My husband published the newest edition of his blog this morning (http://wp.me/p1Pkq9-a0) and it contained my favourite ever song “The Ice is Getting Thinner” by Death Cab for Cutie. I had a listen to it when i woke up and it has left me feeling all sentimental, so forgive me if this week’s blog is a bit soppy!
Last week, we got Thurston’s school place offer. He has been offered a place at the school where he attends nursery which is exactly what I wanted. In fact, I didn’t put down any other options as I’m certain that he belongs there. The school is really helpful and understanding with Thurston’s needs, and more than that, they just seem to genuinely really like him and want him to be happy. Him being happy is all that matters to me. As happy as I am that he is going to the school we carefully chose for him, it has raised a few issues for me, not least of which how I’m going to get 3 children to 3 different schools and back every day, currently without the use of a car. If anyone has any ideas on this, please let me know because I am still puzzled!
Apart from the practicalities, the official-ness of Thurston’s imminent school days is very unsettling for me. I have packed 2 kids off to school before (including one who only turned 4 a week before he started), and honestly, it hasn’t affected me. I knew they would be fine and they were. I was confident that I had raised them to be polite, sweet little boys with no qualms about dobbing in any horrible brats who so much as give them a nasty look. So far, I have been proved right, they are proper little telltale, suck-up, teachers’ pets just as I had hoped. Now that Thurston is abandoning me, I’m starting to feel a bit weird about it.
I always assumed that when I shipped the 3rd baby off to school that I would start to feel broody for another baby, in fact I’m always about 25% broody. However, now that it’s here, that’s not how I feel at all. I’m not broody for another baby because it wouldn’t be Thurston. Thurston feels like he is an extension of me and a lot of the time I feel like I am the only person who understands what he is thinking and how he works. With my other children, I worked 22 hours a week and shared childcare with my husband, so I knew that they were happy and understood with a variety of other people. However, once Thurston was born, I ended up as a housewife/stay-at-home/full-time mum or whatever people call it these days! On top of this, Thurston obviously had a very high, constant need for care and attention, so I’ve always felt (probably overly) clingy to him. Because his lack of communication skills, it is hard for me to trust anyone with him for more than a couple of hours because they might not know that he prefers to watch YouTube in the reflection in the oven, or that he doesn’t want to play with his toy cars, he just wants to put them all back in their original packaging over and over again. Therefore, T & I have been joined at the hip for the last 3 years and 10 months. I know him inside out and despite having little in the way of speech, he is delightful company.
Since it was my birthday 2 days ago (I turned 29 NOT 30!), I’ve been having a think about the last few years and whether things happened for a reason. I’m not sure if I believe in fate, but in 2007, I lost a baby 12 weeks into pregnancy. Looking back on it now, losing the baby meant that I was given Thurston. I wouldn’t have had him if I hadn’t lost the other little one. In a weird way, I feel like I was meant to be his mum, because no one else could be. He is a complete and utter pain in the bum a lot of the time but he is also the funniest, most adorable, creative person I’ve ever met. I am probably ever-so-slightly biased, but Thurston Jonas is truly the most beautiful little boy I have ever seen. His eyelashes are so long that grown women are jealous of him, he looks effortlessly cool in whatever clothes I dress him in, and he has the shiniest golden hair. He is a dream! I might be being selfish, but I don’t want to share him for 6 hours a day, 5 days a week and I might just indulge in a little sulk about it!!!
When my older children come home from school, I am given the low-down on their days. They love to shower me with the gossip of which kids have been in trouble, who has got weird new shoes, what all the other kids got for Christmas. They also tell me everything that they’ve been up to that day (albeit after I have bribed them with custard creams). The hardest thing about the prospect of sending Thurston to school is the likelihood that I won’t know what he’s been up to. There will be 30 hours of every week where I won’t know what he has been doing because he won’t be able to fill me in. At the moment, we have a home contact book from nursery but I’m not sure if that will continue into reception year. Even if it does, I know it won’t contain the level of detail that I need to be happy!! Added to this is the uncertainty of having a child with special needs go to school. I’m hoping that by keeping him at the same place where he goes to nursery will mean that the children there will grow used to him and his peculiar ways and so hopefully he won’t take too much flack for it. The Statementing decision is also due next week, which is probably adding to my anxiety about the situation. I take comfort from the fact that Thurston is now incredibly assertive and if he is unhappy or not getting the level of attention he needs, I’ve no doubt that he will make his feelings known, even if it is by yelling or headbutting whoever’s nearest to him. He works with what he’s got!
Another side to my little buddy moving on, is what on earth am I going to do with myself? I have been at home for the last 4 years, going to speech therapy, physio, hospital appointments. I’ve spent my days teaching Thurston how to eat and say “hello” to people. I don’t know how to be normal. I suppose the ‘normal’ thing to do would be returning to work, but I need to find something that is more flexible than just being within school hours. If I have a job, I need to be able to leave at the drop of a hat, in case Thurston has a sudden temperature or has hit someone in the face with a cow-bell. I’m suddenly realising that being someone’s Carer as well as their parent means you never stop being on call. Hopefully, I will be able to find a couple of things that I can fit around being Thurston’s everything, perhaps working from home. Living in my little Thurston-bubble has meant I’ve forgotten how to be a normal woman. I definitely need to sort that out and even though it’s scary, I am a bit excited about being Hannah again, instead of “Thurston’s mum”!
Since I’m being nostalgic, here’s a few photos of me and my baby! Thanks for reading. Let me know how you all got on with the transition to school! Hanj x