Monday 3rd August 2015

It’s hard being a parent when your kids are having a hard time. Nicholai and Emma both threw up some challenges to deal with today, and neither one of them were easy.

Nicholai had signed up to go to a writer’s workshop at another school. He was quite excited about it, so we weren’t really anticipating any problems. Unfortunately I ended up getting a phone call from the teacher in charge because Nicholai had lost his myki card and had pretty much fallen completely apart. In the end she gave him her phone and I talked him down after a while. At least enough to get him through the rest of the day, although when I met him at the train station he saw me and was already crying by the time he reached me. I just hugged him until he was a little bit calmer, and then we drove home.

Later on he said that he’d had a bad day in a lot of ways. That he lost his card, and he wasn’t able to choose the sessions of the writer’s workshop that he had been most interested in, someone he’d wanted to see hadn’t been there, and then peak hour tram and train travel had just been the undoing of him. Too much crowding, too much noise- autism’s worst nightmare basically.

It was really hard. I haven’t seen Nicholai so unhinged and out of control for a long time. I just let him play on his ipad to resettle himself once we were at home, and I tried to keep the other kids out of his face a bit. I’m sure he’ll be fine tomorrow, but it really was a difficult day for him.

Emma came home from school in a bad mood, and then burst into tears and said she doesn’t want to do the speech contest on Wednesday. Crying about that led into mass hysteria about everything else she’s miserable about, and then she was getting all depressed and morose and…I don’t know. What do you do with that? Just listen and repeat back to her and be supportive, but it’s not easy. (Especially when this is all happening at the same time as we’re picking Nicholai up, and then coming home and trying to cook tea and wash the little boys’ hair because they’re having haircuts tomorrow.)

Anyway, I don’t know what we’re doing about the speech contest. I don’t want to let Emma think she can get away with not doing everything she doesn’t want to, but I also don’t want to force her to do something that’s going to end in disaster. I think that I’ll probably say she doesn’t have to do the speech at the contest, but it’s good practise for her to do a speech and so we’ll talk to her teacher about doing it at school or at assembly or something. So…a kind of compromise? It’s not ideal, but it might be okay.


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