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My Sunday Photo 17.6.18

17 Jun



School SEND Provision – Beginning the fight for my child

19 Mar

Today a report from the charity Austica revealed that premature deaths amongst autistic people are at disturbing levels, with certain groups with the condition dying a staggering 30 years younger than the general population.

Perhaps even more distressing are the high rates of suicide amongst autistic people, with those possessing no learning difficulties being nine times more likely to die from suicide when compared to the rest of the population.

As a mother of a recently diagnosed autistic child, this report makes frightening reading, and at this point I can’t help wondering how much stress and mental health issues might have contributed to these untimely deaths. The stress of being expected to act “normal” and conform in a neuro-typical world.

At age 6, my son has already suffered an unacceptable level of stress for my liking. Particularly in the school environment.

The stress of trying and failing to understand and fit in with his peers. The stress of the busy and noisy classroom, which does not sit well with his sensory processing disorder. The stress of sitting still for prolonged periods of time when his hyposensitive areas require constant movement to satisfy his sensory craving. The stress of the rapid fire pace at which he is required to learn, and the high volume of work he is required to complete on a daily basis – all the more challenging for a child with thought processing and short term memory issues. And yet despite his difficulties, he is currently expected to just “get on with it” and knuckle down like every other normal child. To learn in precisely the same way and to churn out the same outstanding results.

The stress he, as a young boy, is under feels a catastrophic failure.

I know he is a bright boy. I have his autism assessment report to prove it:

  • 97th percentile in the maths assessment – age equivalent of an 8 year old
  • 89th percentile in his spelling assessment – age equivalent of a 7.7 year old
  • 79th percentile in his reading assessment – age equivalent of a 7.3 year old

… to name but a few areas.

And yet, just a few days after receiving this report, I was sat in his teacher’s classroom being told that if he didn’t “buck up” in his Maths and English (handwriting) he would not meet the national standards required at the end of the year.

I listened to them tell me that despite my son obviously knowing the answers to almost every maths question, they are not impressed by his inability to write down his calculations in his workbook. The fact he uses dots to show his addition, when they only permit it for multiplication or division. The fact that when he has to sit a timed test he will not have time to draw dots.

I listened to them tell me that his handwriting is sloppy, that he rushes and unless he has a teaching assistant sat next to him, they are wasting their time. That he needs to start consistently using capital letters, finger spaces, commas, full stops and the correct flicks/leads to join all his letters. The insinuation was that he was slacking.

But in taking this simplistic and neuro-typical view, I fear they are missing the many subtle yet significant difficulties my son possesses and in doing so are placing even more stress on him and missing the opportunity to realise his true potential.

How would you deal with learning to write if you suffered from thought processing delay and short term memory problems? How would you deal with remembering and processing multiple instructions to include capital letters, full stops, commas, flicks, leads, finger spaces (and next week exclamation marks!) if you found it difficult to remember single instructions? And how easy would you find this requirement if your need for constant sensory input meant you struggled to sit still for more than a few seconds at a time and you found the noise of your peers, the lights and sounds of the classroom distracting and even painful? Wouldn’t you rush? Would you find it easy?

They wanted to send him home with more homework until he improves. They want to keep him in at playtimes to practice until he meets the required standards.

I said “no”.

My 6 year old boy doesn’t need MORE homework. He needs more space and time to be a child. More space to unwind from the stress and pressure of a school environment that pushes him to achieve so much so fast . And more support at school from people who understand his differences and needs.

So having won the battle to have him diagnosed, here is where my next fight begins. The fight for a suitable education, for his right to reach his potential, for his right to be understood, supported and accepted for who he is, not for who they want him to be.

I understand that his diagnosis is just a few months old, and that his school and everyone who know him need time and help to adjust. But I’m impatient for change. I’m impatient to provide my son the happiest and healthiest future possible. One where he never ever becomes part of a terrifying statistic.

When things go right – A Sunny Sunday

21 Sep

Today I just had to write. Because today was so rare.

It was just so right. And I’m buzzing.

The last few weeks have been shitty. So so shitty at home.

Since my biggest boy has gone back to school, his behaviour has again deteriorated dramatically at home. His tolerance for the smallest of requests has plummeted and we have once more become his literal and metaphorical punch bag.

