Posted in random blog

40 things update! 

Thought it would be time to recheck how close I am to my 40 things  to to do before I’m 40 after chatting away this morning. 
So I don’t think I’ve managed to cross that many off!   Let’s go look…. 

I think I’ve crossed off quite a few! I’ve got myself a new telescope, spotted the iss overhead more than once, gone bowling, seen Celine Dion, gone on outings, been to bingo, managed to get my husband behind the wheel of a car, ok still having lessons but rome wasn’t built in a day right! We’ve managed to have one photo of all of us at my mates wedding, I’ve stuck to my Nordic walking class, which in turn I’m getting fitter. Met up with a few local bloggers more than once, must have broken some rules by now! I would say I have one tidy room in my house too but that maybe bending the truth a little! But they are much tidier than they were a year ago!

So all the ones that’s left other that the tattoo and piercings are the big ones I still have six years right! Wish me luck because I may need it along with a lottery win! 

Posted in hospital

A night on the children’s ward! 

Yesterday Z wouldn’t put any weight on his foot, I waited then headed to a&e, thinking 10 am on a Sunday would be quieter. We were seen by 11.30 but he wouldn’t co-operate for X-rays. They didn’t know if it was his hip, leg, knee or foot. He was adaptive an animal with an injured paw! 

He was good at waiting, iPad in hand, crisps and mints, I forgot his drink. We were allowed to pop next door and get some so can’t complain. 

We were told we could go home, but to come back the following morning. When I went to put on his bottoms, the doctor wanted to re check thinking it was his knee, he wouldn’t straighten it. We were taken to the ward where we ended up spending the night. Two failed attempts at blood we finally managed on attempt 3 late at night. He screamed, he kicked he cried. Yes I feel bad holding him down but it’s something that has to be done. Need to see if there was an infection.

He fell asleep not long after, and slept all night, I on the other hand….!! 

This morning his bloods came back clear, no infection, but he still won’t straighten it. Bone doctor was happy for him to go him. Peads sent the x-ray for other doctors too look at it and they were happy that it wasn’t an infection or a break. So we were allowed home, have to go back in 48 hours just so they can check him out.

No one wants to be stuck in hospital but I’m happy that he was observed for the night and they as doctors feel he’s ok. Imagine if I didn’t take him and thought give it a few days and then there was a break, I’d feel so bad! 

Again, staff were great, I can’t complain about them on the ward they are always friendly and helpful! Hopefully I won’t be there again this year! Well after Wednesday anyways. 

First day of our holidays were spent at NHS hotel. Thankfully we had no other plans! 

We did have pizza for tea for being such a good boy and we’ll have to head out tomorrow now! 

Posted in school

We made it through another year.

It’s that time to say good bye, we’ve made it through the first year at school. Am I sad of course I am! My little guy is getting bigger each day and to finish nursery is just another reminder how big he’s getting, how he’s nearly 5, 5 is halfway to 10. 

I’m guessing Z has had a fun year, he’s always wanted to come to school and I can’t wait until he’s older to tell him about his first teacher as I’m sure it’s his first crush, can a 4 year old have an unknown crush?! 

It’s goodbye to some of you ( and yes of course I’m going to miss you!! Who will I annoy now?) hopefully we’ll cross paths again, maybe even next year.  HAHAHAHA unlucky you’re stuck with us to some and a big welcome to others. 

Z has learnt loads, he’s come home covered in paint, glitter and dirt, he’s come home without his shoes, ( ok nearly came home without them!) he’s brought home a plant, that I’ve watered and nothing happened  so I’m guessing you actually sent home dirt! I bet that was the one who brings him to the bus, just to get her own back?! He’s come home with pictures and photos of his day but most importantly he’s come home 95% of the time with a smile, or was  that the teacher bringing him out I’m not quite sure! 

Here’s to the new term, new teachers, new classmates and a new year. We will be ok I’m sure of it. It may take a little bit of adjusting more so with me than with Z! 

The last day of term, I’m off out, if I see any of you out and about I’ll buy you a shot, I’m good like that.

So wipe away your tears, I know your already crying, and so pop up to spoons for a swift pint! 

Posted in school

A note to Z’s new teacher.

Where to start?! 

I’m sure by the end of the year we’ll love you, the same thing happened last year and now we don’t want the current teacher to go. This has nothing to do with you, its us as parents we hate change even more so than the children! Or maybe that’s just me? 

Give us a few weeks I’m sure we’ll adjust by then! 

