Hairdresser Fear.. this shit is real

Anyone else suffer from The Fear? All my life, having a haircut has made me nervous. The fear that your entire look is in someone else’s scissor-happy hands.. that makes me sweat.

So today, I faced the old fear, and entered Cuts4U, armed with my phone full of Google-searched pixie cuts.. My adversary was a lovely 67 year old hairdresser, who blew stiff coffee fumes over me as she recounted the day’s previous 20 customers and assured me that 50 years of hairdressing hadn’t dampened her enthusiasm.

It still happened.

I showed her an image of what I wanted to look like, and after 20 minutes I walked out with some kind of weird undercut, locks hairsprayed within an inch of their life (and a ‘do which my hubby kindly mentioned looks like a bit of a bowl ๐Ÿ™„)

So I did the usual: I gushed some big ‘Thank you!’s, I paid my dollars and I rushed off to the mall ladies loo to try and rescue my look.

I’m in there in front of the mirror, pulling my hair and patting it around with water to try and recreate the google-pixie-image that I had in my head, when who should walk past the mirror to the loo? Edward Scissorhands herself. It may be my imagination but as she recognized me, she did look slightly remorseful as she chuckled and locked herself in a cubicle ๐Ÿ˜†

There’s always next time. It will grow ๐Ÿคฃ


In other news… we did it! We moved house! And OMG, never again ๐Ÿ™ˆ

It may be because I’m of a certain age, and my patience now wears thin faster, but dear lord, everything annoyed me. Everything took ages, and everything was hard work. I was happy to go to work again on Monday morning ๐Ÿคฃ

On the Sunday morning, I kinda thought I’d got away with being totally on top of the 6-person-washing pile as the washing baskets were empty! However Sunday night spewed forth a huge binliner full of mucky washing which I found in a random corner.. and yes it did include the school uniforms for Monday, damn it ๐Ÿ™ˆ

One day in filthy clothes didn’t kill ’em ๐Ÿ˜‰

By the Tuesday, 3 days after we moved in, I still wasnt in a very good routine of getting kids up, fed, dressed, and out the door by 8am for school. Tuesday, by the way, is also bin collection day, and because I’m not organized enough to have ordered any wheelie bins, mark put a huge bin bag of rubbish out on the curb, ready for collection.. bless him.

So its Tuesday, 8.05am and I’m still fighting with Sid to get his clothes on. I’m also trying to persuade Tom to hurry up with shoveling his cereal down his throat, while attempting to get my mascara on.

I finally get everyone in the car, and I reverse out the garage at 100 miles an hour because we’re so blinking late.

I hear a crunch and a squeeshing noise, and as I check the car mirror while driving off.. I see our entire bin bag squished all over the road, tea bags and orange peel mashed across the drive. Good grief ๐Ÿ™ˆ

I think the kids decision to keep completely quiet, was absolutely for the best, while I crawled on my hands and knees to scrape all the rubbish into another bin bag. School drop off has never been so peaceful, no one dared to speak ๐Ÿคฃ

But we’re in, and we love it. We also have a heap of cardboard boxes which never go to waste ๐Ÿ˜‚


The boys are close enough to cycle to school.. I still check that they’ve arrived, but it’s a weird feeling, letting them goย  โค


On that note… today is a milestone. Fred went to a birthday party, and he did it ON HIS OWN. Not a big deal for most, but for him, it’s huge! He went with friends and did an Escape Room.. and loved it ๐Ÿ˜Š

I’m so proud of him!

Next stop… school camp? Fingers crossed. I want him to know that he can do anything.. I want him to gain confidence and know that he has the ability to do whatever he wants.