The evenings and weekends have been tough. I’ve screamed myself hoarse out of sheer frustration at times as our previous strategies have failed and meltdowns have again become an everyday event.

I know I’ve messed up now and then and been a frightful grump, but it’s hard to think clearly when chaos crowds your judgement. The screaming, the throwing, the punching, the growling… it drives me to distraction.

But today was different.

Today was such fun.

The weather was on our side and we took full advantage.

A trip to Hyde Park. One of my favourite hang outs.

Sure, coaxing the big little man to get ready was a challenge. He couldn’t help but avoid. But I was ready with ideas, and he can rarely resist a race. So off we ran.

Once we arrived at the park, the under 3’s play area was our first destination. A treat for the littlest boy, with big bro as guardian and playmate.


Next, the pirate ship. Sun and sand.

image image

Then over to the other side – ice creams and ice lollies for the journey.

A race along the Serpentine…..


A wander through the trees……


A roll on the grass


and an adventure in the playground.

image image

Smiles and laughter from my eldest and squeals of joy from the youngest.

Calm contentment filled my soul.

I felt alive, I felt free, I felt like a family.

Of course the meltdowns resurfaced at bedtime. It was inevitable. But they pale into insignificance when compared to those 4 precious hours where we all got it right.

And for that, I feel good.

First Month Fog – Part 1: Birth Story

30 Aug

Last week my little man was one month old.

We made it! We are all still alive!

I’d say I can’t believe it’s arrived already, but in truth, it’s been a long old month. A lot has happened. In fact too much to fit into one post, so since I know there are people waiting, I’ll start with the day of his birth.

The day of his birth was largely an adrenalin fuelled haze, and despite the preplanned nature of my elective c section and the knowledge that my littlest man was going to arrive safely into this world after such a torturous pregnancy, I was a bag of nerves about the procedure itself. After all, I’d never had a baby through surgery before, so this was all rather new to me.

We arrived at the hospital promptly at 7am and were immediately ushered into our room where the midwife showed us around and took some basic observations. Shortly afterwards we were visited by my consultant who explained what would happen and asked me to sign my consent forms.

We were thankfully first on the list for theatre, and would therefore make our way down to the waiting area within 30 minutes. Up until that point I had managed to fill my head only with excitement about the impending birth of my boy, we had waited so long, but as we sat awaiting our cue to enter the theatre, my first thoughts of fear crept in regarding the epidural. During my first birth (natural) my epidural was administered whilst I was experiencing excruciating contractions, I was practically begging them to stick the drainpipe like tube in my spine, but on this occasion it would be totally different… I was of sound mind, not in pain… Shit! I would feel everything. Oh god, oh god, oh god….. Deep breaths.

After a brief chat with the anaesthetist, we were escorted into theatre. First the anaesthetist attempted to insert a cannula into my left hand. No luck, vein not cooperating (probably the fact I was dehydrated and hungry from 12 hours of fasting before the procedure). After a rather painful failed attempt she moved to the other hand and hit jackpot a little too well, spraying me and my gown with blood.

As the consultant entered the room she immediately quizzed him about my blood results, and he confirmed that they had come back and were all normal apart from slight anaemia, but not out of the ordinary for late pregnancy. The two of them then had a respectful tussle over the implications, the anaesthetist suggesting increased blood loss…. A professional debate if you will, while I quietly freaked out over whether I might bleed to death on the table.

Once their discussion was over, the anaesthetist began the epidural. She leant me forward, inserted the local anaesthetic into my spine… It stung but I was determined not to flinch. She then inserted the epidural tube into my spine and began to feed the anaesthetic in. My legs began to turn warm and my feet tingled, a familiar sensation to my last and all on track. At this point they lifted my legs onto the operating table and positioned me for the procedure before attaching the curtain in front of my chest to prevent me seeing the gory details.

Ever thorough, the anaesthetist began to explain how she would test my readiness, producing a bottle of cold spray and squirting me at strategic points to see how numb I was. I panicked when I could still feel her touching me on my legs, but she explained that it was normal at this stage to feel touching and pressure, but no pain. She asked if I was ready, and as much as I was trying to stay upbeat and calm, I was finding it hard to breathe.

