Just keep Swimming

1 more sleep. 1 more sleep if i’m lucky.

Last night Reilly went to bed and was asleep at 9.  He woke up at 12am like Aurora had just been kissed.  He was up until 6 this morning when he decided to have himself a little snooze thankfully.  Its rare these days thats its as bad as this.

I decided I was going to make sure he was tired tonight so decided I would brave the swimming pool. A quick wafting of his swimming trunks between Reilly and the Mac screen and Reilly was fastening himself into his car seat as quick as a flash.

I NEVER go to the swimming baths:

  • a) I am fat
  • b) I am a shade paler than Winterfell
  • c) I hate getting splashed.
  • d) Reilly having a meltdown and the thought of me legging it after him in a bathing costume turns my stomach (and the poor others who witness it).

Given my nearly 2 stone weight loss though I thought suck it up you are 45 years old and noone gives a flyer what you look like and off I went. Ellis decided he was coming too. Strength in numbers.

I drove off with my brood thinking I was great, one of them activity mams I despise normally, jealousy is a terrible thing. The mere sight of a fun filled family social media snap, usually fake can sometimes send my resting bitch face into a state of unrest.

Ellis splashed me at every given opportunity and I floated around like Red October looking for people I knew to get out before I would make my exit and head to the showers. Surfacing from the warmth of the baby pool on look out like a massive periscope.

I had another reason for going swimming. It was a secret covert mission to wash Reillys hair! I cannot do it at home. I cannot watch my boy ram his face into the tiles and scratch himself when attempting to wash his hair. Can’t do it. Is it the smell, taste, feeling, sensation? We don’t know but what we do know is it is much simpler at the pool. There’s a quick kick off but no meltdown and it passes quickly. Success! Look at me parenting!

All in all it was a huge success sounds ridiculous to some that I am celebrating a trip to the pool but honestly some of our trips out would make your toes curl.

Back home and out on his bike with Tarly for some night swinging at the park.

Surely he’ll sleep? He’s never stopped today. Tomorrow morning will be awful. First day back for Reilly is that bad his dad has taken the day off to help. It’s not that he hates school he just wants to be with me. This past 2 weeks you’ll be lucky if there’s been a day where Reilly hasn’t been attached to my cheek. He loves the holidays, loves staying in his pjs and watching films. He’s rekindled his love for Charlie and Lola which I’m very happy about and we’ve watched hundreds of episodes. Tomorrow is going to be tough for the little man. I expect uniform down the toilet at first opportunity.

Myself and Shane will be going out for lunch as we have spent zero time together over the Christmas holidays and a bit of almost grown up conversation is much needed.

Good Luck to all those with a fight on their hands in the morning. Cheers to the first uninterrupted cuppa x


I’m one week in.  It feels like 8.

Out of 7 nights Reilly has woke up 5 of them at 4am.

I hate 4am – it’s not night anymore and it’s too early to be morning.  He doesn’t wake up grumpy,  he wakes up like it’s the greatest day on earth and he’s ready for it.  He spends approximately 30 mins alternating between trying to manoeuvre the tip of my nose inside his belly button, lying across me like a plank and sitting on my head.  I don’t mind this part as I can keep my eyes closed and stay in a lying down position.

4.30am ish he likes to play tents but only with me putting the torch on my phone.  He thinks its hilarious, me not so much.

5am ish The roller blind goes up and I shrivel up like Edward Cullen when the light streams through the window.  Reilly takes this opportunity to practise his jumps from the window ledge onto the bed.  Still ok because I’m still lying down, after I double-check the window locks of course because mark my words he’d be out the window and onto the ledge in second.

I try to lure him back into bed by putting videos of people’s holiday vlogs on youtube and lie for half an hour responding to his points where I MUST respond with the right word so no winging it with my eyes shut.  If he points at pool and I say balcony i’m for it.

Around about this time we get up.  I hobble across the floor because my plantar fascitis is killing me and he jumps on my back at the top of the stairs so I can piggy back him down and we count every stair on the way and he runs his fingers along the crappy old artex at the top of the stairs.

He bursts into the living room like its 1999. Big lights on and they are that bright its like being interrogated by the FBI.  He opens the door into the conservatory and an icy fog creeps into the living room.

I attempt to make a cup of tea which he routinely takes off me and pours down the sink and I retreat like a bear with a sore head onto the settee and wrap myself in the throw which he will always come and remove while I try my best to keep my eyes open and pray he gets tired again soon all the while he bounces up and down to the equally energetic ratbag Pocoyo on the telly.

Have I got another 5 weeks of this for some type of normality to return? I’m too tired.  If I was one of those people who could get into bed and go to sleep after Reilly does it wouldn’t be so bad but that’s not me.  I listen to meditation apps, rain sounds on a tent on youtube, and parts of an audiobook before even thinking about dropping off to sleep.

And that’s just the start of the day.  We have many hours of fun to fill in between before the debacle starts again.

So if you see me in the next few weeks and I look like a walking dead extra you know why.  All down to my little super cute  stealer of sleep Reilly.



