Groundhog Day or Dads birthday

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IMG_20130616_162735Today would have been my Dads birthday.   He would have been 86, if he were still with us.

I think about my Dad most days, usually quite subconsciously, but there are two days each year that I think about him in a more active sense, the anniversary of his death, and today, his birthday.        I don’t mean to be maudline, but instead I think about the good things.     As I imagine, with anyone who has watched a loved one diminish through the evils of cancer, you try really hard to not think about the person at the end, as that is not who my Dad was.     I, of course remember the pain and suffering that he endured, but with time those memories are put into prespective as being a minute portion of the life of someone loved.

My Dad was a small man in stature, but a huge man in personality.      You could walk into a crowded room, and hear him above all else, not because he had an overly loud voice, but because he had a booming presence.       He was the type of person that knew everyone and on the whole got on with everyone.       I grew up in the generation where when you were playing up – not of course that I did that too often, the words “wait until your father gets home!” would strike fear to the pit of your stomach.       He was never an ambitious person, but worked hard to make sure his family were well looked after.     We never had much growing up, but we were fed and clothed, and  most importantly loved.

He was made redundant when he was 60.     Instead of letting it get him down, he decided to go back to college.     He was under no illusions that at his age the chances of getting another job were remote, and so didn’t go to retrain, but to do something he had always wanted to.    He went to study philosophy.       It was the perfect subject for him, because he enjoyed a good argument – not a shouting match argument, but a debating argument, and would happily argue black was white, just to get you thinking, and for the sheer hell of it!

He would have loved the boys, and I just know that him and D would have been the best of chums.    I actually see a lot of him in D, his presence with people, and off course his argumentative personality!     I can only smile as I imagine the “discussions” they could have enjoyed, with neither of them daring to back down from their own stand point!     It is sad to think knowing him in person is something the boys have missed out on.

My Dad gave me many things in live, and I think the most important one, is my sense of fairness.   He hated injustice, maybe one of the reasons people were drawn to him.    I think this is why I am a great supporter of the under dog.      Of course, the other thing that he instilled in me, was, and is my love of Turkish delight, not the proper stuff – although I do like that, but the chocolate covered jelly block!

My Dad may not be with us in body but he is still with us in spirit, and for that I am extremely happy.

Best Laid Plans

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It seems when things aren’t going as well as one would hope, everything conspires to make it worse!       Or maybe it is just me and my ability to see the negative rather than the positive at the moment.

Hubby had booked a day off work for yesterday.      After my initial reservations because I did little in the house last week, with 2 poorly boys home, I thought it would be nice to have some grown up time.     For Christmas, we were given some gift voucher for the large shopping centre in the city, and so we decided to go for lunch.     There is quite a large selection of restaurants in the centre, all be it chain restaurants, but a free feed is always a nice though.     Sunday evening, we had a look online and decide to go to one of the restaurants we don’t usually go to, after all if we didn’t like as much as somewhere we usually go, it wasn’t too disastrous and we would know not to go back and spend our own money there!!

I was really looking forward to it.      Hubby took the boys to school, so I could get on with the jobs I needed to do.

Then the phone rang!

It was the physio for Old Person.     She would be in to check on her shoulder at 2pm.      I was not impressed that she had agreed without checking it was a suitable time, and Hubby went totally off on one.       I sometimes think he forgets that I have commitments which have to take priority.   I am convinced he doesn’t realise that I am stuck in this house all day every day without time to think about me, and what I want for a lot of it.     The thought of just a couple of hours out, being Jane the human adult, rather than chief cook and bum wiper was amazing.       I didn’t want to cancel, but I had no choice.    Old Person gets too confused to have medical appointments without someone there to listen to what is being said to make sure she is being honest about what is going on – it’s not that she lies, but she underplays the difficulties she has and the pain she is in almost every time she sees someone.

I just feel I am being pulled in so many directions some days that I just want to cry – or maybe that’s just my age that’s making me overly emotional!

The physio arrived and gave her shoulder a good workout!      She agreed with the GP that Old Person has a frozen shoulder, but she believes by the limit of movement and the noises it makes that there may be a problem with arthritis there too.     She is going to refer her to get it x-rayed to find out.      She is also going to speak to the GP to ask about injections to help with the pain.      The exercises that have to be done are quite funny as she is moving her head, here, there and everywhere – one shouldn’t laugh but sometimes you just have to!     Hopefully all this will help to alleviate the pain Old Person has in her shoulder, because I think if it gets worse and she is unable to use her zimmer, life is going to become very difficult for her, and on a selfish note, for me too.     It is however being actioned and hopefully improvement will be seen.

After that Hubby and I were up to the school for a meeting about M and the problems he has been having recently.      We spoke with his teacher and the depute, and they listened to what we had to say.    I, of course cried a lot, I can’t help myself, I get overly emotional at the thought of anyone bullying another person, and of course when its your own child on the receiving end, it is heart breaking.       They will speak to the children in question, without directly mentioning M – while he wants the situation to be resolved, he is petrified of retribution.      I am under  no illusion that my children are anything more than the ratbags that they are, and I don’t want more for them than any other child, but equally I don’t want any less for them.     When the education authority talks about being inclusive and rights respecting, then that is what we need to see in action.      I do believe on the whole the situation M finds himself is more a case of kids being kids and not necessarily realising their actions have consequences to a child who is emotional immature.    However, there are instances when it is malicious and they know which buttons to push to get him into trouble.       I came out of the meeting feeling angry with myself for letting emotion get in the way of being able to talk sensibly, but despite that, we were given a fair hearing, and I do believe as much as can be actioned will be.       When we got home, I spoke with M about what had been said, and the first thing he said was “Will Mrs M be helping me with my problems?”        It is heart-breaking to hear him understand that the way he is treated being a problem, and I hope knowing he has adults that are there for him will help.     It is easy to say if he is hurting or feeling scared he needs to talk to someone, but I know from personal experience that doing so is the hardest thing in the world.     We know that M’s migraines are stress related, and we have to help him find a way to reduce the situations that cause the stress.

