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Raising little Westies, and life as parent of a special needs son
Today was a bit of a big one at Westie Central. For the first day since I came home from working in Canberra, Bec had to work, leaving me with all three kids all at once. Which of course is a Big Deal for a dad, even though I’m one of the first to say if they are my kids it’s parenting not babysitting.
There has been far too much electronic time happening in our place since Christmas (or even since Magpie’s birthday). Yesterday I thought that Bec’s return to work was a perfect opportunity to do something about that. So the kids were put on notice that once I returned from my own run, they would be coming with me for a run. So I ran my lap of the suburb, did a few chores and we hit the pavement.
There is a very convenient landmark which is almost exactly 1km from our front gate, which is right on the path of a running track. So all of us headed for that landmark (it’s a bridge), me leading he way with BTB Fan and the dogs. Given the dogs had already finished about 8km, Howie was still eager to go while Lizzie was a bit over it. Yet in only a small fraction longer a time than my standard time, there I was at that bridge with BTB Fan and two dogs.
About a minute later up came Princess P.
Several minutes later again… Magpie finally staggered up. Grumbling about not being at home.
My understanding is the run home was quicker by all parties – except me, who at this point was pushing 10km for the day, and had mown the lawn as well…
Later we headed off to the pool. Both Magpie and Princess P had been told point blank that they would be requried to swim a lap of the full size outdoor pool, because with all the pool time they have had they have spent none of it improving their swimming. I take responsibility for that, but I will reqiure them to put some effort into improving the situation in my own way, if they don’t fix it themselves.
This was accomodated quite readily by Princess P. But somewhere it seems the message had not filtered all the way into Magpie’s head.
As a result… he was less prepared than I had thought he was.
So I had my first in-pool meltdown. In front of some of his school friends, as well as a lifeguard…. Which ended with him swimming his first ever lap of the Olympic pool, back-stroke. Well done mate! At which point I told him that he needed to do it “freestyle” (meaing “front crawl“), and we had another meltdown. In the pool. But again, I perservered, and he swum the lap in the stroke I expected him to use, albeit freaking out and grabbing the lane rope every three to ten strokes.
At the end of it all, he was glad he’d done it, though.
Later, I went through much the same with my littlest Westie, “swimming” (with me supporting his hips) two lengths of the outdoor childrens pool.
Not the best trip to the pool for us. We had been going so well before Christmas, too, but with our routine broken… it was as good an opportunity to establish the routine I need these kids to follow, if they want me to take them to the pool every day while it’s hot and I’m not working.
Stretching our boundaries will bring some growth. One way or another.
Well it seems we are still here so unless that was a spiritual or emotional end of the world, they were wrong.
As has been stated, the Mayans seem to have successfully predicted the end of employment for a bunch of people I have been working with. I’m too tired to get over that quickly I think, but I should be fine by the time 2013 rolls around.
Today is the 22nd of December. A Saturday. Three days before Christmas. and I am taking one child diagnosed with Autism and his two siblings – one under assessment for Autism – to the shops.
Great question. There are a few answers.
Autism should not rule you put of experiences. It should not be an excuse to opt out of every experience you are not 100% equipped to deal with right now. But parents should be right there to support monitor and intervene.
On top of that. I’m time poor this side of Christmas. That is not my preference but comparing the certain money available last week with the uncertain money available next year it was not s difficult choice.
I will take some pics. There will be more to follow. I will celebrate my kids success. I may also mourn if it becomes too much.
It seems at the age of Seven years, my youngest son is getting into role-playing, imaginative play and cooperative play. This is the scene I had in front of me this evening, as Better Homes and Gardening was discussing constructing a concrete path out came the Bob the Builder toys including Tumbler the premix concrete truck.
And now the Angry Birds are joining in …
So we’ve come away to Berrara Beach Holiday Chalets at Berrara for a getaway. Gotta say that even with no Internet coverage, and without some of the items I had suggested we might need, I’m having a great time.
As somebody who has now lived in Sydney for 15 years, this place is TINY. I have become very used to convenience, and I hadn’t really noticed. Yet for the first 17 years of my life, convenience was 25 km away.
It has surprised me how used to convenience I have become, although I usually plan well enough to not be so reliant on things being available to buy at just the moment I want them.
Anyway, I’ve got some important relaxing to do, so I’ll catch you all next week.
For something different, I’m writing today about what lies ahead of me. Right now, it’s Sunday, 10:30 am, and I’m yet to leave my bedroom.
I’m still not feeling on the top of my game, last week really was not kind to me.
Today, I’m going to let my family know what needs to be done, and I’m going to take BTB Fan to the pool. He has been asking to go each day since the last time I took him, but it has not been a priority.
We have been busy. But we each deserve to BE the priority, some of the time.
He gave Bec and I the whole day yesterday. He can have my whole day in response, today.