Monday, 4 September 2017

The One With The Curious Case of Bridget Bones (41 months + 24 days)

Right. Write. Breathe.

Ok. So. Change. I am not necessarily the best person when it comes to dealing with change. And...that's probably an understatement.

No, wait. I'm ok with change. As long as I am in control of the change. When things are happening that are no longer in my control, I have a tendency to freak out somewhat (again- understatement).

So, Piglet and I are moving to North Tyneside. We are moving in to NNB's new house (although I've been told that it is not NNB's house, it is our house, although my name is not on the mortgage so if he dies I will be on the streets but whatever, fine it's "our house"). I mentioned school stress the last time that I posted 16 years ago... so maybe I should talk about the lovely things that we did before I go onto the mild (major) breakdown that I'm currently experiencing? (Spoiler alert: there are no pictures here because something very sad happened that I will talk about later on).

So, we went on holiday. To the lake district. And it was really lovely. We went to the World of Beatrix Potter. We had breakfast with Peter Rabbit. Piglet got to meet Peter Rabbit and was very excited about this. We went to Kendal. Didn't get to see Tim Farron but that's ok. We went to Grizedale and searched for Gruffalo's. Very, very lovely.

We have been to see Paw Patrol Live. Piglet had her mind blown. (Very impressed with Paw Patrol Live btw; not with price of tickets- that was not impressive, but actual show- v. v. v. good). They had an interval half way through; the first half of the show ended on them trying to find Everest so to convince Piglet to go to the toilet, I told her we needed to check if Everest was in there. Cue toddler running into every stall shouting "EVEREST, WHERE ARE YOU? EVEREST!". Excellent parenting. Top notch.

And then I started properly looking for a school for Piglet. Do you know what time breakfast club starts at the school Piglet would be going to if we lived here? 8am. Which would mean I could be at uni for- realistically- 9am. Which might be fine, if I was staying until 6/7pm each evening BUT at this school, after-school clubs finish at 4:20pm. So. Not fine. Not fine at all.

Hence, we're moving with NNB. Since he can always do pick up (#teachergoals). And half-terms. And holidays. And I can't. The plan was two and a half months long. We were supposed to give nursery two months notice, so I wanted to find a new nursery at the end of August, hand in notice at current nursery on the 1st September and Piglet would start new nursery from the 1st November. I would then give notice on my flat on the 18th October and officially hand keys in on 18th November- but aim to have moved everything out prior to the 1st (last two weeks for deep-clean and de-weeding yard). That way, we would be moving in time to apply for schools for next September, not moving too close to Christmas, and not trying to rush it all.

First part of the plan went well. We found a nursery. We looked round three, but I knew which one I wanted before we even went. Piglet goes to a Busy Bees right now. There is a Busy Bees near the new house; it's on NNB's route to work, and is walk-able for when I am doing pick-up. This is going to be a big change for Piglet and I felt- feel- that at least if she is in the same sort of environment (i.e. same routine, same poilicies, same learning scheme), it will be easier for her. And it's lovely. They vote for stuff! I was so excited about this; they get to vote for the "room theme of the week" and there's big posters saying "your vote counts!" and I am ALL OVER THAT YES! So, loved it.

The other two we looked around? The first was...no. Just no. Right next to a busy road, not enough space in the room, all about "preparing them for school" but...she's not at school, she's at NURSERY. There wasn't a proper garden, it was just a playground and...I just didn't like it. Also, the fees were (excuse my language Nana) fucking ridiculous! Over £1000 per month. Nope. Can't afford that. The second was, honestly, beautiful. It was a really beautiful nursery and had it been in a different location, and had they offered the 30 funded hours (they were only offering the 15 when we looked) I could very easily have been swayed by that one. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a nursery, because it was gorgeous. And the owner who showed us around was very good. Obviously cared a lot about early years education and she was very impressive. Everything she said really hit home with me.

Oh, another point to make. I lose all my tax credits when I move in with NNB. So, we looked at the finances and worked out that, if we put Piglet in nursery term-time only for the 30 free hours (3 full days) and then I paid for an extra half day, that should be enough to cover my lectures, And then I would just work closes and one day at the weekend at work. Work are fine with this (work are so good actually- if you ever hear me moan about work, just slap me).

