Monday, May 30, 2011

Short points.

* Writing BG's blog is becoming easier.  I know she isn't reading it, although I know someone has been, on a very irregular basis.  I think I know who one of them is, and I don't mind.  I've written on it most days this week, and although she may not read it until she is about 50, the fact its that it is there.

* The skip is due any time today.  I will make one last email attempt with I-t-B, and then I have done all I can do.

* The world is a busy place this week, but I won't leave it until the summer holidays, because I need to enjoy those lol!

* breadmaker is on, washing machine is on, dishwasher is about to be done, and life is good.

*AC chose to come home last night, instead of staying with his Daddy an extra night.  His daddy is not impressed.  I've told the AC that when it comes to extra nights, he can choose.  He's 8 next Monday.  He needs some autonomy over the mess the grownups have made of his life.  I'll never stop him seeing his Daddy - lets face it, if I was going to do that then Rich and I would have moved to Benson!

* I have to get off my bum and do stuff!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

I have been taught a lesson.

Humbled, I almost cried in the AC's classroom yesterday.  His teacher is one of my good friends, who understands what we have all been through, and loves and supports the AC in the best way - little bit of cuddle when he needs it, little bit of carrot, little bit of man up!  Apparently *she* nearly cried when he spoke to her as well.

Regular readers will be aware that I have been torn over how much contact to try and have with the BG, how much to tell her in the blog and how to do it, how much I miss her and her being in our lives.  Trauma, trauma, navel-gazing trauma.

Why do I call it that?

Because of my son's maths work.

They were asked, as a handling data exercise, where they would be in a Venn diagram of brothers and sisters.  The Adorable Child wrote his name in the middle.  Clearly, strongly, no discussion.  He then went and showed his teacher, and double checked that step-families counted.  She said it was up to him, but she would say yes.  He told her he had a brother in Lem, and a sister in America.

All that stuff I was told about how it is only blood that matters.
All the stuff from the She-Ex about how we are nothing to BG now.
All the legal stuff, the vicious words, the painful conversations, the downright lies from the rest of them, and it takes a small boy to cut through the stupidness and show the truth.

My son may be an only child in blood, but in love he has siblings whom he loves.

I have been shown the way by a child.  A child with an open heart and a loving sense of forgiveness.

Friday, May 27, 2011

I've started

I'm not sure that anyone will ever read it, but I've started writing on BG's blog.  So far there's one to say why I haven't written for so long, one about the first and last time I saw her Daddy, and one about the first and last time I saw her.

I was going to cut and copy a chunk onto here, and I might do later, but not right now.

Right now I'm going to go and have a good cathartic cry.  I miss that little girl.  I'm glad Rich can take care of her now, and I believe he always will.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Just a quickie!

Oo-er missus!

I've spent the last two mornings of blogtime reading all the posts from the blogcarnival, as organised this time by mummy from the heart, and on the subject of imperfect parenting.

SO I've not written in here, or in the BG blog.  I will catch up though, this weekend.  Lots to do this week, and I'll be doing it on here!

Oo-er missus again!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sleep is for the weak!

Last night was a night when my body decided that sleep was for the week.

I've been awake, off and on, since about 1am.

Amongst the topics of thought (I nearly said conversation, but hmmmm.  Better not lol!)

* what I will put in my letter to I-t-B
* if I will write said letter.
* what I will put in the blog posts to BG
* what I will leave out in the blog posts to BG
* why I haven't done any degree work recently.
* how much skip hire will be
* how much the Wedding of the Century will be
* how gorgeous my friend is going to look when she gets married
* getting married
* proposals
* what happened to Julian, and Steve, and Mark, and Other Nameless People from my past.
* whether I really want to find out.
* what kind of camper we will have

and so on.

There were others.


Two main others.

Babies and Rich.  Rich and babies.

That came off of the "What do I tell BG" thought stream.

The difficulty is that she is 9 now, but may not be allowed to read the blog until she is much much older.   That would mean that adult topics would be ok.  But if she's reading now, then they are not.  And the style of writing would be different.  Although I found a comment on there that apparently they are reading it. Hmmm.  They?  Or just her mother?  

Oh, the agonising! LOL!

I want to do the right thing.  I want BG to have access to lots of stories about her Daddy, but without giving her mother the chance to bitch and say "It wasn't like that!" when it was.  I won't badmouth her mother on there, I don't need to, and I don't want to.  My opinions of her mothers "style of parenting" are that it is different to mine, and that's ok.

