual was going in at work. So it turned out that this year, whole Bec took on the task of getting kids to training mid week, I pretty much took on game-day and to no small extent, laundering of the guernseys (although that has been shared with Bec or the kids to some extent).
Football this year has been a massive undertaking. And that is without getting along to any pro games at all in the inaugural season of the GWS.
But it has been hugely worth it.
The kids football team has been a social link to the community I take myself away from, yet my wife and kids live in day in, day out. I have started to form a few fantastic friendships there, with the ring-in watergirl being at the top of the list.
They have managed to throw us Westies in a spin a few times, with their confused rosters, and giving me jobs to do when I should be spending every single moment watching and interacting with my little BTB Fan. But it’s been great and I’ll probably miss it.
About three weeks after I catch up on my sleep in weekends!
Crack the champaign, I’ve hit the Hundred Club of blogging.
¶ on a totally seperate note, my wife and I are at a point where we would be delighted to hear our youngest swearing, if only he would talk.
At what age should we be how worried about our son pretty much being non-vocal?
SM, if anyone sensibly wants to contact me on this please pass along my details to them.
Posted by: ImaWestie on April 26, 2008 9:36 PM
So as early as April of 2008 – four years ago, just before his third birthday – I was already concerned about my son’s development.
I think my fully bogan alter-ego appeared as I had already had about enough of being concerned about who I was, where I worked, and who my kids are, when I was looking to talk about a range of topics online.
Since that first appearance, I’ve sprouted up on News Limiteds comments section, the Whirlpool technology forum, on a range of games websites, and continued to appear on the Sydney Morning Herald website from time to time.
I also wandered along to the Autism United ning.com community, where I learned so much, and was inspired to record my thoughts, experience and emotions onto blog format. Some of what I wanted to write didn’t fit in amost such a well defined community, so here I came to WordPress.
That puzzle there remains extremely relevant. Tonight, with our dinner, my wife and I celebrated as we used bribery to tempt our youngest son with yoghurt, to get him to eat one (!) pea and one tiny carrot stick. Absolutely smothered in red, tangy, sugery, terrible…. tomato sauce.
But it was a win.
Four and a quarter years down the track, Westie and Mrs Westy are continuing our adventure, hoping we continue to challenge all three of our children, learn more than just what we have to, and expand not just our own horizons but the horizons of our children, too.
Hope to hear more from all of you who like to drop in and “like” my posts without leaving more to let me know what you think. If you have something to add to my writing, to what I know about Autism, being a father or husband, a coach to a junior AFL team, a cyclist or an IT Professional. I’d love to hear it. Because while I might be at my 100th post, that puzzle is far from complete.
Today, things fell into place a bit.
My wife is still unwell, and she had weight watchers this morning (I hear the result was a good one). To make the weekend a bit different, our kids football game has been scheduled for Sunday instead of Saturday, so I had been wondering what would be happening this weekend. But then my parents – who live several hundred kilometers away – told me the other night that they would be in Sydney this weekend.
No matter what I did though, they wouldn’t give me enough detail to actually make any plans.
Then last night while I was driving home my mum rang me and asked what we could all do if they were in Sydney today.
They are driving a brand new Winnebago, which they picked up two weeks ago in Melbourne. So arranging a place to meet them isn’t as straightforward as it could be. Especially given their fantastic knowledge of Sydney and Sydney roads.
Well, after having driven past it too many times, I’d been thinking about dropping into the Western Sydney Parklands – specifically, the Plough and Harrows section (given that the parklands go from Liverpool to Castle Hill).
Turns out, it was a great idea.
The parkland, features some fantastic free electric barbeques, well defined roads which are accessible but not too close to the barbeque and eating areas, great cycleways and walking tracks. These tracks seem to have quite a few drinking fountains, which include bubblers at the top, taps a bit lower, and all the runnoff ends up flowing through a dog water trough at the bottom – which is on a hinge, so if you have your dog with you, you can easily tip out the water that might not be fresh, and replace it.
After meeting my parents there, we had a barbeque , and later my kids had a play while I chatted a bit more with my parents. My kids had an absolute ball on the flying fox, while the boys and I also made good use of some of those bike tracks. Eventually, we headed home. We’re currently planning for my parents to catch my eldest two kids playing Australian Rules football for the St Clair Crows tomorrow, at the home ground in St Clair.
The afternoon was a not-quite-flurry of activity, with my current travelling to work in Canberra there is not a lot of down time in Westy Central.
Then dinner, with my wife “throwing together” a lazy three seperate meals in one night – which around here is “almost normal”, one weightwatchers friendly meal, three mainstream meals, and one spectrummy friendly meal most easily described as “colourless food in isolated piles” such as boiled rice, grilled chicken, and plain pasta seperately on a plate.
A pretty big day, all told, really.
Especially it turns out, for an eight-year-old boy, who happens to have Autism.
One little part of the day that is supposed to just work like clockwork is bedtime.
No matter what happens in the day, you can rely on what happens at night.
Bathtime, dinner time, “yoghurt time?”, brush your teeth, go to bed. Repeat this more frequently the more tired and frustrated you feel, it will do wonders for the emotions of anyone around you (or not).
Somewhere between “brush your teeth” and “go to bed”, there is supposed to be a “horsey ride“.
Except tonight, the shitstorm got real, and I outright ordered all three children to bed. They were ready, they were just all orbitting some other planet.
So today, instead of having a wonderful end to the day with Magpie reading to his brother Bob the Builder Fan, we finished with a meltdown by the youngest Westie, alone in his bed, cying about the horsey ride he never got to give his brother.
We now have this under control, and he seems to be settled in to go peacefully to sleep. We are blessed there, really.