The boy and his music

The boy is fantastic at music and musical instruments. 

In Grade 1 he started learning the Violin and he picked it up very quickly. Because he has Aspergers he decided after two years that he had learnt it all and gave it up. His teacher nearly cried…

Then he decided to learn the Flute. Same thing again – the teacher was amazed during his first lesson that he had never played before. Fast forward twelve months and again he gave it up because he had learnt it. 

The trumpet was the next instrument to be given a whirl. By now he was teaching himself to play songs via ear and youtube. 

After another year of this (and of being sent up to the back fence to practise where I couldn’t be deafened – sorry neighbours!) he gave up again. 

There has been no more requests to learn any more instruments but it is a waste of talent. The only music he does now is at school.

Which brings us to the music concert at school last term. His class had to show off their learned talents on the glockenspiels much to the delight of us watching parents. What better way to spend an evening!!! 

Whilst every other student was concentrating hard on their notes, the boy was looking around the room, shaking his head at me taking his picture and not looking impressed at all and generally not concentrating on what he was doing, and he did it all without missing a beat.

Last week the boy came home from school with an Academic Award! Just one.

In Music.

He is not impressed. 

What a week….

The girl looking very happy! Apparently…

We have reached the end of a very busy week and a half. The girl was in numerous dress rehearsals and then four concerts of her Year 5 and 6 concert of Beauty and the Beast Junior. She played the role of a ‘Silly Girl’ which the man and I thought was very apt. The last concert was on Thursday night and as we were all tired both the boy and girl didn’t go to school on the Friday. It was lovely not to have to rush out the door in the morning for a change.

The make up and hair for all concerts was a challenge. She hated the smell and feel of the foundation and the hairspray was a challenge to get near her! I only had to put her foundation on at home, the rest (including the false eyelashes) was put on by the make up team. I am so so grateful for them. We also had many tears and squirming whilst holding a curling iron…

On Sunday morning the girl had a final rehearsal for her Ballet Presentation Class (exam) which was to be held on the Monday. We were both up and out early to get there by 8.45am. Not on a Sunday!!!!

I picked her up from school early yesterday to get her to her exam on time. Luckily I didn’t have to fight to put her hair in a bun, I was able to leave it to her ballet teacher.  Of course because I wasn’t doing it she didn’t fight and argue about it! Typical!

Now we can all relax for a few months until the Ballet Recital at the end of the year…Phew!

Sitting in the hair chair!

The night out and other fun…..

Last night the man and I went out. Don’t all fall over in shock – it does happen every couple of years!

We went to see Prince in Melbourne. The man is a huge fan of the little purple dude so was keen to go and I was happy to tag along and have a dance.

My sister very kindly and rather naively  offered to look after the girl and the boy for the evening. She was originally going to come to our house but as we weren’t sure how late we would be it was decided that the kids would stay at her house for the night instead. Easy? No…

The boy never stays where we are not. He gets too anxious without us, which would be lovely except that I can’t have a darn holiday without him!!!

Anyway…

Both kids agreed to stay over and they were dropped off with their cousins quite happily, the boys and the girls all deciding where they were going to sleep. Sounded like a party was going to be happening!

So off to the concert we went – we were free for the night!

We may or may not have been this close to him!

At 11pm I had the text I had been dreading – please come and get one upset little boy. Luckily the concert had just finished but that put paid to going to his after show gig (yeah right, like we could afford more tickets anyway. Also I am too old to be staying up too late!)

Made it back to pick up said sad little boy and debated whether to take the girl home as well but she looked so comfortable sleeping that we let her be, I would stay with the original plan to pick her up before taking her to school in the morning.

I dragged myself out of bed this morning to make the trip back to get the girl. I am glad I went a little earlier as as usual the girl was having a little bit of trouble getting dressed. As in, she hadn’t even started!

Her younger cousin was dressed and packed and ready to go but the girl was still in her pyjamas rolling around the bedroom floor. My sister just looked at me and said that she wouldn’t do anything she was asked and that she wouldn’t even take her Ritalin. I said ‘welcome to my world’ and that you have to bribe her. I then paid the girl to drink her ‘juice’. Anything goes when you need her drugged to be compliant!

That done I threw her uniform on her and chucked her out of the house and into the car (the girl, not my sister). Made it to school just as the bell rang.

I then came home and went straight to bed.

Just saw the date….

And realised it has been well over a month since I posted anything – terrible! Anyone would think I had been busy with kids and work and life or something.

So what has been happening…

The kids have had numerous parties for the end of basketball, school and birthdays. The girl has had her annual concert for the Australian Girls Choir and received her letter that she was progressing a level in that as well. Both kids were involved in the school music concert a few weeks ago, with the girl performing on her violin and singing in the school choir as well. As usual the boy decided to keep his violin playing skills a secret and just sang in the class choir instead.

