Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Posts Tagged ‘love

Wordless Wednesday 08 Jan 14

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January 9, 2014 at 7:20 am

Wordless Wednesday 06 Nov 13

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November 6, 2013 at 5:31 pm

Wordless Wednesday 11 Sep 13

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tender

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September 11, 2013 at 7:06 am

Wordless Wednesday 10 Apr 13

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holding hands

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April 9, 2013 at 7:46 pm

Wordless Wednesday 30 Jan 13

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Okay, I’m adding a few words just so you can get some context.  This photo, kindly supplied by Pudding’s teacher left me speechless, which is a kind of wordless. 

This morning, I posted this on my Spectrummy Mummy Facebook page:

When it comes to Show and Tell, Pudding prefers to adopt a Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. We’ll see if she wants to explain why there is a Luxembourg flag in her backpack today.

And then her teacher emailed this:

Show and Tell

With these words:

Pudding did her first real show and share today…so cute!

It’s the first time she wanted to go up…I thought it might be a Welsh flag, but she corrected me and told us that it is from Luxembourg. 

Your girl is amazing…just love her 🙂

If you are familiar with Pudding’s challenges, you’ll probably share my joy.  If not, let me tell you that this is the picture of an everyday miracle. 

By the way, yes- she came from Luxembourg, but the really amazing thing is gettting to see where she will go.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

January 30, 2013 at 11:44 am

Happy Holidays

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Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays- treasure your most precious gifts!

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December 25, 2012 at 11:18 am

Dancing Teapots

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I decided to take the kids out for an early dinner.  Today is one of those perfect Jozi spring days.  The Jacarandas are blossoming, but they’re not quite at their vibrant peak yet.  On a Friday afternoon sitting outdoors at a cafe in Sandton, you could be in Europe, only with better weather.  This is an unexpected treat for us all.  I was supposed to be having dental treatment, but the water was out- sometimes water and power outages are the only sign that this is still a developing country.  Developing being the right word, for all its economic slump, there is a lot of construction going on here, and sometimes the wrong pipe gets hit.

I sipped at my capuccino with cream, and enjoyed the moment of perfection, knowing it couldn’t last for long.

Pudding was content.  She’d had the Halloween Parade at school, which she’d loved.  She ordered herself a bacon and avocado sandwich and apple juice by herself.  Yes, it is the same thing she always ordered, but I’m pretty sure it is exactly what she feels like eating.  She isn’t just doing okay, she is doing really, really well lately.  She seems more comfortable in her own skin than I’ve ever seen.  The wind picked up and she turned her face to it, enjoying the caress to her skin.

Cubby was out of sorts.  I knew he hadn’t napped, and was too hungry and too tired to know what was wrong.  Normally very expressive, he was down to grunts and shouts.  He couldn’t decide what to eat, even if he wanted to eat.  A siren in the distance hurt his ears.  He was in and out of his chair.  Putting his hands in his drink and smearing it over the table.  Then he began playing with his spit when the drink was confiscated.  Finally he turned to tormenting his sister for entertainment.  The wind picked up, and he shrieked in pain as it whipped at his skin.

Watching the two of them was a study in contrasts.  Pudding, at peace; Cubby intent on disturbing it.  This was her two or three years ago.  This disorder and chaos.  Feeling something was wrong, and not knowing how to put it right.  How far she has come.

Then I let my mind wander further back.  I remember holding infant Pudding.  Apart from when she was nursing, (which I naturally did a LOT) she was screaming.  Arching her back, red-faced, furious at me for not fixing what was wrong.  And I’d go through everything I thought I knew about babies, wondering what I must have missed to make her thrash around like this.  She pulled at my hair in her rage.  The screaming made my head throb, and I wanted to run away from this tiny creature who put all her trust in me.  And though I wanted to shout and scream, I pulled her in closer, and kissed her downy head, and held her until we breathed together, just rocking and kissing, until the screaming was done.

I picked up Cubby and cradled him.  He resisted at first- pushed away, then caved in.  His floppy body curled into mine and I kissed his face.  “I’m a baby.”  He said, like he does so often.  I didn’t correct him this time.  I kissed his fingers and his arms.  He twirled his hands through my hair, just like his sister always had.  I kiss the soft nape, and when I close my eyes, I forget where I am, or when I am.  It doesn’t matter- I am mothering instinctively.

Three year-olds can only be held for so long, so I release him, and he dances for a while- trying to catch the eye of the waiting staff.  I turn back to Pudding, with her wry, contented smile.  I see what’s catching her eye: some paper teapots attached to the ceiling are fluttering in the breeze.  “Dancing teapots”, I say out loud.  “Dancing teapots”, she echoes.  We watch them together, and her hand creeps up into my hair, but in comfort, not in rage.

In that moment of calm, I feel all the many joys she has brought me.  All the dancing tea cups that I would otherwise have missed.  I know, if I have to, I can do it all over again.  Even if I still feel more rookie than veteran.  We’ll grow, and develop, and get there together.

Lily’s Ring

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My GrandparentsI want to tell you a story about my paternal grandmother, my Nannan.  She was petite with fiery red hair that she kept tamed under a headscarf whenever she left the house.  Nothing tamed her temper though.

One day she was riding on the bus after going into town to buy a hammer for my Grandad, when she became uncomfortably aware of a man sitting near her.  She decided to get off the bus a stop early, and just as the doors were closing, the man jumped off too.

She crossed the street, and the man did too, she tried to slow down to let him pass, but he dropped his pace accordingly.  Alarmed, but alert, she recalled the hammer in her handbag, and quick as a flash whacked him on the head with it, then ran home.

