Friday, 3 March 2017
When my kids tell me I'm doing an OK job
I don't know a parent that doesn't wonder if they are doing enough. Am I a good enough mum? Should I be doing more? Sometimes even, what should I be doing? There are pictures splattered all over the social media of perfect looking families and happy children. It's going to be fab photos of kids in their World Book Day costumes not photos of a child crying their eyes out because mum forgot to check parent mail and they've turned up in school uniform.
And why not, surely people aren't that interested in sharing the rough days with everyone all time. What sort of record of their life are they keeping, not exactly something great to look back on is it? I post this kind of thing of course, but that's a bit about sharing the joys... and the challenges of raising my beautiful kids, some of whom happen to have autism, ADHD and a few other conditions as well.
Every day our school run is a little stressful. As the boys are both autistic but in different ways, they need different things from school. So they go to different schools and let's just say the drop off and pick-up timings for the two schools are a bit on the tight side. Leave the house a few minutes late and I spend the whole journey on edge...don't be late, don't be late.
It was on a particularly stressful journey one day that had involved the slowest recycling trucks I've ever encountered and a delivery van just randomly parked in a single lane road, that Anthony reminded me that mostly, I'm doing ok. He'd been especially worried as he had another tooth loose. Anthony is particularly sensitive to the way things feel in his mouth and wobbling a loose tooth almost reduces him to tears.
As we went over an ridiculously large speed bump, he started talking.
"Ohh, that's was close."
"What was darling?"
"By going over the bump, I nearly bumped my tooth."
"Is it very wobbly this morning?"
"Ooohhhh yes, very wobbly."
"Well, make sure you have something soft for lunch to it doesn't hurt too much. And I'll make something soft for dinner too."
"You always make the right things for dinner. You are very good. It is always soft and you never ever give it to me too hot because you know it hurts and I don't like it. Silly you - of course you'll give me soft food. You are very good mum."
Just as the beam of delight spread across my face, Jane also piped up and giggled from the back.
"Yes, you never give me mud to eat, I don't like that."
Then I burst into laughter and the conversation drifted into the fantastical with me asking if they'd like to eat leaves for dinner or rocks or sand.