Today at school the kids find out their new teacher and class for next year. There was much excitement in the air this morning. The boy is adamant that he will have the same teacher as his sister had in the same year, hope there won’t be tears when he finds out that he hasn’t got her. (I know this cos his current teacher has already told me which class he is in – shhh). The girl doesn’t care who her teacher will be, it is not important to her. She already knows which of her friends will be in her class and she is happy that her little group of friends will be with her. They are all lovely girls so hopefully next year will be a good year for her.

And yes, Ritalin does wonders for friendship!

As I write this I am surrounded by chaos here. We leave for the UK in two days to attend a wedding and have Christmas and New Year there as well and we are in the midst of packing. It is very hard trying to figure out what to take and what bags will be used for our luggage and what to take to take on as cabin luggage. I am also trying to figure out how to take tuna on for the kids to eat. I know the airline does kids meals, but I don’t think they do aspergers kids meals. A bit of plain pasta and tomato sauce is all I am asking for! And they do like their plain tuna straight out of the can. Ewwww….

The kids have tried to help pack. The boy pulled out the second biggest suitcase and claimed it as his own. In it he placed some important items he thought he could not do without. This included his drum sticks, a couple of teddy bears, his DS games, a t-shirt and a jumper or two, then he complained that his case looked a bit empty! Hmmm….

The girl just packed her DS games. I wonder if I can be bothered packing more clothes for them?

They are very excited at the thought of spending Christmas in another country – one that has the possibility of snow as well. Santa is NOT so excited at having to deliver presents to another country and giving the parents the headache of bringing said presents home again. Especially when the boy has asked for a Lego Starwars Death Star (whatever the hell that is!). Hmm…. they might find a letter from Santa saying he has hurt his back and couldn’t deliver anything large this year. Do you think that would work?

Off I go to do some more organising.

And remember to pack the Ritalin!

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s all about me!

The boy is now sick.

The girl has been sick all week and now it’s the boy’s turn. In true Asperger fashion the girl declared that he couldn’t possibly be any sicker than she is. Because it is all about her of course!

The last school concert was last night and he struggled through it as he was just starting to get sick. He shivered all the way to the car even bundled up in a blanket, and fell asleep on the way home. This morning he crawled into bed with a raging fever. At least he kept me warm!

This afternoon he collapsed in a heap and crawled back into bed. He has been there ever since, except for a few minutes when he woke up thinking he was going to be sick. I think it is going to be a long night.

The girl however, is still sick but well enough to be annoying to everyone now. She has been in her pyjamas all day and is still coughing but being a little motor mouth and rabbiting on about nothing important.

I made her dinner, as I have to. The homemade pizza’s she does like. I thought I would make her something she enjoys to eat as she hasn’t really had an appetite this week. So I gave her the muffin pizza’s with the tomato paste on it as well as the bacon. Apparently she doesn’t eat it with cut up bacon on them, she only eats it with ham!  Umm… no, I have made it with bacon before I reply.

20 minutes later with the tantrums still going she attempts to eat it by pulling off all the bacon and then licking the tomato paste off the muffins. And the muffins still taste ‘different’ because the bacon had been touching them….

My head really hurt by now…. where is the freaking wine!!! 

After saying that she wasn’t getting anything else and the tantrum and tears not abating I gave up and made her a vegemite muffin, threw her in the bath and sent her to bed.

I left the man in charge of the bedtime routine and went for a drive to visit my mum. And have a glass of wine.

Concert Time

Last night the kids had their first of three school concerts.

What an accomplishment for them both – especially the boy as a few months ago when they started rehearsals at school he was adamant he wasn’t going to do it.

No further discussion will be entered into, so don’t bother trying.

At the same concert two years ago (the school only does it every two years because it is such a big production) we basically had to duct tape him to the stage just to get him to stay there. This year we weren’t able to get him off! I had been so anxious for the last few months, wondering how we were going to deal with getting him there. Would we have to bribe him? Have many many arguements about it? All of it was a waste of time, he was fine.

I had been thinking that the girl might not even make it to the concert. The night before she was beside herself with both nerves and tiredness. She also had a cold, and everything that could go wrong went wrong. She had tears and snot going everywhere (sorry if too much information!) I ended up rocking her to calm her down and then letting her drift off to sleep by snuggling in bed with her.  Luckily she slept all night. Usually the night before something big she manages to wake up at stupid o’clock and not get back to sleep. She’s already had one 4.20am start this week, and another night of two wake ups. Her dad and I were tired – and she was exhausted.

This week the boy was so excited because the concert was finally here. Both kids went off to the performance venue on Friday for the dress rehearsal during the day and then back there for the concert that night. The boy bounded into the dressing room without a backwards glance. How nice it was not to be needed.

On the stage the boy looked so happy! Who would have thought he would have been singing and dancing along so enthusiastically! He knew what he was meant to be doing and looked so happy. He even spotted me in the audience so I got a little wave mid song.

