Yesterday was one of those days that come along just when you need a reminder that the world is not actually filled with horrors.
Ellis was very kindly invited to a birthday party at the Metrocentre, I have a love hate relationship with the place. I only like parking where there are 2 spaces next to each other which is a near impossibility here and for someone that suffers from anxiety my biggest fear is no quick escape route to fresh air, there’s no windows when you are walking about and it makes me feel claustrophobic, sometimes.
I found my little bit of sanctuary after dropping Ellis off at Game and found I had 2.5 hours to do whatever I please. Yay says the Christine who craves time alone, boooo says anxious Christine – what if I need to leave earlier, what if I have a panic attack etc etc. I wandered straight to Waterstone Cafe and bought the book I had been waiting for. Notes on a nervous planet by Matt Haig. All bout how to stay sane in a world that is anything but, ironic that 2 armed cops were stood outside the window when I looked up. My incessant need to be attached to social media for my charity work and Reilly will be the downfall of me and something I need to address and get some organisation in my life. We’ll see how that goes, its not the first time i’ve said it!
I grabbed a tea, soya milk and tiffin and started to read. I could have stayed for days. I NEVER do things like this. Im that busy trying to be busy to stop overthinking everyday life I had forgotten there are simple pleasures in actually taking 5 minutes for myself.
I then decided I would do something else I never do and went for a make up consultation at Urban Decay. I an absolute gem of a girl called Rhona invited me to take a seat and we chatted while she explained what a setter was and the likes and even proved they work by doing a demo, i’m cynical, i’m not the girliest of girls and still apply all of my makeup with one finger, quick dressing gown wipe for next product, you get the picture. Anyway she was right I was wrong and that never happens. We discussed our love for Harry Potter and got to talking about Reilly, lack of sleep, autism and defibrillators in no particular order.
When I was leaving she gave me her email address and said she was inspired by the things we talked about and she would love to do my makeup for free for our winter ball in December. I nearly cried. Biggest of thankyous to Rhona she probably has no idea how much she made my day and i’ll definately be taking her up on her offer.
Little things that restore my faith in human nature. Ellis had a great day at his party, Reilly had a great day at the beach with his dad and I went to bed trying to read my book by the light of my phone trying not to disturb the tiny cherub sleeping peacefully beside me.
I love nice people so I decided to write a blog about one. I’ve never even met this lady.
A little while ago Kelly my sister in law commissioned some handmade bears to give all the family as a surprise. Not just any bears. These bears were made from my late brothers clothing, his friends and family will recognise one of the patterns in particular. I love mine. He sits on the shelf in the living room and I always give him a quick glance. Reilly loves him too and does occasionally lock him in our bird cage ornament,must be that one visit to the Zoo at the Lakes.
I think it’s a lovely craft and brings a lot of happiness to bereaved families.
The ladies name is Caroline Chapman and she appears on most streams of social media as Carrie’s Thread Bears. Since receiving my bear I messaged Caroline to say thank you and stayed in touch ever since. She loves Reilly’s blogs and I cheer her up with my John Rocha posts, he’s my twin. She is my biggest fan (I think I look like John Rocha and pretend I am in him in various photographs, you have to be there) for example …….
Anyway today I received a present through the post. I love it, not just because I like gifts but it’s nice like receiving a written letter instead of a typed one.
Inside the package was this little beautiful tooth fairy cushion for when Reilly starts to lose his teeth. You put the tooth in the little pocket for safe keeping while under the pillow and replace with a coin or whatever, good news for us parents is the pocket is small good for a pound coin and no fivers!
What a lovely gesture. Even more lovely that I know she’s been unwell and is supporting her sister through chemo. Absolute star and i’m super grateful.
By the way how the hell do we explain losing teeth to our autistic cherubs? New one for me to read up on I think.