So. Back to Busy Bees (I'm so sorry, this is all over the place, but this is my life right now). We said we wanted her to start on the 1st November; they said that's great. We asked about 30 free hours and...hit a wall. For Piglet to receive 30 free hours, she needs to be at the nursery on head count day which is October 9th. Otherwise we are not eligible for them until the following term. So, here was stress numero uno-

1) This meant I could only give nursery one months notice
2) Because they are in different local authorities, I could only have funding for one of them; it wasn't transferable. Which basically meant that either I have to cancel the funding for September at current nursery, which almost doubles my bill for that month or find a way to pay for two months of new nursery without funding or tax credits.

Do you know why our nursery is so great? I spoke to them and, not only did they say they were fine for us to give one month's notice, she also said that she would just charge me the funded rate for this month but not access the funding so that I get it at the new nursery. So basically nursery just gave me a 50 % discount for this month.

Which is wonderful, but here's where I started to unravel slightly because now everything has been shifted forward a month. Piglet starts new nursery on 2nd October. I am handing notice in on flat 18th September, with a view to being out by 30th September (officially 18th October- but as previously mentioned, the yard really needs de-weeding). And now my control on the situation is starting to dissipate and I am getting anxious.

So, what do you when you get anxious? BIG NIGHT OUT! OF COURSE! EXCELLENT IDEA! Uhm, I can't tell you what happened on my big night out because I have no memory of it. I can tell you I ended up with the police. Who think my drink was spiked. I have a vague memory of them asking me what I'd taken because my pupils were the size of plates, to which I responded "I would NEVER do DRUGS, I have a baby and my boyfriend is a MATHS TEACHER, and I do CHEMISTRY!" Hence, spiking. And my phone was stolen. And my student ID. And my pink leather jacket. And it's all very sad. And now I have a shit pay as you go phone that cost £20 and takes pictures that look like...crap. And I can't even cope.

Next stress on the list; remember that three and a half days at nursery I was talking about? I got my timetable last night. I can't cover uni with three and a half days of nursery. Semester one I will have to have her in for three days and two mornings; from March she'll probably have to be back in full time until NNB finishes school for the Summer. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA I AM GOING TO BE SO POOR HAHAHAHAHAHA LOVE MY LIFE.

Here's the biggest concern though. Bigger than picking a school; bigger than being spiked and having all your things stolen; bigger than living in poverty for the next year. Piglet. I love Piglet's nursery. Piglet loves her nursery. I love my flat. Piglet loves my flat. We were driving home from the new house last night, and she was sat next to the cat in the back saying "Don't worry Adelaide, we're going to mummy's house now, not NNB's house. It's going to be fine, we're going to mummy's house". NNB said he picked her up one day before he'd got the new house and she was shouting in the car, "NO, ME GO MUMMY'S HOUSE, NOT NNB'S HOUSE NO!" and he had to reassure her that they were coming here. She woke up next to me this morning and said, "Yay! We're in our house!"

She loves the new house. She loves her room- she chose it herself; she's picked out her bedding and helped unpack all her toys and clothes; she loves the garden and the cat that lives next door (every morning when we go downstairs she asks to look out the window to see if she can see him). But clearly this is her home. And I'm taking it away from her and that makes me so sad. And it's happening far faster than I thought it would, or even wanted it to.

And whilst it's all exciting, and will probably work out for the best in the end, I just feel constantly sick right now at the thought that I'm about to do something that could seriously upset her.

So, Piglet. In 15 years, when your therapist works out that all the issues you have stem from this move, I'm sorry. I really am. But, hey, I'll probably be sat there alongside you because I AM NOT COPING VERY WELL RIGHT NOW. I promise we'll still see your best friend. I promise you can always sleep with mummy if you're sad. I promise that I'll try and do everything I can to make this as easy as possible for you.

But also, remember that it was not mummy's fault, it was NNB's fault because he applied for the stupid job at the good school in North Tyneside, so he is the source of all our woes ok?


Wednesday, 9 August 2017

The One With The Worst Bit Of Prose You Will Ever Encounter (40 months + 29 days)

Guys, I'm so so so sorry but I'm having a minor breakdown right now so... here I am. Do you know I'm a problem solver? Can you believe that? Given how much I whine about things on here? Seriously. In "the real world", if you came to me with an issue, I could give you a solution to it. My own problems? Hmm.... maybe this is why I write about them. Then I can work through them on "paper", and they seem less massive.

Let's play a game. Let's play a game in which you have 0 foresight. Maybe I shouldn't phrase it like that.... Let's play a game in which you are incredibly optimistic and naive. Got it? In the right frame of mind? World is a lovely place and everything is always going to end up fine. This. Is. Your. Brain.