Autism, you can be a pain in the bum, but seeing my child conquer your mountains makes me burst with pride ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ‘Š

For winter, it’s not a bad gig ๐Ÿ˜Š

For Winter, it’s not a bad gig ๐Ÿ˜Š


The last 2 months have gone so fast, I think it’s because my poor brain has had to adjust to office work again, after 11-ish years off ๐Ÿ˜†

I’m loving it. Don’t get me wrong, it feels like I’m back at the start, I’m learning so much, I’m forgetting so much, I’m asking a myriad of (probably very stoopid) questions, but I’m working with a brilliant team of very patient people ๐Ÿคฃ

The boys have adapted well to a new routine of being very on time for school, and Mark has adapted well to being a stay-at-home Dad for the holidays. He’s loving it a bit too much I think ๐Ÿคจย (even my demands for dinner on the table when I get home have been met, and the washing done!) I think the boy is angling for an early retirement ๐Ÿ˜œ

The best thing is, I still have Fridays off, so I still get to help out school with Sausage Sizzling (it’s a Friday fundraiser thing) and I get to do the odd school trip, like helping the kids to plant bushes in the beach dunes. Again, it’s not a bad gig for Winter ๐Ÿ˜Ž


On that note, Fred has been coping incredibly well at school ๐Ÿ˜Š this kid makes me smile every day… he makes me swear under my breath every day too, but I’m proud as punch that he’s actually enjoying himself in the classroom. His autism makes him really anxious, but he mostly keeps it under control… sometimes it pops out in the form of impatience. See this photo? I can seriously imagine exactly what is going through Fred’s head at this point ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ


Those little cherubs.

Joe and Tom have loved learning drumming this term, they both performed at the end of term assembly and were amazing ๐Ÿ˜

We also travelled to Cambridge for a footie tournament with the Papamoa Kawahai, and our Joe got Player of the Day, despite dropping later with tonsillitis, bless his cotton socks โค


And despite our best efforts in the biscuit baking stakes, England are not bringing Football Home.

We watched the England v Croatia match at 6am, and when we scored 5 minutes in, I was so glad I’d baked these cookies the night before:


Then when the blooming Croats scored and it went to extra time, I had to get in the car to drive to work, and oh my GOD, could I find a radio station with the footie on? Nope. Driving like a woman possessed with my finger on the scan button, I finally found it as I pulled in to work. And as I hoisted the cookies out of the car…. Croatia scored.. ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ

Those cookies nearly got stamped on before they reached the office ๐Ÿ˜†

Ah well, weย did great, but a little part of me still wanted to get up at 3am on Monday to watch the match. Not now. I will sleep soundly and wake to the news that France have been beaten ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜†

There’s always 2022 ๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ˜„

So proud of the little buggers ๐Ÿ˜Š

So proud of the little buggers, I am ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š

Today, school held a celebration assembly, and my little fish Tom got this!


Not only has he been put up a year at school (he’s one of the youngest in year 4) but he’s also the only one of mine who has never really had a proper swimming lesson. One day he just jumped in, and kinda swam, and he’s never looked back. It’s a style of his own (it involves a lot of splashing and deep breaths) but the spawny little hero managed to get 1st place in the year 4 boys freestyle โค๐Ÿ’ช

Proud doesn’t come close! He’s a right chip off the old block. ๐Ÿ˜Š While watching him I was overcome with an urge to jump in and show the teachers where he got the skills from ๐Ÿ˜‚ but I refrained.


We’ve also had our top three boy’s Learning Conferencesย  (parents evenings) and Fred has been doing awesomely at spelling, Joe has a reading age well above age 10, and Tom’s classmates voted his top area of strength to be his good looking-ness ๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ˜†

Again, he must take after me ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

These boys are rocking NZ. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Sid’s meeting is next week, but the smart little shit is already counting up to 60 and reading well, so I know he’s doing ok โค (Not only that, his knowledge of how to useย  our technology is way better than his Ma ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜†)

Joe and Tom had their footie trials, and Joe has been selected for the 10th gradeย  Papamoa Premier training squad.. first tournament is at the end of April, can’t wait! Still waiting to hear about Tom, fingers crossed ๐Ÿ˜Š

Easter passed by in a blur of wine and chocolate (I think I remembered which one of those to give the kids) and we had a great time with friends who came down from Auckland.. then Monday was spent lapping up the last of the amazing Autumn weather on the beach.


