Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Posts Tagged ‘motherhood

Independence Days

leave a comment »

Pudding is a child who was born knowing her own mind, and just waiting for her body to cooperate with its orders.  She has some real struggles with her motor coordination, but I know one thing about her- if she can do something, she will do it.  She was born independent.

Sometimes I have to persuade her that she needs help.  I have to wait patiently as she struggles until I’m allowed to assist.  If you’ve read anything I’ve written before, you know that patience is a work in progress for me.  Somehow we get by, and her fierce determination means she gets to be just as independent as she wants to be.

Cubby, on the other hand, has never been one for independence.  This kid loved being the baby, and was quite content to remain that way.  Whereas Pudding’s limitations are hurdles, Cubby’s are more like barriers.  He has always needed some persuasion to move forward.

But things are changing.  Earlier this year he decided he was ready for toilet-training, and that was that.  He is starting to dress himself, and get better about feeding himself. As all the skills he has been learning in occupational therapy start to come together, he is finding he actually has a use for them.

And then Pudding- always one to go it alone- has become more clingy.  She began refusing to go upstairs or downstairs without me.  Then asking me to go with her to the bathroom.  Other times she doesn’t need me at all.

Sunday was Mother’s Day in South Africa, but Cubby let me know that tough guys don’t do cuddles.  Later that morning it became evident that tough guys do still scream and pound on the bathroom door if their mummy needs a shower.

Both kids seem to be in an ongoing battle, and I suppose that is this thing we called childhood, mixed with a dash of disability.  And I’m in this ongoing battle between holding back and offering support.  I suppose that would be motherhood, mixed with a dash of disability.  Somehow we muddle through together.

Last night I tucked Cubby into bed in his new flannel sheets (we’re moving into winter here).  They were so soft and cuddly, he told me he didn’t need me any more!

And so, as we muddle through these Independence Days, I find I’m not needed in the same way, or as much as I’m used to.  I need to adjust too.  But on those days when I still need to be needed, I just sit at the computer and try to write a blog post.  

It works every time!

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

May 14, 2013 at 5:10 pm

M is for Mistakes

with 7 comments

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<<.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

February 23, 2012 at 2:29 pm


with 24 comments

I got my hair cut in a hair salon on Saturday.  I hadn’t done that in over a year. I’ve been doing it myself at home to save time and money, two rare commodities in our house.  But my in-laws had given me some money for my birthday with the caveat that I had to spend it on me.  So I did.

I told the stylist that I have no time for maintenance, can’t afford expensive products, and need to be able to tie it up when I can no longer stand the kids touching it.  She did exactly as told, chopping away at my mane, but demonstrating that it was still long enough for a pony tail.

She asked if I wanted it to be blow-dried.  I did.  Spectrummy Daddy had the kids at the play area, so I could relish every second of every minute of my down time.  Somebody else pampering me?  Yes, please.

She worked away with her many magical potions and hairdryer and straighteners until she was satisfied with the end result.  It was sleek, shiny and sophisticated.

I loved it.  I looked completely different.  Glamorous, stylish, poised and perfect.  I haven’t looked so good in years.  I looked like Somebody.

I hated it.  Because I knew there was NO way it could last.  I don’t have the time or the energy to keep it looking so good.  I barely have the time to shower, let alone make that kind of effort.  I can’t even have straighteners or curling irons in the house with my kids. As I looked into the mirror, I saw everything I’m not.  My life is not glamorous, stylish, poised or perfect.  At all.

Spectrummy Daddy loved it.  Even the kids liked it, though they always like my hair, so they don’t count.  Still, I got a “pretty mummy” again from Pudding.

I decided I needed photos of me with The Hair before it lost its magic, so we got one while we were at a park that afternoon.  When we went in different directions with the kids, he had to really search for me – I looked so different.

Who is this?

I refused to wash it the next day, and The Hair managed to hold on through Sunday.  It still felt so soft to the touch.  I enjoyed my last day with it, knowing that it would need to go by the next day.  Every time I passed a mirror, I had to peer in.  Not  just because I was vain, but because I wasn’t used to this new me.

Finally, on Monday I washed it.  I’d been reading and reacting to the news all morning, and was late getting Pudding ready for school.  There was no time to do anything with my hair, but leave it.  I threw on some clothes to put Pudding on the bus.

I intended to go straight upstairs to finish the hair, but Cubby asked me to play, so I did.  I’d forgotten about my hair until later as we cuddled before naptime, and  he sneaked his fingers in and twirled a lock.

So now The Hair is just back to being hair.  Not glamourous, stylish, poised or perfect.  Dishevelled and mussed-up from playing, rushing around, and comforting.  Someone who knows there are more important things than perfection.  The hair of somebody very important.


This is who I am.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

May 5, 2011 at 6:45 am