Z is still my baby, he’s someone who hasn’t got the ability to tell me how his day has gone, if he likes his teacher and what’s gone on at school. Think when your placing a baby into a crèche you get to go visit different crèches trust your gut to go with the best place, I know the school is the best place he’s safe, he’s loved but it’s learning to trust the people in charge now to choose the best person to watch my baby. That’s a little hard, he’s still only four. I’m guessing it’s going to get easier the longer it goes on, well I hope it does! Maybe it’ll get easier when we learn who the teachers are, we as parents can bulid that relationship with the school, it just so happens you’re completely new, same as last year. Maybe that’s a good thing, there’s no parents to say oh Mrs ABC is just the best and we take an instant dislike to you! I’m sure we won’t and we’ll be the parents saying next year oh she’s great you’re lucky to be getting her. 

It’s harder too when we as parents don’t get to see you everyday it’s different at mainstream all we have is a book and parents evening to look forward too. We don’t  have the good morning or how have his day been like most parents. We don’t get to chat at the school gates.

You’ve met Z, you’ve met me briefly, yes it’s hard to start chatting when in effect we’re grieving for the staff we know we no longer have, on the plus side that will be you next year! 

So Z, he’s a lovable, smart, funny, amazing four year old, he’s learning to use words, I’m also biased, he can be a little monster! He also hates sleep, some of my best entries come from a 3am wake up! Back to Z, when he’s a little monster he’s hard work, ok he’s hard work when he’s a loveable, smart, funny amazing guy too! I’m one of those parents who don’t mind him getting dirty, not first week back in new uniform mind! I know he will fight to wear an apron, and I expect him to be dirty he’s in school where he’s playing. I know his class would be reception now and there’s a lot more emphasis on work but he’s still only four, let him play some more! There’s always next year to really knuckle down. Be the fun teacher!! 

He can be stubborn and I’m guessing he can be just as stubborn in school that’s not something that won’t happen just because he’s at school. I also know he’ll do things at school he wouldn’t dream of doing at home. He loves being outdoors, he loves to spell and loves his numbers. I’m lucky I’ve not had any bad reports from school, ok he hates anybody eating, and will attack you, or anyone else he can get near too. He’s a runner, if he can he will run and he’s quick! I do like to know where or how he’s cut himself but that’s not me being an over protective parent I just don’t want to spend a few nights at hospital! Oh and he hates R.E! 

As for the ones that’s staying, you kinda know the score, you know I’m the quiet one! 

Have a good six weeks stay safe and we’ll be counting down the days till we’re back at school! 

Posted in Review

Ben and Holly’s little kingdom live on stage.

When we were asked * if we wanted to go to see Ben and Holly at the new theatre I was a little nervous, all those people and Z. If I didn’t try I’d never know right! 

So off we went, was a little hectic when we got in, maybe we should have left a little earlier or gone in when the crowds left, but he handled it well being in his buggy with his iPad helped. Dad held on to Z when I took the buggy down stairs. Then we headed to our seats. It was packed, Z was smiling. 

“Somewhere, hidden amongst the thorny brambles is a little kingdom where everyone is very very small…”

The brightly coloured stage caught his attention, I must say how basic the props were worked really well. 
When the show started Ben, who is an elf and Holly, the young fairy princess,  quickly caught Z’s attention, Z has never seen Ben and Holly on TV, he’s only seen them as figures so how his reaction was going to be I didn’t know. He’s never been to the theatre before not even the cinema. We couldn’t take his iPad off him so he did have it right throughout the show, where as if it wasn’t a children’s show I don’t think this would have been possible. When they started counting to ten Z was in his element, he didn’t take his eyes away from the stage. When everyone was shouting he was just looking around, it could have gone any direction, he could have cried, ran or played up, but he sat there smiling. 

As the story progressed, he did sit back and looked through his iPad, but he was getting words up that matched what was on the stage, ‘Frog’, he loved the frog, my favourite was the ladybird! This meant that he was still taking on board what was happening on the stage. 

What I liked was the way there was singing and dancing mixed in, so when he was starting to become restless, they would start singing and would catch his attention again! I loved the fact that they included the audience too, can you tell we’ve never actually been to anything like this before?! I really liked them flying back to the kingdom heading towards the interval. Z seemed a little confused here as we didn’t leave! He was fine when it started back up. 

Again, the use of such simple brightly coloured props worked well. They kept his attention throughout the second half, I did think that the second half was a little louder but that could have just been me. He done very well to sit again throughout the second half, he smiled and clapped, and when they sang happy birthday he stood up with a huge grin on his face. No, it’s not his birthday he just likes the song! 