Sleep Deprivation and Tossers

I had a driving lesson this morning.  I haven’t had one for a couple of weeks and feared the worst for the general public.   Today though I was more switched on than usual, I wasn’t as panicky and all round had a much better lesson.  How can this be?  I’m consistantly nervous and Driving Miss Daisy but today was better and there was only one explanation.  I’d had a full nights sleep.  I fell asleep with Reilly at 20.45 woke up at 23.45 thinking that was my lot and that it was 6am.  Imagine my excitement when  I realised, Reilly allowing, I could actually rack up an incredible extra 7 hours!! That’s exactly what I did.

Sleep deprivation is the worst.  Physically I can take being tired but mentally is a different story.  What a horrible, moaning, ratty cow I become when I get less than my (sometimes if I’m lucky) 5 hours.  Some days I look at my social media and switch it back off because I literally hate everyone, I put TV on and switch that off because I hate everyone.  I lose approximately 70% of my vocabulary and recently actually questioned how I had spelt the word ‘the’ because it just didn’t look right.  It’s depressing, literally. It aggravates anxiety and whips up a vile vicious circle of over thinking, insomnia and exhaustion.

I read some jolly old snippets about sleep deprivation today that filled me with horror, I’ll share a few for you:

  • Five hours or less sleep nearly doubled the risk of death in particular cardiovascular disease in one study. Like I needed to read that one given our family history.
  • Chronic sleep loss puts you at risk of heart disease, heart attack, heart failure, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes.  Whopppeeee NOT!
  • Makes you look like Gollum (FACT).

The fact that my post entitled Grim about dying and leaving Reilly is one of my biggest fears this doesn’t help.

I get to have all this and do North East Hearts with Goals, Alphabetically Autistic and keep the house ticking over (kind of) which makes me tired just writing it.

It changes me as a person, my whole character.  I have recently while out shopping in sleep deprived state actually wanted to hit a woman with a 4 pack of beans for looking (for more than 5 seconds) at Reilly kicking off and straddling the big bit of the trolley like a school gym horse.  I settled for bumping her with said trolley.


It’s just no good. I’m not an angry person.  I’m laid back, I hate confrontation, I like peace.  I want to throw all of that out of the window and go on the rampage in my sleep deprived states.  At any given moment someone could be one judgey tut from a decking.

You can help me though by supporting our bid to make a film with to educate the general public.  Not just any film though, a clever, witty film with input from autistic people. Help them stop me from wanting to pummel tins, chickens, eggs off them, help me to stop telling people to fuck off for their blatant ignorance to the situation in front of them.  Help them to be less judgemental.

#prayforIan (driving instructor)

UPDATE!!  I passed my driving test thanks to Ian and film looks like it might actually happen!! How exciting.  Support our crowdfunder project if you can.  

Go the **** to sleep!

I’m currently on approximately 12 hours sleep in 36 hours.  I have a chest infection which makes me cough which in turn causes Reilly to have a meltdown.  To say I am pissed off is a massive understatement.

Reilly takes melatonin, theres a bit of mixed reaction to it, some parents see it as drugging your child and that it’s actually a little bit selfish.  I on the other hand will stop you right there.  When my health visitor passed me in the street after not seeing her for quite a few months about  1 year ago I looked like something from The Walking Dead.  Reilly would never fall asleep before midnight and would wake at around 3-4am, not his fault it’s common in children with autism. I was exhausted and frustrated and could not see any light at the end of a very long dark tunnel.  When she recommended it I felt a little glimmer of hope.

Melatonin is a hormone produced by the brain that kicks in when it starts to get dark and will make you feel a but sleepy.  It’s not a sleeping tablet, it helps you fall asleep and it works lots of the time but not all the time but when you are at a stage in your life where you think anything over 4 hours sleep is a bonus its time to reevaluate and look at your options.

Sleep deprivation is wicked. It affects your relationships, you become a vile cow who hates everyone especially those who think they are tired because their child woke up for a drink, it affects your well being – your immune system suffers and it makes you feel like a depressed anxious failure. For your child it affects their learning, their mood, their growth and ability to function properly.  So we all agree sleep is essential.

I wouldn’t be without his melatonin now I take the bad nights on the chin along with the ones where he needs a break from it (it can’t be administered every night) and I try and enjoy the good ones where he’s snoring at 9pm and I can’t decided whether to stay upstairs with him and have an early night or run downstairs and have cups of tea and watch crap on the telly, it’s usually the latter. Me time equally as important as sleep.

Last week Reilly was changed over from his normal liquid melatonin (very expensive) to the tablet form and it doesn’t agree with him! Good god he’s wild!  He is waking at 2am every morning and is really aggressive. Scratching me, pulling my hair, screaming, throwing things.  This happens till about 7am when he falls back asleep for a couple of hours.  Needless to say I’ve requested the liquid melatonin back and hopefully have it in my tired paws by tomorrow.

I cannot stand how angry, impatient and generally crap I am with no sleep, everyone suffers because of it, added to that the constant melting down because of my coughing and the fact that an SEN parent isn’t allowed to be ill or tired because the day doesn’t stand still for us, couple of hours in bed – not a chance!  It cracks on at it’s normal speed leaving you frazzled in it’s wake praying for a better night.

Keep everything crossed for me tonight as Reilly will be tablet free I’d rather go another 24 hours on 4 hours sleep than see him like the wild child of late.

ps if anyone heard me last night I was just reading from this book.  I promise! 

Go the Fuck to Sleep from Julien Devlin on Vimeo.