Now you're pregnant. And you believed it would all be fine and everything would be ok, but it wasn't, and we've lived this, and you dealt with it, and you planned, and it was sorted (kind of...ish).

I'm going to tell you a secret now, that nobody ever says. Or maybe they do say it and you just don't believe it. BABIES DO NOT GET EASIER. BABIES ONLY EVER GET HARDER.

Actually that's not fair. The babies don't get harder, but all the stupid rubbish that goes alongside the babies gets harder.

Piglet is three. Three years old. I have to start applying for schools for Piglet. I (currently) have no idea where I am going to be when Piglet starts school because I don't know where I'm going to be doing my PhD. So currently, I have several options:

1) I apply for schools in Sunderland.

2) I apply for schools in North Tyneside where NNB's new house that he is buying is (more on this later)

3) I wait until I know for sure where I am doing my PhD and then start applying for schools.

There are issues with each and every one of these options. Yes, I have been offered a PhD at Newcastle, but currently I still want to apply for others, just to have options. If I am to do the PhD at Newcastle, I will be living with NNB in his house. So therefore, it makes sense to apply for those schools, right? BUT I can't apply for those schools because I won't be living in the catchment area at the time of application. I won't be living with NNB prior to doing my PhD because financially, it makes no sense and all the tax credits for nursery disappear. Therefore option number two isn't really an option.

How about applying for schools in Sunderland then? Well, that is equally stupid. Because as I've just said, if I stay in Newcastle, I won't be living in Sunderland.

Which leaves option three. Which is equally as rubbish because school applications have to be in by January which is pretty much the same time PhD applications have to be in for so....

I'll complicate this issue further. I need a school that offers breakfast club and after school clubs. And that is shit. Never have I had so much guilt as the knowledge that Piglet is going to be at school earlier than everyone else, and leaving school later than everyone else. That makes me really, really sad. And very shit. And selfish.

So basically I hate schools. I hate myself. I hate the system. I hate it all. I hate it. And right now, I can't really do anything proactive about it? Which is really frustrating.

I'm stressing about applying for PhD's aswell. Because y'know. Imperial. Sad times. Does a 94% average really outweigh a Desmond? But can't apply for any yet, because they're not advertising for next September yet, so again... stress with no productive outlet.

NNB is moving house. NNB is buying a house because he is a grown-up whilst I am forever 21. NNB has lots of stress about house. He was promised it would be completed before the 14th, because that is when his tenancy ends. It is not being completed by the 14th. They are currently saying the 23rd. So, because I am a problem solver, I suggested NNB miraculously all on his own came up with the idea of staying at mine for a couple of weeks and putting his stuff in storage, which is now the plan.

I'm stressed about NNB moving.

I'm scared about NNB moving.

I think I'm having a little bit of a breakdown at the moment. I suggested yesterday that maybe he shouldn't buy a house and instead we should just take all the money and go travelling round Europe for six months and run away and it would be so lovely and he shot that idea down quite quickly.

OH, funny story aswell. You know how your medical records are confidential right? And like, the fact that you used to have eating disorders is between you and your doctor yeah? Imagine if for some unknown reason the doctor decided to share this information with nursery. Wouldn't that just be a barrel of laughs? Can you imagine how totally inappropriate that would be? Good job that NEVER happens, yeah?

Apart from it did. Piglet's pediatrician included that information on a letter sent to nursery. She also spelled Piglet's name incorrectly all the way through. Aswell as my name. I was outraged at that letter. Outraged.

Yesterday I got an email from uni saying that my tuition fees were up this year from £3095 to £3370.

Nice one.

BUT BASICALLY BECAUSE EVERYONE'S LIFE IS FALLING APART, WE'RE GOING ON HOLIDAY YAY!!!!!!

NNB, Piglet and I have just booked a couple of days away in Penrith in the Lake District next week. We've actually managed to get a stupidly cheap deal on one of these holiday apartments in this crazy old Hall (seriously it looks amazing I'm so excited right now).

God this is so disjointed. I'm so so sorry. This is my brain right now. There is no connections, just random things all over the place that all cause stress and chaos.

BUT WE'RE GOING ON HOLIDAY SO YAY!!!!!!!


