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The school year is nearly over

Posted by Sarah on Dec 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

It’s Beth’s last day at school for the year today. Bill and Bridie finish off tomorrow. Beth’s been in fine form this week, saying some really smart, knowledgeable things and all together pretty ‘with it’ which has been fantastic. Here’s a few of her fascinating insights :

When discussing Vincent Van Gogh last night Beth tells me that to be an artist you have to have one ear. When I told her that I do art but I have two ears Beth’s response was “Let me guess. You need both ears to hold up your glasses!” Well yes, good observation and good point!

The song from Ghostbusters was on the tv. Beth says to me “You know Ghostbusters Mum, it’s got The Dan Ackyroyd in it.” She’s never watched Ghostbusters. Thanks for the 80’s trivia 13 year old. You’re absolutely correct.

“Billy West plays the red M&M on the M&M’s ad. ” That’s all she said. Cheers, that’s something I’ve always wanted to know.

I went to the toilet last night and when I came in to bed Beth was standing on her head. She said she was going to watch television that way from now on. It lasted only a couple of minutes thank goodness!

Beth has been particularly attentive lately. When I went in to yell at her (and be prepared to do it five or six times) to put her shoes and socks on I saw that she had put both on without being told. This is a miracle of the 21st Century!

Yesterday she didn’t want to go to school and was being a sad sack about going on a barbecue at the local park near the school. She kept wanting me to say that they were going to the one near our home so that I could pick her up early. I would say it was near her school and she’d say something like “yes, near my old school – right?” Anyway, I told her to have fun and not to spoil it for everybody else even though she didn’t want to go. When I picked her up I asked if she had grizzled and she said “I was told not to mope so no, I didn’t mope.” I hadn’t used the word mope so she must have been told from somebody else too! I had heard her teacher at the end of the day asking Beth and two others if they wanted an icypole. The others had replied yes but I could hear the teacher “Beth. Beth O’Connor. Earth to Beth!” Then eventually from her “Whaat!” They so get her!

I had one of Beth’s friends come up to me yesterday morning. He very cutely asked if Beth could come for a swim in the holidays at their house. I’ve got a soft spot for this boy and his mum so of course I said yes. Yay! She’s got a playdate! It’s funny, when we go to the other campus Beth is constantly being said hello to (especially by the boys) and she’s oblivious to them all. Clearly she goes by the concept “Treat em mean, keep em keen!”

I got an email the other day from a lady who has developed an app for teaching kids how to write. She was asking if I would mind putting a plug on here and I said that no, of course I wouldn’t. Not only was the app a fantastic one but I was so chuffed that she thought my blog was important enough that it would benefit her! So here is a link to their website : www.writeforschool.com or to look directly at the app it’s  https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/writeforschool/id571423628?mt=8  It teaches children the right way to start and write letters and would be incredibly beneficial to any child.

Well this will be my last post before Christmas. Thanks everybody for continuing to read my little blog. I hope you all have a wonderful and safe Christmas and I’ll speak with you soon. xxxxx

 
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8 more sleeps to go

Posted by Sarah on Dec 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

It’s the 17th of December. I’ve finally finished my Christmas shopping. I only had a little bit to do really, I got most of my shopping for the kids done earlier in the year. I think they’ll all be pleased with their booty. Beth has got Muppets posters and a Pepe soft toy doll from the Muppets. As it must be it’s the same ratio in size to Miss Piggy and Kermit who she got last year. She’s got her disco ball coming from Santa as requested, sadly I couldn’t convince him to include the jacuzzi or the trip to Universal Studios in the limo like she wanted!

