Back to school, back to books….

Joshua heads back to school today after 2.5 weeks off , so we will see how he takes to the new routine – well the old routine, back again. He has been sleeping in late this holiday, well around 9 am, so getting up at 7.30 might prove challenging for him this morning. He has had many lazy mornings, when he has pottered around in his pyjamas, before getting up, whereas this morning it will be back to breakfast in bed, dressed, teeth cleaned and out of the door to the taxi. I have no doubt that he will be pleased to see everyone again at school as he has been on great form this holiday and I am hoping that they might even hear some of his old words back again too He will wave madly until his hand drops off no doubt,when he is reunited with both classmates and staff and I hope that he has a good time.

So this marks the beginning of the summer term and with the bank holiday Monday in May coming up shortly, he will be back on half term holiday before we know it, I think it is just four weeks away, before he is on leave again and then we hurtle downhill from there, to the long summer off. It is always a challenge to juggle childcare during that long holiday as I will take a fortnight off in August and we have the long August weekend, but other wise I rely heavily on Yorkshire Grandma. We may be able to use Joshua’s new respite provision to cover some more days, but ideally I would like to use that for my husband and I to have some time together, not simply to enable us to work, but I am sure that we will work something out.

With my Mum being ill and in hospital for the last two weeks, and work commitments, I do not feel as though I have seen enough of Joshua during these Easter holidays. Yorkshire Grandma very kindly held the fort during the first week , enabling me to drop everything and go where I was needed most.  I know that Joshua loves me, he gives me such a welcome home. I went back to the hospital yesterday afternoon and so did not get home until 9 pm, when my husband had just got him into bed. He heard me return however and he jumped out of bed twice to see me and I took him back to bed , staying briefly for a cuddle the second time. He awoke again around 12.30 , waking me and back to bed he went, but I am pretty sure that he was checking that I was still really there. I am pleased that we all three enjoyed the Easter weekend together, that was really special.

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The Final Countdown

The weather has noticeably become autumnal, I noticed that it has started to get darker around 7pm these days and of course in many places August Bank holiday marks the end of the summer holiday season. Joshua will be returning to school a week today and he seems to have been off forever. So with a week more to go, what are the things that we ought to be doing:

  • In previous years we have used the final week to try to get back into a decent bedtime routine, as normally bedtime and getting up times have both slid. But this year he has consistently been in bed between 9 and 10pm and has usually been awake around 8am, so there is no remedial work needed there,
  • Most parents seem to rush out to be new school shoes for the new term, but Joshua only wears NHS splints and boots, so there is no need to make any footwear purchases at all. Being a sixth former now, Joshua does not need to wear school uniform any more, so he just wears his normal clothes, so no investment in new uniform is required. The only purchase I have made is a new pair of swimmimg trunks as his previous ones came back threadbare at the end of term.
  • We do not need to rush around to get any health appointments organised: Joshua’s teeth are in better order now than they  were at the start of the holidays – Thank goodness that dentist trauma is behind us now – and his physiotherapist is squeezing in a home visit on the last day of the holidays too. We have two orthopaedic hospital appointments booked in for next month too, to review the best way to improve his right hand and foot, which have become very contorted.
  • I often feel mother’s guilt at the end of the holidays that I have not spent enough time with Joshua, that I have done too much work and not enough play, but I think we have got the balance just right this year. He is coming with me to Granny’s house this afternoon and we are both staying overnight, while I do some work in the North West. I would like to think that Joshua feels as though he has had a fun summer, but that he has some fun weekends booked in for September too, so it is not the case that the fun stops here! We have no september respite weekend but, to suit us, we have two booked in for October.

So I think that all that remains is to continue to have fun during this final week of school holidays and to get well-rested for the new term that is about to begin. Some parents will argue that the school summer holiday is too long and they cannot wait for their children to get back there, but as ever I feel that it has flown by and that it only seems like a blink ago that Joshua was breaking up at the end of July, I , for one, have certainly not been counting the minutes until school take him back. I am confident however that Joshua will love to see the staff and his peers once again and I expect him to simply pick up where he left off.

School’s Out for Summer!

It was the first day of Joshua’s school holidays, so he got a lie in as Yorkshire Grandma was coming to get him at 10am. Of course, because he is contrary, he got up soon after 8am, when he didnt need to, and came downstairs where I gave him his breakfast and morning medication. So Joshua was knocking around when I went to work, already throwing cushions and trying to escape through the front door! He looked as though he might be a handful so I hopped onto my bike, and cycled the 2 miles to work, leaving Dad in charge!

I had a really busy morning at work but  was aiming to leave at 2pm. My bike chain came off as I cycled home and as it was very greasy, I let it be and pushed my bike the remaining quarter of a mile, where my husband fixed it and showed me how to for next time. Yorkshire Grandma brought Joshua back and we simply swapped cars, he was mad not to go inside the house, but we had a dentist appointment to get to and we were running late. Joshua’s latest trick is to bend down as though he is going to sit, as a way to object and in this position he is very hard to move, it s very effective as he plants himself to the floor.

It soon became clear why he did not want to come with me in the car, as within 5 minutes, he began fitting again. I pulled the car over, as he had three short seizures then put his head on his pillow to sleep them off, so we continued our journey.He was very perky at the dentist – waving at everyone, grabbing pens and telephones etc. In the surgey itself I gave him a marker pen- with the lid on!- and so he set about ‘scribbling’ on the walls and whiteboard, while I talked to the dentist about his impossible delay. She is hoping that he will get an appointment for his fillings, under sedation, in September. That will be 9 months after she initally referred him and when I chased it, the lady on the phone told me that some people wait for 14 months. I told her that that was nothing to brag about!

We went from the dentist to the supermarket – I know, I know how to treat my lad on the first day of his school holidays with the dentist and then shopping! But he did have fun – he loves to push a trolley, even though we hadnt bought enough to justify one, he adored the sloping escalator which took us upstairs and down again and he dragged me into ‘Donalds’!, for some chips and orange juice – he would not take no for an answer, even though he had eaten lunch with Yorkshire Grandma.

Then we drove to see a friend at her house, where he demanded attention while we sat talking and drinking tea. He used a variety of tactics to get our attention:

  • He pulled his t shirt up to show us his tummy. My friend began to squirt him with cool spray to cool him down, which made him do it even more
  • He lay on the kitchen floor then started to scoot around on his bottom
  • He grabbed at my friend’s son’s glasses, trying to pull them off and making him shout to be rescued
  • His eyes went dazed and in opposite directions, threatening more seizures
  • He climbed onto the table that we were sitting at, lying between us both, giggling

After a couple of hours we came home again, where he was calmer and after my tea, we had a cool bath to ease his heat rash. On the first day of his holidays, he was tucked up in bed at 9.30pm. I wonder what today will bring?