Wednesday, 26 July 2017

The One With Potties and Pleurisy (40 months + 15 days)

So, on Sunday I started writing a really long whiny, bitchy, moany, "shut up Bones, you're so #firstworldproblems" post but luckily for me (and all of you) it didn't save it. Why was I writing such a moody post? Three reasons:

1) I had been diagnosed with pleurisy, and thus was unable to run.

2) I'd started a vegan diet (don't ask) and felt like an absolute starving whale. 

3) I felt fat due to a combination of the above.

BUT I'm over it, so here I am with lots of lovely lovely updates (and minimal hating on my body- apart from the fact that it seems to die on me all the time, and I am sick of it).

Before we tackle any of the above though, let's run through v. v. v. exciting updates in the life of Bones and Piglet:

1) Piglet Runs
We did the Great North 10k at the beginning of July. By we, I mean, I did the Great North 10k. BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY- Piglet partook in the Toddler Dash. Piglet did her own race. And SHE WAS AMAZING!!! Honestly, I was so proud. So, so, proud. And so well-behaved- I didn't even try to pull her to the front or knock anyone in front of us over (well done Bones for being a normal human being and not a competitive psychopath; big big points you crazy crazy woman). 





















2) If Piglet is Autistic, I am a Banana
This realisation dawned on me when we went to Party no. 632 (How are there so many children at nursery? Surely it isn't possible to be invited to this many parties?); Piglet's best friend at nursery is called....let's call her... (so much pressure here- please do not infer anything about this child from what I decide to christen her)...right, got it- PBF (Piglet's Best Friend. Nice one Bones- really original). 

So anyway- getting back to the point- we got to this party and Piglet and PBF spotted each other, and I swear to God, it was the most adorable thing in the world. Like they behaved as though they hadn't seen each other for 60 years, in spite of it being Saturday, and they were at nursery together on Friday... So cute. And then they were trying to work out how to reach each other in the maze that is soft play. Not autistic. Beautiful.

Her speech is coming along in leaps and bounds aswell (she found the emergency pregnancy test a few weeks ago- "Mummy, what's this?"; "That's a special test that tells you if there's a baby in your tummy"; "Yay! A baby! Do it Mummy, you do it!"; "Oh no darling, it's just if you think there's a baby and you have to check if  you're right or if your body just hates you"; "Oooooh I see"). So, I have little worries in this regard (more worried about finding her sat on the potty with a pregnancy test). And speaking of potties...

3) Piglet does Potty Training. Successfully. In 48 hours
We had been potty training. We bought a bike. Piglet got sick of potty training and refused to do it anymore. And then on Saturday, I said to NNB that we need to stop messing around and be focused parents and get our shit together. So, we put pants on Piglet. And since then....she's used the potty (honestly, I think part of this is because she really likes yellow, and I told her that wee wees is yellow and she can see that I'm telling the truth by looking in the potty). She had one accident at nursery yesterday, and was apparently inconsolable. Which is really sad. Because she's done so well, and it was only one accident (clearly she is a crazy perfectionist also- don't do it Piglet, just don't do it. Aim for mediocrity!). Other than that though- perfect. Woke up this morning (granted it was at 3:30am) with a dry nappy and went straight on the potty too.

I mean, I did have a bit of a cry about this, because she's not a baby anymore and is officially a Big Girl, but whatever, like, my emotional stability is not the subject of this section. We'll discuss this later. But first...

4) Bones Maintains A 94% Average
YEAH I DO. Got results for first year a few weeks ago. 87% in Organic (but I only needed like 2% in this exam to get a distinction overall so I don't even care about this mark it definitely does not bother me, I'm not going to be that guy that moans because it's not a 90 but yeah you're right I'm really pissed off by stupid organic chemistry). 98% in Bioactive Natural Products. Pretty solid. Pretty solid mark. Not bad. OH WAIT. STOP EVERYTHING. WHO GOT 100% IN CHEMOTHERAPY? OH YEAH, THAT'S ME. ME HERE. 100%. A. PERFECT. SCORE. 

Pretty happy. Except for Organic. But average is still 94% so it's all gravy. All gravy gravy gravy. 

5) Bones Gets Pleurisy (because her body is utterly shite)
This is a story about how you can have a chest infection and think you're fine and all better, until you have horrendous chest pains for two weeks and go to your doctor and he sends you to hospital where they do 700000000 tests on you . And then say you can't run and your life is ruined.

