A not unusual day in the life of….
The day starts at 6.30 when my alarm goes off. Get up, come down, sort breakfasts – cup of tea and concerta for child no 1, blueberry muffin and hot chocolate for child number 2. Same every day. Routine, consistency, sameness.
Breakfasts delivered to their rooms. No child allowed out of their room until morning grumps have receded. Neither is a morning person, particularly child no 1 until medication kicks in.
Both get dressed in their rooms before the bathroom argument commences.
Sock and pants combo tried and tested for son – Peacocks pants, Sock Shop bamboo socks. Generally, assume 10 minutes per sock as they must be just so … clothes laid out in advance. Shoes can be a trial – DCs only please.
Daughter will dress herself having been prompted. And then reminded … but carefully, not forgetting her demand avoidance so subtlety required. Lots of prompting and walking away. Lots of smiling through gritted teeth.
Then we have the hair and teeth performance. Can be hit and miss. Son takes his toothbrush and toothpaste which he keeps in his room – the only toothpaste he will use – and goes to clean his teeth. In the meantime, I do her hair. No brushes allowed – neighbours might think someone was being murdered! Just lots of conditioner and water spray and hope! No slides, bobbles etc as can’t tolerate them. Thankfully the son doesn’t have long hair.
Bags packed and sorted and left by the front door for them to collect on their way to the bus.
And they’re gone
Morning spent on the phone trying to sort out various cockups made by professionals. Who has time to work? And a visit to school to go over arrangements for son.
Mid-afternoon- phone call from school. Daughter having a wobbler. Currently at point 3 on anxiety/behaviour scale and heading towards stage 4. Teacher not in school, daughter struggles with social hierarchies so doesn’t always understand her position in relation to LSAs. She’s higher up the scale than they are … she thinks. Combined with PDA careful handling required. ‘Will you speak to her please?’ Currently cracking knuckles, giving off death stares, upsetting other pupils, scratching arms and just generally being difficult. Spoke to her, brought her back down, tears flowed, apologies proffered and accepted and school bus now able to leave.
McDonald’s as too knackered to cook the usual chicken fillet and chips
And the evening ritual begins….
Shower reminders start at 7pm. Two hours later he gets in the shower. Changes into his PJs of choice – Matalan only please. Then it’s pizza time as his meds have worn off and he’s starving.
While his pizza cooking it’s her bedtime. Demand avoidance strategies aplenty … suddenly she absolutely must tell me everything about her day in minute detail, a blow by blow, minute by minute account. Just to avoid bed. Well-practiced routine. Subtly ignored and bedtime instruction repeated. After much faffing, she goes to bed. And sometimes stays there!
Following pizza, it’s his bedtime … which can take 2 hours. Melatonin administered which helps. We play hunt the mobile then the Hokey Cokey bed game … in and out and so on.
3 to 4 hours after first telling him to shower, he’ll go to bed.
And breathe …….