(That’s Sid mid-sneeze ๐Ÿ˜…)

I also discovered a bonus to having a son who dislikes new shoes (well, who doesn’t like anything new really) – the offending items become MINE. Hello new trainers ๐Ÿ˜Ž

(There’s a little silver lining to the ASD ๐Ÿ˜‰)


I can only hope that they don’t overtake me too soon on the shoe sizesย  ๐Ÿ™‚

The weather has been amazing still.. for being Autumn we’ve been very spoilt. However I’m starting to panic as by Thursday the temperature is due to drop to a chilly 17 degrees. May have to crack out the long jeans ๐Ÿ˜‰

Next week Tom is off for his first overnight camp with school, staying at a Marae, having a Hangi and a swim. He’s going to love it! And I am really going to miss him. ๐Ÿ˜ขย  I do wish them the best of luck with his snoring though. For a small boy, he makes a lot of noise ๐Ÿคฃ (that skill is definitely from his Dad ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜š)

And 120 kids sleeping in 2 rooms? I’m quite relieved I couldn’t volunteer for that one ๐Ÿ˜‚

So. Clocks went back, kids got up early, and I have to remember that the UK is now only 11 hours behind us. And the sunsets are still stunning โคโคโค


This, I love โค

This, I love โค


Look at those little bare feet ๐Ÿ˜

The kids have taken to school in New Zealand like ducks to a pond.. I’m so proud of them, I could burst.

I drop them there in the morning, and the school is buzzing with chatter and happy faces: before the bell rings at 8.40, the kids are allowed to play, run, climb, play football in the field, and when the bell goes, everyone scuttles to their classroom, with or without shoes. It’s ace.

I pick them up at 2.30, and more often than not, their sweaty little trotters are out and their shoes are in their bag (or forgotten at school) and they’re all happy โค

It reminds me of when I was their age too, growing up in South Africa, we never wore shoes unless we absolutely had to. I bet our feet were permanently filthy ๐Ÿ˜†

Whatever they teach over here, it’s working, the boys are consistently in a good mood when they come out of school!ย  (Different matter when they come home and get on each other’s nerves though eh? ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚)

So this week, I’ve had to learn about weeding. With renting the house, comes the responsibility of gardening ๐Ÿ˜ฎ and I haven’t got a bloody clue what I’m doing. (Good thing Mum’s coming out in a week cos she can give me some tips!) Mark made a great start by pulling everything up (weeds or not) on Sunday, so on Monday I thought I’d do the rest of the garden. Armed with wheelbarrow, snips, trowel and a mini hand rake, I attacked the garden and all its beasts.

I have to say, flip flops were not my brightest idea ๐Ÿ™ˆ


Anyway. That’s done. Trouble is I’ll have to do it again in 2 weeks. I know now to change my footwear ๐Ÿ˜†

This weekend, Fred has been invited to a friend’s birthday party. It’s a boy in his class, and although Fred’s a bit nervous, he’s very excited about going. It’s that annoying autism paradox: he wants to go, but the thought of going makes him anxious ๐Ÿ™ˆ

He’ll probably worry for a few hours beforehand; what food there will be? Will he like it? Will he have to eat it? Will there be cake? Will he have to talk? Will people expect him to play games?

We’ll get there, and he’ll work through it all in his head for a while, maybe seem a little awkward, and maybe will talk about his favourite pc games in a lot of detail! But he’llย  (hopefully) enjoy being at the party and will relax a little once he’s sussed it out.

Once we get back home, he’ll probably need time alone in his room to de-socialise, his head and body will be tired out from the effort of trying to figure out what people want, and he’ll take his own time to get back into his headspace.