She told my Granddad of her encounter, and he said next time she rode the bus, he’d come with her.  The following week they got talking to another older couple on the bus, and my Granddad proudly stated that he was coming along for protection- not that his wife needed it.

Too right, responded the man, you can’t be too careful- only last week some mad woman hit me with a hammer!  He then lifted his hat to show a nasty lump on his head, as his wife tut-tutted about the lunatics around!

And when she later recounted that story, there was no mention of how she’d misread the man’s intent, or how perhaps she shouldn’t have been so quick to violence, she merely congratulated herself that she’d adequately covered up the hair that would immediately identify her as the aggressor.

Yesterday I was making rhubarb and strawberry crumble for my family, and my Nannan’s wedding ring (which I’ve been wearing since this happened) fell into the flour.  I was suddenly transported back thirty years, sitting in her kitchen watching as other hands wearing that ring made the pastry for her meat and potato pie.

That ring, that she wore every day of her married life, had never left England until it was given to me, after her death.  Though she lived the longest of my grandparents, she never got to see me graduate, or get married, or meet her great-grand-children.  She could never have imagined the places it would go.

She lived in the same place her whole life, and knew more about it than anyone else I’ve ever met.  She knew every superstition, and lived her life according to them, though she wasn’t very religious.  She had her own ways.  She even had her own language.  She called rides, from kiddie ones to roller-coasters “hurdy-gurdies.”  I’d never heard anybody call them that before, but let me tell you- every one of her great-grandchildren does!

My Nannan was called Lily, and we gave Pudding that for her middle name.  I’ve often wondered what she would have made of her first-born great-grandchild.  So many times I wished that she could have met her.

She wouldn’t have had much time for things like diagnoses and therapies.  They didn’t do things like that where she was from, another time, another place.  I don’t think anyone ever questioned the way that she lived so rigidly according to routine that we had to all return from a trip early because she had to get back for laundry day.

We always took for granted her incredible memory, and the sharpness of her brain that did a crossword a day to the very end.  She was a very unique and special lady.  I wish I could talk to her now, catch her up on all the things she has missed.  I hope that she is watching us ride the hurdy-gurdies.

Then I look at Pudding, and I think how right it was that she took her name.  How they have so much in common, that it feels like some of Pudding is Lily.  I could see my girl swinging that hammer if someone got too close to her.

One day, when it has made even more pastry, and navigated the world a little more, I’m going to give that ring to Pudding, and tell her all about how special its first owner was.

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June 11, 2012 at 2:45 pm

M is for Mistakes

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I’d gone to collect Pudding from school one day, but she wasn’t in the classroom, nor could I see her in the playground.  Her teacher saw me, and gestured for me to come over.  Together we peeped round a corner down the side of the school where Pudding felt that nobody could see her.  She was sitting on a training bike (a bike without pedals- the rider propels along using their feet on the ground).

Actually, no, she wasn’t.  Given that the bikes at her school are designed for preschoolers, and Pudding is our five year-old floating around in the body of an eight year-old, she was awkwardly straddling above the seat.  But the fact that she was even touching a bike was a big deal.  After I wrote last year about our attempt to teach Pudding to ride a bike, we’d tried several more times, but with even less success.  When we moved, we bought her a training bike for her size, but it just confused her further.  Now she won’t sit on either of her bikes, and all my attempts at bribery rewarding have only resulted in meltdowns.

So it came as something of a surprise to see her trying at school.  But not that much of a surprise.  Remember I said that Pudding believed she was unobserved?  This was key, because if there is one thing Pudding hates more than not being able to do something, it is having others witness her mistakes.  Pudding doesn’t like mistakes.  If something can’t be done according to her idea of right, it is better not to attempt it.  Or at least, forbidding anybody else from seeing you make a mistake.

I can appreciate Pudding’s reticence.  Nobody likes making mistakes.  I don’t know if she has yet perceived that things come harder for her than others.  I’m pretty sure she doesn’t know that she will have to try and fail many, many times more than most to do things that come naturally to everyone else.  It makes perfect sense that she is more content sticking to the things that she has mastered- finding comfort in the repetition that has brought her success in some areas, and avoiding those things that are too challenging.

I get it, because parenting is harder for me than I ever expected.  When I look around at others, they seem to have it all figured out, while I’m still learning.  But then, I’ve also learned that there isn’t a right and wrong way to do things.  Sometimes the mistakes I make with one child are the exact right thing to do with my other one.  At times, it is the timing that is wrong, and I only find out when I try, and make a mistake.  Maybe another time I’ll try and be successful.

Like Pudding, I’m going to try and fail many, many more times at doing something that comes naturally to most other people.  Mistakes and Motherhood are synonymous, so I’m making every effort to show my kids that I make mistakes too, very often, and they help me to learn.  They also help me to laugh at myself for thinking something this complicated could ever be easy, or this easy could be so complicated.  I don’t mind having witnesses for that.

So M is for Mistakes, and Motherhood.  Both are as natural as riding a bike- it just takes some of us a little more practice than others.  I could still use a helmet and knee-pads on some days though.

 

This post is the letter ‘M’ in my A-Z series.  You can read the rest by clicking >>here<<.

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February 23, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Wordless Wednesday 22 Feb 12

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Well, my camera is still broken, so I delved into the archives to find one from this time last year.  I managed to catch a moment of sweetness seconds before Cubby started screaming at the proximity of his sister.

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February 22, 2012 at 3:31 pm