Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Posts Tagged ‘Tea

Wordless Wednesday 06 Jun 12

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Tea with my boy. South Africans know how to do some things just right!

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

June 6, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Going Cold

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She had joined me in bed again.  I don’t know how many nights in a row this is, too tired to count now.  Always between 3 and 4 in the morning.  I’ve tried to figure out why, but I can’t come up with anything.  It just appears that there are cycles of sleep problems, and we’re riding one right now.  She no longer calls out, or announces her presence, she just presents herself at the side of the bed, until Daddy gets out, and I wearily take her in.  Sometimes she goes right to sleep.  Sometimes she fidgets, and neither of us get our rest.  After a while, Cubby joins us.  My sweet, exhausted husband leaves me a cup of tea as he heads off to work.

I need my transition.  I urge the kids to go to their rooms, but they stay.  I sip the tea, trying not to spill as they bounce all over the bed.  Cubby is only content in my arms, making tea-drinking impossible.  In the end, I give up.  I place the cup back down on the bedside table and it goes cold while I wait for them to let me be for a moment.  I get out of bed, and the day begins.

Hours later it is time for the day to end.  I’ll have my second cup of tea once they are in bed.  My other bookend to the day.  My ritual.  Cubby is winding down, but Pudding is still active, hyperactive.  We need her to go to sleep tonight.  Her Daddy has volunteered for an overnight shift, and he needs to take a brief nap to keep him going.

She isn’t in a cooperative mood.  She demands, then refuses a story.  She gets into bed, but tosses and turns, hums, and twirls her hair.  I’m thinking of that cup of tea.  How much I need it, my wholesome vice.  Why won’t she just sleep?  Almost an hour later, I give up.  I tell her to go to sleep and head downstairs.

I start to clean the day’s mess.  Even before the kettle has boiled, she is downstairs.  I march her back up and place her back in bed.  I just want a few minutes of the day to myself.  I refuse to hear her pleas to stay, and return to pour the water onto the teabag.  It steeps, I add milk.  I’m ready to sit down.

She returns.  I lead her back up to the bedroom.  Exasperated, I ask what is wrong, but she doesn’t reply.  I ask what she wants, and she replies: Mummy.  I’m humbled by her need.  She wants me to get in bed with her, being downstairs is not enough, sitting on the chair in her room is not enough.  Only physical contact will soothe her.  I climb in beside her, and cup her cheek with my hand.  I lie still while my tea is going cold.  Her breathing slows, and I move my hand away.  Instantly alert, she grabs my arm and holds on, keeping me close.  This isn’t manipulation, this is desperation.

I submit and stay, knowing that the tea will be undrinkable.  I can only hope this will pass.  That one day she will be able to calm herself when she feels like this.  Until then, I can meet her need just by being present.  I’m grateful that I can still provide all that is needed.

I watch her chest rise and fall before I dare make another retreat.  This time she didn’t stir.

Nothing to do but come downstairs and pour away the cold tea.  I’m about to make a fresh cup.  My needs are also mercifully easily met.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

February 25, 2011 at 6:28 am

My cup of tea

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A picture of Tea and a Biscuit.

Image via Wikipedia

I recently discovered that Pudding has developed a new ritual of talking me through her day as I put her to bed.   She instructs me to get in bed for a cuddle, and then she talks.  And talks.  Sometimes she sings.   She shares.   I love it.  We aren’t yet at the point where she is really talking about her day, but she tells me what happened.  I’m going to introduce talking about my day, the parts I liked and didn’t, and my feelings about it.  We’ll see if she is ready to do the same.

The word “ritual” can have negative connotations, but that isn’t always the case.  Some rituals can offer comfort, create a routine, and mark transitions throughout the day.

In the comments from my post the other day, Courtney referred to her ritual as the glass of wine when she returns from work. Once her ritual takes place, she relaxes and can chat about the day. Pudding’s metaphorical glass of wine is to bounce on her trampoline, or swing. Getting that sensory input is important for her to transition from a day at school. I never realized how necessary this was until I interrupted it.  I think, though I could well be wrong, that this bedtime chat is another way she transitions.  Instead of getting out her excess energy, she is getting out her excess words, or thoughts.  Maybe one day she’ll release her feelings, and feel more peaceful for sleep.

My ritual is in a morning.  I am less human, and more cranky swamp creature in the morning.  My husband dutifully brings me a cup of tea, and that is my transition from slumber to reality.  I punctuate the day with a cup of tea: the morning one, the breakfast one, the evening one.  I know, English ex-pat drinking tea is too much of a cliche to dwell on.  I can manage fine without the others, but that morning one is essential.  I just feel “off” all day without it.  It isn’t a caffeine issue; I’ve been drinking decaf for over a decade.  It has nothing to do with the children; that morning cup has been part of my ritual since I was a child.  There is comfort in beginning my day the same way.  I’ll carry on as long as I continue not to be a morning person.  Just because I regularly wake at 5 these days, it doesn’t follow that I’m any better at it.  My husband will vouch for that!

So just as rituals are important to the rest of us, so they are to Pudding too.  Probably more so, as she starts to learn what her body needs to take away the many stresses of the day.  I just hadn’t realized that she had them until I disturbed them, this discovery was a happy accident for me.  Now that I know, I’ll do my best to ensure I don’t pour away her metaphorical glass of wine, or cup of tea.  I think we all need a little comfort in our day.

How about you?  Do you or the people you love have a ritual that brings comfort?  What is your cup of tea?

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

January 13, 2011 at 7:28 am