Like really hard. My chest felt under immense pressure, I just couldn’t get any air in. I told the anaesthetist who seemed surprised but unfazed. She passed me an oxygen mask and placed it over my face. I tried to take deep breaths, but couldn’t. As I began to panick, she reassured me that my oxygen levels were normal, and therefore, despite feeling unable to breathe, I was breathing just fine.

As I remained agitated, the consultant suggested that they begin the c section as he felt I would breathe easier once the weight of the baby was removed. I nodded nervously, and feeling claustrophobic, wrenched the oxygen mask from my face.

The procedure itself was quick and straightforward. The anaesthetist informed me what was happening at each stage. I felt pushing and tugging… Perhaps just a little too strongly at times, and at 9.46am my beautiful boy was born. He came out frowning and screaming to air his displeasure at the man holding him aloft, and was immediately placed onto my chest, where he promptly weed. Troublemaker.

I was so relieved to see him pink and well I didn’t notice. I also no longer noticed any difficulty with my breathing, I simply wept with joy.

After a short while, he was removed by the midwife and taken to be weighed. 7lb 15oz. My hubby and I cheered. We had guessed 8lb only the day before. Not bad.

He was returned to my husband and photos taken while the operation was completed.

A short while later, we were wheeled to the recovery area where we remained for several hours so the nurses could check my blood pressure, temperature and bleeding and top my epidural up to maintain my pain relief.

By this point, little man was screaming. The nurse suggested I try to breastfeed him. I agreed and spent an hour trying to encourage him to latch on. It didn’t work. Determined to remain upbeat and calm, I tried over and over, but my little boy was not having it. Eventually, after what felt like an eternity, a midwife came in to see why the baby was still screaming.

Clearly looking for some peace, she grabbed his head and rather brutally rammed it down towards my chest, placing my breast roughly into his mouth. Poor sod had only once choice… Suck or suffocate, so he desperately began sucking. “There we are!” she exclaimed triumphantly, and promptly exited the cubicle.

Once fed, we dressed him for the first time, (surprisingly difficult after 5 years) took photos to announce the birth, and placed him in a cot to sleep.

It was then I realised I was ravenous. I was also required to take numerous tablets, I suspect they were painkillers but I have no idea, so I sent hubby off to the hospital cafe to buy chocolate and drinks.

I scoffed it down, and shortly before I was returned to the ward the nurse topped up my epidural for the third and final time.

I was elated that the procedure was over and I could now recuperate in my room with my long awaited cooked lunch, but as I was wheeled into the lift clutching my newborn, I couldn’t help but notice that my face and eyes were massively swollen. I looked bloated and tired.

When I arrived in the room, my lunch was immediately served. I eagerly began to tuck in, but after just two mouthfuls I started to feel dizzy and nauseous. I was flushing hot and cold, unsure of whether I would throw up my lunch or faint. Midwives swarmed round with blood pressure monitors and thermometers to urgently check my obs. My blood pressure had dropped. What happened next is hazy.

Later that afternoon my blood pressure returned to normal, I was plied with paracetamol, and every midwife on the ward attempted to get my baby to latch on and breastfeed, without success. In the end, I was taught how to hand express into a syringe. I collected 1 whole millilitre. This was fed to baby and the midwives suggested I top him up with a bottle. He guzzled on it greedily.

By evening, my mum and dad visited with balloons and flowers, bringing my eldest son to meet his baby brother for the first time. He was so enthusiastic, we had to stop him from climbing into the crib and squeezing the little one to death. His excitement peaked when he found the welcome gifts that baby had left for him. This little brother is so generous! He only stayed for a short while as a hospital room was no entertainment for him and I was beginning to experience more discomfort as the epidural wore off.

By night time I was in excruciating pain. I felt as if my insides were contracting and that someone was stabbing me with a knife. I tried to move into a more comfortable position, but my stomach had no strength and my legs were still partially numb and felt heavy, like lead. I woke my husband and cried out for help. The midwife on duty, a kind but non nonsense lady came into the room and explained that I was likely experiencing after pains as my womb contracted back to its former size, and that my bowel felt hard as if in spasm from the trauma of the operation.

