Tuesday, 29 November 2011

A most peculiar day

I hate traveling by train.

I've had to be in London these last 2 days; having to squeeze myself into the smallest space to avoid overly touching the person next to me or facing me, who is invariably a man who is sitting with a wide stance uncaring that he's encroaching into MY space.

Finally I reach my destination only to rush headlong along with the throng through the station, 'thinking I wonder how many calories I'm burning walking up these escalators'?!, just so that I can queue to get onto the next tube train that isn't already jam packed. I finally force my way on only to be crushed into this medley of smells.

Then as the train hurtles through this dark hole I can't help imagining what would happen if we would crash (although the nature of the narrow tunnel reduces the chance of derailment I suppose?!) and that we are packed in like sardines. At least we don't have to contend with the heat of summer on top of it all. The saving grace is that I have discovered that on the train, sitting by the toilet (as long as you're not actually facing the door) gives lots of legroom.

So, anyway, I'm finally on my home in my newly found roomy seat and my phone rings. Its an unfamiliar number. A man on the other end is asking me to move my car. Apparently he has a Peugeot 207 frequently parking outside his house and a) he finds it annoying and b) he thinks it's mine. It's not. I'm also rather curious as to how he has my number and why he thinks the car is mine. Apparently he got my number from the hairdressers. Now that's very possible but I still couldn't quite work out why that led him to the conclusion that it was my car. I think it means he lives on my street which means I could well be parking outside his house!!!!

Although not at that time, and not in a Peugeot. I was, in fact, parked in another street by the side of the train station. I only live about 10 minutes walk from the station so would normally not have done that and I also happen to know that it drives them crazy having commuters using their street as a car park. But I had to pick Seth up from my parents as soon I got back so was doing everything I could to speed that up (short of paying to park in the car park of course!!!) The train duly arrives and I walk briskly to my car...there are people standing near it. As I unlock the car a woman asks me if I had just come from the train. When I confirm her suspicion she then informs that her husband's car has had it's windows smashed and I am partially culpable for this act of vandalism. Apparently if I hadn't parked in front of their house he wouldn't have had to park on the other side of the street (albeit still outside their house!). She wasn't too clear how that would have prevented the vandalism but seemed a bit put out when I replied with a very unsympathetic 'I know you find it annoying that people park here but that really is a bit thin'. I wanted to follow up with an explanation of how I frequently have to hike half way down my street carrying my disabled son because I can't park outside my house! But I didn't think she'd be all that interested and plus carrying on the conversation would have just delayed me further so I quickly drove of.

Anyway, tomorrow is Seth's birthday, He'll be 4. He doesn't have a clue it's his birthday or that he has a bunch of cards and presents waiting for him. Neither Craig or I have any leave left and school is on strike so my parents have stepped in yet again and are looking after him all day. I at least hope to leave work early and spend an hour or two with Seth before he goes to sleep but how do you make a big deal of something when the recipient hasn't any idea? I'm sure that will be a whole other post...

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Mums of special needs kids who blog

My friends son is in a very bad way and after returning home for a few short days he is back in hospital. I say a friend, but she's just a woman whose blog I follow. But I read about her and her families good times, the stressful days and the days full of laughter. And right now she feels like a friend whose going through hell. I write a few platitudes on her blog and hope that it helps a little. Would it help me? I think so but mine is more emotional angst; it's been a long time since I actually felt Seth's life was actually in danger (and long may that last!!!)

Another mum I follow drove me to tears this week on a recent post from Mama Lewis. Stacie's daughter is also severely brain damaged and is going to start pre school at a special needs school. The post says, probably a lot more eloquently than I ever could, exactly how I felt when we first visited Seth's school. Mama Lewis also has a new website.

It was Craig's birthday on Friday so we've had a really treat-filled weekend. I took him to see the comedian Richard Herring Thursday night and my parents had Seth for the night so I could surprise Craig with a night at a hotel. Then Friday we picked Seth up from school and drove up to Derbyshire for 2 nights at a cottage. (it's times like this when I love working and having the financial means to do this!!) Seth did his usual and woke up every couple of hours but the cottage was amazing - I think the best we've ever stayed in so although tired we still feel rested. I highly recommend the cottage the Old Creamery, near Matlock

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Riding for the Disabled

Seth rode a horse for the first time on Saturday! He's not even 4 and he's horse riding! They didn't have a hat small enough for his head so I brought along his cycle helmet which is a bit too big for him as well, actually, but they said it would be okay.

Seth had been extremely excited the whole drive there and then decided it was time for a nap as soon as we arrived. However, when the pony started moving he sat up tall and had such a grin on his face. Of course all the photos then came out blurred so I had to satisfy myself with a few snaps when they were stationary, and Seth predictably had his head down. The whole thing lasted about half an hour max and Seth had two people walking by his side holding him so that he couldn't slide from the saddle (one being his daddy), and another guiding the pony. They walked up and down the length once and then they had different activities for the children (there were 2 others during Seth's session), so they had to walk their ponies down one length, lean down and pick up an item that was placed on top of a cone and then walk back up and drop it into a bucket, and then go again to collect another item. Obviously, Seth was assisted in all this, however, there was one older, more able child, who was learning to guide her pony by coloured reins who was riding a whole lot better than I ever did during my few riding lessons as a child.

We don't have a date to go back yet as they are fully booked and we will have to wait for last minute cancellations, however, in the New Year maybe we can get a regular slot.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

A visit to great godparents

Last weekend we went to Leeds to visit David and Sheila. David is my godfather and so we entitled him 'great godfather' when Seth was born. I was born in Leeds so it always feels like coming home when we go up there (even though we moved when I was 3 or 4!!!). Soon after Seth was born Craig had a job opportunity in Leeds and we considered moving but I'm so glad we didn't. If we had not had our friends close to us over the last few years we would not have dealt with all that life has thrown at us half as well!!!

Anyway, the visit was fab. We were well fed and watered, taken to a farmers market where I drooled over cakes but managed not to buy any (I don't know where I got my willpower from!!!) and David and Sheila even babysat Seth so we could go out with Gill (their daughter) and Lee (her husband). It was weird cos the last few times we've been up has been to see Matt (their son) and Robyn (his wife) and it made us really miss them but they have returned to New Zealand and it's going to take more than a 2 and a half drive up the motorway to see them again. I think I must have my motherhood 6th sense running cos while we were at the pub on Saturday night, it was getting close to 11 and I announced it was time to get a taxi back. When we walked through the door we discovered that Seth had just woken up crying so it was good we hadn't stayed out any longer.

In fact Seth had woken up several times for the past 3 nights, and that night was no exception. We didn't really know what was wrong and then Sunday morning he fitted. He fitted several times during the day and spent the rest of the time drowsing or asleep. Sunday night he started rubbing his ear. On Monday the doctor said he had an inflamed ear and we decided to leave it a few days to see if it cleared up itself but he continued to have bad nights and then this morning he fitted again. So now he's on antiobiotics - the yellow stuff that looks like radioactive waste!!!! Hopefully he's now on the mend.

Seth and Sheila having a cuddle

Seth with me and Gill enjoying the playground

Seth and Craig enjoying the swings