What a week or two – jeepers creepers, this going back to school malarkey is rather full on, isn’t it?!
Emotion, exhaustion, organisation…seriously, can I keep it up?
Let’s start from now and work backwards….
So, the first day back arrives and off goes Master Joe, soon to be 12, in a matter of a month and suddenly looking more grown up.
Is it the ‘proper white shirt’, the ‘I don’t want to be told off for my hair touching my collar’ new haircut or the emblazoned blazer (not to be placed anywhere near heat sources as 100% polyester and Teflon coated to within an inch of its life….mental note to buy a supply of deodorant !)
Possibly, ALL of the above!
Anyway, he looked great and I for one was grateful that the day to start Secondary School had finally materialised as the anticipation was KILLING me.
So, off he went and all was well until a tearful phone call came through at the end of the day.
‘Mummy, they’ve all gone off without me, I’m all alone and I think I’m lost …’
Instinctively I went into efficient mode and talked him through it all, resulting in a safe arrival back at our local train station, eventually…he flew into my arms and held on soooo tightly.
He cried…Maddie cried and I did too.
What a tough first day for him, still, as we said the worst has now happened and things will only get better (though I’m still awaiting the phone call saying ‘Mummy I’ve missed my stop and I’m in London!’)
Maddie – busy as usual!
Maddie is as full-on as I am and relishing the Year 6 – top of the school title, with cries of ‘oh she’s so cuuuuute’ about all the teeny dots starting in nursery and reception…it hardly seems a moment ago that she WAS the ‘cuuuuuute’ dot herself!
Where oh where has that time gone?
The news of Distinction for her Grade 2 Ballet Exam came through today, along with the list of dates for Panto as she successfully auditioned for the Professional Pantomine near us. It means my diary is already getting full, and that always means a new diary purchase is imminent! So I can be in control (or pretend to be).
The Drama Club at school will perform Twelfth Night in October and it seems Miss Maddie has been given the part of Viola! Wowzer…I’d better find a children’s adaptation to help her understand her forsooths, prithees, and perchances!
Oh, and she is now the proud owner of a School Council badge, having prepared a speech full of great ideas and persuasive text! She delivered it to her class and she was voted in. She was thrilled!
I, on the other hand, must be cajoling/nagging Mummy to ensure she eats well, practises and sleeps enough to help her get through all these things alongside her schoolwork and other activities.
Do we predict a drama or two….?
The struggle continues
Tom seems delighted to be back amongst his friends, but not so having to get up earlier. He’s a boy who rather likes his routine, so the return of all the end-of-day activities is wonderful for him, not as much for Dan and I as we struggle more and more to split ourselves in three. I know the answer may indeed be to lessen their extra-curricular ‘stuff’, both physically and financially easing the problem, but in fact I want to up it for Tom’s sake..mad, I know, but I’ve been looking into The Special Olympics training, athletics and swimming plus he has told me he wants to drum! As you know he adores his Youth club and Scouts already.
….finally finally finally I managed to contact a group near us and for one of the first times the words ‘Yes Claire, we CAN and WILL help you’ were uttered. I was emotionally exhausted, fighting and banging my head against a brick wall, so to hear that along with a ‘well done for all you’ve achieved so far’ with Tom was all a bit much and once again …I cried!
It seems to me that Tom falls in between the devil and the deep blue sea as he achieves so much BUT realistically he isn’t able to access life in the same way you or I can…sadly, this means we are floating about somewhere in the ether with not a lot offered or indeed available to us.
The end result I hope for is that somehow I would like to be in a position to have someone (other than Dan and I ) take him to access these things ( as most, unsurprisingly are NOT on our doorstep ) plus this will begin with the development of Tom’s social life and independence….so terrifically important for his self esteem.
It’s funny how battles commence simultaneously as County’s decision still not to assist with Tom’s transport to and from school is also ramping up.