Beth’s had an up and down week. Last Wednesday her school was meant to go to an excursion to a park at a place called the 1000 steps which is near here. Down the bottom is a fabulous playground and then if the kids chose (one tip what Beth would have chosen) they could attempt to do the huge walk which by all accounts is a big one even before you get to the said steps. Anyway, the plan was that I pick her up there at 1pm before they head back to Dandenong. It’s only five minutes from me and would have been quite handy. My mistake was telling Beth that this is what I would be doing. I got a phone call during the day to tell me that due to a shortage in diesel the school bus wouldn’t be taking them that far after all and the plans had changed to go to a more local to the school park. I asked Beth’s teacher to explain this to Beth knowing that she wouldn’t be happy as she knew I was picking her up early. To make matters worse I got a flat tyre when out and my wonderful in laws had to come to the rescue as they do so often. Well, Bev tells me (my mother in law) that when it came time to pick Beth up she came out in tears, so upset that they hadn’t gone to the 1000 steps as planned. Poor love, I don’t know whether it was really the park or the promise of an early day but she was most put out. When I got home and went in to get her, once again her response was “You’re alive!” She hadn’t said anything to her teacher or my in laws so I’m not really sure if she thought something was wrong but even if she did a little bit it must have been awful for her. I wish I could convince her that nothing will happen to me. I think she associates the fact that I was 13 when my mum died and she is 13 now. It’s gone on for a while now, not to the extreme but clearly always in the back of her mind. Perhaps a social story might help.

I took Beth for an eye test on Saturday. The optometrist says she has better than 20/20 vision which was a relief. We then popped in to Big W to get a few clothes. Of course Bridie has weaseled her way in to come knowing we were going to the shops as she’s a real clothes horse. They both ended up with thongs (the kids you wear on your feet if you’re not from Australia, don’t want to alarm anybody!), t shirts and shorts and I got shorts for Bill. Beth has worn the same pair of crocs for three or four years so she picked some quite pretty thongs with a flower in the toe. She is a bit of a nightmare with clothes though, I don’t think she cares that much so if she says yes I often don’t know whether it’s because she wants to stop or because she really likes something. She’ll do something dramatic like say “Awesome” and fling her hand out but who really knows? She was quite helpful though, helping Bridie pick shoes which took longer than the rest of the visit put together. She was also rather annoying at times, doing things like saying yes to Bridie when I’d said no. And quite convincingly so too. If Bridie was nagging for a new dress for example and I put my foot down after the third time, saying something like “Don’t ask again or I’ll put everything back and you’ll never come clothes shopping with me again” or something equally as dramatic, Beth would whisper “Don’t worry Bridie, of course you can have it, just bring it with you.”

I’ll leave you with a Beth funny. We were looking at the shorts for both girls and Beth pointed at a pair she liked which were almost obscenely small. I pointed out “They’re too short Beth.” Her response “That’s why they’re called shorts Mum!” Thanks for that love, you’re probably right!

 
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Reflections

Posted by Sarah on Dec 11, 2012 in Uncategorized

I am in a bit of a walk down memory lane mood today so if you’re not in the mood for some sentimental bullshit then perhaps don’t read this post! It’s the day when all the preps for next year come to the primary school and all the grade sixes go to their high schools.

When I dropped Beth off at school this morning there were a group of nervous looking parents and kids. It’s twice as hard when you’re going to a school like Emerson, especially if you’ve come from a mainstream school. Chances are you know nobody else where as your so called ‘normal’ kids often go where their friends go. Often it’s the first time parents have dealt with a special school setting and don’t know what to expect. I remember being so relieved to get in to what I thought (and still do think) was the answer to my prayers, such a wonderful school. Luckily Beth had enjoyed her transition days and was happy to go along to the ‘big’ day when all the newbies got together.

I’ve also been lucky to fall in with a great group of mums from the school. We have our coffee afternoons fortnightly and are having an end of year lunch next week. It’s hard for the parents whose kids go on the bus as they don’t have that connection with the school. But I guess that’s high school isn’t it? You’re not meant to have too much of a connection. And I would love Beth to go on the bus, so there’s pros and cons for each. Hopefully some of the new mums will feel brave enough to have coffee with us next year. I must admit I am glad that a year (has it been that long) is over and I feel comfortable with the school, the staff, even some of the kids. Amazingly I’ve gotten used to the huge amount of hours driving too. I remember turning up at the kids primary school in the first week in tears. Bec and Bree were there and I just sobbed “how the hell am I going to do this for the next six years?” I hate driving at the best of times but now it’s the routine and it’s just what I do. And what do you know, it’s now only five years.

