So I realised it’s been about two months since I last updated here. That’s way too long I know, but in my defence: I feel like I have only just stopped to come up for air this month for the first time since before Christmas. End of last term was hard, the lead up to Christmas was hard, Christmas was hard and then going back to school again was hard. I wasn’t really in a place to write about stuff when I was wholly consumed with just getting through it myself. Yeah. Life has been hard, and I guess it’s hard to find motivation to blog when all it feels like I am doing is having a bitch and whinge. No one wants to read that shit, or do they?
Anyways, I digress.
We are coming up to week 5 of Term 1 now so things have settled a lot beyond the whole initial holyfuckwhatthehellisgoingon feel.
Beans began kindergarten this year and after some initial difficulties transitioning in the mornings, is doing so well. I would be lying if I said that I didn’t cry big fat happy tears the day she came home from her first day and told me she made a friend and had a great time. Her kinder have been amazing with the supports they have effortlessly put into place for her, and I can see her social confidence growing by the day. Once upon a time she would be very hesitant and reluctant to be around other kids, and would go in the opposite direction to them – now she actually seeks them out. She even told another child at the library the other day who was hesitant to talk to her when she said hi that “it’s okay, I sometimes don’t feel like talking either.” HEART. BURST. This Friday gone Beans was fitted for orthotics to help her feet and leg pain and is off to a specialist next month for investigation into the possibility of her having a connective tissue disorder. She has lots of pain in her legs and joints and her hypermobility means by the end of the day she’s pretty well knackered. In spite of this, she is bouncing along (with some #threenager attitude thrown in though, of course) and is managing all the hurdles life throws at her pretty darn well.
Wilding is well.. still a force to contend with. She takes life by the balls (so to speak) and inches every single ounce she can get out of it. Her reading has taken off and this new skill is providing her with a lot of satisfaction and personal joy. We discovered accidentally over Christmas time when there was a lot of driving to be done, that a way to make car-rides a lot more enjoyable for her was to put podcasts onto her iPod that she could plug in and listen to. This gives her the audio feedback she craves without her needing to make the noise herself (much to our pleasure). This week however I have had to switch her headphones for the noise-limiting variation because it turns out she loved the audio-sensory feedback so much I was worried she’d permanently damage her hearing, heh. Never a dull moment with this wild card! We have noticed a pattern of her sleep and eating regressing when she’s struggling with anxiety so to manage this, we are keeping tabs on her food intake and making sure her teachers allow her plenty of chances to eat alone without others present. Also, in spite of what I thought was best – giving Wilding too much warning about upcoming events is actually counter-productive as it just lets her stew on stuff, so we have found by doing the opposite her anxiety is better managed too. School continue to be fantastic with supporting her and she takes regular chill-times throughout the day and is doing awesomely.. well, providing most things go her way. 😉
RaralilyO is plodding along beautifully, interspersed with feisty outbursts that typically make her totally my daughter. She’s learning to regulate her emotions and despite having a red-hot temper, she really does tolerate her sisters and their special needs so well. I sorta forgot how bitchy 8 year old girls can be though, however I am getting a good reminder whilst I help her to navigate the sometimes seemingly endless labyrinths that is young-girl friendships and politics. Rara is totally into netball and sport, something Cj and I are really embracing as it is something that is just for her that she doesn’t have to share. She’s also continuing on with the violin and has seemed to have passed her pokemon phase, thank goodness. She’s got a wicked sense of humour, can procrastinate like nobodies business (second only to her father maybe) and still gives the best hugs ever – when she’s not talking your ear off, that is.
Sno is into her last year of primary school. Like, holy hell – how did that happen?! Attending school on a four-day week basis is still working really well for her, although we have switched her off day to Friday so that I can capitalise on child-free days whilst Beans is at kindy and do work or like, go for ocean swims alone. Having a four day week at school plus plenty of scheduled downtimes is working really well for Sno. Despite having a few struggles at the moment regarding being bored (the perils of being gifted/twice exceptional) we are finding a happy medium. Having that one day off a week where she doesn’t have to rush out the door and can just spend it chilling or doing whatever she wants is helping so much. As is non-verbal digital communication tools (ie phone and laptop). We are embracing technology and its ability to give Sno the power to communicate even when she feels unable to do so verbally. Because of this, her hours-long screaming meltdowns have sorely reduced too. Her amazing teachers have installed an app on their phones and hers which she can use as a means of communicating when face-to-face seems all too hard. On days when she comes home and something is bothering her, she feels empowered to hop straight onto her laptop and email her support person/teacher her worries instead of having to sit at home and worry over them all night or until the next day. Meetings to sort out worries or issues can be easily arranged via text and therefore her anxiety is sorely reduced. She even emails her psychologist beforehand about the things she wants to discuss with him! It’s been a life-changer. Over the next few weeks we will be investigating possible high-schools for her and although this is a little daunting for everyone, I feel like we have it in hand.
I don’t ever write about Cj without his permission and he’s currently taking the smalls to their swimming lessons so in the interests of maintaining a supportive, loving marriage – I’ll skip over his update. Needless to say though, we are coming up to our twelve year anniversary and he’s still the most extraordinary man I’ve ever met.
Which leaves me with me. After an initial “oh my god all my children are at kindy or school what the hell do I do with myself now there isn’t even housework to do” reaction to my newly-acquired 2 child-free day week.. I am doing okay. Not shit, is my preferred response to that question. I graduated the end of last year and I am chugging along with my freelance work, hoping to ultimately score a full-time writing gig so that Cj and I can swap roles and I can tag the fuck out of this whole full-time parenting gig. Truthfully, I am bloody knackered. From being always “on” and from being a full-time advocate for my girls, in whatever form they need. All the phone calls, appointments and back-and-forth leaves me pretty well done. Writing is an awesome catharsis for me, something I can pour myself into and I am hanging for that role-swap break as I mentioned. It’s been a confronting experience for me to be stripped back to just being at home for myself, a transition I have welcomed even with all of it’s vulnerabilities. It has felt uncomfortable, but I am working through that. I’m embracing this time now by going for ocean swims, attending to my own health needs and not needing to drag small children around to them. I’m spending more time with my Mama who has alzheimers (oh boy, is that a whole other post for another day) and I’m trying to see where the wind takes me. Without sounding too corny, life really is such a journey. I feel the hard yards are behind us now, and despite everyone taking any opportunity they can to tell us how scary teenagers are – I feel ready and excited for what is ahead and feel thankful on a daily basis that we live somewhere so beautiful.
Wow, how’s that for an update hey? Congratulations if you made it this far! I knew it was overdue.