Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Progress

Some things may be falling apart, including me, but the really important stuff seems to be getting better! I had a phone call today from the Speech and Language Therapist who recently assessed Rebecca. The school had asked her to see Rebecca this time because she had previously had speech therapy for receptive and expressive language delays but had not been reassessed for ages. Anyway, the Therapist carried out a Language Link assessment and the good news was that Rebecca has made huge progress. She was slightly behind in one area but doesn't need any further speech therapy.

I'm really pleased about this and Rebecca is continuing to make progress in literacy and maths too so we seem to be getting somewhere!

Some things stagnate though. The ex may be coming tonight to see the girls but I am still waiting for him to let me know. I have a stinking cold too so if he does turn up then hopefully Ill infect him!!

Bye for now

Love Riki xxx

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

In the name of the father.....

I've written before about my ex not seeing the girls enough but it's becoming an issue again. He hasn't seen them for two weeks and hasn't had them overnight since August. He phones maybe once a week and when he sees them in the week its for two hours max at our house and most of that time is spent watching TV. He does continue to support them financially and when things come up like Teenage Drama Queen's trip to Paris then he will pay his share.

The problem is that he doesn't seem to understand that parenting is not just about paying for your kids. It's about giving them your time and attention and taking an active part in their life. There is no doubt that he loves them but I'm coming to the conclusion that this love at a distance is all he's capable of and it makes me really sad for them. Whether this is to do with hang ups from his own childhood, I don't know. He lost his Dad at 14 and his mum was never very demonstrative. I'm just frustrated that I can't fix this for the girls. I can't make him be a better Dad.

In the meantime I carry on parenting 24/7 which with a child with special needs can be exhausting especially when there is no sign of a break for me at any time. I'm good at multi tasking but its not easy to be the mother and the father too

Monday, 1 October 2012

Still here, hanging on and not quite sinking yet

My poor neglected blog! I can't believe how long it is since I wrote. I am a very naughty blogger!!

Anyway, not much has changed. I'm still here and still broke, overworked and knackered. Currently have five jobs. Three of which involve writing, hurrah! None of them pay particularly well but they mean that we are just about hanging on.

The teenager is good at the moment, her hormones seem to have settled and the tantrums and bitchy outbursts have virtually ceased. She's actually working hard at school, looking at college applications and choosing A levels for next year.

Rebecca's statement of special needs was agreed in March but the extra help was not up and running until September and the start of the new year. It seems to be going well at the moment, she's happy and likes her teacher. We saw her paediatrician last month and I tried to ask him about sensory processing disorder but he was quite dismissive. I do still think that Rebecca has some issues with sensory processing though and I'm not quite sure how to proceed now. She had some behavioural problems over the summer and started lashing out, particularly at her sister. I think part of the problem is that she finds it difficult to express herself if she gets angry. The paediatrician has offered to send me to a group for parents who have children with challenging behaviour but I've cut down on her TV time, tightened up on discipline and routines and there has already been a big improvement.

As for the cat, he's less psycho now. I told him that he's now middle aged in cat years so he needs to start being sensible.

So that's where we are at the moment. We might not have moved forward a lot but sometimes its an achievement just to manage to stay in the same place!

Bye for now

love Riki xxxx

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Mixed Emotions

I finally heard from the Local Education Authority today about the statutory assessment for Rebecca. Basically I won and she is going to receive a Statement of Special Needs. This will guarantee her 20 hours per week of learning assistance which I presume will be a mixture of individual help and help in a small group.

Its strange though, I expected to feel really elated if I was successful and was prepared for this to be turned down. Instead I just feel sad. This really sets out her problems and I think it just reinforced for me how difficult it is for her and how it will probably always be difficult. Its stupid, but I'm actually welling up while I'm typing this! I've known Rebecca has problems for a long time but it always hits you just that little bit harder when you see it spelt out on paper.

Hopefully this will be a turning point for her. A statement is legally enforceable and carries over to senior school. Twenty hours help per week could make a real difference combined with the work we do at home as well. So, I won this battle (and everybody including her school told me I had no chance!) but the fight goes on!

Onwards and upwards!

Riki xxx

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Just say No

I did something today which might sound mean. But having thought about it, I am quite pleased with myself for doing it.

