I am having such a busy week, and when I am asked 'you ready for Christmas?' my tummy turns as I realise I haven't even bought cards, let alone written them, worked out last posting days, and don't even ask me about presents. This time of year reminds me how much extra time you need to find from nowhere. We did dig out the Christmas decorations, and made a partial start. I always blame the chaotic decorations and our house looks more 1970's scruffy, than a co-ordinated display, on the fact the kids did it. Well secrets out, Dave and I try, stand back and look at it, then say, never mind, just tell them Alex had a go. Though I had a gorgeous moment this week, when I left a box of tree ornaments in the living room. Alex was very quiet and when I sneaked a peek, he had put them all on the tree. Obviously all within 8 inches of each other, but I was so proud of him, I think I may leave it just as it is. Dave asked me last night if anyone else had bird puppets on their tree, parrots, pink flamingos and owls etc. Can't say I have seen that particular trend, but I persuaded him birds belonged in trees.
So Christmas is slowly coming together. My feeling is my lack of planning won't disrupt proceedings. Christmas day lunch is planned. As we have done many times since we have had the kids, we are having turkey and cranberry sandwiches. Yes, you read that right. It would not be right, Dave and I sweating it out in the kitchen to make a fine three course meal, that the kids would neither eat, sit with us or play any part in. The allure of new toys and great TV is too much to compete with. So we sack off tradition, play with the kids and it all works a lot better. Calm, quiet, and with any luck, successful.
We also had the airing of the Granada Reports news interview last night. I had no prior notice, and thankfully my mother-in-law was on the ball and called us. Alex was so excited to see us all on TV, he kept saying 'again' to get me to rewind it. I haven't heard him giggle so much in ages. It was 1.5 minutes, condensed from 1.5 hours of filming. That's serious editing. I was pleased with it though, they were mostly accurate (I liked the suggestion I may walk Alex to school, when it is a half hour drive :)), but more importantly it did show the main way she helps us. Just another notch in autism and support dogs awareness. Every little helps.
We are in the middle of a school turbulence with Tom. He had his annual statement review two weeks ago, and without wanting to go into details we had concerns his current school was the right place for him. So for the last two weeks I have been visiting other local schools, and weighing up our options. Another reason for the permanent knot in my tummy. It feels a bleak prospect whichever option we choose as there are problems where we are, but moving him for the second time in two years, into an unknown situation is equally concerning. Tomorrow I am chatting with a head of a good local school to see if they can meet his needs within the class structure. If not, then it is back to making Plan A work. So often Tom worries us more than Alex. I know he has less of a disability, but that makes him complex to integrate into a mainstream world, and we will always face issues of trying to work out how best to support him. Anyway, I keep pushing on, and hope in time the right solution will present itself. The really great news is we have found out we don't need to go through appeals or tribunal to resolve, so that is a battleground I can avoid for now. I just live with the worry and pressure of making the right decision, knowing not everyone agrees, but hoping I may know Tom better, and see it from his perspective. Time will tell.
I also started writing a book two weeks ago. Just a fictional novel. Its based on a character with Asperger's Syndrome, and her journey starting out in the world of work, and forming relationships, as she stumbles upon some criminal evidence that turns her quiet world upside down. Writing a first book is a bit like if I got a canvas and oil paints, and had a go at my first painting, I am certain it will be an amateurish effort, but I fancy a stab at writing, and I have just loved the process of sitting down and typing. It feels like when I play the piano, your mind drifts, and it has an almost meditative state. And my piano playing is something best not shared, and very rusty. We'll see how it comes together. If my nearest and dearest critics give it a pass, I may share it one day!
So thats it, tea break over, and back to the jobs list.