25 April 2007

Quick(ish) update

Sorry for the recent silence.

Things are still a little crazy here, and becoming busier as we head towards the end of the school year.*

As I sit here I feel my internal organs become preserved for posterity through the gentle but perpetual inhalation of sanded Easyfill, which is dancing in pretty swirls in every room of the house. Oh yes, the painters are back, still battling to create a flat surface on the walls in spite of the original plaster. They may take their dust sheets with them when they go home each night, but the fallout continues to settle well into the wee small hours. Lets just say I have forgotten how to dust or clean in these last two months; most of my books are on the floor, most of my bookcases are being used as message boards with smileys and reminders fingerpainted in their powdery white coating, and the TV lives under a sacrificial duvet cover.

Meanwhile (back at the ranch?):

  1. Youngest daughter has spent many moons stretching hamstrings and achilles tendons until she is finally able to walk heel-toe, heel-toe and not like some perpetually wobbly ballerina. All that is left now is the habit, but as she forgets often, this week and next both her ankles are in plaster, from toes to calves like tall, peep-toe ski boots. She chose bright red. Beneath them she wears those clumpy cast shoes held on with Velcro straps, that look very much like blue plastic Geta sandals.

  2. Youngest son has been told that his entire collection of Warhammer paraphernalia has been swiped from a locked room at school, lost from a teacher's care. He hasn't been collecting for too long but this represents hours and hours of painstaking gluing and painting and about 90% of his total Christmas and Birthday presents from the last 12 months. We'd spent about £90, (for lumps of plastic, even the most basic versions do not come cheap) but then he had won bits, made some exchanges and modifications, spent some extra pocket money on top and learned the points, moves, rules etc for each individual item. Son came home feeling that the teacher was shirking responsibility, whilst other kids (he couldn't tell if they meant it or were on a wind-up) volunteered that they saw his box in one classroom, and some of his pieces getting thrown around and binned in another.

  3. Yesterday I met, amongst others, the people from IncludingYou; a Sussex organisation heavily involved in the East Sussex Children's Trust's efforts to show good practice and consult with the families of disabled and SEN kids. Looks like I am going to be on the steering group which will be setting the questions that need to be answered. Or something. This means a great deal to me; I want my name to be mentioned when in 100 years people discuss how we plucked ourselves out of these quietly sectarian dark ages. Unity through Diversity, Man! Quick someone hand me a tie-dye t-shirt. Seriously.

  4. We met in their office and it was wonderful. You know how you walk into some places and you can smell the hierarchy, the politics, like a sweat in the very walls? Not there. I'm telling you, either they were on a major leyline crossing and in some sort of physical vibe vortex (bit Doctor Who, I know) or they are just perfectly balanced as a team. There wasn't even the aura of an old vicarage - I mean I'm not saying the place was ultra healing or peaceful, it was just, well, just right. Like a breath of the cleanest air in a long time. It really really REALLY made me want a job. Not just any job though, something creative and proactive. I was jealous, I guess, and that threw me. People almost had to drag me out of the door at the end, I just wanted to find a corner and stand there with a goofy look on my face.

  5. We applied to do the whole adoption thing - not to foster or adopt but simply to provide weekend respite for somebody else's autistic spectrum child. The phone call was like a dream, the social worker and I seemed to hit it off straight away, I told her some of our history without any gloss and she seemed very enthusiastic, started mentioning that after the training we could do short term fostering as well. It was like I'd finally found my place in this whole jigsaw - it felt wonderful. Then we got to filling in the forms and eventually she asked about bedrooms. It seems that a child must have their own bedroom in your house even if they only come for one weekend a month; that asking your own children to shove up for two nights (like they would for a regular visitor) is unacceptable. There the process stopped. We don't even get to go for assessment or a CRB check until we can come back and say that we have enough space. See here's the rub; we are Council tenants. We could up sticks and exchange properties and we would, at the drop of a hat, if we were certain of being able to help someone at the end of it all. However without the training and assessment we have no idea whether we would be pulling up roots after a ten year stop, all for nothing. Bit of a rug puller that, my backside hit the floor hard. Hic, sob, snivel.