He copes with a lot of things that I don’t even know about or understand, he’s brilliant. And at school this week apparently he spelled anti-disestablishmentarianism correctlyย  (I’m not sure I even got that right ๐Ÿ™Š๐Ÿ™ˆ)

Anyway, Happy Friday everyone, schools out ๐Ÿ˜Ž


We survived being without Wi-Fi for a week! Some with a better temperament than others ๐Ÿ˜†

Its true. We CAN survive without Wi-Fi. However some members of this family coped better than others ๐Ÿ˜‚ย  (hey kids ๐Ÿ˜‰)

We are finally connected! The family have retreated to the various corners of the house with their technology and we are back to grunting at each other (rather than having to actually interact ๐Ÿ˜‚)

Life is back to normal ๐Ÿ˜Ž

During the barren wasteland of Wi-Fi-less-ness, we did get up to a few things…

We found an old pool in the garden shed, and removed the resident cockroach to reclaim some paddling fun..


We discovered some amazing caterpillars and a few more Praying Mantisesย  (or is it Manti?)



We explored the surrounding area and found that the tsunami evacuation routes mean that we’re only about 10 minutes meander from the sea. This place is truly paradise โค


(Although shortly after this photo we were assaulted by sea lice, which I can testify are really, REALLY itchy ๐Ÿ˜ฏย – they are tiny jellyfish larvae which are small enough to get inside your togs and get stuck there. They then die as you exit the water, emitting their tiny, itchy stinging stuff, and you don’t notice until you are covered in the nasty beasts.. go ahead. Google it. Yuck.)

We discovered that we have THE BEST neighbours… Dawn and Gerry live next door. They are retired, and like to go freedom camping.ย  They are just gorgeous (and I can only hope that our feral kids don’t put them off us too soon ๐Ÿ˜†). Not only are they lovely, but Gerry used to repair machinery in a bakery. On occasion, he still gets called in to help, and when he leaves the bakery to come home, he likes to raid the doughnuts.. can you tell where this story is going? YES INDEED ๐Ÿ˜ he dropped round to us 8 jam-filled balls of doughy loveliness and 12 cinnamon doughnut rings.. he’s my new favourite friend ๐Ÿ˜ƒ


We had a visit from our lovely old friends from north of Aucklandย  (love you guys..) and it was great to catch up and meet their children โค

It was the last weekend of the summer holidays here, and on Tuesday, I finally cracked on with checking out schools. It’s been a lovely dream to have home schooled them for the last three months, but they’re really getting on each others nerves. It’s time to let them shine outside of home โค

The first school we visited, the kids fell in love with. I had primed them to be on their best behaviour (ok, I’m not ashamed to admit it was bribery) and they all earned themselves a Macdonalds icecream for sure. We had to wait and see whether we’d get a school place (I’ve never been so nervous!) but my unruly rabble must have made a good impression, as we were accepted ๐Ÿค—

The boys weren’t too impressed as we got the uniforms the same day, and this morning they started school ๐Ÿ˜‚

Proud mum alert ๐Ÿ˜Š


They all survived. Fred, I am especially proud of, as his anxiety was through the roof, but he faced it with true bravery, my total hero. He’s adamant that he doesn’t want to go back tomorrow, but we’ll face that hurdle in the morning. Tonight I’m celebrating the victories ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿฅ‚๐Ÿ˜Š

No more arguing about taking turns on the Xbox! Extreme measures… ๐Ÿ˜’

The good news is… No more arguing about whose turn it is on the new Xbox One that Santa brought us!

The bad news is… It’s because this is what the t.v. currently looks like ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ˜”


It was less than 11 days old.

Have I mentioned lately that I hate Aspergers? ๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ˜ฉ

This is the result of an instant temper tantrum, Fred vs. The TV… poor television didn’t stand a chance.

Today, it’s not all sunshine and roses and I want to smash something into itty bitty pieces, but instead I will spend the day holding my own temper inside and trying to help Fred get past his own anger and remorse. We all will.

