A major breakthrough

The girl has eaten vegemite sandwiches for the last six years at school. The good thing about this is that we don’t have to think too hard when we are making her lunch at night.

The boy, however, keeps us on our toes with his requests. We have been known to stand at the cupboard for several minutes before deciding on a filling for the sandwich. We learnt early on not to ask what he wants in them because he will just answer ‘sprinkles’. Hmmm… sugar on bread for a nutritious snack, nothing better!

However, the other night a miracle happened.

We had had roast lamb for dinner (yes we had won the lottery so I was able to purchase a leg) and the girl is rather partial to lamb. As we were eating I mentioned that I love it on sandwiches for lunch. The girl decided that she would like to try it on her sandwich the next day, or at least half a sandwich with the other half still containing vegemite in case she didn’t like the lamb.  And if she did like it, she said, she would want to have it every day.

No, I replied. We are not rich enough for that!

The next day I asked the girl how she enjoyed her sandwich when I picked up the kids from school.

‘Fine’, she said. ‘I ate it!’

I fell over in shock!


The camp and the girl

The girl went to camp this week. Trying to get her prepared for it was a nightmare. I had had talks with her teacher about her medication and her sleep routine and the food and which room to put her in with which people…. and on it went.

I had packed her bags for her, because her idea of packing is to make sure all of her 64 teddy bears are in her bag with 14 pairs of underpants.

And nothing else.

Very handy if she suddenly gets an attack of the runs but that’s about it.

I had also packed the pharmacy for her and labelled containers filled with the medication she needed for each day. She needed it three times a day and I didn’t want to have to leave it to the teacher to have to mix it up each time she needed it. Also had to remind the teacher not to mention that it is medicine otherwise we would have a nightmare on our hands.

Since the girl came home from camp yesterday, I have realised that although the man and I do so much preparing with her and her teachers, there is always more problems that arise. For instance, she couldn’t brush her hair when she was away because her brush was at the bottom of her bag and she couldn’t get it out without making a mess. And they weren’t allowed to make a mess in their cabins. I did say that maybe she could have taken things out of her bag and then put them back, but apparently not!

And lucky I had sent some emergency food for her to eat otherwise she may have gone hungry. I gave some little cans of tuna to the teacher before they left. Yes she does eat plain tuna in a can, both the boy and the girl do. Makes for an easy option for dinner.

They also served up pancakes for breakfast one morning, which the girl loves, except she had to eat plain because she wouldn’t touch any of the options the camp provided. Not sure many people provide 100’s and 1000’s for pancakes.

Her teeth also didn’t get brushed that often because she could only brush her teeth if she got reminded 739 times and given 4 hours to do it in and of course the teacher may have reminded them once in the morning to do it. But it still would not have been her fault.

Also, she told me there was no need to use soap when she had a shower because she just wasn’t dirty. Even though they had all just been canoeing in a dirty lake, and had water poured on them when they were hut building. But apparently I am just a parent and don’t know much.

But, it was a success. We didn’t receive a phone call to come and get her, and we all had a lovely break from her. And there was no tears at bedtime which is a huge success.

Even if she did come home with birds nest hair and dirty teeth….

Now just have to look into the boarding school option.

Just a bad joke of a day.

Yesterday was not a good day. So good in fact, that I gave it up for a bad joke and went to bed when the kids went.

The day’s plans went to pot about7.30am when I received a phone call from the mother of the boy that was supposed to be dropped at out house at 8am. I was going to look after her son for 3 hours whilst she went to work, then she was going to pick both boys up and take them back to her house for the afternoon. Unfortunately she ended up being called into work for the whole day so her husband stayed at home instead.

The boy went back to bed and sobbed his little heart out. He had been looking forward to spending the day with his best bud. If I had been more awake at the time of the call I would have said to bring the friend over for the day. But I wasn’t, so I didn’t.

First mistake of the day!

The girl had spent the night at my mums house, so I had to go over to pick her up at lunchtime. The boy wasn’t the least interested in coming because it hadn’t been on his agenda, but I got him there eventually.

All was fine for a few minutes – until the boy realised that neither his sister nor his cousins who were also there were interested in going outside to play with him. He loves being outside at the moment, either kicking a ball or riding a bike or just generally being loud. The catch being is that he needs someone out with him. Actually, I correct myself. His 2 yo cousin would have gone outside but the boy said that he was too young to play what he wanted to play.

