Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Night Of Too Many Stars

This made me cry a little. I am a fan of Katy Perry’s music anyway, but this was so sweet. I have a child with autism and the more awareness that children may not look “wrong”, they aren’t all Rain Man, and they don’t rock in corners but autistic kids still need support and understanding… well the more awareness the better.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Rebelling against the teenager?

I was a nightmare teenager. I drank to excess. I smoked. I took drugs. I went missing. I shoplifted. I dated men who would nowadays be tarred with nasty names for associating with underage girls. I was less of a nightmare than my sisters though, who were both worse than me. Our peers were the same, we all rebelled against society, against the norms, against authority. We saw and went through a lot of bigotry, including arrests based on the colour of skin, on the clothes worn, on mere age. There were few jobs, no minimum wage and no future. There were wars, protests, fear of the Bomb. It was a difficult time but we almost revelled in the difficulty and angst, our excuse to rave, destroy property and upset “them”.

I wasn’t looking forward to my own kids’ teenage years, let me tell you.

I just read an article that has given me pause for thought. It appears that teens nowadays have the lowest rate of smoking, drinking alcohol and using illegal drugs for many years. They are, it seems, rebelling against the very stereotype of teenagers.

I look at my kids and their friends. My daughter tells me that many of them smoke, drink, take drugs. But also, many more of them don’t. Many of them hang out online, have in jokes, references to things that purposefully go over their parents’ heads, who have a whole culture completely unknown to The Olds. They have friends from all over the world thanks to the Internet, who open their eyes to all cultures and make everything the norm. They are almost unshockable over the harsh realities of life and sexuality. They are, on the whole, incredibly liberal with their affections and outlook. They have no inbuilt bigotry based on sexuality and colour. They do have the usual disdain for the parental generation but theirs is based on disapproval of our unhealthy habits and “isms” – sexism, racism, ageism.

Yeah. My teenager disapproves of ME.

It’s disconcerting, let me tell you. They make me second guess myself and the choices I made. Did I think things through, back then, did I make those choices or did I just do what was expected of me and rebel and party and make life so much more difficult than it needed to be? Were we, as teenagers, truly rebelling, or was it any excuse to live life the easy way?

The teenagers of today seem capable of teaching the older generations as much, if not more, than we can teach them. That’s a peculiar position to be in, let me tell you.

Saturday, 4 August 2012


When my children were very little, I told them some little white lies. Silly things, like calling chimneys “cloud-makers”. Today, Babe asked me, where do clouds really come from?

Well… sez I…. the sun heats the water and it evaporates into the air. You can’t see it because it is invisible. Then the air goes up into the sky, all by itself because warm things rise. Then when it gets high enough, it cools down and the water in the air makes clouds. When the clouds get full, they let the water out and it comes down as rain, and the rain goes into the rivers to get sucked up by the sun again…

My daughter looked at me. She looked at a chimney, with it’s very obvious “cloud” of smoke coming out and drifting up into the sky. She consider my story of invisible, levitating, magical water.

“Uh-huh…” she sez, and makes the “are you fecking kidding me?” face:


I don’t think she believes me at all.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

What shape is your kid?

Bear with me on this one. Sandy and I were discussing this the other day. “What shape is Thing Two?” she asked. Eh? People shaped. “No, not physical shape… if you had to describe her as a shape, what shape is she?”

Sandy’s son is apparently a spike shape. He’s very calm and even to outsiders but spends all his time poking and prodding, irritating and digging – for information, for attention, for anything. Her daughter, Flower, is a heart shape. She is pure emotion, wears her heart on her sleeve and sentiment rules her life.

What a concept. People as shapes. Hmmm….

I think Thing One is an isosceles triangle. She has very specific rules, and tries to fit in but there’s occasionally a jarring space where she doesn’t quite gel with society. Once you accept the way she is, then she’s really easy to get along with.

Thing Two is a square. She is incredibly easy to get along with and fits in literally everywhere. Imagine a square turning over… it slowly lifts and rotates on its corner then flomps over all at once… this is how she works. She will hang back and assess things, and once she has got the measure of it she embraces it wholeheartedly.

The Babe is a star. She is everywhere, madly whirring from one thing to another, a finger in every pie, and she’s a bit blind to the pokes and prickles that she may accidentally deal out to those in her way. She meeans well, and she lights up a room, but those sharp edges need blunting and she needs to slow down.

So, what shape would you use to describe your child?

Saturday, 7 April 2012


They are all on their guard on April Fool’s Day. They don’t know that pranks can be pulled any day of the year…

So I did the old “hold a (plastic!) cup against the ceiling with a broom”; except I popped a bit of string in the cup instead of water. I called down Thing Two – I’ve caught a spider, will you just hold this while I deal with it?”

So she holds the broom handle which is holding the cup against the ceiling. I walk away. She mostly realises that I’ve just pulled a fast one, but a little bit unsure about the possibility of a spider so she giggles nervously, looking up and not letting go. Eventually, obviously, she moves, the cup falls, the string falls out onto her head, Thing Two shrieks…. all is well with the world, right?

The Babe SCREAMS and runs out of the room quicker than lightning. She is halfway up the stairs shrieking about tarantulas. She is hysterical, tears are pouring, fear is written all over her tiny face. And I… I am laughing like a jackass, too curled up to be a parent and calm my child who is shaking her head at me, mouthing the words “I can’t go in there….”

Two for one, zing!

I am a bad, bad mother….

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Puppy plus

The puppy is now about 18 months old, and he has failed MANY an IQ test. Even putting a cushion over a biscuit is enough to flummox him. He thinks my bed eats me every night so he attacks the duvet to protect me. So when we saw that Shih Tzus were among the thickest dogs on the planet, we weren’t surprised.

So obviously we had to test this, right? The Babe got every single tin, can and jar out of the cupboard and set up a square. I popped the dog in, and he looked at me. And stepped out.

“No! Put him back until he gets it RIGHT!” Says Babe.

Uh, he just did…?

So I put him back. He waits until she isn’t looking and pops out with a long suffering sigh. This just won’t do. So Babe gets in the square.

“Come on Mummy, put some toys outside for me.” she says, demonstrating the correct way to fail the test.

I think she may be part shih tzu…

Friday, 13 January 2012

Eve’s Fund

Just an update here, and massive, massive thanks to you for the donations. Here is Eve, with her bike, which – because of you - she has well in advance of her op in February so she can use it and get used to it now! She’s over the moon as you can see – and it far surpasses anything I have ever seen – all I could say when we saw it was “It’s pink!”. Because it looks like a really cool toy not a disabled child’s equipment. It’s amazing, and so are you for helping her to get it. Thank you!


Monday, 9 January 2012

Human meat ‘n lellow stuff

Babe is loving school and has settled right in. She recently switched to eating school dinners, so we’re asking her every day what she ate. So far, she’s had:

Can’t remember
Don’t know
However, she came home with gravy all over her face so we had a pretty good guess that she’d had some sort of meat that day. What kind of meat?

”Sigh. I don’t know. Meat that people eat. People meat. I had human meat. Wif graby. And lellow chunks.”
I’m going to start counting the kids in AND out of that school…
*lellow chunks = swede (rutabaga). She doesn’t like it.
PS Weirdly, she remembers EVERY pudding so far. She has her priorities straight.