Living with Autism can be really hard some days. Actually, most days. I can only imagine that for Fred it’s even harder, as he struggles with anxiety and flash tempers, his insides must be like a rollercoaster on acid some days, but for his siblings, it’s almost just as hard.

They hear his rage (and it comes out in some very flowery language these days ๐Ÿ˜ž๐Ÿ™ˆ) and they experience his temperย  (it’s usually one of them he lashes out at) far too frequently.

It will sturdy them up and is teaching them patience, and to accept difference, I tell myself (while feeling that parent guilt that trots along next to me every day). To be fair, they are all very understanding and can also calm Fred down, which is a real help.

Sometimes, it’s shite being an autism parent. (And sibling).

So, just for a change, we hit the beach.


Today was beautiful. We walked, we ate, we played with Keri and her lovely boys, we had fun. Although inside, I was still raging. I’ve really struggled dealing with it, and when we got home, I cried a lot.

Happy New Year; it’s certainly been one to remember… but at the end of the day (as we lie here in bed at 9pm with nothing to watch ๐Ÿ˜†) we are all healthy and it’s only the tv that lost the battle. We’re all still here and we’re all still in one piece. And from tomorrow we’ll all be doing a lot more home schooling ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜†

It’s no wonder we bloody drink ๐Ÿ™ˆ

Living the Dream.. Underpants and Aspergers ๐Ÿ’™

Living the Dream.. I never once imagined that I’d be hand washing my children’s scuddy undies on Christmas Eve. Yet there I was. Up to my elbows in suds. That’s got to be an expression of true love, surely?

This unfurnished house is lacking a washing machine and with 4 kids and a hubby, I can see I’m going to get very bored VERY quickly of mucky grundies.

So.. Happy Christmas Everyone! Guess what Santa brought us? ๐Ÿ˜‚




Joe’s joke teeth were a big hit ๐Ÿ˜ (or maybe Santa thinks we need a family dental trip ๐Ÿ˜‚)

Kids were up at 6ish (not bad for a Christmas morning eh?) but the first real noise we heard was Fred yelling that Santa had been and that Father Christmas is the world’s worst EVER person (the language was a tad more fruity than that) and that EVERYONE has got bigger, and more, presents than him.

Today, I bloody hate Aspergers. The perception that so many things become a winning and losing scenario is one of the hardest things for me to understand.. I’m not sure how to help Fred to learn to deal with this, but first thing in the morning when I’m just opening my eyes, I’m afraid I don’t respond well ๐Ÿ™ˆ

I became Shouty McShouty pants and this was the start to our day. Happy bloody Christmas ๐Ÿ™ˆ

Fast forward a few hours and we’ve had even more shouting and tantrums over the new Xbox (the turn-taking Rota isn’t working too well ๐Ÿ˜’), some excitement over scooters and slinkys, and lots of chocolate for breakfast. It’s a very up and down morning, and I’m not coping well. It’s 11am. Is it time for a wine yet? ๐Ÿ˜‚

Bacon sandwiches for lunch, a spot more child-refereeing, and we drag the kids over the road to the beach to stem the cabin fever.

THIS is more like it ๐Ÿ˜Ž


After a couple of hours in the sea, everyone is a bit happier and I’m thinking that today may be a good day after all. We even managed family cricket ๐Ÿ˜Š


For the first time, Fred also took part.

This, however, may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back because again, the perception that he’s losing, or that he’s not as good as everyone else, takes over and the cricket bat gets thrown ๐Ÿ˜”

Today, I really, bloody hate Aspergers.

Back home for Christmas Dinner BBQ, and Sid decides to have a paddy and not be in any more photos.

At this point, I open the wine, and accept that no matter what we do, our day is always going to consist of tantrums and tears as well as laughter and fun.

Our family is not perfect, but it’s just perfect for me. It’s bloody hard work sometimes, and I can understand why we are the neighbours that no one wants to live next door to ๐Ÿ˜† but This Family’s all mine and I love it.