I wonder what she wants to know?  But then I can't find that out without emailing her mother, and I haven't heard from her in so long now that I don't want to rock that boat all over again.

Any ideas?  Any one else out there need to write a blog for the child of the dead man that they love but who wasn't allowed (by her mummy's actions) to see her Daddy for the last 4 years of his life?  No?  Just me then?


More tea I think.  Tea and fresh baked sunflower bread crust with mushed banana on it. Nummy.

And more sleep tonight.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Distraction and splitting time.

I am distracted this week.  I am.  And I've worked out that to spend time on the other blog, for BG, I have to cut down a bit on the time I spend reading or writing other blogs.  So what I have done is to start to have the blogs I *want* to read emailed to my yahoo account, because I can read that at lunchtimes or on buses or whatever, and then the ones I am not desperate to read but I enjoy, I will just catch up on when I can.  I'm going to schedule a post for the next weekend that we are away on the blogs I have emailed to me, with links and everything (ha! I hope!) and that way you can see these fabulous blogs as well!

And yes.

Writing about blogs is a distraction technique for not writing about the weekend.  It was fabulous in lots of ways.  J and I are fabulous, AC and I are fabulous, J and T-Boy are fabulous, T-Boy and AC were fabulous.  The mathematically minded amongst you will see who wasn't fabulous if you work out all the permutations.  Yep.  Go on.  You can do it.

T-Boy and I were not fabulous.

I backed off this weekend.  I didn't make a fuss about anything he wanted to eat or not eat.  As a result he was let to eat what he liked.  As a result, all of the work we had done over the last weekend was undone.  Again he showed himself up in front of the others with his attitude towards me though, and I let it go.

I understand everyone else's point of view.  Really I do.  If I only saw the child of my heart once every 2 weeks for a weekend, I would probably indulge him as well, and avoid arguments and so on.  I know it's easier for me because whilst I love him, it is not in the same way I love the AC - I didn't birth T-Boy, or raise him, or sit up in the dark nights or sing in the sunshine or whatever, so it can't be the same.  I am not his mother.  I do love him though, and I want the best for him, and if that means short term pain for long term gain I can live with that.  I've lived with it all my life, I can do it for him.  I honestly believe that the others want the best for him as well, but they want it now, not in the future, and the best for them for now is a happy T-Boy, not a healthy one later on.  I understand, I do, and so that's why I backed off. I want J to enjoy his time with T-Boy, time Rich never got with BG, because even though both mothers were so self-centred at the time as to move the children without consideration, at least T-Boy is still in the country.

I just..... oh I don't know.  I suppose I want a miracle, and it's not going to happen this weekend.

Maybe when he comes for the half term, or in the summer if he doesn't come for half term.  If he doesn't come, then I'm getting a skip and emptying the top of the house.  Oh yeah!  Anything of the She-Ex's can go - she took all she needed she said.  It will be hard because a lot of the things that Rich kept will go as well - like back copies of MachineMart and that kind of thing.  They are no use to anyone, not the kind of thing that BG will want, and so they can go.  Yes they can.  Yes they can.  Yes they can.  Yeah, it's like that......

And school for a whole week, then holidays for a whole week, then school for a whole 6 weeks, then holidays for a whole 6 weeks.  If you look at it like that, it could be worse.  Except I really like this bunch of kids.  But I said that last year, and the year before, and the year before, and and and and!

Laters peoples!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Confessions of an Imperfect Parent, age 36 and 1/4.

I could go to a meeting.

I could sit around the circle.

I could stand up at my turn and say "Hi, my name is Sarah, and I am an Imperfect Parent."

Oh yes.  I could.

The She-Ex used to accuse me of perfect parenting.  My favourite insult, and one that continues to make me laugh, was that I thought I was Mary f****** Poppins.  LOL!

I parented then, and I do now, in the way that seems to make most sense to me.  AC was an extended feeder (2.5yrs), he was cloth nappied and fed homemade food.  He never had a jar of the insipid rubbish that the baby food manufacturers claim to be nutritional and tasty.  He was consistently disciplined with a choices and consequences approach, and this was consistent right from 9 months to now.  He sat by walls if there were no stairs, and we talked about his behaviour afterwards, and about my response to it, and how we could change things next time.  Obviously that was a developmental thing because he was such a late talker!  I answered questions when he asked them as fully as I could, never, ever using the phrase "Because I say it is."  He had a story every night.

