Tag Archives: Social

Why I’m not looking forward to my toddler starting school

8 Oct

Who said it was meant to be easy.

They stand in little groups chatting to one another about their wonderful children. They sound as though they are almost in competition, yet desperate to impress one another.

Do I wish I was stood there with them. One of the mums who gets invited around the chief mummy’s house for a cuppa and a biscuit… No, not even for one minute!

Its strange, we see these social gatherings happening when we were at school! Yet some 15 years on its almost the same. Even stranger still is the fact that half of these social gatherings consists of the exact same people only older. They are now mothers themselves yet still raise their snobby little noses just as they did when we where teenagers.

I can’t sit here and label all mothers in this way… After all I know I’m not. And I’ve seen others who give a friendly smile and a node as they walk on by. But on the whole they keep themselves to themselves.

I have nothing against the mother who easily befriends every other child’s mother in their child’s class! However I do have something against the ones who make the business of other mothers their own and everybody else’s for that matter. Worse still they never normally seem to get the gossip quite right, resulting in some top notch bull shit or another flying around the community you live in.

I once read in the paper about two mothers kicking off at the school gates with their children present and of course everyone else’s. One mother was so badly attacked she was hospitalised while the other was taken of to the cells for some cooling off time. Another horrendous story I saw splashed all over the national news was that of a father attacking another father during their children’s Christmas production. The guy actually bit of the other guys finger and spat it out like some sick animal. I only hope they got the children out of sight because that’s the stuff of nightmares.

I’m not worried about having my finger bite of or anything (though that wouldn’t be fun) I’m just expressing my point which is “School playgrounds can be hellish places, not just for the pupils but for that of their parents too!”

So… Why am I banging on about all this now?

It’s simple… I’m already fretting about the day that will come and see my youngest child take that giant leap into education. His now almost 3 years old, and the time so far has just flown by. Before I know it I’ll be there… And again i’ll be stood in the playground with a new group of mums.

20121008-134937.jpgmy youngest Harley almost 3

As regular readers will already know, When it comes to schools I seem to always have some kind of crappy issue. History is my proof.

I know that my eldest child being on the autism spectrum meant he didn’t fit in with his “Typical” peers and this therefore meant that I as his mother failed to fit in with their “Typical” mothers. Well, lets be honest here… I never overly tried! Friendships just happen and don’t need to be pushed (some need work but these are existing ones). If I don’t instantly click with someone then its 98% chance I never will.

20121008-135343.jpg

I remember when we’d be stood waiting in the infant playground for the bell to ring indicating the start of the school day. Up in-till that point, little man would be running around like a rabbit with headlights. He’d bump into everything and everyone. Some may think… “And what? Isn’t this what boys do?” And to a certain extent, yes it is! However, little man had no regard for boundaries. He’d just roar into another’s conversation… Speak his mind and therefore say the most inappropriate things (normally stuff I’d actually be thinking but never likely to say aloud). He’d run and grab footballs from the ground while others tried to play a game and many peers therefore saw him as a really big pain in the butt! Me, I’d be dashing about after him like a crazed headless chicken, failing miserably at any attempt to catch him let alone control him. Mothers would stare, some shaking their heads and tutting, others turning to their friends in disgust. Whenever Little man dared attempt to approach their child they’d quickly be dragged away and warned “Don’t play with that child, you hear me?”

I hate it when parents act like my child is some sort of diseased being. They look at him like his some little demon child who could potentially convert their child into something similar. I used to let the ignorant stares upset me and remember that at one stage what others thought meant a big deal to me. But in all honesty you cannot spend each waking day like this. Yes you can advocate for your child but running after every parent who looks at you slightly funny probably means you’ll be spending most of your life running. Yes, I’d be a lot fitter but I don’t fancy it all the same.

So, there you have it! This is one of my many reasons I’m dreading the toddler starting school. I just wished he stay little forever.

20121008-134721.jpgLittle man just about to melt down.

Get Your Skates On

10 Jan

 Just because my son has Aspergers Syndrome and special educational needs, it doesn’t mean he can’t do all the things your child can do! OK, a handful of those “Things” are that bit more difficult, but he gets there all the same!

 Sometimes, I often find myself saying the above to Little man, a child who has lost confidence, through no fault of his own! This is a child who needs that push, a gentle reminder that everything is worth a try. 

 It’s not just the fact that Little man missed out on many trips and activities while attending mainstream school (though this has had a considerable impact) it’s also little man’s social and physical abilities that also play a part. 

 So, when I won tickets for a family trip to the Stratford City, Westfields outdoor ice rink, I knew Little man would struggle if but a little. 