I was plied with paracetamol, tramadol, and peppermint essence in hot water to numb the pain and relax the bowel.

Sometime later, the cocktail of drugs kicked in and I fell asleep until baby woke me for the first of many night feeds we would share over the next month.

Post Comment Love

Happy Birthday Angel

5 Nov

Today should be your birthday. But you are not here.

You didn’t make it.

And oh how you are missed.

Not a day goes by when I don’t think about you and what might have been. Were you a boy or girl? What did your beautiful face look like? Did you look like your brother? What was your personality?

I know that for some, the loss of a baby in early pregnancy isn’t a cause for such grief. They are able to accept it as something that never was, and was never meant to be.

But I can’t.

You see, to me, you were a baby from the very first moment I saw you. Just 5 days after conception as a little cluster of cells under the microscope. You were beautiful. A miracle. A fighter, growing day by day.

The day I found out I was pregnant I had already imagined you for 2 weeks and you were very much a promise of a baby to me.

At 6 weeks, we were to see you for the first time with a heartbeat. But you hid. You were not there. Perhaps a sign of what was to come.

But at 7 weeks, we saw the little flicker on screen that proved you were real. Alive. At 8 weeks you had grown to three times your previous size. Still just a blob with a heartbeat, but my, you were beautiful to us.


Then at 9.5 weeks you were gone. That heartbeat extinguished, my hope vanished. And my heart ached for you. It still aches.

I pray this won’t be the end of our story, and that one day, I will see you, reflected in the eyes of another child. I need to feel that your loss had a greater purpose. That you weren’t just cruelly taken from me as a taste of something I will never experience again. Rather that you were sacrificed so that another could be with us when the time is right.

But for now, happy birthday my angel. Wherever you are.

Forever in my heart. Never to be forgotten.

All my love. Mum

Post Comment Love

When your baby grows up

12 Sep

So today was the day. It finally happened. The boy started school.

I know I’m not alone here, my experience isn’t even slightly unique, in fact half of you readers are probably going through the exact same thing, but I’m feeling a whole heap of emotions about it.

I’ll be honest, I’ve been looking forward to Oscar starting school since he was about, oooooh 3 months old.

The learning, the maturing, the friends, the cheaper child care….. What’s not to love.

All that hard stuff associated with babies/toddlers would finally be gone, and life would become significantly easier.

No more weaning, no more tantrums, no more biting. Instead we would enjoy intelligent conversations, marvel at his achievements (however mediocre), send him to friends houses while we lounged and enjoy spending all our new spare cash. Yeah baby!

But now the time has arrived, I’m having second thoughts. It doesn’t seem quite so hassle free.

After all, despite my hopes and expectations, the tantrums haven’t gone. Sure, they end a bit quicker than your average 2 year old most of the time, but now they’re accompanied by big boy ‘tude. A deadly combination. Along with shouting, screaming, kicking and punching, we are now fortunate enough to endure frequent outbursts of “I don’t care”, “Stop it” and “Shut up mummy I’m talking”. This kid is 4 for figs sake, and he tells ME to shut up. Where does he get this stuff from?

Yeah, yeah, so what if it’s me?

Then we have the dastardly task of coordinating his schedule. I mean, this kid is barely out of nappies and now he needs a damn PA! The first 3 weeks are bad enough, drop him off here, pick him up there, week 2 ALL CHANGE! Pick him up a different time and send packed lunch! Week 3, pick him up even later from somewhere else, and give him the choice of hot dinners or packed lunch. Decisions, decisions. Then comes the home work, the school trips, the fancy dress … I have a full time job people, I don’t need another. Besides, I make a shitty PA. I don’t believe in doing someone else’s dirty work, so this kid had better get self sufficient fast!

This aside, at least we get to benefit from all that spare cash eh? Well not quite. These childminders have got this scenario all sussed out. Apparently, working less hours commands a higher hourly rate! And a charge for time not worked, because they don’t do part hours. Is this stuff for real? If so, I’m booking that meeting with my boss pronto to demand I cut my hours, put my rate up and get paid 30 minutes before I arrive at work. Genius! So alright, we might realise a modest reduction in overall fees, but it’s not exactly going have us rolling in the green stuff any time soon.