I have also been reflecting a lot on the friends I have made at the primary school. One gorgeous boy James was a great friend to Beth right from the beginning. His mum Lisa and I hit it off right from the start and we’ve been lucky enough to have them both for an extra year as James repeated one year. He’ll be going off to high school next year. He’s the boy who always tells Beth how much he misses her when he sees her, even when with friends. And Beth actually says it back! Lisa has been such an incredible support to us both, she just ‘gets it’ if you know what I mean? We don’t see each other as much as we’d like but when we do it’s great. I know we’ll keep in contact and thank goodness for Facebook!

As the kids get older I know less and less parents at the primary school. Once upon a time I knew them all, having my oldest in grade 5 and my youngest in grade prep with Bill in between. Now Bridie is going in to grade 3 and, except for the siblings of older kids, I don’t get to know the families much. And that’s ok. Two of our favourite teachers are leaving this year, both retiring. Both had Beth, our prep teacher had all three. Said prep teacher was the first ‘outsider’ to hear Beth speak. Mind you it was in a growly voice for the first week. She’d had selective mutism for years until medication helped, just as we started school.  It’ll be sad to say goodbye. Next year will be my ninth year at our Primary School, by the time Bridie finishes it will be 12 years! Wow! Bridie was only three months old when we started. Gone are the days when Bec, Bree, Prue and I would sit in the playground with giant sombreros! Prue is working, Bree is now home schooling her youngest and Bec is chasing around after her two year old most of the time. And again, that’s ok, time moves on. We still see each other all the time, will always be great friends. We’re an odd lot and with Eloise and Liz joining our motley crew have found each other and know how blessed we are. What a support your friends are aren’t they, especially when we’ve got kids like ours.

It’s also time for me to get a job. So if anybody knows anywhere hiring please let me know! I’d like somebody to discover my blogs and offer me an obscene amount of money to turn them into books so if you have any contacts please feel free to suggest me!

Anyway, enough of memory lane. It’s suffice to say that it’s been a great year. Beth has settled in beautifully to her new school, we are finally in the new house (though not sure when it wont be called the new house anymore) and I’m blessed to have such supportive family and friends around me. Life is good!

 
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Luna Park

Posted by Sarah on Dec 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

Beth went to Luna Park today on a school excursion. For those of you who live in Melbourne you would know it was a revolting day weather wise today so I pity the teachers and kids, especially those ones going to the water fun park in Geelong. A lovely man who I shall call Mr Marchant got Beth off the bus back at school and told me she had a lovely time. She had been on the merry go round five times and the dodgem cars and had loved the hall of mirrors. She’s not big on scary rides which suits me. Beth then informed me that the man was Old Mr Marchant as I was asking if he was a teacher. It seems that he was the teachers’ Dad, how lovely that he comes and helps out on days like today.

Beth got the student of the week award this week. She was so excited, coming out and showing it to me straight away. It was for working so well on her food pyramid poster. I saw her teacher as we were leaving and she was so pleased that Beth had told me so soon.

We went to an exhibition for Bridie’s section of the school last night. As it finished a bit before we had to pick Bill up from cubs we waited around. Beth (not having her ipad) decided to entertain herself by doing what the songs were telling her to on the radio. For example she kept turning the car light on because the song had the line “leave a light on for me” and she would tell me that I had to do what the lady was saying. I had to stop her though when there was a song with ‘get up’ in the line and she tried to stand up in her seat while we were driving.

I’ll leave you with a Beth cheeky funny. I went out with my support group the HAGS in the Hills today for an end of year brunch so I made a bit more effort with my makeup. Beth came in and plonked herself on the toilet, watching me do this. I was putting that Thin Lizzy powder on and Beth was commenting and asking questions. After I had finished she said “You forgot to do the black rings under your eyes mum.” Thanks for that! I think she’s got it from the ad, that’s what I’m telling myself anyway!

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