So, instead of accepting that getting them outside was nigh on impossible, he threw a tantrum and got his sister in a headlock and kicked her. Thereby securing his position as a contortionist. Breaking up this fight was fun. The girl was screaming at the boy and the boy was yelling at the boy and at me. As soon as I spoke to the boy he started mimicking me which really drives me up the wall.

I left him after telling the girl to go play somewhere else. Let him calm down a bit I though. Except when I left the room he immediately let himself out the front door and went and sat on the car bonnet. As long as I didn’t see him walking down the road he would be ok. At least I couldn’t hear him out there.

Eventually he calmed down and he came back inside and proceeded to sit next to me and draw and relax. I decided it was time to go anyway as I had promised them a trip to the ‘new’ library. New as it had just reopened after a couple of months of refurbishment. Anyway, as we were packing up the toys and cleaning up a bit he walked past me just as I moved my arm and he walked straight into my elbow.

‘Why am I just having a bad day?’ he wailed through his tears. The poor boy just can’t cope with changes.

Eventually we made it to the library and he was happy. A big pile of books on his favourite subjects of sharks and spiders and all was right with the world.

We even made it for a bike ride to get rid of some more energy. Fingers crossed, I thought, that there would be no more tears or meltdowns.

I spoke too soon.

Just after dinner the boy mentioned that he couldn’t find on of his drumsticks. You know, the kind that they use to drum on everything they can find and drive you batty with the noise!

So the girl jumps up to help him look on the couch and in the process of both of them ‘helping’ each other, the boy accidently knocks over the girls drink that she had left on the floor. Of course all hell breaks loose… what else!

So the girl yelled at the boy and he started shrieking at her and more yelling, then the boy  called the man a fricking idiot because he had dared tried to calm everyone down. Then the man smacked him on the backside, so the boy told him to fuck off. I couldn’t help myself by this point I was so angry (no wonder everyone else has a problem!) so I stormed after him as he ran into his bedroom. Meanwhile the girl is still shrieking about her drink and how the boy kicked it over and it was on purpose. Oh my ears!!

I sent her to her room still shrieking and I sat down in exhaustion.

Eventually the boy came out and apologised to me ‘for using those bad words’ so I gave him a cuddle and sent him to bed.

Then I gave up and crawled into bed myself.





Routines and rewards

Well that was fun!

I had to speak to the Psychologist at school today about the boy. He had finished his tests at school as part of his diagnosis and the psychologist just wanted to give me her report and let me ask any questions about it all.

I then told her about the girl and how a lot of behaviour was getting worse and that the man and I are at our wits end with it all. She let me explain about the night time routine and how it is not working for us (even though the girl thinks it is) and how much of the evening is spent either trying to reason with the girl, or argue with her.

She said that is sounded like the girl was getting a lot of negative attention from us, as we jumped through hoops to get her to go to bed without a battle. That sounded about right. She went on to say that all the girl has to do was say no to something or put up a protest and then mum and dad start paying her a lot of attention, and then one parent disagrees with the other and hey presto, the girl has one humdinger of a fight over her in her bedroom. Free show!

So tonight we started a new routine. We told the girl that we were changing the routine because the old bedtime routine just wasn’t working. She was happy with that – until bedtime came!

The first part was easy. She had to go to the toilet and brush her teeth BEFORE getting into bed. Then if she did that she would get a chapter of her book read to her as a reward.

Sounded easy to me!!

She cried and threw objects around the room and banged on the walls and yelled out to me and ripped up the new routine that I had written on a piece of paper. We had calmly told her through gritted teeth that we wouldn’t be back until she had gone to the toilet and brushed her teeth.

‘I HATE THIS ROUTINE AND I WANT MY OLD ONE BACK’ was shouted a few hundred times. Cos apparently she knew better than us.

The man and I did not rise to any of her attacks on us, and whenever she screamed at us from her room we just replied that we would return to read her book when she had done as she was told. And that we would be glad to spend time with her then.

After a while (read one and a half hours) I went into her room and tried to give her her toothbrush again. Another meltdown from her but I didn’t react. I then reached over and managed to get the toothbrush into her mouth and did her teeth. This made her cry harder but it was all over pretty quick.

She then coughed, blew her nose and smiled at me. A completely different child. How do they change so fast?!

We spent some time chatting and then reading her book. Yes it was late by then but she had to have some positive attention. Even though I had ended up doing her teeth for her she had not had any fighting or extra attention about that, so I figure that is a start.

I figure this will not be an easy road but it has to be done for our sanity. Although, according to the boy we are already dimwits so maybe there is no hope for us at all!

I think I have earned my wine tonight, two hours of a bedtime routine will do that to a person.