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Friday, 19 August 2011

Diary of a woman going mad

It's only my third consecutive day with Seth. On Monday and Tuesday I was in Leeds on a course for work learning HTML and CSS (how to build websites) so I haven't been into work all week and I miss it. Even though it's been crap lately and only last month I was feeling completely miserable about it. Cos when it's good it's brilliant and I love it. Whereas I'm only in my third day with Seth and going up the wall.

People tell me how well I'm doing with Seth, what with his brilliant progress, but the truth of it is that he utterly drains me. I try to go out to see people but 9 out of 10 times he gets stressed out and 'scrunches'. My term for when he grimaces and curls up as if he's doing an abs crunch. He does it when he's got a pain, but also for lots of other reasons. So if he's tired and wants to sleep but he's not in his bed he'll scrunch. Or often when I'm trying to give him a drink. & it often is followed by a sharp backwards head butt which if I'm not quick enough ends impacting with my face. I thought we had moved passed the scrunching when we are in other peoples houses; I started bringing his bean bag so he could relax. But yesterday he did it anyway, practically the whole time we were there he scrunched or protested so I just get stressed and can't enjoy the company.

So today I promised him quality time, just the two of us. A nice walk planned to meet Daddy at lunchtime and the rest just at home. It doesn't start well. He's bouncing his legs up and down in bed so I get him up. But as soon as he's on his feet he starts to complain which is really unusual. But if he wants a lie-in that's all good with me. So I help him climb back into bed and leave him for a bit. When I go up later and check on him he's on his side, scrunching and the pool of drool soaking the sheet proves he's been like that a while - probably since I left him. So I scoop him up and we cuddle on the sofa for a while. All good. Our cat jumps up on the sofa to say 'hello' and Seth laughs pushing himself to sit upright, signing 'hello' and even brings his hand out so he strokes her fur as she goes past. Absolutely brilliant! Then I ask him if he wants to eat breakfast, he laughs so I help him slide off my lap to the floor and ask him to find his chair and walk to it. So he turns his head to his chair and together we walk to his chair. Also completely brilliant.

I've started holding his spoon directly in front of Seth and asking him to use his hands. He then reaches out and touches the spoon or the bowl or even if he raises it in an attempt I then give him a mouthful. It's a great game and he seems to really enjoy it. But then he seems to be getting full and not keeping the food in his mouth very well so I ask him if he wants to 'stop' or 'more'. At this he completely kicks off. Is this because he's outraged at my suggestion that he should stop or is it because he's had enough? I've no idea! I know that I could keep shovelling the food in his mouth and he'd keep eating it but I don't know if he's actually full. He's screaming and shouting, so in the end I simply take the bowl away and clean him up, with him still screaming away.

As soon as he's in my arms having a cuddle he calms. We've borrowed Seth's stander for the school holidays so once Seth starts to stir I strap him in. He stands in this for 30 minutes or so every morning at school. Craig had him in it for an hour on Monday but every time I've tried it Seth has just protested throwing his head back and complaining, or falling asleep-his age old way of avoiding things. Today is no exception. On reflection I think I don't realise how tiring everything that Seth is doing must be. I probably should have just put him straight on his beanbag to relax. In the end, after 10 minutes of me vainly trying to get Seth to play with feel-y or musical toys I give up and put him on his beanbag. A couple of minutes later he's laughing and I'm knackered. He spends the next half hour on his beanbag wriggling around, a short break for a drink that he signed for and then back on it with his percussion mat so he can play the drums with his feet. I feel exhausted-all I want to do is curl up on the sofa, staring at the tv, eating something bad for me. Actually typing this has helped a lot. It puts it in perspective how much we do accomplish - while I'm doing it I feel like I'm getting nowhere. Its a lot of effort, half the time I don't understand what Seth wants, I'd be happy to simply play with him if I only he played in any traditional sense. He's upstairs having a nap at the moment, before lunch, but he's just as likely to be silently scrunching and not sleeping.

Instead I could be at work, having a laugh with my colleagues and tackling tasks with a beginning and an end. Next week I'm only in work for one day, but then the summer holidays come to an end and my life gets some balance again. Its funny that the phrase 'work/life balance' is used to mean that work doesn't encroach too much on family time, but right now I'm seeing it a whole different way!