It’s appearing that I may have to go to Tribunal where I must fight that the NEAREST suitable school is in fact not relevant and it is the MOST suitable school that is the criteria that is important . It’s going to be tough…again, I hope the end result is that we can have some help to ensure Tom is safely escorted to and from school, allowing us all a breather from splitting ourselves in three, and the financial pressures that creates.
Please wish me luck on both accounts!
Summer holidays swept by and our week away to Scotland was fun and truly fabulous.
Here’s Tom and Dan hunkering down for their sleep on the overnight train to Edinburgh …brilliant to travel whilst you sleep and unbelievable that we were there at 7.30 am after a tap on the door, a cup of tea delivered and Bob’s your uncle it was time to disembark!
A fab day and night continued, where we experienced Edinburgh and were wowed by all the fun and frivolities.
Maddie was in heaven at the zoo and her enthusiasm for working in a zoo was not dampened, even when we saw the cages being cleaned! ‘I can easily do that Mummy’ were her words. A disappointing moment for her though when she realised it wasn’t possible to even SEE the panda, but the possibility there may be a baby panda next time soon cheered her up (luckily!)
The amazing campervan!
I truly thought they had sign written especially (I think Tom still believes this to be the case so ssssshhhh!!! Let’s not ruin it for him!)!!
After a huge handover, it became clear why we couldn’t just grab the keys and hand over outside our hotel – every single nook and cranny had a secret within. Flick that lever and out popped a chair. Lift that button and wowzer, a full-on table. Peek under there and…fridge, gas rings etc…behind there…coat hangers and shelves! You get the picture. Fan-flipping-tastic , and our new home for the week!
We loved it so much (and it drove like a dream) that Dan has just traded his current sexy truck! For one, that way we can actually all fit in comfortably plus Gus AND our luggage! And my car’s mileage may stay as it should.
I hasten to add it is a normal, un-modified version Dan has found, thank goodness as a hundred grand – crikey- was the cost of the full on ‘done’ ones!
Sing along now… ‘What a difference a day makes’!
Adventures on the road
It was most amusing attempting to replicate the ‘how to attatch the awning/put the roof space up to find the bed/ pitch the tent’ etc etc, whilst beating the rain with the use of torches, once we found which flipping nook /cranny they were hidden in! Still nice to think we brought amusement to all the gang opposite us, enjoying their fire and wine…did I mention Dan parked on a SLANT?
We may have got the rain for our holiday, but heh oh it didn’t dampen our spirits nor our enjoyment of this beautiful part of our world.
We took in all we could, driving up and around the stunning Lochs sadly no sightings! We covered some 600 miles in just a couple of days and we will definitely be back to head further up the East coast, as we had to kind of zig zag to ensure we were at St Andrews for our ‘date ‘ with family and friends for the rest of our week.
What a wonderful break it was though, and I just love it when were all together, wherever we are! Not so this weekend as Dan is off challenging himself with the Brecon Beacons ride in Wales. Has he trained? Yes!
Is it enough? I’m not sure…
Will he manage it?
I have faith, besides he’s put away copious amounts of pasta this week, so he should have enough energy for all of his gang!
I’ve certainly been a cycle widow! Oh and did I mention the weekend starts with…GOLF!
Meanwhile, I shall be catching up with my lovely cousin , my sis in law and their children in between micro-managing the HOMEWORK. I shall save another blog for that!
This is just a quick ‘let you know what’s going on’ blog as I know the time has ticked away…better to say a quick hello than not to chat at all huh?
Monday is Day 2 of the phenomenon that is Beauty Day, so I shall be Laura Gellering and L’Occitaining with you at 11 and 12 , then off to film some more of the Technology Made Easy pieces ( can’t think why they’ve asked me!).
Tuesday and Wednesday I shall be with you on The Morning Show and onward, so I shall look forward to that.
Tootle-ooo ( how on earth do you write that?!) for now, as I prepare to continue my battles re Tom….with the advice of a friend ringing in my ear: BREATHE!!
Good advice is worth passing on so…
Breathe well all of you!