It’s Been A Buggy Week

Bugs, bugs and (you guessed it) more bugs!
We started with a two day wonder cough from Miss Delilah, two days of school snuggled on the sofa and watching Christmas movies. Then came my turn. A lingering bug I kept suppressing because everyone else needs something. True mum fashion.

Then there was Euan, a whole 5 days of being extra ratty, less sleep than usual, a cough and being stuffed up the poor little love. It doesn’t ever seem to be just a cols for Euan. He gets a cough every time and it goes straight to his chest. He had croup earlier in the year and I think its had a lasting effect. Luckily there was no sign of fever this time round, but we had a few wiped out days because no one (other than Delilah) was functioning to any level other than pure survival mode.

Then there was Delilah. Again. She came home Friday so sore and itchy. Worms! We followed NHS guidance, treated and boil washed everything we could, antibacterial’d everything. Dropped her off at school with the warning to her teacher and asking her to make sure she washed her hands after toilet stops and before eating. Now I thought this was common practice anyway, but boy was I wrong. Turns out, they didn’t let her wash her hands before she ate because they didn’t pass a bathroom on the way to lunch. Speechless? I know, I was for all of 10 seconds before having a massive shouty rant about it all to myself. I came to the conclusion home lunches would be a thing.

Delilah with her “wash me” hand drawings.

I initially asked the reception staff what the policy on home for lunch was. To which they didn’t have a clue, so I’m guessing its just not the done thing these days (although it was when I was at school). But having to go into school and ask the receptionist to ask the teachers and dinnertime staff to get the kids to wash their hands before they eat is a current low point of this place.

In better news, I’m about 3 gifts away from finishing the Christmas shopping . Which kind of excites me, as I’m feeling very lost and overwhelmed with it this year. Everyone I buy for (with kids as an exception) never want for anything. So what do you get people who literally buy themselves what they need and want all year round?! The kids have been a joy to shop for, and wrap. Call me odd, but I quite like the wrapping stage, making it pretty and of course the actual giving.

Christmas cards have been ordered, and a photo book of my babies for my Grandmother. Simply because, what else can you possibly do for your Grandma when she’s another one who just gets what she needs and wants all year long.

Next festive thing is the Grassington Christmas Market this weekend. We missed out last weekend because of all the bugs and grumpy sleeplessness between us. I actually can’t wait, I find it the most festive thing on my calendar. It really puts me in Christmas mode. I’m already thinking I’m going to need a bigger run up to next year. In all honesty, a cabin in the woods with snow and a freshly cut tree sounds like my kind of perfect too. It’s a winter goal of mine.

I’ll be off now to dream of that secluded, far away from school cabin and my snow and my trees.

Love,

Xoxo, L

“I’m Not a Dance Mum”

I’m not a dance mum.  

Delilah did her first dance show with her dance academy the weekend just gone. She loved every single second. Getting her hair and makeup done, hanging out with her dance buddies, sharing snacks and giggling at everything possible. Ever single dancer, dance mum/chaperone and teacher were very sweet with her for the duration of all three shows.  

I’ve got to admit, I was dreading it. Spending 2 full days of a 2 day weekend backstage of a theatre, but in a little self-confession, I really enjoyed it. To see my little unicorn girl having the time of her life, connecting with other mums and having genuine conversations with them really did make my weekend. Do not get me wrong, I will not be renouncing my hermit lifestyle just yet. I would however happily do it all again. 

Oh my days, my little miss; she got up on that stage and for the most part remembered the choreography, but when her little finale came (for each show) – well. She just stole the show. She danced like there was no one watching, bouncing about, arms in the air, twirling and spinning. The music stole her from reality, and she was all of herself, all by herself on her own. I mean she wasn’t for a second doing what she was supposed to be for that finale, but she was loving life! She loved it when the crowd roared as she flung her arms in the air right at the last second of music. It was heart-warming to watch. A memory forever for me at least. 

 “I’m not a dance mum” I hear myself say as I replay a chat with another dance mum prior to the show who says the same thing. Although, I see the draw to it now.  