Rebecca went back to school today and even with my sprained knee, I planned to walk as driving is surprisingly more painful. I got a text from the mum of a girl in her class asking if she could drop her daughter at my house and I take her into school as she had a training course to get to by 9.30am and still had to drop her toddler off. My heart sank a bit reading it. I was worried about walking to school anyway as I am still limping. If she walks alone with me then Rebecca will walk slowly and hold my hand. I just didn't feel that I could deal with two kids who would probably try and run ahead of me too. Also, I wondered why this mum hadn't sorted anything out already and why couldn't she use the school's breakfast club. And I have done favours for her before.

I felt mean though and part of me just wanted to say OK, I'll take her. Previously this is what I would have done and then probably felt resentful all day as I know this mum wouldn't have done anything for me in return. I have been reading again about being assertive though. So I took a deep breath and texted her back saying no and explaining about my knee.

I know this seems like something really little but there are so many times in the past that I would do favours that didn't suit me and that I had genuine reasons for saying no to. So Yayy, here's to the new assertive me.

Hope it lasts!

love Riki xxx

Monday, 20 February 2012

Mother or a Muppet?

It's been a long week but the end is in sight. Teenage Drama Queen went back to school today and Rebecca goes tomorrow. I have come to the conclusion that poor weather and lack of funds during a school holiday is not a good combination!

We did manage to go out a couple of times  including one trip to see The Muppets. I was immediately transported back to my childhood and Saturday evenings spent watching the Muppet Show so it was a bittersweet feeling. The film was very funny though and Rebecca is now a big Muppet fan and according to her I can do an ace impression of Miss Piggy.

Half term was made more difficult by me damaging my knee. I was carrying some bags downstairs in one hand and the hoover in the other hand when I slipped. I dropped the hover but slid down the stairs with one leg twisted behind me. I think I've pulled a ligament, its slowly getting better but I'm still limping and have to strap it up every day. I always knew hoovering was bad for me!!!

The only other thing to happen this week was the ex made his evening visit. He really surpassed himself this time by turning up at quarter to eight and staying for less than an hour. He doesn't seem to phone anymore and has made no suggestions about having the girls again. It's so sad for them. Rebecca was talking about him again and asking again if it was her fault that he left. She said that she feels ashamed that her Daddy doesn't live with her. Its so sad and I really do despise him for the way he treats the girls.

Both girls were talking this week about me finding someone else. I said it couldn't be an option for me at the moment. A line from the song Jar of Hearts keeps going through my head "I've learned to live half a life". It seems appropriate for my situation.

Still, I'm hanging in there and yes, for the things that I've given up and the sacrifices I've made, some people might think I'm a bit of a muppet. But I'm a mother first and foremost and I would change that for the world.

Bye for now

love Riki xxx

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Instruction Manuals

I've been thinking tonight how much easier life would be if kids came with their own individual instruction manual. It could pop out with the placenta!

If the Teenage Drama Queen has kids and they give her the sort of grief that she gives me, I will laugh hysterically. Today was a prime example. Her school contacted me this morning to ask why she was late. We live less than 10 minutes away from school so there is no excuse for her to ever be late. She had no proper excuse, her friend who normally knocks for her was off and she just didn't look at the time. If this was a one off then I wouldn't have made a big deal of it but she has been late about eight times so far this school year. The last time it happened,I told her that I would be harsh with her if it happened again so today I had to follow through with that. She has 6 weeks of very early bedtimes with no phone or laptop allowed in bedroom. I hope if she is in bed earlier then it might be easier for her to get up in the morning. She called me an idiot and told me I was overreacting but I did manage to get her into bed by half ten. It was supposed to be ten o'clock though.

Rebecca has been giving me a little bit of trouble lately too. She had her annual meeting with the Educational Psychologist last week which was brought forward so he could submit a report for her Statutory Assessment. One of his recommendations was that she follows the Toe by Toe scheme. I tried starting this with her in the summer. It is very good and I'd recommend it for anyone whose child has difficulty in reading. It has to be done every day for 10 - 15 minutes. The school are only working on it with Rebecca on a Thursday so the responsibility falls on me for the rest of the week. Rebecca is always quite tired after school and has been very grumpy and tearful so it has taken a lot of cajoling to get her to work on it. She also had a medical this week for the Statutory Assessment. I was disappointed as I didn't feel it was very thorough. She still has problems due to the hyper mobility in her joints and although I mentioned this, the Doctor didn't even examine them.

As for me, I'm still the same. Still knackered, still got a cough and still broke, but at least I'm still here!!

Speak soon

love Riki xxx