Good News Friday #15 and The Play Agenda

What a week! Sissyboo finished her first year at school on Wednesday and the summer hols are upon us, which means, as I explained last week, that this is the first of six weeks that I’ll be combining Good News Friday with some thoughts on The Play Agenda run by the lovely Leoarna at Not Different But Interesting. To learn more about this fab new linky, click here.

But first, an update on Boo. Well he hasn’t been doing all that well in the heat. Everything is a great effort for him add unusually high temperatures to the cruelty of his day-to-day challenges and things are harder. They’re harder still when you’re teething (9 and 10 through, 11 and 12 following). And to cap it all his development has slowed right down. If I could think of an adjective that means slower than glacial, I’d use that, but I can’t and you’ll get my drift (no pun intended).

This would be hard enough to take were it not for the fact that Boo lost his 2 hours of nursery one-to-one on the days he’s there in early July. This two hours bought dedicated support to do one physio session to complement what I go at home each day, time for feeding him and settling him to sleep. It was working quite well, but he needed more time and we found out there was another pot of money for children with acute medical needs we could apply for that would buy just that if we were successfully awarded it. But instead of applying to the old fund to tide him over until the deadline for applications to the other grant scheme, the nursery, well, didn’t. So he went without. I found out just a couple of days before this happened and was devastated.

I have been utterly miserable for weeks and my working mum guilt (acute at the best of times despite my determination to work if I can to support us financially and preserve my precarious sanity) has reached unhealthy new heights. I worked shorter days than ever to do as much therapy with him as I could and have worked until gone midnight nearly 7 days a week to make up the time. Not good. I am on my knees.

Anyway, the meeting to decide Boo’s fate was on Monday. So drum roll…

After spending most of Tuesday in tears, as Twitter friends will know, waiting on the decision, I was told he has 3 hours one-to-one until November when we will reapply to the same fund in light of his physical needs then. It is such a huge relief. As always, we’ll take it one step at a time. Our lovely physio is going in on Monday to nursery with me to update his programme for them and we will see how it goes. If nursery  doesn’t work for Boo longer term or I feel his development is suffering, I will pull him out. But if we can get him into mainstream education, surrounded by neurotypical kids of the same age, it’s got to be good for him.

 

Mr Boo's first piece of nursery artwork

For now, though, I’m just thinking about the next few weeks. And Monday’s decision is not just good news, it’s fabulous news! And to top it off The Grumposaur and I got to celebrate in style by using the meal for two with wine I won at a local pub-cum-Thai restaurant in the school raffle. It was lovely, despite both being knackered by 21.30, to spend time together on our second night out in 17 nearly months.

Now on to The Play Agenda. I started the summer hols in style by taking a day off work on Thursday when Boo was in nursery to take Sissyboo to Legoland as a special Mummy and daughter best big sister, end of school year great. I really didn’t know how it was going to go. I’d never been before and the talk of the crowds, queues and expense made me nervous. And then the M3 and M4 had accidents on them. It looked like it was going to be a disaster. It wasn’t.

We had the Best. Day. Ever. We paid using Tesco vouchers, which got us in considerably cheaper than paying on the day or even online in advance and which also enabled us to head straight past the queues when we arrived. I’d taken a towel for the wet rides (we got soaked on the first Viking ride at the start of the day – whose dumb idea was it to wear canvas shoes?) and a swimming costume for Sissyboo for the heaving but cooling splash park in the newish Duplo World. I could have been really organised and taken a picnic but as there was just us and no one to hold bags as we were thrown about on the rides I thought I’d treat us to a meal at one of the all you can eat restaurants, which was very good.

The queues were moderate (between 10 and 30 mins). Some rides had longer lines but we just didn’t go on them. And fortunately Sissyboo really likes Lego (oddly, I think some kids there didn’t), so we spent a lot of time looking at the exhibits (the Star Wars one fascinated both of us), making things and watching stunt and puppet shows and a 4-D Lego short film, which, apart from he super scary dragon rollercoaster that Sissyboo laughed hysterically throughout, put the biggest smile on her face.

We were gone from 8.15 until 7.15, despite only having gone on about half the rides, and came back completely exhausted and happy. I firmly believe that you don’t need to spend a fortune to entertain your kids but this was a one-off. It was my way of saying thank you to Sissyboo for bearing  with so much this year and looking after her brother so well. It’s a day neither of us will forget in a hurry. And I have lots of photos to prove it.

photo (4)

Today the Boos and I had a much more low-key day. We went to the library and got Boo his first library card. Big day! Sissyboo, meanwhile, joined the summer reading Creepy House challenge. She has to read and rate 6 library books of her choice over the holidays and gets various little prizes (stickers, keyrings and a medal as she progresses). She is so excited about starting the first book tonight.

Then I finally found the one remaining paddling pool in Surrey after ours punctured irreparably  last week and the Boos splashed about and played in the sandpit in the garden for hours. Our garden is tiny and we live very near a huge park, which is fabulous, if ridiculously busy, in this weather. One of my goals for the summer is to make sure we use our garden more. It’s small but it’s hardly as though the Boos are forming a football team. And Boo loved doing his physio outside. A change of scene makes such a difference when you are trying to work on two-handed holding in sitting for the 8th month in a row. Boo looked like he was on day release from prison. I felt similarly.

It’s been an exhausting week. It started off pretty rough but has got better and better. I’m fit to drop and glad the weekend is around the corner. This will include Boo’s hydro, Sissyboo’s long overdue haircut, some holiday preparation, work (boo hiss, I’m still so behind) and me cheering on some amazing Bliss fundraisers in the London Triathlon on Sunday.

I hope your week has been fun. Please do share any good news you’ve had in the comments box below. The Boos and I love to hear from you.

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3 thoughts on “Good News Friday #15 and The Play Agenda

  1. Leoarna

    Here’s what I think; bloomin’ marvellous. Your capacity to keep going and make space for The Play Agenda in an already full on family life is just so commendable, and I have nothing but admiration for the decision to have some girly time. I’m certain that soon, a time will come where you get a little more space for yourself – but that in the meantime, your creating of quality experiences for your children will bring your a great deal of satisfaction. Thank you so much for joining in… xxx

    Reply
  2. Looking for blue sky

    So glad that your week got better…just remember to take time out for you as well, and don’t end up in trouble, like it did! Even just to be a good Mun, you need to look after yourself xx

    Reply
  3. Mummy Zen

    I agree with Leoarna, you are amazing to achieve what you do! We’ve been thinking about a trip to Legoland during the holidays so it was useful to read about your experience. Sounds like you girls had so much fun!
    Such good news this week from you too and glad you and your OH got to enjoy some quality time together – hopefully there will be more of that although I know how hard it is to fit those times in! x

    Reply

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