I can remember getting flack though, from the She-Ex, from Rich until he saw how it worked and used it for himself with BG, from mums at the toddler group, from my family, about how hard they thought I was on him. How I should remember he is only little.  How I needed to appreciate that he was only a child. How I should accept x or y, because "all children do that."  How I should just let him watch tv if he wanted to.  How putting him into an empty bath to eat when he was learning to use a spoon and it was baked beans for tea was bad parenting. (I thought it was very practical myself!)  How I should leave him with other people more.  How he was going to be a baby all his life.

And now I look around me.

I can take him anywhere.  He is well mannered, polite, and loving.  He can talk with adults or children, and is responsible and understanding.  He loves without limit, and he reads without stopping.  His reading age is now almost 2 years up from where it should be, and he knows how to use the internet for research, but also to be judgemental about what it says.  He watches tv, but mostly Discovery, History, or Phineus and Ferb.  He has survived a dairy intolerance, repeated croup, divorce, step-parenting, sudden bereavement, learning to love again and to take that risk.  He is working through his problem with writing without condemning himself.  He knows that sometimes the answer is no, and sometimes it is wait until payday, and sometimes it is yes.  He is a confident child who expresses his feelings in a responsible way.  No, he doesn't always have the right P.E. kit, or books, but he is taking responsibility for that, and knows that we are still not back to how we used to be before the accident, before his 6 year old life fell apart, and we won't be, we'll just be differently good at different stuff!

And yet I cannot seem to do this for T-Boy.  He's been in my life for over a year now.  I've applied the same consistent boundaries that I do with the AC.  I've applied the same expectations, the same discipline, the same encouragement, the same input of educational answers.  I treat him in the same way as I do the AC.  They both get to choose the tv programmes, in turn.  They both get to choose the story, they both get to choose what's for tea in the holidays, and to help make it.  They both get to choose where we go to play, in turn, and the AC has gone from being an only child to being part of a two, to having an older brother, to travelling 2.5 hours each way to see the T-Boy, and accepts it with his usual equanimity.  T-Boy has always had an older brother, so has always shared.

I know full well that they are different children, and that even different children from the same parents behave in totally different ways.  I'm a teacher.  I know this thing.  I know that even identical twins are separate people with different needs and ideas.  I don't expect the boys to turn into carbon copies of each other after a year.

But is it unreasonable to expect good manners? To expect a 9 year old to use a knife and fork?  To expect help with household jobs and with cooking the things that *they* have asked for?  To expect a child to take some responsibility for his own actions, his own possessions, for the words he uses?

Do I expect too much because AC is so able to do all these things because that is the way he has been brought up and because of the person that he is?  IS that the issue?  Do I expect a 9 year old to be more capable than a 7 year old?  Well, yes!  I do!

Perhaps it is these expectations that are reducing me, Dear Reader, from the dizzy heights of Mary F. Poppins, to the depths of Imperfect Parent.

The question is, what do I do?  I offer to help T-Boy with things, he refuses, but then cries because he can't do it.  I let him choose what he wants to eat, and then he refuses to eat it.  And so on.  Ad Infinitum.  But please don't think he is a little toad, because I know that he is not.  I know he is a loving child, insecure because his mother ripped him away from his father and moved him without considering what it would do to him (and yes, we've been here before!) and that his mother refuses to let us have his reading book at the weekends, so he can't read with us, and so on.  I know how sweet he can be.  How sweet he used to be.

When he's been here a week, he'll eat what he's given with the some of the usual fuss but not an all out tantrum.  He'll do as he's told, he uses good manners, he helps in the house, he reads to one of us daily, and he is a lovely child, as long as his Daddy is around, and he's even quite lovely when he's just with me.  When we just have him for the weekend though, things aren't like that.

I'm dreading going up there this weekend.  Today.  I'm dreading having him for the half term holiday even more.  I'm dreading that feeling of failure, the arguments, the food issues, the tantrums.  I'm dreading not being able to go out when we want to, or where we want to.  I'm dreading the stupid American tv that is on (Pair of Kings, Hannah Montana.  Really? You're 9!)  Even now I am sitting here with the feeling in my stomach that makes me want to throw up, I am so nervously apprehensive.

So there we go, group.  My name is Sarah and I am an Imperfect Parent.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

22 months yesterday

I don't know why yesterday was important.  I know it was 22 months, but I have had practice at going through the 17th of each month.  I've done it 22 times.  Yesterday though, I cried.  I cried in school, (no, not in front of the children) I cried through the afternoon when I was at home, supposedly doing prep, but actually drinking tea and crying, I cried last night, and I cried yesterday morning.