I do feel a failure as a parent that I cant protect my child from the nastiness of the world.    I imagine most parents feel like this at times.     All we can do it try to equip them with the correct tools to handle these situations in the best way possible.     For M this means learning to trust adults so he feels he can turn to them when he is asked to do something he knows is wrong.    It is to help him understand that walking away from a person or situation that is not making you happy is a positive thing.   In fact, these are life lessons that we all need to learn, as too many of us have toxic people and situations we put up with because its easier to tolerate them than face them and deal with them.        I don’t want to teach my child to be jaded by others, but sometimes you have to help them understand self-preservation is a good trait to encourage.

We all need to look after ourselves as well as the rest of humanity.

What a week!

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It seems I chose the wrong week to decide to have some happy ME time!       I have had one hell of a horrible week with one thing and another.          I will have to draw a line under it and try again next week.

The first problem came when D had a fall on Sunday.     Hubby took the boys to the park in the afternoon.     It was a bit icy and he landed on his bum very hard.    When he got home and told me, I couldn’t help but laugh – I know, I am a really bad Mummy!!!      When he couldn’t sit down, my attitude changed.    He hobbled around, and had a gallon of arnica rubbed into his  lower back.       He could not get comfortable, and we ended up with him either standing or laying face down.      While he was able to move around, it was obvious he had not broken anything, but had probably bruised something, more than likely his tailbone.       We managed to get him to bed, but he was in pain and even the painkillers weren’t really doing much for him.        Monday morning, tears were freely flowing, and so he stayed home.      He was so obviously in great discomfort as he tried to do things, but even eating and drinking were a problem as he had to stand to do them because he could do neither laying on his tummy!     It took until Wednesday until we could get him in a sitting position, all be it with cushions and throws padding around him.     The bruise was out which was helping him.     He has been very grumpy, because he hasn’t been able to do things the usual way so his mood has been less than calm most of the week.     He ended up with the whole week off school, because only being able to be seated for a few minutes would not have achieved anything but disruption for the whole class.     Now the bruise has totally come out, he is much more comfortable and therefore more settled in himself.

M has had a terrible week too.    He woke up on Monday morning looking a lighter shade of grey, saying he had a really hot head.    M suffers with abdominal migraines, and describes them as a “hot head”.       I put him back to bed and he slept the morning away.    Tuesday he was back to school, but came home, again complaining his head was hot.       He had a very restless night, so it was another day off.      He was really agitated until he went to be sick.    That meant he would be off the rest of the week.       The doctors have told us that they believe his migraines are stress related.    It seems terrible that a 10-year-old child is so stressed that it manifests itself in physical terms.         I sat with him for a while on his bed, and had cuddles as I asked him if everything was alright.     He became very upset, umming and twisting his fingers, obvious signs he was trying to work out what he should do.       I tried to reassure him as I pried to find out what was wrong.       He then started talking about being bullied at school.     A child in his class was name calling and trying to control him.     It is always heartbreak to hear your child to tell you they have someone telling them they have to do things that they aren’t happy about, from who they can talk to, to where they can eat their lunch.       He just poured out tales of problems going back a while.     He was really open about the things that have happened.     It was horrible to listen to.      Totally heartbreaking.     Hopefully telling someone and being reassured we will do our best to help him, will have helped his mental state.    Hubby emailed the school and we have an appointment to talk to his teacher and the depute about the situation.       D did pipe in on the situation saying there was a girl in M’s class that was looking out for him, as she had confronted D about things the bully was saying!     It is reassuring to know he does have people around him that really do care enough to stand up for him.    I am so grateful about this, I just wish it didn’t have to be something he needs to rely in.     I am glad he was able to open up about his problems so we can try to do something about it.      It is however not the first time bullying has reared its ugly head, and it is something that makes me so upset.      I was bullied all through school, so I know how miserable it can make the experience.    I don’t want that for either of my children and yet they are going through it.    Hopefully we can form a plan to move out of this spiral for him.

The other negative thing this week, has been I have been feeling down.      Before Christmas the doctor decided to put me on B12 injections to try to sort out my anaemia.    It seems to however had a negative affect.    Since having the initial course of jabs I have not had the umph of energy I was expecting, but instead have been more sleepy with headaches.      Reading the ream of possible side effects it appears it wasn’t for me.    I went back to the GP and he said it couldn’t possible be the injections that were making me this way, but instead it was just my poor sleep pattern.      Sometimes you just want to laugh and ask if they are really listening to you.     Having 2 boys that aren’t good sleepers has meant that I have got used to a poor sleep quality over many years, and that would not have just suddenly come on at exactly the same time I had the injections!          He suggested sleeping medication to help, and was at a loss when I said as a full-time carer for 3 people, I don’t think being knocked out was really going to help things.    He then suggested I take up yoga to learn to relax!!     I think I will leave it a while then go and see a different doctor if I don’t seem to be improving because I am fed up with not having the energy to do anything.

SO, as you can see, I didn’t get my happiness challenge happening this week, I just managed to keep everyone alive so that I think is a positive!

Hopefully I will get everyone to the places they need to be next week and can find some ME time .       Time will tell.