But more importantly than any of this irritating piffle, he’s just too young. Surely. I mean look at him. Here…


And here….


And here…


He’s such a tiddler. He can’t be ready. How can this teeny, tiny, ickle wickle 4 year old squirt be grown up enough for school, and all that comes with it? The independance, the responsibility, the discipline. What if he doesn’t like it? What if he doesn’t fit in? What if he gets bullied by some a-hole big kid.

And I’m not ready for what comes next…. Getting tall, puberty, spots, alcohol, underage sex, drugs, illegitimate children, jail. It may just be the first day at school, but we all know it’s a slippery slope.

I’m hyperventilating just thinking about it. You see he’s my baby. He’ll always be my baby. I don’t want him to grow up. I just want to hang onto him for a little while longer.

But the time is here. The time is now. There’s no stopping it. So better just let go of the fear and embrace it. Make me proud son x

Why Boys Rock – an ode to William and Kate

24 Jul


When I was first impregnated with Oscar, I instinctively knew it was a boy, and I was pretty happy about that. Why wouldn’t I be? I was pregnant for the first time with a much wanted baby, it could have been boy, girl, hermaphrodite and I would have been overjoyed.

But then as the 20 week scan neared, people started telling me that I was carrying a girl (as people tend to do). I ran a poll in the office and the majority of my friends felt I was having a girl, certain family members wanted a girl, and before I knew it, I started to convince myself that a girl was my destiny.

So when the ultrasound revealed a definite boy, with a definite meat and two veg between his thighs, I was momentarily disappointed.

But then I remembered I was expecting a boy all along, started calling him by his name and snapped right out of it.

21 weeks later, my boy was born and he was a bundle of gorgeousness, but as you’ll know if you’ve read this, he wasn’t exactly a cooperative little soul.

From birth he was a feisty fella, cuddling and cooing was out. Wriggling, jiggling and wailing was in. Affection was for the weak, and he was made of stronger stuff.

Then when he hit toddlerhood he was angry, attention-seeking, argumentative and darn right unpleasant.

He was a biter, a fighter and a little blighter!

He got expelled from nursery and I started to think that boys were horrid, beastly little tikes and that I’d made a huge mistake.

Then to really rub it in, my friends all started popping out girls, one after another…. out they came. I can count 8 in a row. I s*** you not. And those girls were all so lovely. So quiet and thoughtful, mature and sweet. I’m not afraid to say I felt more than just a tinge of the green eyed monster. I felt wronged. It was a conspiracy and I wanted everyone to suffer with a devil boy the way I had.

While their perfect girls were outside making daisy chains, Oscar was outside throwing stones at the cat.

While their girls sported painted nails, Oscar’s nails were black from digging dog feaces out of the border with his hands.

While their girls were sitting quietly at the table eating carrots and peas with knife and fork, Oscar would be found snorting spaghetti hoops through a straw whilst standing on his head.

While their girls were picking handbags, Oscar was picking his nose (like 100 times a day).

While their girls would show me their princess dolls, Oscar would show them his willy, then shake it about abit and threaten to wee on them.

You get my drift?

I wanted their kids. And I wanted them to have mine.

But you know what? I’m over it now. Girls ain’t so perfect, and actually boys can be pretty darn cool.

So what they’re often loud and boisterous and they won’t take me shoe shopping? So what they’re physical and grubby and lazy?

I haven’t told you about all the good stuff:

1. They eventually LOVE their mums
2. They give the best cuddles and kisses ever
3. They aren’t afraid of spiders or snails or any other bug that scares me witless
4. They are LOUD and boisterous and silly – and that can be pretty fun!
5. They aren’t embarrassed or hung up about pooing and peeing on the potty, the toilet or any other place you care to choose…. In fact they’re pretty keen to show their MASSIVE specimen to anyone that will look without retching.
6. They aren’t bitchy. (God I hate bitchiness) If they don’t like you, they’ll ignore you or thump you. At least you know where you stand.
7. They don’t sulk for long, that would require too much patience.
8. They aren’t devious – if they are angry with you, your punishment will be immediate and obvious. A whack round the hip, a shoe thrown at your head, a screaming tantrum. They are unlikely to plot their revenge for days/weeks. You are unlikely to find your favourite lipstick smeared across your cupboards, or your favourite knickers fed to the dog.
9. You will not go bankrupt filling their wardrobe. Only so many t-shirts and jeans you can buy.
10. They LOVE their mums – worth mentioning again I think.

