What I meant was…

Just thought I’d better let you know…for those of you who read my ‘dear neighbour’ post, that I actually have some wonderful neighbours and that the only person who is actually concerned with all the screaming coming out of my house – is me.

It is one of the wonders of the internet that, even though I deleted this post, the morning after I’d written it, that for those of you who are subscribed, you are still able to access it – even though I can’t. Mysterious.

Anyway, we are all fine and in fact had a fabulous weekend which was made even more wonderful by L who is wee’ing in the toilet like a professional, having virtually no accidents and only using a nappy at night. Words can’t describe how happy that makes me. I could just scream!

 

 

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Who Was Rude?

Ok people, I need your input here. I had an interesting moment today, one that got the blood simmering for about a minute.

I took the three boys on a shopping expedition. First we had lunch (Hanichi japanese curry – which the 2 older boys love), followed by a successful toileting adventure (first day ever where L did not wear a nappy at all AND had no accidents – sweet!!!!) then a little shopping. So not too long in the mouth of the beast (suburban shopping mall).

When we go shopping I chose to use a single stroller for N, put the baby in a sling and L walks. I’ve tried all kinds of combinations and this one is the easiest while the baby isn’t too heavy. Anyway, it was a stinking hot afternoon and we were just back to the car when I heard a horn beeping behind me. I turned around and an older woman was gesturing at me. I had no idea what she was going on about, I hadn’t dropped anything, I didn’t know her, so I turned back to start unloading. She beeped again.

I was hot and had been schlepping my 9k sleeping bub around and just wanted to get the kids in the car and turn the air-con up high. So when I turned around (not easy since I had two titanium rods inserted on either side of my spine 18 months ago) and she was waving at me to walk over to her car about 15meters away. This is how it transpired:

Me: “What do you want? Can’t you see I’ve got three little children here? If you want something from me, come over to ME.’ Her: ‘Well!!! I WAS going to offer you a double pram that I have in the car’. Me: ‘I would never have known that by the way you were beeping me.’ Her: ‘Well I can’t leave my car’ Me: shrug and continue getting the kids in the car. Her: drives away in a huff.

What got me all riled up was that she obviously thought I should be incredibly grateful for her fabulous generosity. Now, I know I’m a bit of a slob and I definitely do not dress up to go shopping, but if I wanted a double pram I would go and buy one. She was mad at me – for what? Not wanting her cast offs? I’m trying to get rid of my junk, not add to my seemingly insurmountable pile.

Anyway, what do you think? Was I rude? Or was she?

P.S.: Ruth – I drove past you as you were walking away from the centre – almost beeped you, but was already well past you by the time I realised it was you! Lucky I didn’t given what happened above!

 

 

Pool Party

I took my little gang to a birthday party today. J turned 5 and so his lovely ma & pa invited a few of his friends from ‘school’ over to share in the celebrations. The last kids birthday party we went to was about 12 months ago and was not a wild success with my little darling pushing the birthday boy (recently out of hospital) down the back stairs. I saw it all happen from a short distance away and it was like a slow motion car crash that you could do nothing to stop. Lucky there was no major damage and after profuse apologies and a lot of sighing from me, we left shortly after.

So today I took a moment to reflect on how things have progressed over the last year. When we arrived, L was able to participate in saying hi and in handing over the birthday present. Then he proceeded to play, with distant supervision, on the bouncing castle, keeping his hands to himself and not worrying if there were other bigger, noisy kids in the same space.

It was sweltering hot today so having three little boys to manage was not going to keep me out of the water, no matter what. When we moved into the pool area, I took a deep breath – N (21 months) loves the water and would happily walk straight into the deep end. L has been having one on one swimming lessons for a year, so he has some basic water skills plus he is a bit more wary of the water. I was hoping the baby would have a bottle and go to sleep – which he did. I was in the water so fast and N was beyond happy. L circled the edge, not keen to get in, but wanting to be close to me. He eventually made it in and after an initial bout of tears, settled in and had some fun.

All the families at the party have at least one child on the spectrum – so everyone was managing their kids in their own ways and generally having a lovely time. I’m used to getting lots of funny looks about the noisemaking or the lack of language or the dummy on a chain obsession, but there was none of that feeling of being observed today. I think everyone felt that extra level of relaxation and acceptance.

So we had a lot of fun (no party games, no treat bags), N didn’t drown, we ate cake (green dinosoar chocolate) and J had a lot of fun at his party. We got home exhausted, had an early dinner and now blissful, deserved sleep for my little crew. Twelve months can certainly make a big difference.

 

To Be Continued…

When a friend dies you know that no matter how keenly you feel their loss, that their partners and children are feeling that very particular pain more intensely.

I promised my friend to keep her in their lives in the years ahead. I don’t think that this will require any work whatsoever because my dear friend was such an amazing presence in their lives and will alway be. But keeping her in my life? I’m not quite sure what that will involve, though I am starting to get an idea.

I have her art in every room of my house, her photos in my collection, we shared a very individual taste in music and we also share some very precious people but I will miss our idle chit chat about every non-important thing and endless idea swapping along with so many other things.

I might take up the age old craft of letter writing, so that I can keep telling her what I think. I might increase my creative output and I might take an annual holiday in her honour. So many ways to acknowledge her and share with her. It’s a new phase in our friendship. I’m trying to look forward to it.

Your Flight Is Boarding

I’m off to Sydney to contemplate other people’s navels. Yes, I’m assessing music grants. I know what it is like to put your heart and soul into a grant application to wait with baited breath for several months to get a reply. So when I do this assessing business I am not a soul-less arts bureaucrat who has forgotten how important each and every effort and person and project is.

The life of an artist is a hard, lonely road. Keeping your eye on the joyful pleasure that took you to the start of the journey and meanwhile applying the craft and technique that you build over time is a tightrope act of the highest order.

This week I lost a dear friend who managed that balance beautifully. A wonderful human who made my life better for being in it. So here’s to you buddy, you’re efforts will be helping me through the next couple of days.

A Big Week

It has been a big week for all of us, but the bigness I want to tell you about is my darling little boy. Last week he:

  • made his first sentence ‘I want dummy!’ (see below)
  • did 3 wee’s in the toilet on the one day
  • is using his words more spontaneously
He has also been:
  • climbing (woke up to find him straddling the window sill and he keeps climbing up onto the cupboard so that he can go nose to nose with the faces on the tv screen mounted on the wall)
  • eating – trying a few items not usually acceptable
  • playing with others – yes, really
Don’t get me wrong, he has lots of challenges (and therefore so do I) on a daily basis. He is totally obsessed with a dummy on a chain at the moment, wanting to hold it up to the light and flick it endlessly. I’m trying to find an appropriate replacement for this but no luck yet (it’s got to have the perfect set of attributes to win him over). But I’m so excited for him to be making all this progress in so many areas.