I had a chest infection about a month ago and didn't get it looked at, because...well, I figured it was probably viral and they wouldn't be able to do anything? And then the day before the 10k I started having chest pains... and ran it anyway because... I like medals? I was supposed to be doing another 10k in Durham on the 19th and I went to the doctor that morning because chest pains had lasted almost two weeks. Not intermittent chest pains. Constant chest pain. Anyway, he sent me to hospital (NNB had a small heart attack when I sent him a message about this whilst he was at work) and after 6789 different tests they said it was pleurisy. 

Pleurisy is an inflammation of the lining of your lungs and can be caused by chest infections. Do you know what the remedy for pleurisy is? Rest. And painkillers (have had a lot of codeine recently). But mainly rest.

I really don't like rest.

So, I couldn't do my run. I had two days off work. I lay in bed convinced that my waist was expanding by the second due to this new sedentary lifestyle I was having to lead, and I watched 700000 documentaries on Netflix- one of which was What the Health? Which led to....

6) Bones goes Vegan
I am not convinced about the health benefits of veganism. It is very easy to cherry pick studies to support any claim you want to make, and- let's face it- a lot of studies have been done which have yielded results which cannot be reproduced and are therefore bullshit (*cough* looking at you Andrew Wakefield *cough*)  I am not going to preach about why we should only eat a plant-based diet because I don't necessarily believe that is true. What IS true is that I am very easily grossed out by food. And what's actually in food. I'm not going to tell you the specific part that made me cut out the best 70% of my diet because that's not fair. But if you watch it, you'll know the bit that I'm talking about. 

I'm kind of hoping I get over this quite rapidly? Because I really miss eggs. So maybe I can be vegan, but still eat eggs. I really miss turkey bacon too. That being said, one of the girls at work made some vegan chilli for me and it was literally the best thing I have ever eaten. So maybe I'll start posting loads of vegan recipe ideas on here instead! (I will never do this- I promise, promise, promise you, I will not do this). 

God I'm such a mess.

Big love to everyone! Remember: always get your chest infections checked out and definitely don't watch What the Health, because it WILL ruin your life! (Oh my God I just remembered pizza, like what is life without PIZZA?!)

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Thursday, 22 June 2017

The One With The Nuclear Fallout (39 months + 11 days)

It is Thursday.

Yesterday, I sobbed, I screamed, I spent £60 on a yellow jacket that I have coveted for several weeks, booked a 10k in Durham for next month, Piglet got a new Paw Patrol toy, bag and hat (this is what happens when I get a credit card increase and "bad" news on the same day), and we went to bed at 7pm. 

And when I woke up, it was 1:30am. And it was Thursday. 

We're giving potty training another whirl at the moment. On Tuesday, I promised Piglet that she could have anything she wanted if she did all her wee wees on the toilet and she asked for a pink bike. Since then, she has only had two accidents at nursery, so it seems to be working. Because she is fine. 

She saw me crying after the hospital yesterday, wiped away my tears, gave me a cuddle and asked if I was OK. Because she is fine.

She gave me a big kiss and a hug when I picked her up last night and told me she loved me. Because she is fine. 

She jumped in bed next to me and insisted that she was squeezed as tight as possible (this is the only way she will fall asleep) and....that can be autistic. But you know what? That's fine. 

Piglet isn't autistic. Piglet is Piglet. Piglet may end up being on the autistic spectrum but it will just be part of who she is. And after the stories I have read this morning, that's fine. It is fine. Autism isn't understood by society. I don't fully understand autism. But you know what? I'm probably on the spectrum. You're probably on the spectrum. We're all on the bloody spectrum. And....it's not Piglet's problem. Nothing has changed, or will change for her. It is just being made apparent to me. So I need to get over myself. 

Nursery said Piglet was off yesterday afternoon; that she was in a really odd mood. And honestly? I'm not surprised. Imagine sitting in a room for an hour with two people talking about you in front of your face- how would you feel? She's sharp as a whistle when it comes to understanding what you're saying, and that can be easy to forget. 

The health visitor isn't trying to set me up, She's trying to help. The pediatrician isn't telling me there's something wrong, she's telling me that there's something different. 

For anyone else in this situation- don't just read literature. Because it uses language like "disorder" and "delay" and other negative words that... aren't necessarily true. Read people's stories. Read their experiences. And you'll have a totally different perspective on the situation. 

I've been fighting any and all medical diagnoses around Piglet. I'm silly, really. I think in my mind, by resisting everything, I was fighting for her; I was defending her corner. And I thought that by going down this path, it would mean her life would be more difficult. But...it doesn't change anything. It's just a word.