And besides, if it’s good enough for royalty, it’s good enough for me.

So congratulations Kate and Wills. Boys are the best.

Now bloggers/friends. Tell me what makes your boys so cool.

My IVF Diary – The end?

11 Jul

5/5/13: So here I am, nearly 14 weeks after my diary began.

I’ve had injections in my arms, my legs and my arse. I’ve had more tablets in my mouth and my butt than I can even recall. I’ve had two surgical procedures under anaesthetic and more people up my lady garden than hot dinners.

I’ve experienced unparalleled emotional extremes. Hope, fear, frustration, confusion, elation, desolation, anger, despair, denial, intense vulnerability and love.

And yet I have nothing to show for it but an empty bank account and an empty uterus. And somewhere, in the back of my mind, a dream that at one point I had the privilege to carry a baby for 7.5 weeks. I must have, I have the photos to prove it.

But somehow, with my body almost returned to it’s ordinary state, and life with my beautiful boy and husband like old times, it sometimes seems as if those 3 months never happened, and perhaps I made the whole thing up.

But on November 5th, when my Hope should have been born, I’ll remember I didn’t. I’ll remember all I went through to spend those few unforgettable weeks with my precious little miracle. And I’ll ache to see, hold and touch my angel that was so very nearly a part of our life.

And as the tears fall for the umpteenth time this year, I ask:

“Would I do it all again?”

You bet your life I would.

And if it ever works, I’m going to marry my husband, my rock, my soulmate all over again, with my family complete, to show the world I know I’m the luckiest woman alive.

Thanks for reading, and best of luck to everyone embarking on their own IVF journey.

In memory of my Hope.

Never to be forgotten.

Learning to accept the child you are given

12 Mar

Normally I try to keep my posts light hearted and laced with humour, but today I wanted simply to write a very honest and personal piece about my journey with my son.

From the moment I was married over 6 years ago, I wanted kids. Don’t ask why, I’d always hated them up to that point, but family and friends were all doing it, hormones kicked in, blah blah… You can guess the rest. Cliche.

So, like every other young married couple, my husband and I began practicing in earnest and looked forward to this exciting next phase of our life together. But lady luck wasn’t on our side, and it took almost 3 more years and medical intervention before my boy was born.

When I was pregnant I was ecstatic, besotted and obsessed with the baby growing inside me. I couldn’t wait to meet this little man in person. At first sight I was enraptured by him, scared shitless not knowing what to do with him, but enraptured none the less. I imagined how our lives together would be, and the unique bond we would share.

But it didn’t quite turn out like that. No.

As a newborn, Oscar was often fidgety, difficult and rather than gazing at his dear nurturing mother, would look at anyone and anything else as soon as he could open his eyes. Early attempts at bonding were a disaster. Baby massage was anything but relaxing : whilst the other NCT mums and babes were enjoying the new experience, Oz was whinging, crying and wriggling, infact pretty much willing the whole thing to end. Looking back it was probably his undiagnosed dairy allergy causing much of this, but at the time it was agitating.

As a baby, Oscar was angry, frustrated and impatient. With every new milestone he always seemed dissatisfied that he couldn’t do more.  When he learnt to roll onto his tummy he seemed annoyed he couldn’t crawl, when he could crawl he wanted to stand, when he learnt to stand he wanted to walk, when he walked he was impatient to run.. Etc etc. nothing ever seemed quite enough for him.

By nine months old, Oscar hit toddlerhood. He had a temper and if I denied him anything or he couldn’t get something right immediately, he would throw the most monumental tantrums for anything upto 90 minutes. I remember when he was a year old, I refused him a banana because he had failed to eat any dinner. He was so angry, he screamed until he turned blue and passed out. Cold. THUD. Face down onto the wooden floor, head only saved by a pile of washing.  

