As is becoming my way, I wrote this in response to a message from a friend and it sums up where we are at nicely.
So, I honestly cannot think of anything that we have been doing in particular that is noteworthy but I do know that I am utterly EXHAUSTED!
Half-term turned out to be quite busy I guess with a couple of trips to woods (mushroom hunting and tracking and then making wands and pixie dust), some shopping with mum for my birthday (Fly boots rock!) and then some friends visiting here and there (one day I had 8 children in the house...arghhhhh!).
I guess I am doing ok but I am still a little lonely. It sucks not having anyone to pick up the slack when I'm tired or stressed out. At the end of a bad day what I would not give to have someone to chat to about what happened. What I would not give to have someone bring me a coffee in the morning, just sometimes. I do begin to go a little crazy inside my own mind some days.
This especially applies after Dominik or Lily meltdown and I've used up all my energy (which is usually at a pretty high level!) sorting them out and then there are still Harriet and Hannon to support in the aftermath.
Yesterday in particular was bad. Dominik has been having serious trouble sleeping again (we're talking between 4 and 6 am to fall asleep) so yesterday, when we had to get to parkour for 1pm, he was shattered and not in any fit state to get through it. I was dreading it before we got out of the door as he insisted on wearing his new trainers despite not having even worn them in the house yet! Yup, setting himself up for the inevitable fall.
He had the most massive public meltdown he has had in a very long time (so long in fact that I can't recall the last time) and it was spectacular.
Swearing, kicking, shouting, punching and crying all at the top of his very loud voice in a very small gym.
It was all because he could not agree with the other children where his place in the line was and then, because they all disagreed with him, he felt that they were bullying him. It was heartbreaking trying to explain to him that it wasn't bullying and that it really wasn't that important. But, as those of you with Autistic children already know, this is a fruitless endeavour because it was not as he needed it to be in order to manage.
They all said his spot was somewhere different (because he had left the line to speak to me and change his shoes) to where he had begun and he just could not manage at all with that yesterday. This has never happened before and Dominik has been going to parkour since September so that is an indicator of just how bad he was feeling. It has highlighted to me just how massive his needs are when we are not in 'optimum state'. It has also been kind of a 'blessing' as I have the dreaded DLA paperwork sat in my kitchen waiting to be completed. Sigh. What a soul destroying job that is.
On to Lily then. She is pretty dire too right now. She is having trouble sleeping also. Not quite as bad as Dominik, but about 2 am. She is grumpy, argumentative and easily stressed most of the time if things are not kept calm, predictable and as she likes them to be. This is perhaps even more tiring than Domink if I'm honest. She will not be rushed, she will not be told what to do and she will not participate in anything aside from riding lessons.
I think before Harriet arrived this was fine because when they were up all night, I would be too! We would do all the things we would usually do during the day, at night instead so I felt ok about everything.
But now, obviously, Harriet gets up at around 7 am and I need to be up then too. I have to get to sleep before midnight or I cannot function at all and I start becoming more Aspie by the day and meltdown left right and centre over things that are just not that important (like a crumb on the worktop or a shoe on the floor) . This does not happen when I am doing well! Having the two of them going through a rough patch at the same time is pushing me to my very limit that is for sure.
Hannon however is AMAZING (thank goodness). He is excelling at parkour. Loving his running machine. Utterly focussed on becoming strong, fit and healthy. He is still programming his games with aplomb. He is now learning how to do some video editing and working on improving his spelling, grammar and punctuation (although he doesn't know that!) through his video uploading and responding to peoples comments.
Harriet too is AMAZING! She is above the 75%ile and growing beautifully. She is cruising, landing on her bum, kneeling up, clapping, waving, blowing kisses, almost standing alone and generally enjoying her new found communication skills. She is happy and content, loves being read to and enjoys playing with her big brothers and sister more than me! She also loves to eat although still prefers the breast!
I have just taught myself some basic crochet skills so have made Harriet some leggings and am making her a matching bonnet now. Feeling proud of that!
So, there you have it! Not a bed of roses but still ticking along.
On a final note, I am going to be doing some informal chats at The Avenue support group next week which is from 12.30-2.30 pm on Tuesday, November 17th at The Pentecostal Church, Crab Lane, Biggleswade, Beds, SG18 0LN. If you would like to come along and have a chat please book by sending an email to - firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading,