Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!
Alice in Wonderland
What a remarkable week of amazing posts the Define 'Normal' blog hop highlighted last week, thank you to everyone who contributed. For anyone unfortunate enough to miss it, I have posted all the links at the bottom of this post along with a new linky for this week's challenge. There has been some really good feedback and I hope everyone who entered noticed a difference in the amount of traffic that came to their site. This week I'm very excited to be linking up with the Special Saturday team who are on a mission to spread awareness of special needs, so look out for the #specialsaturday hashtags on twitter.
Of course you may have noticed that I am (just a touch) late in posting this today, as Saturday is just a tinsy bit over. Really I should have had it written and posted last night, but I'm afraid I was busy attempting to be a PTA mum and was helping at the school quiz. The helping involved no drinking and no joining in as I was on-call for Dominic, so I felt a bit like a vicar in a brothel, but at least I managed to do a few useful things before sloping off.
This morning, well, this morning I was feeling grotty and life was just taking longer to get through, which is why this morning is now this evening. The problem, you'll find, with someone like me running a weekly blog hop, is that I am always late. For everything. I don't mean to be late, and I would be lying if I pretended I was just too laid back to care (maaaaan). Because I do care, and if you saw the sheer volume of clocks in the house you'd think that in fact I was so uptight about the time that I ran the house with military precision. Well, it's not through lack of trying, trust me, but no one else seems to be on board with the prospect of having orders barked at them, let alone actually following them. Bastards.
I swear I have good intentions when my alarm goes off in the mornings though, I know what I need to do and roughly how long I have to do it in. I have things ready the night before (mostly) and don't have an impossibly long list of things to achieve in order to start the day, but somehow life just conspires to get in the way. By life, of course I actually mean everyone else in the house. My children's internal time keeping seems to be defunct, and, despite what you might think, that faulty gene did not come from me. I remember growing up being utterly mortified that we were always late, and as a result, when I became old enough to get myself places I arrived places so early it was faintly ridiculous. I'd get panicky, and if I'm honest I still do despite my serial-tardiness, if the hands of the clock threatened to even think about clicking towards the time that I'm meant to be somewhere. But this daily panic is, for now at least, part of normal family life for us.
You may assume that some of the extras that come with Dominic are what usually delays us, and yes it would be an easy excuse to fall back on and if I'm honest I might sometimes take teensy weensy advantage of that, but that's just between you and me ok? But the truth is, with emergencies and inconvieniances out of the way, I can (and have) got him ready for school and out the door, in clothes, in 15 minutes. Now for a child who really relies on me to do everything for him, this isn't bad, and he can beat Elliot and Lilia hands down when I'm feeling mischeivous enough to lay down a bet on who is going to be first to bed (seriously if you haven't tried this one already it's a great way to play siblings off against each other to get them to shift their butts- unless it all descends fighting with everyone trying to out-nobble everyone else to slow them down).
It's normally something as mundane as a lost shoe (Dominic's feet are tiny so the shoes are scarily easy to misplace), a dog poo in the middle of the carpet (normally due to a squitty bottom induced by eating some of Roger's cooking), Lilia having decided to sort out her shell collection before getting dressed for school or lining up Barbies on the side of the bath to stare at me when I'm having a shower in the morning. Or perhaps it will just be a day like yesterday, when everything was going to plan, I was even cocky enough to plonk Dominic on the toilet and negotiate the tears for ten minutes before getting in the shower. Then, with no warning and for no reason other than to make my day more awkward, a muscle seized in my neck. This is not an uncommon occurrance as my left shoulder is, and forgive me for using medical terminology, completely buggered. The buggeredness comes from having lifted and carried Dominic for so many years while I wait for the house to be adapted, and it can cause my neck to crick at random and inopportune moments, like this one. So there I was, dripping wet, in agony with smallest child sat on the toilet looking at me expectantly and suddenly wishing I wasn't the grown up responsible for sorting this all out. I won't go into the gory details of quite how many over the counter drugs it took for me to get Dominic off the toilet, but I did manage it and even managed to get the kids to school on time (with a lot of help from Elliot and Lilia) because school is one thing I am never late for. Quite how, I don't know.