The real fight is against what most people believe autism is. Myself included.

So. It's Thursday. What should we all do today? We should buy beautiful yellow jackets. Because life is short. We should educate ourselves. Because ignorance is dangerous. I myself am going to start looking at the best methods for teaching children on the autistic spectrum. I'm also going to be serving pints with a smile to alcoholics at 11am. The most important thing we should do today though? We should hug our babies as tight as we can. Our happy, funny, loving, unique babies. Mine's perfect, and I'm sure yours is too.

p.s. Baby cat fell out of the bathroom window whilst we were at hospital yesterday so I returned home to a very soggy wet cat stood by the back door feeling sorry for himself. This was the highlight of Woeful Wednesday, and has more than made up for the fact that he continually poos on the floor and gave Adelaide a hysterical pregnancy.  


  

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

The One With The A-Bomb (39 months + 10 days)

Today is Wednesday. Many Wednesdays have happened since I last wrote anything. Many, many, many Wednesdays. If I'm being honest, whilst Prozac helped my mood (or at least I thought it did) it definitely stifled my creativity.

In all those Wednesdays that have passed, we've had exams (good), birthday parties (also good), army applications (disappointing), new medical diagnoses (not so good) and trips to A and E (terrifying). I am no longer on Prozac since I needed a medication review before the doctor would prescribe anymore and I ran out in the interim period. Hence, I decided there was no point coming off them to go back on them again. My head feels clearer. I feel. Isn't that funny? I wouldn't have said that Prozac had numbed my emotions at all but retrospectively, I can tell you that it did. Sure, I can feel sad now; but I can also feel happy. And excited. And anxious. And determined. And frustrated. And elated. And irritated. And motivated. And you know what? I prefer it this way. Life is all about feeling. Why the fuck would you want to be numb all the time?

I've also been diagnosed with anaemia and a severe vitamin D deficiency which is why I felt like sleeping for 20000 hours per day, so I now have to take approximately 613 pills per day. Piglet knows about these pills- "Mummy's medicine". Piglet has been told not take these pills. Piglet ignored this instruction and took two of my iron tablets. Which resulted in a speedy trip to A + E (prior to this, my parent's dog had also tried to eat my iron tablets- honestly, they taste disgusting, I have no idea why everyone is so keen to ingest them). Thankfully, both Piglet, and the dog are absolutely fine. 

Scratch that last sentence. 

Piglet had her pediatrician appointment today. The one that the Health Visitor had referred her for because she thought she was autistic. Honestly went into that meeting expecting the Pediatrician to say that Health Visitor was a crazy bitch and Piglet is fine. And...that's not what happened. 

Went through everything, she watched Piglet play; I even lied on some of the questions. Not intentionally. But I lied. She asked if Piglet liked to collect things. And I said no. But she does. She collects all her dummies. She likes to have as many dummies as possible at all times. I'm not talking a spare or two, I mean seven, eight, nine dummies. That is an autistic trait.

The fact that her left foot points inwards when she walks. That is an autistic trait. 

The pediatrician said that she doesn't have enough to make a diagnosis but she can't discharge her because she can't say she's "fine". Can't say she "OK". Can't say she's "normal". She's going to send a specialist into nursery to watch her play and then we will review everything. If the specialist has enough evidence at that point she will be given a formal diagnosis of autism. If not, a second specialist will view her, and assess her for autism. At no point was their any mention of her being classed as "normal" by any of these people. From the conversation that ensued it seemed to be a case of the "professionals" have decided that she is autistic and now they are simply gathering the evidence to support their case. 

I've avoided reading anything on autism prior to this point. Which is weird, because usually I like to know everything about something if I am to encounter it. And I think the reason I've been avoiding it is because I've been petrified that I will be reading about Piglet. I've been scared that every single sentence that I see will be her. 

Her speech is definitely behind. I am not arguing that point anymore at all. It's just that I don't realise it until I see her with other three year olds. She will speak in sentences but half the time I have no idea what she is trying to say. It doesn't help the situation that whenever we go to hospital she refuses to talk point blank. 

So. Piglet is autistic. Not formally. Not yet. But whether I believe it, and whether she actually is no longer matters it seems. They've decided that she fits the criteria. And she probably does, and I'm just going to have to come to terms with that. 

