Daily Archives: September 14, 2006

Back to School

Oh, if only I could share with you the photos of my Smudgelets in their new school uniforms!

The return to school… or rather, the start at brand new schools for both of them… was a resounding success. Well, it was once they got there. Next time I must remember to check which day they are due to start. Tiddles was NOT amused to find himself walking home from the bus stop. It’s the only time I’ve known him so upset at changing from his school uniform into his play clothes… though not as upset as I was at unexpectedly finding myself with one son still at home!

Smudgelet is delighted with all that’s happening at Middle School. He’s mastered the bus, though today got rather an earwigging when he arrived back at the front door within ten minutes of going to wait for his bus. He wanted to come home because it was raining!!! He found himself back at the bus stop VERY QUICKLY, though mummy finally relented and drove him to school after all. I think he’d have preferred to wait for the bus, though – he got a thorough nagging all the way!

Tiddles has really risen to the challenge of High School and is revelling in it. The tutor has really looked out for him. He’s now in the Rugby team, auditioning for the school play, joining the football club. He’s in rather high sets too – I was unsure whether this was an administrative cockup or just rather an indictment on the ability of the rest of the year group as he’s hardly the most academically-minded of students, but a colleague informs me that often they put weaker children who benefit from peer encouragement and motivation into a higher set to keep them in the right company and environment for learning. I hope he manages to stay there – it would be an answer to prayer if he does. So far so good, he’s working really hard and producing a fantastic quality of work.

Me? I’m just incredibly proud of the pair of them.

And just to gloat a little further, Smudgelet took this photo of some of his pottery work. The fish on the left he just painted, the ones on the right he made.

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Fun

I have to say that all is not gloom and doom at Smudgie Towers and we are still fitting in lots of fun.
The end of the holidays was marked in fine fashion as we met up with a friend from the mainland and her children for the day. Fantastic! A lovely family and great fun to spend time with, although the children had never met before. Three of the four visiting children have particular difficulties which mean that life is a little tougher for them and that spending the day with my gruesome twosome could have been quite a challenge. But no, it was great and all six children really hit it off – including the little four-year-old who fell in love with Tiddles and spent almost all day holding his hand or riding piggy-back. Tiddles was a star!

We spent the day at Robin Hill. If you’re visiting the Island with children, this place is an absolute MUST and even knocks Blackgang Chine into a cocked hat. Maybe not so much for adults alone, but a lovely place for a family walk while the children indulge their imaginations and exuberance to the limits. There’s loads to do and see, I have chosen only two to give you a tiny appetiser…….

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Who could resist a visit to DuckDown-on-the-Green, that archetypal English village, complete with school, sweet shop and pub?

At one point we totally lost several of the boys. Tiddles was tracked down playing on the slide with his little admirer, but where were the rest?

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The Comeback Kid

That’s what they call him at the hospice.

Mind you, he’d have got better a lot quicker if the Queen had been a little more considerate. After all, I didn’t really expect her to come swanning in and tip wine all over his bed.

I think the sign that he was getting better was when he started enjoying his hallucinations rather than being quite so distressed by them, and allowed us to explain that he was just seeing things which weren’t really there. Just as well, really, as his conviction that he had died in the night and that we were lying to him about being alive was quite perturbing. Luckily this was the day when our wonderful macmillan nurse (all power to their elbows) came to see him and the nurse was able to check his pulse and breathing and reassure him that no, the vital signs all seemed to indicate that he wasn’t dead after all and that he could trust what my sister and I were saying. As I said, just as well. Can you imagine waking up in heaven and finding ME there as an angel? 😉

Saturday and Sunday were more like Hell than Heaven. On Monday morning we were able to get more support from the doctor and the hospice, although the latter had been brilliant talking us through the weekend and providing advice and equipment. The boss from the care agency came, determined that Dad should not have anyone inexperienced while his regular carer was on leave. She and my sister and I spent an hour giving Dad a bedbath, rolling him from side to side to change his pyjamas and freshen him up despite the horrendous pain it caused. So you can imagine her amazement on Wednesday when she arrived to find him up and ready for his shower, to get dressed and go off to the day centre!!!

The doc had been unable to find any real trace of an infection but decided it was highly possible he had a hidden chest infection and prescribed antibiotics anyway. And within three days we witnessed the miracle once again of seeing him recover from death’s door and from the depths of depression and once more become his old self, if somewhat thinner and weaker. The radiotherapy that he missed has been rescheduled, hopefully for next week or maybe the week after, depending on whether the oncologist or his secretary win the battle of wills over whether there is space on this week’s list.

I am exhausted, mentally and physically, and actually slept most of today. However, I must say that I’d be in far worse state if it weren’t for the intervention of a veritable angel. Whoever would expect, out of the blue, a message from a virtual stranger (possible axe-murderer, of course) expressing a willingness to come and be a part of the family, sitting either with Dad or with the Smudgelets to give me some me-time and chance not to be torn in two? I know she reads this blog, and I won’t mention her by name… but you know who you are and to me you’re a veritable angel. Besides, how could you not be the champion of the day in giving me such a wonderful excuse to shift some calories? (in totally the wrong direction, I hasten to add – from the plate to my waistline 😀 )