Meeting Myself Coming Back

Most of my days, now that I am retired, are pretty relaxing , but yesterday was pretty hectic from start to finish and I do not want too many more days like that, I am out of practice I think. It all began with me getting down to the beach for an early swim before 6am. It was warm and calm and I did ditch the wetsuit and swim in my costume only, and I loved it. After a cuppa and a chat with the other Mermaids, I took the dogs along the beach for their morning walk. So all of that was a perfect start to the day.

At 8.30 I started waking Joshua up for daycare, and he was in a mischievous mood, so getting him dressed was not straightforward. But we got away for 9.30 as planned and he was delighted to arrive at daycare for 10, rushing in to give the staff hugs, to tell them not to mess and to show them his bare tummy. I drove home again, via a garden centre to buy my husband a fathers day gift from Joshua, so it was nearer 11 when I was home again. I had a cup of tea with my husband and then walked the dogs around the field, then began baking shortbread. Somehow the time ran away with me as we were having lunch later, when I looked up at the clock and it was 1.30. I leapt up and grabbed the car keys and I was supposed to be picking Joshua up again at 1.45, so I was late. I drove back to daycare, where Joshua was in no hurry, he went round each member of staff hugging them goodbye before he would leave. We had to get across town to the hospital for an orthotics appointment, where he was being measured for a new epilepsy helmet.

We got to the hospital on time, miraculously, but there was nowhere to park so I was driving up and down looking, first for a disabled bay but then any bay would suffice. I told Joshua that we were late and so he helped the tension but repeating ‘late..late…late’ endlessly until I found a space, quite a walk from the Therapies Centre. Joshua continued to need chivying up as he dawdled to the building we wanted, still chanting about being late. So we must have been 10-15 minutes late for our appointment when we checked in with the receptionist. The orthotist came to greet us and told me that she had been about to cross us off as a no-show, so of course I blamed the traffic and parking and she lead us into a room, where she proceeded to measure all dimensions of Joshua’s head. The appointment only took 5 minutes so I was glad we did not have to miss it and return another day.

By the time we walked back to the car and then drove home again to our seaside town, it was 4pm. I gave Joshua his teatime medication and warned him that he only had an hour to relax or nap, because we would be heading out for RDA/horse-riding soon. He was not impressed, as once Joshua is home, it is not easy to persuade him to go out again. So I had time to fold the washing, feed the dogs and slurp down a cup of tea, before It was time to get his boots back on. RDA is at a stables now that are 45 minutes drive away, back towards the city I had just come from. We have not been since April when we had an issue with Joshua’s large NHS boots and when he was not listened to when he asked to ‘stop!’, so we had come up with a new plan between us and so last night was an important return to riding.

Thankfully he cheered up when he arrived at the stables and was happily giving everyone thumbs ups and telling them ‘Don’t Mess’. As the other two riders were mounting their horses, they produced a sturdy chair for Joshua to sit on. I changed him out of his clumpy boots and splints, into some neater, lighter trainers that I had bought for this job – one size 10 and a size 7. Then he climbed the mounting block, with support as he did feel wobblier without his splints, and they got him onto the back of his horse, Whitney. They adjusted his stirrups and sat him up straight and off he rode to join the others. I carried his chair round to wear he was going to dismount and then went to watch the ride. Joshua was quite serious at first but then he clearly relaxed and he was telling them not to mess and trying to flash his bare tummy at them, which as I had wrapped him up in three layers in case it was cold, was not easy. When the half hour ride was over, he slid down the horse next to the chair and I put his splints and boots back on, so that he could walk back to the car. I think the new plan worked, it was a success and the ladies that I had met with were very attentive, watching the ride carefully, making sure that nothing went wrong this time. I was really relieved and will be happy to repeat the exercise in a fortnight.

So we drove home again, getting back for 7pm and I was really grateful that my husband had his tea waiting for him as he had run through his repertoire of every food he could name on the journey back, indicating that he was hungry – hopefully suggesting we stop for toast, chocolate, cake, ‘bix, crisps…? He ate it all up and then went for a lie down, while I made myself an omelette.

It was a full on day, but a successful one in the end. I calculated that I spent 4.5 hours driving backwards and forwards yesterday. I am looking forward to a less stressful day today, when mostly I plan to be at home, with his afternoon haircut being the only commitment that we have so far. Phew!

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