 The great thing was that I actually bagged two lots of family tickets…well, 3 lots actually, all on different blogs that I read! I was delighted to discover I had won the first lot, then I was informed by yet another blogger, id won her competition too. This set I gave up for another lovely blogger and her family who had also entered, but then to discover from yet another blogger that I won a third time was absolutely great if not a little strange. With this revaluation, I decided to invite the neighbours along too.

 Both my older children, Little man and his sister Alice-Sara, are gone friends with the children next door (in all honesty one of the children is Little man’s one and only true friend) so, I hoped that this would make the whole experience of getting out on the ice, a little less daunting for the Little guy, and it did… eventually!

 Don’t get me wrong, there was no meltdowns, not one in fact (I know… shocking) it was more little man’s OT needs that posed a challenge! My son is what some would describe as a little clumsy, which is basically down to his gross motor skills! Yes, he can ride a bike, amazingly well in fact, but he often has a little trouble with his spatial awareness (knowing where his body is in space) his balance, can sometimes be a little off at times too. This impacted with the crowded ice rink would undoubtably pose a challenge, this I already knew.

 Yet, the fact he had his friends there and the sheer determination within him, saw him past the challenges that presented him, and as a result, I ended up a very proud mummy!

Above: All friends together on the Ice

 The staff at Westfields couldn’t have been more helpful, I didn’t notify them that a child with Special needs would be joining us (a group of 8 consisting of 2 adults and six children) but all the same I felt the staff went out of their way to help. There was one point when the little man started freaking out that his skates were not tight enough (he has this thing where shoes need doing up dead tightly, he states it’s so his feet have control of his shoes and not the other way around) Yes, it’s another OT thing)! The staff on the ice were amazing, rushing out to check he was OK and bending down on all fours to tighten his skates. 

 When we first stepped on to the ice, I noted how my daughter and her friends went whizzing of into the middle of the rink, as grateful as I am to have such a confident young daughter, I did feel some sadness for my Little man as he clung to the edge as if his whole life depended on it. He looked at me with fear in his eyes as he stated he just couldn’t do it! I continuously reassured him and bit by bit he came slowly away from the edge.

My daughter & friend first one of the first on the ice

Hanging on for dear lifeThinking about it!Off he goes

 I found my biggest confidence booster for the little guy was, once the rink filled with more and more people I happily pointed out that he wasn’t the only one clung to the edge of the rink (Seriously, it was mostly the full-grown men, hanging on for dear life). Little man, is like lots of children of his age, where he feel incredibly stupid if he struggles to do something that others are finding a breeze, therefore seeing all those grown ups looking like they were hanging from a cliff, seemed to stop him from giving up and making his way back in to redeem his comfortable trainers. (Yes, he tried suggest it once or twice.)

 We were on the ice around 45 minutes and despite his fear, he made it to the middle of the rink! To watch him skating with his friends and smiling having fun, has been the highlight to my year so far… all ten days of it!

Standing proudly with his friend at the centre of the rink

 So… what about me, did I fall on my arse? Nope! Though I almost did once or twice, I just about managed to stay on my feet. 

 I was convinced the skating finished at 6pm, though I was wrong, the last session actually started at 6 pm, meaning the skating didn’t end till 7 pm. With this I gave in defeat and left the Little man and Alice Sara with their friends and their mother (my lovely neighbour) while I headed off to collect my comfortable flat shoes and off it for a sneaky fag 🙂

 Little man was having a blast and now didn’t want to leave. I decided to sit out and just watch for the last hour (my excuse was that I was now a photographer, or at least trying to be)! Though I really shouldn’t admit this, sitting on the sidelines gave me a good opportunity to view some classic skating fails! Wow… Seriously, though I see a couple of women hit the deck, and of course a good number of children (my own included) I have never seen so many men fall over in one place in my whole entire life.And Oops a daisy

 How can you not laugh, there were some classics. Plenty of men, one or two rather dishy I must add, skating around on their butts rather than their skates! Did I feel guilty for laughing so much that my sides were sores? No… not really, they all seemed to see the funny of things, eventually!

 All in all… we had a brilliant time which was all down to them fabulous blogs that ran the competitions, (thank you Essex mum , Madhouse reviews & Emma and three) as well as those who took care of our needs at the skating rink.Alice & FriendOne of the Little man’s friends from next door

 Essex mummy (one of the bloggers I won tickets from) has asked me if I fancy doing a guest post reviewing our experience, we had such a fabulous time it would be rude to decline (so, do keep an eye out for that). 

 For those interested, the rink is now closed but will return again next year for the festive season. We went on the last day before it packed up for the year and considering I thought that I had Christmas well and truly out my system, the festive christmas tunes and chilly ice made it feel like Christmas Eve again. I think January is a brilliant time to go, and I would highly recommend the Stratford City Westfields Outdoor Ice rink.

 Oh… and Little man? He now wants roller-blades! 

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