Being part of something, especially for your kids, has a real pull; seeing them do something that lights them up is magically. Despite my inner introvert edging away and thinking its going to be a high school on steroids community, it really wasn’t. I dread social events 90% of the time, and on the build-up to this I was forcing myself to participate. I have no regrets for doing so and seeing it through.  I have never felt more comfortable with another group of mums. Every single one of those women cheered on all the kids, not just their own. Everyone pitched into help ready them for stage, and I felt no worry in having to nip to the loo and leave Delilah with them.  

That group of mums really gave me a little moral boost and an insight into what we should be expecting and accept around our children. I’ve not been met with that before. Those kind of mama’s are my kind of mamas! And please don’t get me wrong, I have friends who are brilliant mum’s and this piece comes with no digs at anyone in the slightest. I just do not spend that kind of time with them alongside their kids to have a pre knowledge of what to expect. I know that is my own hermit, introverted self’s fault. It was however genuinely nice to see the nice, and so worth perservering with.  

That makes me a dance mum; because my little one loves it so therefore, she is a dancer, ergo I am a dance mum.  

What things do you build up to be that bad, then to find they’re not that bad at all? 
 

Xox, L. 

The School That Refuses to Bend 

The thing is, there so much going on now I do not know where to begin. But I will start with the thing that takes up the most part of my boggled brain right now, which is the perplexing case of the school that refuses bend.  

And when I say ‘bend’ I mean show any flexibility towards my reasonable requests. 

My daughter, my wonderful, unicorn, rainbow daughter is currently awaiting an ASD (autism spectrum disorder) assessment. The school are playing a part in this, with much of a push and shove from yours truly. I felt as though I was already fighting before the application for assessment was put in. There have been hiccups from the start which has left me unimpressed at every level so far. This journey started around Christmas last year. 

It draws closer to the actual assesment, but in the meantime my little unicorn is not getting the support she needs to thrive. But what should I be expecting of the school in terms of support? I am sure I have exhausted her class teacher already, because in our parents evening the woman was shaking with nerves (or may be anger) when speaking with me; well, I say speaking, but what I really mean is following the transcript so politically pre rehearsed with me.  

I am relentless, but my simple want is for my emailed questions to be answered with answers via email so that I can have a paper trail for my future reference. I have requested this on several occasions, but I have been met with at least three face-to-face meetings and no follow-up email from any of them! Surely it would be easier to respond via email rather than rehearse a script to rattle off? Surely notes have been made to give said speech?  

My initial request has been denied anyway. All I wanted was a variation in reading book for the unicorn girl who finds it hard to concentrate on the same thing over and over, the unicorn who memorises her books from start to finish before she brings them home meaning that her eyes do not even have to look at the words, she is supposed to be familiarising herself with. So, the poor kid must sit in a ‘one size fits all’ reading group when clearly the one size does not fit all.  

Rightly or wrongly, I have taken the matter into my own hands and bought additional reading materials since her school clearly wants no part in her progression. Their current answer to my issues is to give my FIVE-YEAR-OLD homework EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK alongside her reading book. Insert palm face emoji here. Which I will not be encouraging her to do!! Work life balance is important, school already have her for six plus hours a day and I am sending her there to learn this stuff. Yet here we are, as parents filling in the gaps that teachers do not have the time or capacity to do. The curriculum clearly needs a revamp.  

How tempting it is to home school with this going on?  

Then there’s SENCo. The ‘sometimes makes an appearance on the school gate at drop off/pick up person’, happy, again to chat face to face but seems averse to email correspondence. This place would not work well as a business. Their communication is diabolical. But they are open for informal chats – any time which include blank stares and nervous, but polite smiles. 

So that is me currently locked in an ongoing battle with school for any kind of clarity, support, information, and communication for the foreseeable. They will not like me for it, but for my little unicorn girl I will push, fight and advocate on her behalf. Always.  

Could I be the one who will find the limits of the school in terms of what to expect?  

We all know those who do not bend eventually break, but let us hope for the sake of everyone the school can get their backsides in gear and do the right thing.  

Have you ever had to push back with your kids’ school? I’d love to hear your story too.  

Wish me luck with it. 

Love & Best, 

Xox, L.