(Sid’s over there in the corner having his No-Photo Hissy Fit ๐Ÿ˜†)

Few more fizzy wines and it’s all good. (Me, not the kids ๐Ÿ˜‰)

Happy Christmas 2017 everyone โค

There’s always one! (But why is it always mine?!) ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ™ˆ

There’s always one. But why is it always mine?! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ™ˆ)

As parents, we’ve all had that thought, haven’t we?!!

Picture the scene… beautiful weather, calm waves lapping at your tanned toes.. Pilot Bay is a gorgeous family sandy beach: shallow blue water, kids playing happily with spades and sandcastles, tinkling children’s laughter in the air while the adults relax in the summer sun…

Then your second child thinks it’s funny to yell, “SHARKKKKKK” ๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿฆˆ as he splash-runs his way out of the water.


I can look back and laugh now, but FFS in that moment, your stomach still drops and the Jaws music still plays in your head ๐Ÿ™ˆ ๐Ÿ˜‚ and a split second later you need to track down your joker of a son to give him a slap for being embarrassing ๐Ÿ˜†

So this week, we’ve explored a bit more, in our efforts to find a place to live. We’ve been up to Katikati and Waihi Beach, and driven through many suburbs of Tauranga, it’s all beautiful and we’re still kinda homeless. The good news is that we have got the beachfront property to rent for 3 weeks, so Santa has somewhere to visit. The bad news is that we still need to find somewhere from mid January. Other good news is that our surfboards arrived! Other bad news is that the courier dropped them in transit and they’re broken ๐Ÿ˜ญ Even more good news is that I’ve ordered some beds to sleep on when we move into the new place next week. And the bad news is that as they are oversized items, they may not arrive until after christmas ๐Ÿ™ˆ

As you can tell, this has been a week of ups and downs. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve seen photos of the UK snow and we’ve felt a bit homesick. It feels a very long way away right now and I’m so thankful for the awesomeness of FaceTime to keep us in touch.

On Friday, the older boys all had a family surf lesson with Marc the Spanish Surf Instructor.


One by one, they all caught some waves, and Joe and Tom are getting pretty good at standing up, the jammy natural dudes.


I kind of loitered around at the side of them with my board during the lesson, in case Fred needed any help, catching a few waves and feeling pretty smug as I surfed my way in. Marc waved me over at one point, and I thought maybe he was going to compliment me on my immense technique.

Nah. But I’ll take his constructive comments ‘on board’ (get it? ๐Ÿ˜‚) as he told me that I need to bend my legs more and lift my arms, because I look a bit like a surfing gorilla. Thanks dude, thanks. I guess I’ll try to take my knuckles out the water and shift my bum closer to the board.


Well hello Dubai ๐Ÿ˜


Its ridiculously early (I’m still working on UK time here) but in the words of Anna, “The sky’s awake, so I’m awake” and while the kids sleep, I’m on the apartment balcony looking at this gorgeous view. I’m in pyjamas with birds nest hair, and I don’t care, and its 29 degrees ๐ŸŒž

We made it to Dubai. 7 hours on a plane with the 4 boys was……. surprisingly pleasant! I won’t lie, I had a wine at one point.. but I also cat napped andย  drooled on Sid for an hour while watching Wonder Woman, and felt much better after some sleep.

I also discovered a bonus to having 4 kids (hear that? There are perks! ๐Ÿ˜‚) – on checking in and checking out and going through passport controls and stuff, the airport staff would look at us in amusement with our mountain of baggage (that’s luggage, not kids ๐Ÿ˜‰) and would usher us to an empty check in desk or manager, and get us through quicker than the average queuer. Bonus! ๐Ÿ˜€ and trust me, with an awesome aspergers child, anything that can help avoid a queue is a plus ๐Ÿ˜Š

So, the plane. No-one was travel sick ๐Ÿค˜ and no one had a melt down ๐Ÿค™ and no one punched anyone else’s lights out ๐Ÿ’ช – it’s a win.