He was also an acute attention seeker, and wanted my sole attention CONSTANTLY. No nice coffee mornings for me, no chatting to other mums while the kiddie winkles played nicely. No. I was to talk to and play with Oscar only, at all times. If I dared to talk to my own husband, the tantrums would start.

At two, the terrible twos kicked in tenfold. The throwing, the hitting, the pushing and the biting. Gone was the sociable child that all the other nursery kids would flock to, replaced instead with an antisocial boy who just wanted to play with “stuff” alone. At 2 and 3 months, Oscar was expelled from nursery for biting other children. Just 10 weeks later, he was expelled from his childminder for his excessive attention seeking.

I hit rock bottom. I was depressed, angry and lost. In hindsight, I could blame the caregivers for their inexperience in dealing with his behaviour and their unwillingness to work through it, but at the time I just felt shame. Deep shame and resentment that my child could do this to me. That the miracle boy I wanted so badly wasn’t who I thought he would be. And guilt. Overwhelming guilt that I felt like this and had failed as a parent.

And so began the worst period in our fractious relationship, with Oscar making an exhibition of himself at every opportunity and me, unnerved by recent events, over-reacting to his every move.

It took 8 months, two new wonderful childminders and a spell at pre-school before Oscar’s terrible two’s subsided and my confidence returned. The pressure and scrutiny I had inflicted on him and I was lifted, and I began to relax and accept the child I was given.

And now? 

Now I love him. Of course I always loved him. As his mum, I had no choice. But I didn’t often like him. I was embarrassed by his behaviour and disappointed that motherhood wasn’t what I had hoped for.

But now I just love him. Simple. Him and all of his quirks. Hell, he is impatient and stubborn and he doesn’t listen to me. Yes, he’s a fussy eater, an attention seeker and talks too much. For sure he prefers not to share with other kids, says poo too much and gets his Winky out at the most inappropriate moments. But I love that. I love that he is unique. I love that he does all these things because he’s smart, has character and doesn’t just fade into the background.

And you know what? I’m not so perfect myself. Sometimes I’m cranky at him for no reason, sometimes I don’t have the energy to play with him when I know I should, and sometimes I expect too much from him.

Do we fight everyday? Yes.

Could I sometimes wring his neck? Of course.

But above all else I feel proud of who he is. 

Proud and grateful.

Grateful because he is mine. And there is no better gift.

It’s all about the love

14 Feb

Today it’s valentines day and I’m really feeling the love.

Why you may ask? Well the big fat bunch of roses I got from my well trained hubby certainly helps, but it’s not the main reason for my dreamy state. No.

You see I’ve been ill a lot recently. It’s not been a great start to the year. Bloody winter bugs have got me both barrels…… Proper slapped me round the face with a wet kipper, duffed me up a bit and shown me the middle finger. But in the face of this misery, what has truly warmed the cockles of my heart, is seeing how caring my dear son has been.

One of the things I found so difficult with having a toddler in the past was the lack of compassion/sensitivity to other people’s feelings. The constant shouts of “mine, mine MINE!”, the snatching, the way he would hurt me and laugh…… I knew he wasn’t being mean. He just wasn’t capable of thinking any other way. But as someone who cares deeply about other people’s feelings and happiness, it irked me. I craved the day my boy would show me he loved me, and sometimes doubted that that day would ever come.

But recently, my boy has made several small gestures that have made my heart blossom. It’s like he’s become the man of the house. His mummy’s protector.

Now, let’s not get carried away. He still has the capacity to be an absolute arse when I’m well – like touching EVERYTHING in the supermarket, throwing melons on top of yoghurts in the trolley, not listening to a word we say, running with knives and scissors (DON’T ask) and ……..well nothing quite tops that last one really.

But, just like his father, he really shines when I’m at my most vulnerable.

This past 6 weeks, when I’ve been at my lowest, he has brought me a lemon squash to drink (granted, he almost smashed every glass in the cupboard in the process), rubbed my aching forehead, insisted his father buys me flowers and chocolates at the supermarket (what a smooth operator), given me kisses when I know he’d rather not, brought me blankets, pillows and his favourite teddy bear and best of all …. Told me he loves me.

He loves me.

It’s three words that I will never tire of hearing.

And know this…… Know this for sure. I love you too my little man.

And my big man too.

Happy valentines day all x


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