My husband enjoyed it too, his words were, ‘It was brightly coloured, fast paced, music was goodand as a parent it wasn’t terrible to watch, it wasn’t boring!’ So think I have a Ben and Holly fan on my hands. 

Ben and Holly little kingdom is on at New theatre Cardiff Saturday and Sunday 10am and 4pm. You can book tickets here, prices range from £9-£16 if you don’t have anything planned I’d highly recommend it. 

 Thank you New theatre for giving Z the chance to experience the theatre, hopefully this will be the start of something we can eventually enjoy together. 

* we didn’t pay for our tickets and were gifted them for an honest review. 

Posted in Merthyr Tydfil

A child’s right to play.

UN convention on the rights of the child, 1989 article 31 states 

“That every child has the right to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts.That member governments shall respect and promote the right of the child to participate fully in cultural and artistic life and shall encourage the provision of appropriate and equal opportunities for cultural, artistic, recreational and leisure activity.”

Add the disability act ’95 that says  

‘ Disabled  people have the same rights as everyone else’.

Before Z started school I could go to the main park a ten minute drive away, he could run he could play on the swings, go down the slide and be like every other toddler. Fast forward two years and we have a bigger Z and no place to play. The park gets very busy after school it’s the main park, I can’t take Z then too many exits to many escape routes through woods. O.K, it maybe wheelchair friendly as there’s a swing and a roundabout but it’s not a disability friendly park. Z is now too big for the baby swings but can’t hold on to a swing, but he’s not in a wheelchair to use the wheelchair swing. I know it has a disabled toilet, I’ve never been in it, but I’m guessing it’s not a changing place, as the nearest one is ten minutes away in the town centre. 

Then we come to my local park. The park was put there in 1995 and nothing has been changed since. 

It’s run down, there’s nothing child friendly there never mind disabled friendly. There isn’t a swing Z can access never mind all the other local disabled children, they have no place to play. 

The field is overgrown and just has bikes back and forth. This should be filled with children running about, kicking a ball just having fun. 

As for the park, one broken swing, but the hole in the ground had been filled in? Why couldn’t a netted swing be put here? Why couldn’t it be removed and put something new there? 

Two swings one Z is too big for the other too small as he can’t hold on. These are the only swings at one point there were two baby swings one has been changed in the last three years. Now if you take two babies one has to wait! 

A climbing frame that was put there early 90’s now he’s that little bit bigger he can climb the steps and go down the slide, as for anything else the gaps are too big. 

And finally a seasaw that never worked when it was first put in and over 20 years later still don’t work. 

So where’s the children’s right to  play? 

With the summer holidays approaching there’s two weeks free swimming, that’s not for disabled children, Z would need a one to one he don’t listen or follow instructions. The same with the sport schemes the local authorities run, that’s not for Z the same as most of the children in his school couldn’t access. So where do these children get to go during the holidays? The ones that maybe already struggle with not being at school, the ones who’s missing their friends? They can’t meet up at the main park as it’s too busy, but local parks are not worth the ground they are on? Do we all just drop off our children with additional needs and say well it don’t actually state they can’t attend? 

Why ? Why are disabled children forgotten? I say forgotten as it’s nicer than saying not wanted. 

I drive, I’m lucky, I can go to other parks, but what about those that don’t drive, this is their local park, that child can’t play here safely, the only thing it has got going for it is the fence all the way around. 

I understand people say oh budget has been cut, it wasn’t cut ten to twelve years ago when this could have been upgraded. 

I’m not asking for a state of the art park, of course it would be nice! Put a hill there with a tunnel under it, an accessible swing, maybe even a roundabout, and a seasaw that works alongside a netted round swing, a spinning chair would be nice too! 

It’ll never happen, or by the time they do decide to give children somewhere safe to play it will be too late for Z. 

Posted in Review

Oakwood Theme park! 

I’ve not been to Oakwood for many years, it was at one time the place all school trips were held, so when I was given tickets to review * I jumped at the chance, to make new memories with Z. 

With it being the hubbys birthday we headed off to Oakwood. He was also excited as he’s never been before. I know right! 

When we left it was sunny, shorts and tshirts weather, as we were getting closer there was just black skies waiting, then the heavens opened. I had a hoody in the car and Z had a spare coat, as for hubby nothing! It was all fine, he bought a poncho but wasn’t needed, the sun came out and every where dried up. The first few rides we went on were wet so I did have a wet bum all the way around, would have been good if the staff had some paper tissue to just give the seats a quick dry after the rain! 