1% of people in the UK are diagnosed as autistic. In 2014, there were 695,233 live births in Britain; roughly 6,952 children born that year will therefore go on to receive an autism diagnosis. Why does my Piglet have to be one of them? It's not fair. It's not fucking fair.

I keep thinking it's my fault. Maybe it's because of the glass that fell on her head when she was really young; maybe it's because of when she fell off the bed; maybe it's because I was at work all the fucking time forever for that year of hell. Maybe I'm just a really, really shit mum. 

I'll never be able to think how she thinks. I'll never see the world how she does. And it's so, so, so, SO shit. And unfair. 

But. There will be many more Wednesdays after this one. And since this diagnosis now seems inevitable, I think it may be time to read. My baby is going to be autistic. And I want to know exactly what that means for her. 

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

The One With Lessons For Piglet No. 348 (37 months + 1 day)

Piglet,

Further to my 4am ramblings, here are some 3am ones. These are some pearls of wisdom that those close to me have chose to impart at various points in my life; they are wise, wise people..

From your Great Gran:

Never close any doors- always leave all options open. 


From your Mimsy:

Always have self-respect. Know your worth.


From your Gramps:

(This was something that I imagine was a throw-away comment but had a profound effect on me when it was said)

If you don't like something, change it. 


Do I have any other things I want to say?

Surround yourself with people who want you to succeed. Dream big- SO BIG. Always be positive (prozac helps). Remember that brunch is the best meal ever. Feelings are important. Always make sure your voice is heard; your opinion counts. Appreciate the art of the afternoon tea. Don't get clingy cats that wake you up at 1:30am by purring in your face. No matter what you do, I've probably done worse. You're amazing; never let anybody make you think otherwise. 

Hopefully this will be the last of philosophical mummy for a while...  None of these life lessons really have any bearing as to what is currently going on in life (apart from the one re: cats). It's 11 days until London marathon so maybe I'm just paranoid I'm going to die during it hence the onslaught of random crap I want to pass on to you. 

(I'm not going to die- I am an excellent average runner. Maybe I'm just surprised I've made it to 27?)

Lots of love,

3am Philosophical mummy 

xxxxxxxx

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

The One With Lessons For Piglet No. 347: Be Selfish (37 months)

Dear Piglet,

There will be many moments in your life when will you wonder if you made the right decision. Mummy can say this; Mummy is the love child of gin and regret and therefore spends 87% of her life wondering if she made the right decision. The short answer to your contemplation? You won't. The likelihood is that with every single choice you make you will never know if it was the right one. However, whenever you doubt yourself, I want you to ask the following three questions:

1) Am I happy content?

One of the most important things I was taught, Piglet, came from my therapist: never aim for happiness, as it is a transient phase. The very nature of life is that it has peaks and troughs; nobody can be at the top of the game constantly. Instead, aim to be content. It is a far safer and more reasonable expectation. Are you content? If the answer is yes, then the likelihood is, you chose "correctly". If the answer is no then:

2) Did it make sense?

You are three currently. At the moment your decision making is generally based on, "What do I want right now at this moment in time...? PAW PATROL PAW PATROL PAW PATROL CHOCOLATE" However (I hope) there will come a point where your ability to make choices becomes slightly more complex. Some people have gut instincts. Some people "follow their heart". Me? I'm a logic person. I don't follow my heart, I follow my head. I believe in lists of pros and cons; I believe in taking emotion out of the situation. Is my way of decision making correct? Who knows. It could be considered cold. It could be considered detached. However... that's me. Your own style of selection will be moulded by life, Piglet. For mummy therefore, the answer to this question will always be "yes". Not all decisions I have made have been "right", but all have definitely to some extent made sense to me (apart from when under the influence of tequila but we don't mention these ok?) Of course if your own answer to this question is no, then the final self-analysis I would like you to perform is this one:

3) Is my memory accurate?

No. It's not. Not unless you're looking at things immediately after the fact. As a general rule we romanticise things Piglet. The longer it is since an event, the more we will view it in a favourable light. We only remember the good things- and for good reason; imagine how rubbish you would feel if you held on to all the negative things from the past?! 

I would like for you to be many things, Piglet, and I hope I can help instill them in you. I want you to be kind. I want you to be compassionate. I want you to be inquisitive. I want you to be content. But most of all-especially when it comes to decision-making- I want you to be selfish. You do you. Because life can be a bit shitty at times, and you need to make sure you have your own back. 

Lots of love,

From a 4am Philosophical Mummy (who is always right)

xxxxx