We did struggle to get a 7 seater taxi when we left the airport and I thought that the 31 degree heat was going to cause 4 child-shaped melted puddles on the pavement, but the airport attendants are so super organised here! They radioed us one that came within 20 minutes. (I’ll know to book one in advance next time!)

The hotel is amazing, the people are amazing, and although the kids drove me slightly nuts last night arguing about beds, they were all finally asleep by 10.30, and I can happily forgive the fact that a 375ml bottle of wine costs ยฃ15. I don’t care. I still drank that sucker at 11pm before bed ๐Ÿ˜Ž

There were a few night time shenanigans, the 2 bed apartment only has a huge double bed in one bedroom, and 2 single beds in the other, so we had another single bed wheeled in by a porter, and I foolishly though we’d be fine with just the 5 bed spaces. But apparently 3 in a king-size bed doesn’t cut the mustard and this morning I am most definitely ringing down for another bed to be made up for tonight ๐Ÿ˜‚

So hello Dubai! You’re looking gorgeous this morning at 7am (that’s 4am I think in UK time) and I cant wait for my immense Hilton Breakfast. Get In My Belly.

Holiday, day 2!






Goat parties and The Fear

This weekend, my youngest was invited to a 5year old’s party, and on the morning of it, he was so excited about being invited to this ‘Goat party’ that it didn’t occur to me that he may actually think there would be goats. The reason for this being that it was, in reality, a Go-cart party, and I thought he was just kidding me with his Goat Talk ๐Ÿ˜‚

So we got there, and my little cling-on was either confused because of the lack of goats, or he had been struck down by the Party Fear. You know the one? It lasts about 10-20 minutes in general, and all of my boys have suffered from it at some point.

When we arrive at a party, they refuse to leave my side, preferring to hold my leg or my clothes so tightly with their sticky little fingers, that I often think that we’re moulded together for life.

I’ve tried all tactics to get them to join in quickly. Bribery, encouragement, even the “well-if-you’re-not-going-to-join-in, we-may-as-well-go-home”-tactic. ๐Ÿ˜ And I’ve come to the conclusion that just sitting and having a cuddle until they’re ready is the best. Just the best. Because I love their cuddles and all too soon they’ll be claiming they’re too big for them.

My eldest has Autism. From very early on, he had intense fear of new things, like parties, clothes, food, movies, outings, actually, you name it and he pretty much feared it. He would cling, and cry, and sometimes completely ball- up and shut down, with his thumb in his mouth. I would help him as much as I could, but his fear could last up to 2 hours, by which time, most children’s parties are just finishing.

By the time he was 3, Fred had 2 younger brothers, and just after he turned 6, he had 3 small siblings, and all these little people learned lots of things from Fred… including, I suspect, The Party Fear. They also learned The School Fear, and The Activity Fear.. and many other fears, but one-by-one they have all battled their monsters and come out the other side.

Fred can have reactions and emotions that may seem odd, different, maybe out of place or age-inapropriate. All my other children have learned or copied these at some point. It’s only as they grow, that they also learn how society expects us to control our emotions and react in an appropriate manner (I don’t really like the word ‘normal’ at this point). Fred is still learning, but his uniqueness will always shine and I won’t teach him to hide that.

His brothers have also learned so much more from Fred. They’ve learned compassion, immense patience ย (we’re still working on that one!), forgiveness, bravery, loyalty and immense love. Not to mention all the names of the planets and every single Pokemon Go character. These incredible little beings are growing up to accept and understand human differences. They make me so proud. And cross sometimes. But mostly proud.

And look! After battling The Party (or the lack of goat) Fear, my smallest got in his go cart and drove like A Beast ๐Ÿ˜Š


And with all 4 kids finally ensconced in school.. I have time to pack and sell! ๐Ÿ˜

45 days to go……