Of course the productive people reading this will question why I didn't settled down and write the post after I had handed all the children over. Well, yes, theoretically I could have done, but I thought that I would just walk back past Sainsbury's to refill the drug cabinet so i could get through the rest of the day and keep moving. What should have been a ten minute detour soon turned into an hour and a half crouched on the road shivering though. As I was about to go in to the shop something caught my eye, something human shaped and giving in to gravity followed by lots of boxes. I took a deep breath, grimaced and ran. I found a woman sprawled on the road having fallen, quite badly it seemed, unloading her van. Now I would have left her in the capable hands of the Sainsbury's staff, had they not looked about 17, as though they had stolen all the hair gel in the store and as though they probably still sniggered when someone said "bum" outloud.
After having made sure that someone was calling the company that she worked for to come and secure the van and suggesting that they might perhaps want to call an ambulance, or at the very least get her a blanket, I was going to leave. Until I overheard the conversation that one of the first aiders was having with ambulance control about her mental status. After many questions, they finally managed to establish that the lady was conscious from Dave, or Kev or whatever his name was, and then, now getting carried away with the drama of the situation, he continued, "But she is mental you know, like, not really with it, like, not really happy, like, you know mental, yeah? You'd better get here quick". I thought perhaps it was better to stay after all. Eventually the ambulance turned up and I finally said my goodbyes and went into the shop and got the pain medication that was to get me through the rest of the day.
Before you suggest that I could have then gone home and sat down and written then, well, yes, but I had to feed all the animals who queue up to bat their various eyelashes at me and make sure I trip over one or other of them with every step until there is food in their bowls. And of course there is the dishwasher to unload, the toilet paper to replace, the breakfast cereal to sand off the table and cockerels to let out of their boxes, just like a vast majority of other mothers (well perhaps with the exception of the cock bit). I also had the dubious pleasure of washing wet sheets from the night before (not mine I hasten to add)- again. Then there was the music that I'd promised to do for the quiz, the downside of volunteering for things is that you then have to make sure you do what you said you could, however complicated your day decides to become.
In the short time I had left before school pick up, I allowed myself a small squeal of excitement as I clicked on the link to my Mother's Day guest post, and responded to a few of the amazing and touching messages that people had taken the time to leave me. Then, along with all the other mothers, I gathered my things and went to go to school to collect my children. I didn't have them long as the carer walked them home as I helped set up for the quiz. Once that was done I just had enough time to dash back home, get everyone fed, oldest two to woodcraft, youngest left happily with the carer and go and get ready for the quiz to start. I lasted until about 9.30 before the sleep deprivation and mumurings from home made me grab my bag, drive the short distance home and join my giggling children upstairs in Dominic's bed to tell them all about what I'd been doing before giving them the kisses that they had been waiting for and leaving them to sleep.
And today, well today I've be stiff and sore and desperately sad. I won't go into it now, but the consequences of it means that I won't be spending Mother's Day with all my children which seems so unbelievably wrong, but has to be the right thing to do. So although this may seem like a list of excuses, which in a way it is, I hope it some how helps to put into perspective how my version of ordinary family life has a habit of getting a little bit extraordinary at rather inconvenient times, and because like every mother, there just isn't enough time for everything. So I apologise for being late in posting this, but I think that perhaps it simply goes to show that my family life can be terrifyingly normal after all.
Why not join in?
If you would like to join in the blog hop and tell us what your normal is like click on the link below and follow the instructions to add a link to your post. Please take time to read and comment on other people's posts and link back to this one so your readers can discover other poeple's links. Blog hops are a great way to generate more traffic to your site and to discover some great writers, so do join in with a post or a photo or whatever you think sums up normal life for you, this is not just open to special needs bloggers, we're need to all celebrate that our own weird lives are our normal, our differences make us interesting and our similarities should bring us together. Don't forget to tell us all on twitter using #specialsaturday and #definenormal
Last week's brilliant posts