I wept silent tears of missing my best friend pain.  He understood me, in a way no one ever has, and he said I understood him better than anyone.  People who didn't know our history thought we'd been together for years and years, because we were so in tune.

I think watching Sixth Sense on Monday night had something to do with it though.  That was a fabulous film, but the end, oh my, the end.  I won't say why, in case you haven't seen it, but it seared through me.  I cried like I hadn't for a long time.  Noisy sobs, and thankfully J understands, and misses Rich too, but in a different way.

And then yesterday as well I had a lesson observation, which went fine, except I mispelled a word on the board, like a dimwit. DilemMa.  Two M's. Doh.

Today is stretching out in front of me, unsullied as yet by tears.  I think it'll stay that way.  I hope.  No, I don't hope, I insist.  It *will* stay that way.  There is too much to do!

And speaking of so much to do and say, I will have one last go at contacting I-t-B I think.  And then the things that are here that he wanted will be redistributed to where they can do most good.  I think that's fair.  I have to work past his betrayal of us, and see it as the act of a desperate man, trying to do his best for everyone.  His complete ignoring of us since is harder to work through, as that is not the act of a desperate man, and just looks like the act of someone who knows he was wrong in his behaviour, and justifies it by just not being around.

And so to work.  And making cake. And writing.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Video blogging, and other thoughts,

I liked video blogging yesterday, it was simple enough to do on my iPhone3Gs, and it uploaded quickly enough. But.....


The anonymity is GONE! In most of what I talk about that's fine by me. But is it fine for my child? On the other hand there are already photos and so on up here.

What if the format changes? Already I know people who lost beautiful things when VHS went DVD. How will changes affect it?

I can't pick it up at a later date to carry on, or reread bits to see if the words are what I wanted to say. Bt the. Should I be self censoring? I know we all do in a way, but should I be when the blog is about what I think and feel?

Will I end up like Jackson on Emmerdale? Talking to myself! Does anyone have the time to watch video blogs if, like me, they can read quicker than other people talk?

It won't be private in the house - at the moment I can blog anywhere and the others assume I am working!

Maybe it.s not all or nothing though. Maybe it would be something I could do when I'm alone, or just wanting to see where the thoughts take me. Maybe it's an ideal way of blogging about her Daddy to BG, not that her mummy would ever let her watch them.

I shall think about it some more. What do you think?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Rock and rolling along.....

We're in the shop. I walked down to meet J because I knew they'd end up modelling tonight if they want to fly tomorrow, so I phoned, picked up chips on the way for everyone, and came down.

To get chips I had to go past where Rich and I first lived. I moved in there when I first had to leave the married quarter that AC's dad and I lived in. Rich was a very frequent visitor, living there by the end almost, and we had some good times there. It was very tiny, but it suited us. It was where the Landy's were delivered to, and where I first made pasties for him. It was where we cried together about the end of our marriages, and where we both realised just how badly we had been taken for a ride by the people that we loved. It was where we talked over how we had been betrayed by them and where we realised that we were the only people we could trust.

It was where we realised how we felt about each other.


I had to stop there, and have a cry, and wrap myself in the memory of how much we loved each other. He always told me how much better I'd made his life, and how much it meant to finally have an 'other half'. One of the things that was said after his death was that we'd never had a bad word to say about each other, and that this person had often wished for a love like ours.

And now I'll have to write about something else. Or I'll cry again. It's not a reflection on J and I, we're concrete together, and our life is good. But Rich was such an amazing man, and a wonderful friend, and they don't come along that often.


In other news, I tried video blogging the other day. I've got to work out the technical aspects, but I think it could be the way forward. Not today though. Today I have a to-do list as long as my sofa!

- Posted using BlogPress from my fabulous iPad

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Exhausted but struggling on

I am such a martyr lol!

The AC has had his first grim cough for over a year.  Last night was the break night though, which means that it should just get better from now.

The nights are.....

Night of Suspicion - is this cough deepening?
Night of Dread - This is *that* cough - we are up, off and on, bed is propped, juice and so on put by the bed.
Long night - we are up, most of the night.
Night of Exhaustion - we are up, most of the night.
Break Night - the coughing comes in shorter stages, with an hour or so of uninterrupted sleep in between.  This marks the beginning of the end!
Maybe night - he might cough, he might not.