  6. This last point is by no means least - Miss Cellania has been mindbogglingly complimentary to me and granted me a Thinking Blogger Award. No it doesn't mean I think (I think), but that I make her think, which to me is inconceivable, as I could never in a million years come up with half the wonderful facts, news, links et al that pepper every post she creates. The joke, of course, is that this very award has caused me more thought than I have put into blogging for a long time, as now I have to select five people who make me think, to pass the honour on. Well, what can I say? You all do that, so this will take some pondering.
I'll get back to you on that one, once I've dug through snowdrifts of plaster etc to find the post and my to-do list, because I can't concentrate until I know I'm not letting scary bill type deadlines float past me. Or at least I can, and frequently do (its a learned skill, through necessity) but then little warning bells start going off in the back of my head. The back of my head could of course be treating me like Pavlov's dog - that's not unknown, so its a matter of wait and see.

I love being me. (Yes Miss C that's British sarcasm.) ;-)

*EDIT - Gosh! The end of the school year, I forgot. Daughter has her first ever week long school trip away at the end of term, the same one that her brother was excluded from 12 months ago so its a bone of contention. Yes I know, its so hard to draw the line with disability discrimination. On the one hand he was unfairly ostracised for things he couldn't really help, on the other hand I did want him back in one piece and the harsh consequences of not at least faking conformity are a lesson sadly well learned. Anyway on top of all that, Daughter is also in the drama club and is playing King Richard in the school production of Robin Hood, so I have just been advised that I need to rustle up not one but two costumes - kingly robes and priestly ones, as King Rick spends much of his time on stage disguised as a monk. I'll be scouring second hand shops for days, and hand sewing for twice as long. King R even has a 'big reveal' where he rips his hassock off to show his true self - I envisage a sore-fingered future containing lots and lots (and lots) of Velcro; don't you? Oh joy.


Writer Mom said...

Dearest C. Poor son and his collection. That would have crushed me as a kid. Especially with all his hard work put into it. The school not so concerned? Jerks. Not to worry. After son invents his time machine, he can go back and discover the culprit.

Aside from that, I read so many good things for you. The bedroom rule is a bit of a bummer. Can't imagine any reason why you wouldn't end up fostering should you manage the extra bedroom. Such a champion you are for diversity! I love your positive approach. We're still in the melodramatic silent film era over here regarding diversity. Everyone gasps and faints, etc.

Miss Cellania has excellent taste. Stop being humble. NO contest, you provoking deep thought.

fineartist said...

You DO provoke deep thought.

What happened to youngest daughter? Bless her heart, those booty boot casts are a bummer. My own daughter spent an entire summer in one, also the same summer she was sent to the fine arts academy for singing, AND dancing. She didn't end up dancing much, and hobbling around on that boot liked to drove her insane around the campus, but I hear piggy back rides were a plenty. Hope baby girl heels up quickly and nicely! I know she's ten but, well, Samps is ten too and he's MY baby boy still, no he doesn't like it much...

And man what a bummer for son to lose his warhammer collection, Samps collects magic cards and I'm afraid he would have a major fit if they turned up missing. Man oh man, what a drag, and to have them stolen from a room that was supposed to be secure. Major bummer.

Remodeling happening here too. It IS maddening, time consuming and oh so danged dirty! When it's done though, ah that will be nice.

You know when I was a kid sleeping on a pallet on the floor at a house like yours in the kitchen or even the garage would have been heaven, and I mean that. Loving, caring people with kids to play with are worth more than any old extra bedroom. They should ask the kids who are being fostered, I am CERTAIN they would agree with me.

A door snapped shut, time to open a window.

big love bug hugs Cheryl, Lori

Ms Melancholy said...

Oh, poor youngest son. I really, really feel for him. Life is so goddamn unfair sometimes. I hope the school will compensate him somehow.

fineartist said...

And I forgot to say, you make the most kick axe costumes in the entire world!

Ally said...

I agree - so unfair. And you make me think, too. x

Badaunt said...

I'm afraid that while I was reading this post I gave one of your sentences an alternative ending. I couldn't help it. It's a family tradition. (One I'd forgotten, actually. Thanks for the memory.)

"Meanwhile, back at the ranch," you wrote, and I mentally added,

Tonto, disguised as a door, got his knobs shot off.

I thought this was hilarious when I was a kid. A man disguised as a door! Ha ha ha! A few years later I figured out what it meant.

I have not commented on the rest of your post because I was mentally commenting all the way through but my fingers were not connected. Besides, would you really want a comment longer than the post?

(Let's just say you made me think. :-)