Super Powers can be Invisible!

If you have read some of my other blog posts (Where are the Instructions?) you will know that my son has autism. Samuel was not diagnosed until he was six but the signs were always there.  I just didn’t know what the signs were!  At 37 I had no experience of children, had never even held a baby until my son arrived grumpy and red-faced (the result of a C-section).  My first thoughts were “OMG the baby has red hair”!

When I look back, I see how different he was even from the very beginning.  The difference stands out more when I compare his behaviour with his sister.  Today in the playground, Lydia was running around, interacting with her friends playing “tag” and “hot-dog” (not sure what that game is!)  Samuel was quite happy on his own and “stimming”.  His autism is the “high-functioning type”. But, even so behaviour can be challenging and it drains me as it is always changing.  You achieve one milestone only to be faced with another challenge.

A couple of years ago, when I was Continue reading

To Spread or Not to Spread?

To spread or not to spread?  That is the question.  In my case “not”.   Butter that is…… in case you’re wondering.  I can’t bear the stuff or spread of any type.  I suffer from Butter Phobia!   It started many years ago at the age of two.  Both my sister and I revolted against Mum’s insistence of spreading butter on soldiers and neither of us have eaten it since. Apart from some unfortunate incidents which I don’t like to recall as it’s the stuff of nightmares (for me anyway).

I can’t bear the taste, the texture or the smell.  My children tease me by putting their fingers into the tub and gobbling it down whilst I’m reaching for the sick bowl. I heave every time I make a sandwich for them and have to get the spread out from where it lurks in the fridge.  I stand at least a foot away from the counter, my arms outstretched before me, trying not to breathe in!  If I so much as get a bit on my bare fingers then I go into lock down mode. Hospital scrub room comes to mind!  If we go to a restaurant as a family, inevitably they will choose dough balls served with a pot of garlic butter.  I then have to deal with their greasy little fingers as well as trying not to puke as they guzzle down golden globules of it.

When a recipe says butter – I tend to substitute olive oil.  You can do a lot with oil!  Unless of course it’s a cake and then I bravely soldier on!

I have such a phobia that if I make myself an egg mayonnaise sandwich I will double check that the bread has no butter on it!  It’s just that mayo looks so much like the yellow stuff and I like to be on the safe side even if I’m the one whose made the damn sandwich in the first place.

Last time I ate butter was on a drunken night out 30 years ago.  Someone made some cheese on toast and used butter on the bread.  I was too drunk to notice and at that time of the evening I would have eaten anything.

I can just about manage garlic bread but I like it quite well done – that is burnt to a crisp!  If it’s a baguette I will only eat the end bit.  Had a shock the other day, bought some garlic bread from Marks  & Sparks;  wished I’d gone to Tesco for their economy range……………

To Spread or Not to Spread? That is the question.


Being a Neurotic

I remember as a young child, my Dad had a book called “How to Live with a Neurotic Wife”. Some of you may recall it especially if you grew up in the 70’s. I loved flicking through it and thought it hilarious at the time although now you won’t see it gracing the shelves of Waterstones as it is certainly not PC. There was a series of them as we also had “How to Live with a Neurotic Dog”.

I am a bit of a neurotic and I am sure my family would agree. I have Continue reading

Dealing with Exclusion

How would you feel if your child was excluded from school? Most parents would feel devastated.  Unfortunately, it is an experience that many parents of autistic children go through and one that I am bitterly familiar with.

My son has been excluded from school twice.   My feelings on these occasions have always been complete devastation mixed with defeat, depression and failure. These are feelings that parents of autistic children face frequently.   I do not know if schools recognise the impact this sanction has on families who face challenges on a regular basis. Challenges that many parents don’t have to face.

I am not sure what schools are hoping to achieve when they use exclusion as a disciplinary measure for children with ASD. My son was only 6 Continue reading

Embracing Hygge

Have you heard of Hygge? It is fabulous. It is the Danish concept of contentment and comfort. I am now a convert. I’ve bought the book and everything! I am now avidly crocheting lots of blankets and throws to give my 1950’s built house that feeling of warmth and cosiness in my quest to replicate Denmark in Buckinghamshire!

It seems to me a great opportunity to slob around in the evenings in my jim-jams and woolly socks, scoffing the remains of the chocolate trifle and glugging back lots of wine. I’m not quite winceyette in the bedroom but it is heading that way!

The other day my Hygge Continue reading

To Holt and Back

My son has ADHD. I am not sure if he finds it exhausting but I certainly do.   He seems to be most active in the evening! This usually takes the form of an energetic gymnastic display consisting of leaping from chair to chair and then a big jump to the settee then back again. This is all performed with his tablet clamped to his ear playing the same piece of music for about 20 minutes. This event occurs most evenings and is perfectly timed for when we are trying to sit down and watch University Challenge or Mastermind (Husband’s choice.  I get to watch what I want when he’s out! I do like to encourage him to go out as much as possible!)

We tend to holiday in Norfolk each year and we love Continue reading

Thoughts of Mother’s Day

There are certain scents that take you back and bring to the fore deep rooted memories. For me the scent of daffodils always reminds me of the Mother’s Day service in Church. My sister and I were both in Brownies and attending Church Parade each month was a regular occurrence. I remember best the Mother’s Day service, where all the children would be given small posies of bright springtime flowers to give to their Mum.  The scent of the daffodils would fill the church and their smell is always a reminder to me of that time.

Too often now, I see adverts for the perfect gifts for Mother’s Day; luxury goods to show how much you care.   Growing up in the 70’s my sister Continue reading