In the past he's had suspected croup, suspected whooping cough, suspected bronchitis, suspected trachealitis,  and no one is really sure what it is.  What I know is it used to come every 6-8 weeks, and this is the first time in a year.

The weekend wasn't restful either, as I worked almost all of it, and struggled with T-Boy, who, thankfully, played up in such a way that everyone else saw it too.  Some people suggest the origin is the mother, but I don't see it myself.  *throws hands up* who knows!

Anyway, it's my half teaching day today, so it's not all bad.  I'm away to town afterwards to put money in the bank, and sort out a few things.   Just got to shift this headache before I go in with the children this morning!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

My moment (5 minutes thoughts to paper exercise)

I wrote this last night, whilst trying to work and actually watching the flying instead.


I’m supposed to be working.  For a moment, I have stopped, and opened a new page and am just letting my fingers think for me.   I’m sitting in the car whilst the lads fly planes behind me, and I’m not working, I’m listening and looking.  

It’s amazing what details one can see from inside a car.  The huge variety of greens, even in one kind of plant.  The shiver of a grass stem when I would swear there is no wind.  The glint of late evening sunshine off of a plane wing.  The sound a Zaggi makes when it takes off.  The blue of the dusking sky and the shimmer of the clouds that wisp across it, less of a threat of rain, and more of a mention of water droplets.  The silence inside the car, where there is just me, and the clock, and the keyboard, and the faint sound of voices, and the engine of a plane, and suddenly I realise that this is not silence at all, that even though I have come to the car to be alone, instead I am surrounded by sound and sight, and I am reaching out through the blog to the Unknown Reader and in fact we are never, ever, truly alone.

Touchtyping my way, feeling not blindly but with faith in my fingers, faith that they know what they are doing and that they can bring the words from my sleeping inner self out into the world, birthing the prose carefully, lovingly, into a harsh atmosphere of criticism and yet hopefully, those same fingers craft the words that encourage others.

Disturbed by responsibility, I provide snacks, and juice, and pull the keyboard back onto my lap again.  The moment is almost out of my reach, but I close my eyes, my ears, my thoughts, and just rely on touchtyping to  stumble it’s way into my mind again, hooking the words that ache to be released, and letting them into the sunlight once more.

It is cooler now, and the sky is darkening.  The pile of work is calling, and I know that soon there must be teas, and bedtimes, and cuddles, and the warm darkness that is a loving home at night.  Tomorrow there is working, and hospital, and prodding and poking and an all clear to come, and a return to work and an extra tutoring lesson to provide the treats of the summer, and washing and cleaning and cooking and working some more.

This moment though, filled with planes and voices and the-silence-that-is-not,  this is my moment to savour, like a hot tea on a cold evening, or a decedent chocolate on a warm blanket covered sofa, or arms of love wrapping around me late at night.  Just a moment, but mine.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I love Bank Holiday Weekends.

It was a fabulous weekend.

Aside from forgetting all the clothes, the naked man, the sick niece, the bread that disappeared at Tesco, the mallet issues, not sleeping in the tent at all in the end, the vuvuzeulas, the postcode issues and so on, aside from all that, and a few things I've forgotten, it was a good weekend.  I will blog it up properly, because it's worth the telling of, but this morning I just don't have time.

This morning we are back to school for Four Whole Days.  FOUR!  That's the most I've done in over a month lol!  Except I'm actually not back at school for FOUR whole days because I have to go to the hospital on 5th May for my check up.  I'll have to make a list of what to tell him I think.  It's all good, unless I go to put a lot of weight on it, and then it feels a bit wobbly, but I think that is just the muscles needing to man up after months of not being able to move them properly.

I've also entered my first giveaway this year.  I don't get to do many of them, because a lot say they only post to the US and Canada, and I don't live in those places!  This one is UK based though, and the blog is one I read anyway, so it was all cool, over at Mummy from the Heart which is a good read anyway, so I have no problem putting it on here.

Aside from the Doc, and Voting on Thursday, at the moment there is nothing exciting going on this week.  The weekend may or may not be spent in Birmingham, depending on if I go to the conference or not.  I have to decide what I'm doing about next years MEd course soon.  I just don't know if I can handle the work level.  Well.  I can as long as I think I can I suppose!  And I think I can, I just don't know.

IF that made sense to you, hurrah! LOL!

There's so much I want to say right now, but I can't, because I am out of time, so hopefully I'll be blogging later.

Laters! (and apologies for the bitty post!)