I have been loving the very lovely Sara-Jayne’s update posts and thought I would join her with some refection on our month. Life doesn’t stop being busy, but more so this year I know I have been neglecting capturing our moments. My blog started off first and foremost as a way to capture our family life, and whilst its grown to be so much more, I do love looking back at favourite moments. Having the blog has always offered the ability to reflect on how much the children are growing and changing. This year it feels like that’s been its secondary purpose. So hopefully, with Sara-Jayne for motivation, I’ll remember to find the time to make this a monthly thing. So here goes, our life right now (albeit already a week late!). This was our September…
Our month started with quite a bit of sad news. So much so, on the 8th September B declared it the saddest month of his life. Within the space of ten days we lost both of our fur friends, and for different reasons the tears poured.
Chase, our french bulldog, died without seeing his third birthday. The puppy B wanted so badly was a firm favourite for the children, absolutely bonkers and so full of life. It transpires that Chase had a genetic condition which we only found out about when he started suffering from fits, but we had no idea just not how much it would take hold. After one really tough day, a fit took Chase from us.
Ten days later, my faithful companion Miller joined him. Miller was showing all the signs of growing old, I will forever be grateful for him waiting long enough for me to get back from working away. After a brief welcome home cuddle, Miller took himself off to his place in my office where he kept me company and fell asleep. Miller had lived the best life, the fullest of lives.
Loosing a pet is the oddest of things, the waves of sadness keep coming when they’re least expected, and that became a part of my September. The children each took each passing differently and responded differently to death as individuals. It hit CM hardest and she continues to experience waves of sadness. B took it in his stride, somehow understanding that both, for different reasons, have gone to a better place. E has the most profound thoughts, and has the ability to articulate the most sensitive suggestions. On talking about remembering Chase, it was E who suggested creating a rockery- as Chase was always collecting rocks, and always getting in trouble for doing so. Now in death, Chase could be surrounded by his favourite things, and not be in trouble.
Fortunately young people are resilient, and with all of that going on, the children found themselves getting back into the routine of school. All three are now in the Junior playground, which makes it much easier for school runs but it meant we had the same initial problems as we did when the boys joined the Infants with needing to have boundaries with CM.
As it is, back to school has been more or less pain-free. Oddly of all three, it’s now B I worry about most. Whilst CM has fallen in with a fantastic group of friends and the difference in her happiness is tangible and E is getting so much support with his ADHD that he’s coming on so much, B is just his own person. B has the highest of highs, but like his mum has the ability to take things more personally than he need. I’ve spent this school term wondering whether I did the right thing in putting my boys in separate classes.
E had a day off school due to illness, and as Mr J was working I needed to take E on school pick-up. I couldn’t believe the hug B gave him, how much he had missed him. It made me wonder whether B has settled as well as I thought he had. Logic has made me weigh up how much we have seen him excel educationally. This, alongside E’s additional needs being identified assures me, from one perspective it was the right decision.
I’ve also gone back to school this month. Whilst I’ve decided to give up university (I really do need to formalise that decision!), I’ve started ADHD parenting factor classes with Barnardo’s. We’re really fortunate that Barnardo’s has funding to offer these courses given the charity is the only source of support for families the NHS refers as part of the initial diagnosis. I hadn’t been able to do the classes before due to work commitments, fortunately an understanding boss knew I had compromised on the last set of classes so this time it was just a simple instruction from her that my diary would allow me to attend.
And of course, the classes are so beneficial. Understanding how the negative perception of ADHD can affect E’s self-esteem and create a spiral of unhappiness given the likelihood of ADHD affecting a child’s ability to do well in school. I have been so pleased with the support given in school last year which has brought E far, I hope it continues into the Juniors.
The classes have also reinforced the need to ensure we parent B and E as individuals. Whilst some people might think you should treat twins the same (and one parent in the class whose twins do not have ADHD parents hers the same), by looking at B and E there is everything about the fact they are completely different. There’s no point saying to me they were taught the same thing so they’re the same, because how they receive information is completely different. There’s no point saying ADHD is just bad behaviour. I have nurtured two boys in my womb, they have been raised and fed in the same way, but if you take the time to look into their eyes whilst talking to them, you’ll see the difference. Not only is their behaviour in interaction completely different, their outlook on life is too.
Whilst work continues to be manic for me, I’ve been fortunate this month that I’ve had time for me. I’ve been to the theatre quite a bit; solo, with a friend and with the little people. Mr J and I got out for a best friend’s 40th celebrations. I got time with my besties to celebrate mine. And I found myself spending a lot of time with one of my oldest friends from work who lost his parents in the space of a year. I don’t even know where to start. And I finished off the month spending time with my brother whilst he tattooed my foot. I doubt it’s what my mum ever had in mind when she goes on about spending quality time together.
September saw two new additions to our family. Probably controversially to many, we introduced two fur friends to our family. Mr J and I discussed at length introducing new dogs. We knew we would eventually and it seemed difficult to wait. Our dogs provide a lot of benefits to our family, including our health and well-being- especially Mr J’s. Long walks each day make the world of difference, but without a dog at his ankles it has felt pointless. Deciding who, what and how was a whole other conversation.
Eventually we found the perfect additions which we both agreed on. Tod (named by Mr J and I after our first family home). Logan was named by the little people. Brothers, who are now 12 weeks old, Springadors. It’s no doubt another post is due about all the whys and wherefores. It goes without saying we have finished September happier as a family than how our month started.