Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Posts Tagged ‘home

Order and Chaos

with 8 comments

I’m sitting here doing paperwork.  Really.  There is a pile of health insurance “Explanation of Benefits” (which offer precious little benefits, without explanation) sitting on my lap from 2009 that I’m trying to put into order.  Then a few other piles.  One for each member of the family for the last 3 years, some bigger than others.  You can see that this task is so particularly dreadful that I had to take a break from it.

I’ve managed to neglect this task for the last three years, but today it is my priority.  I need to make some order out of this chaos.  For I know all too well that if I couldn’t manage to get this paperwork in order in the last three years while at home, it surely won’t get any better now that I’m to go out to work.

I can see from this paperwork, that I was once an organized person.  The health insurance paperwork was dutifully submitted, and returned, filed and stapled.  And then boom!  An ASD diagnosis for the first child, and paperwork comes at the bottom of a very long list of priorities.  Order was no more.

Chaos has reigned for three years.  Oh, there was order to certain things.  Therapy schedules and school were always very structured.  The rest of our lives, not so much.  Every once in a while I would try to bring some more order to our lives.  But Pudding never needed a visual schedule.  Unlike her brother who needs to know what is coming next, Pudding is- dare I say it- flexible.

But, by and large, our life is chaotic, and moving to a different continent hasn’t exactly helped with that.  This morning was the usual story.  Pudding woke up at 3.20.  Shortly after she woke her brother up.  I persuaded him to return to sleep on the mattress by our bed, but nothing was going to make Pudding go back to bed.  She was A-WAKE!  

Spectrummy Daddy dutifully removed her downstairs and the boy and I slept until 6.  And then?  I don’t know, but somehow between getting the two of them dressed and myself ready, together with all the extra things they need at the start of another school week, we were already late for Cubby’s pre-preschool occupational therapy session, and then late for Pudding’s school, and then dealing with a car that breaks down at least twice a journey.

And it occurred to me that this can’t happen any more.  We need order.  We need control.  I need to look presentable to go to work.  We need to factor in Pudding’s commute to her new school, which will have her leaving the house even earlier.  It isn’t compatible with our current lifestyle.

So I need to go back to being the person I was when I last filed this paperwork.  Organized.  Prepared.  

I’ve taken something on board that I learned from my kids over the last few years.  I’m concentrating on the visual.  Massive piles of dusty paperwork cluttering the house make me feel bad.  Nice little storage boxes look clean and orderly.  I’m going to have to commit more time in the evenings to getting read for the mornings.

Then if I’m really lucky, I can enjoy a morning of order, before heading out to the chaos of work.  Or maybe the other way round.  Either way, it will be a change from the last three years, and a much better example to set for the two pairs of eyes that are always looking, even with averted gazes.

 

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Written by Spectrummy Mummy

June 18, 2012 at 3:43 pm

Home

with 12 comments

Pudding has settled in incredibly well to our new surroundings.  We live in a very small community with just 4 other houses, and now everybody knows her and Cubby.  Of course, it doesn’t take long to get to know someone when they ring your doorbell, and march into your home uninvited when you answer the door.  If ever I forget that Pudding has no concept of boundaries, I’ll just wait for one of the neighbours to let me know.  It won’t take long.

When the Consul General and his family first arrived here, their residence wasn’t ready, and they had the pleasure of being our neighbours for a few weeks, which meant an intimate acquaintance with our daughter.  She liked to call on them, do a tour of their house, check on the cats, then leave.  Living with Pudding, I forget how strange her behaviour must seem.  This tall preschooler who invites herself into your home, but refuses to speak or look at you.  Fortunately, they took it in their stride, and even told me how charming they found her, which is very diplomatic of them.

Another colleague of my husband and his family live directly across from us.  They’ve probably experienced the most visits.  Pudding has taken it upon herself to invest in the welfare of their pet rabbits.  They even have the grace to extend an invitation to let her feed her furry friends, which is nice, but unnecessary.  Pudding would gatecrash anyway.

Another house has a family who are based at the Embassy in Pretoria, they too have experienced a Pudding tour.  I thought about apologizing to them for the impromptu visits, but one day I was typing away at a blog post and I turned around to find their 3 year-old standing behind me.  I’d say we’re pretty even.

And so the remaining house.  Until this week it had been unoccupied, but the couple who live there returned home.  I met with the husband and we had a brief chat about our little community, and England as we’re both expats.  I awkwardly mentioned about Pudding’s habit, and again, he was kind enough to say it wasn’t a problem.  We’ll see if he continues to say that for the next three years.

Add to this cast of characters the housekeepers, nannies and guards who appear to be enchanted by the troublesome twosome.  They accept her endless quirks without question.  She is free to be herself, which is usually an atypically social and giddy girl.  After a school day of targeted therapies, Pudding is ready to let loose, and I let her.

If you were to ask me, I’d say that exploring her environment is a necessary step for Pudding to feel comfortable in her new environment.  A comfortable Pudding is a child who is ready to learn, develop, and show us what she is made of.  I wonder how this move might have gone had we lived in a less welcoming (and forgiving) community.

So my girl is currently free range, and I don’t think she has ever been happier.  Because we happen to live in this incredibly supportive community, I’ve allowed her all the freedom she desires.  One day there will be boundaries to learn.  One day there will be appropriate social conduct lessons.  But for now, there is freedom, and a strong feeling of home- even if not all those homes are our own.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

October 27, 2011 at 12:43 pm