The girl is in her element on stage. She loves performing and that is her thing. We have been privy to the whole performance in the last few weeks as she has a photographic memory for scripts – so she knew all the characters lines. They were performing ‘Wonder in Aliceland’. The boy was a Queen’s Gardener and the girl was a flower. How cute they all were up on stage.

I am so proud of how far they have both come – for the boy it was an exceptional job.

Now they just have to get through the two performances next Friday. Am thinking I will have to buy another ticket just to see them again!

Meltdown Central

Life has been pretty busy here lately, the girl has a full schedule on at the moment due to concert rehearsals for both the Australian Girls Choir and the school concert. Both of these are a week apart, and there is three performances for the school concert. Add to this the two day music school she just had on at the weekend and then the usual after school requirements and we have a very tired girl.

I know she is tired but I still have expectations of both good behaviour and her homework done. Yes I am hard.

So why am I surprised when she has continual meltdowns? Not surprised as such, but not coping well with them when she does has them and losing my cool far too soon.

On the weekend when she was sitting on the couch instead of getting ready to leave for choir she just kept saying ‘in a second’ when I was asking her to do something. You know, like going to the toilet and brushing her teeth. Yes we have to remind her to do these – and after telling her for half an hour she finally exploded and cried at us that we were rushing her. I tried grabbing her and pushing her into the toilet and bathroom, after chasing her around the lounge-room. This resulted in delaying her even more which made me yell at her and then her to cry more. Then I had the man look at me in such a way that meant ‘see, I told you not to rush her’. Yes I know I shouldn’t but I get so frustrated and it is important to me that she is on time. At this point I went and hid in our bedroom and left him to deal with her. Yes they made it in time, by the skin of their teeth.

I am sick of doing everything. From getting her breakfast to dressing her to reminding her to go to the toilet before we leave for school. Or reminding her to eat. How does anyone forget to eat even with the bowl or plate in front of them.

I am just tired about doing and reminding her to do everything for the next few years is just making me tired. I was hoping everything got a bit easier as  the children got older but it doesn’t seem to be so far.

The boy is fed up with her. He has resorted to bringing her her clothes to get her dressed just so that he can get to school on time. What a champ! Not sure I like the idea that the younger child is organising the older one. He shouldn’t have to worry about things like that – but he does like looking after people.

All is quiet for now, homework was done with little fuss tonight and now the neighbour is here and the two girls are doing a play. The boy is outside with the other neighbour and they are doing noisy boy things like shooting each other and shouting. Hopefully it will tire him out some more.

There is only the bed time pa lava to attend to later and the day is over. Easy!

Oh, I forgot we have to brush her teeth again!!! Arghh…..

I think I will go hide in my bedroom again.

The boy and how far he has come

Yesterday the boy got a Principal’s Award from school. I know all the children end up with them over the course of their school life but it marked for his dad and I how far he has come. He received it because he had settled into Year 2 very well and was working hard and doing his best in class. He struggles a bit at schooling, so this was a big achievement for him.

He has had a few problems, he is still trying to overcome some but he is getting there.

We can now take his photograph. There was a time that he would immediately hide if someone took out a camera. There is a gap in the photo albums between the ages of 2 and 7. All we had of him was the back of his head, or just a blur as he tried to run from the photographer.

He nows makes up plays with his sister and performs them at family get togethers. This would never happened 12 months ago – but he is quite happy to get up at gatherings and make up impromptu plays. Although as there is never any direction these plays tend to go on a bit and we adults zone out after a while…..

He is in more control of his temper. He has been an angry little boy for quite some time and his dad and I have had to do a lot of work for him to learn to control it. There has been many times when I have gone through the checklist on his anger sheet and asked him to count to ten, only for him to shout at me ‘NO, YOU COUNT TO TEN YOU STUPID IDIOT’!! Hmm… not the result we were after at the time. He has grown into his body and is not a mass of anger anymore. We are not waiting to get punched when telling him off anymore. It was a bit scary but (fingers crossed) we are past it.

He plays the violin and is really good at it. He picked it up straightaway and the teacher can’t believe how good he is. Unfortunately he won’t practise infront of anyone – so if you want to hear him play you will have to stand on the other side of his closed bedroom door. I have to lie and tell him that the sound doesn’t travel. So so far, nobody else knows how good he is.

He is still shy and unsure of new situations. He was a ball of nerves for the first few weeks of school this year. He still refuses to get up and play at the music concert, and insists that he will not be going onstage at the school concert in a few months. We will get him on there, we just need to do a lot of work beforehand.

I still get lots of cuddles from him. He is a very affectionate and caring little boy. He told us after school yesterday that he recieved a sticker from a teacher because he asked another little boy who was crying to come and play with him and made him happy again.

He still hides behind me when he is out of his comfort zone, but I can see the work we have been doing with him paying off.