Monday, 13 April 2015

For once I wish I could home school

Some days I feel like crying and today is one of those days.

I should be feeling happy and relieved because the children are all back in school, the baby is asleep on the sofa and I can have some peaceful ME time!

But for once I'm not glad the children are in school. For once I wish they were home with me. For once I wish I home schooled them.

But I worry if I start crying, I'll never stop!

The main issues are my eldest and the second youngest.

Robert is 12 and the only one in secondary school. We are having a lot of trouble with his behaviour and he has seen the educational psychologist in school, he is being referred to CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service) and I've just spoken to someone at SNAP Cymru and he is being referred to Gyda'n Gilydd. But whilst his behaviour is troubling and he has been a nightmare over the holidays. Today its the behaviour of another child I'm worried about.

When Robert was in primary school there was another boy in his class named Norman*. Norman is a very nasty and disruptive child, I've caught him swearing at me (this earned him a punch from Robert which thankfully Robert didn't get into trouble for) and at the tender age of 8 he threatened to break into a classmates house and rape her and up until this point (and the age of 12)  he has threatened two other girls with the same and groped a classmates breast on the train to school (which led to him being banned from the train).

When it came to the end of primary school we breathed a sigh of relief that Robert and Norman would no longer be in the same school as Norman was going to the main catchment area school whilst Robert went to the one on the outskirts. However my guess that Norman would only last a year proved to be truer than I thought and after surviving just two terms (which included two suspensions and being banned from the school bus and train) he is starting at my son's school today!

In fact Facebook was funny last night as you had one group of parents cheering that Norman was no longer in their school, and another group groaning that he was now at theirs instead! Such is the animosity towards this one boy. My friend has an older son in Norman's old school and he told her that he had been in the canteen at school when news came through that Norman had been expelled and the whole canteen cheered!

Hopefully my fears are unfounded, but I do worry about the fact his nemesis is now in his school. We're already having enough trouble with Robert's behaviour in school and at home without having Norman to worry about as well! Robert also has a habit of using Norman as his scape-goat, as in Norman made me or it was Norman's fault!

The other issue is 5 year old Clare who suffers from faecal impaction or severe constipation. She is under the children's department at our main hospital and sees them every other month and is on medication to keep her "loose" however sometimes, like now, she becomes "bunged up" meaning she has a blockage of poo inside her bowels and new poo seeps around the sides of the blockage meaning she has no control or feeling and often soils her underwear. These holidays she has been going through 5 pairs of panties a day and I really don't know who she's going to cope being at school all day not to mention that if she holds it in all day so she doesn't soil her panties, it's just going to make her constipation and blockage worse.

What I wouldn't give at the moment for a magic want to make it all go away! To cure Robert and Norman of their disruptive behaviour and to get Clare's "naughty bowel" working properly without the constipation.

Instead I just have to keep going, as much as I would like to hide under my bed, and instead I will be grateful that after 7 years of trying to get help to deal with Robert behaviour rather than him being dismissed as a naughty boy, I'm actually getting somewhere!

* All names have been changed to protect their identities

Monday, 30 March 2015

Five Cheeky Monkeys who like jumping on the bed

Hello all and welcome to my first blog post. 

I'm a stressed out, frazzled mum to 5 cheeky monkeys who like jumping on the bed and driving me up the wall!

People start blogging for different reasons, the reason for mine is simple. I want to capture memories! Once you have children the years seem to fly by and you're too busy looking after them and too tired or stressed to appreciate them whilst they're young. Then all of a sudden you realise they've stopped jumping on their beds and are swinging away through the trees away from you!

I wanted somewhere to record all the funny and challenging things we deal with. Something I can look back at when they've gone and help me remember all the fun times and even the hard times we've shared!

Especially as the stress of raising so many monkeys will have has burnt out when few brain cells remain. 

So meet the family.

First up is my firstborn and only son Robert! Robert was born in 2003 and has just celebrated his 12th birthday. He is in his first year of high school which isn't going too well at the moment. He's having trouble settling down which means he is bullying and being bullied. Thankfully his new school is helping him, rather than labelling him a naught boy like his primary school did, they're actually looking at ways to help him and have involved the Educational Psychologist who has also agreed that there is something to his behaviour and is referring him to CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) for extra help. Robert loves playing on the computer or games console and is never far from a technical gadget. He is a bit of a loner and has trouble finding and keeping friends as well as a low self-esteem and poor social skills. As my firstborn and only son, he will always have a very special place in my heart, something I wish he would realise!

Next we have Betty, born in 2005 she is my eldest daughter and already showing signs that she is entering the difficult phase known as puberty! Betty is my little helper and prides herself that I can always rely on her to help out, whether with chores or with her little sisters... provided she gets paid for it as she is already very money orientated! When she was younger we had a lot of challenging behaviour from her, but a lot of it was down to frustration because of her SLI (Specific Language Impairment) but thankfully she seems to have outgrown her speech difficulties and her challenging behaviour. Betty loves school and learning and her new hobby is baking, you often find her watching youtube channels looking for the next thing she wants to try making and why she wants her very own youtube channel which I am going to be doing with her called "Baking with Betty"

After Betty came Gina. Born in 2006 she was a delighful baby, one who I am sure read the parenting book! She was a perfect pregnancy, easy delivery and took to breasfeeding straight away, in fact she was the first I was able to breastfeed, something I began to think I couldn't do. Like Betty, Gina has also suffered with her speech and when she started school we feared she suffered from Selective Mutism as she would only talk at home. A hearing test showed she was actually suffering from glue ear which was causing hearing loss and once she had grommets in her ears she became a different child, very chatty but still a little shy. Gina is my little comedian and often comes out with some fabulous comments! She also loves drawing and reading. 

Next to come along was little Clare. Born at the start of 2010 she is very hard work at the moment. She is very stubborn and if she doesn't want to do something she will let you know about it! Clare suffers from a very common but little known problem of severe constipation or faecal impaction. This means she often has trouble going to the toilet with lots of little accidents and is on medication to help her and is under our local hospital. We're also having a lot of other issue's with her at the moment, such as refusing to go to bed at night and refusing to sleep in her own bed. Thankfully Clare doesn't need speech therapy like her older sisters did, but just like Robert and Gina, she has also had grommets for glue ear. 

Finally we have the baby of the family and our little surprise. Born in the very hot summer of 2013 came little Emma. Emma showed us that our little family wasn't as complete as we thought it was and her nickname is Smiler as she does everything with a smile on her face. Like Gina and Clare she is still breastfeeding, despite leaving hospital as a bottle-fed baby because of her low sugar levels (caused by my type 2 diabetes and a delay in my milk coming through). A few days after her discharge she refused the bottle and has been exclusively breastfeeding since. 

As for me, what else can I say... I've been married to the gorilla (their dad) for over 10 years, sometimes happily sometimes wondering if I could get away with the perfect murder! I'm also incing ever closer to the big 4-0 and trying to work out how I can make the clock go back once I turn 39 and debating what colour I can dye my hair to hide all these gray hairs that keep appearing. I also have to try and deal with my chocolate addiction and the fact I'm diabetic which isn't much fun!

So there you have it, a quick glimpse into our monkey tribe! Thanks for reading and be sure to check back soon for some more crazy monkey business!