Take a look at some of her great work you’ll be impressed xx
I was over the moon today to see someone had posted on Facebook looking for a young lady who had helped her with her autistic son in our local Asda. The little boy was really upset and grabbed onto on a passing stranger, the stranger then offered to stay with the mother and son to make the shopping trip easier for them. Since the incident the little boy has been asking to see her again. Given that our autistic children sometimes have trouble forming relationships its lovely to hear.
Take a bow Calli Tully the helpful stranger.
I’m a great believer in paying it forward, if you can help someone do it! Calli has experience with autistic little ones so was unfazed and happy to help. It’s so lovely as a mother of a child mid meltdown to see someone who gets it and is willing to help – it helps zone out the calls for a good smack, straight to his room, spend a day with me i’ll straighten him out. I’ve heard them all from judgemental dickheads who assume that shitty parenting is to blame.
I have friends who have asked me what they should do if they see someone struggling with a child. Most of my friends and family can spot a meltdown now. Big question is – is it seen as interfering? For me no it isn’t. I appreciate any help I can get when Reilly is in full flow. My bags are often in a discarded trolley or dropped on a floor somewhere usually complete with phone and money. Sometimes just having someone to talk to while you attempt to calm the situation is good, move your focus even if it’s just for a minute.
This is my list of things I would find helpful:
Don’t judge! If my child is kicking off, making noises, jumping, biting things or behaving in a manner which you think is odd don’t look at me like i’m a parenting failure. Sometimes these behaviours are the child self regulating and coping with the environment in their own way.
Let me in! If you are at a checkout and i’m behind you PLEASE let me go first. Time is everything and every second counts.
Come with me! Walk with me to the car/bus stop. An extra pair of hands is invaluable if you’ve got a meltdown and a runner. It’s near impossible to juggle the lot. 5 minutes out your own day could make a world of difference. Offer a lift if its needed and you can.
Defend! Hear someone making comments ask them not to be so rude it adds to the pressure to calm the situation when others are standing over you all self righteous (yes it does happen). I can guarantee walking a mile in my shoes will leave them in need of a weeks holiday, a spa day and a new pair of shoes to boot. (Not so important for me as I have mastered the art of the death stare sometimes accompanied with words that end with off).
If I look like i’m going to cry offer a shoulder. I’m at breaking point and it’s best to haul ass and get the hell out of there by any means necessary.
I appreciate not all parents will feel the same as me but if you see me and Reilly and i’m struggling don’t be shy. Even just the nod of knowing, that look that says ah bless you both can be enough to muster a bit more resilience and move on.
Last night I posted to my Facebook asking if anyone had any links to hotels for a cheap overnighter. I really need this at the moment but more importantly so does Ellis my Thing 2. He’s almost 10 and is craving time alone with his Mam. I don’t think anyone can appreciate how difficult it is to keep a neuro-typical child topped up with much needed attention when you have an autistic child, especially in the school holidays. I’ve been known in the past to keep Ellis off school when Reilly is at school just so we can just go for lunch together.
I’m always on call, always on lookout for Reilly he’s attached to me like velcro pretty much all of the time. When Ellis tries to sit beside me Reilly will squash in the middle and scream in Ellis’s ear until he eventually gets sick and moves. It’s so hard. They don’t want to go to the same places which happens in all families I know but with this one there is no negotiation with Reilly and pretty much he always gets his way because Ellis will cave because he can’t stand the fallout and I feel so guilty.
What Ellis really loves is a night away with me, just locally. We have tea, watch films, eat sweets and we sleep!
So imagine my shock this morning when my friends and legends Lesley & Jeff Armstrong rang me to say they have booked myself and Ellis into the Copthorne Hotel in Newcastle tomorrow as a treat, I’ve known Lesley & Jeff quite a few years I even took their wedding photographs complete with their fabulous Border Falcons and Sheikh’s, I was bloody terrified!
I never expected this. I’m absolutely gobsmacked. I have cried so much this morning because it is such a lovely gesture I just can’t quite get over it.
There are good people in this world my faith has been restored.
An enormous thank you it is appreciated more than anyone will ever know I have one very happy little boy. xxx