Not sure if the weather put people off as when we arrived it was very quiet. Great for Z as we didn’t need to get a fast pass, as there was no queue. They do give out fast passes, I’m assuming you’ll need proof of disability like most places. The staff were great, there was one ride that we were told to just enter via the exit, he could see Z wasn’t happy he needed to walk around and was starting to play up.

There’s lots more than I remembered being there, they have a new Dahl land, Z really enjoyed the ladybird trampoline. There looks to be a nice little rollercoaster too that’s being built. Also lots of room for what ever new things are planned!

We headed up to Neverland and Z loved it. He loved the lost boys area where he could choose a colour slide and run back around and go down another! I must admit this kept him amused for a lot longer than it did us! But best part was he couldn’t escape!!

We went on a ride of London, flew with Tinkerbell, went on some airplanes, went on a pirate ship and visited the house! I loved the house, was really pretty, and the photos don’t do it justice, when I walked on the floor and it lit up my heart did skip a little looking down.

Z loved the soft play, I was surprised at how clean and safe it was. Obviously a fire door but other than that only one way in and out, that’s a huge weight lift when you can actually sit down and have that ten minutes to recharge whilst he can run and burn off his energy safely.  I’d like to see Neverland expanded as it would be lovely for a family day out.

We left Neverland to explore the rest of the park, headed to the pirate ship, treetops and megafobia, now these are what I remembered! Z is still too little for the pirate ship and megafobia, but he was fine to go on Treetops, now that’s faster than what I remembered it to be, but Z loved it, and we ended up going on it another four times, even dad came on once. 

Then dad being braver than myself took him on the open waterslides, when I saw him come whizzing down there my heart was in my mouth, but, Z being the little dare devil he is he loved it and went back on again, after attempting to run luckily the staff were quicker than dad! I don’t think I was ever brave enough to go on that when I used to go! 

We had a lovely day as a family, yes it was quiet but that was great for us, meant that Z didn’t get overstimulated whilst queuing and we could go on his favourite things more than once which is always a plus. But I think if you are looking to go on fast oh my god rides you maybe a little disappointed as there seems to be only three big rides and looking they don’t seem to be open all day.

We did get Z some chips, the prices seemed expensive but the same as other theme parks we’ve been to. What we did notice was that the park was very clean, no rubbish there were staff about picking the odd bit up. We posted some 2ps in the arcades, tried unsuccessfully to get a minion, and had a run around in the little park. 

I loved the fact that I could change Z, there was a work unit that he could lay on, saved either going back to the car or changing him on a toilet floor.

Of course we couldn’t have left the park without watching the people get drenched! Oh my!! They were brave even Z laughed at them all screaming.

I will take Z back, I want to go on the new James and the Giant peach rollercoaster! Next time maybe a few more of us so that way I can get to re live my youth and try megafobia and the pirate ship again whilst there’s someone there to watch Z, I’d book when there was a sale on as to be honest the prices did seem a little expensive. 

* I didn’t pay for my tickets, and all opinions are my own.

Posted in additional needs, autism

Disabled children are not wanted. 

That’s the reality. 

Why would you want that child who looks the same as yours but who screeches and flaps in excitement, the child who don’t speak who just plays on his own, to join in or even be in the same place as your precious little two year old? 

I get the tuts, when Z sees that two year old as another object to climb over. I see the looks you give him when he’s running around oblivious to your looks and tuts. He’s oblivious I’m not. 

What about those older children who have other disabilities, the ones who look different, oh you don’t want them either. You look, you stare, why should that twelve year old be in soft play, the place for toddlers, the place for children. The answer is simple, because they are children. 

There is no where for our children, we’re not wanted at soft play, were not wanted at the park, because he doesn’t understand why he has to wait his turn, or why he can’t go on the swing if someone else is on it. Oh there you go, 6-8 have a few hours for disabled people only. How would all the other children like it if they were not wanted till 6pm once a month. Then we’ll put no toilets in either because we’ll I can’t change my sons nappy at your establishment there’s only changing places at my hyperthetical place. One where ‘normal’ people are not welcome, one where ‘normal’ people couldn’t use the toilet. Imagine that? Oh I’d be taken all the way to the dry cleaners for human rights. The right to be able to go someone and use the toilet. So why is it so different for disabled children? 

There’s nothing out there. There’s no after school club, there’s nothing during the holidays. Why can’t my son go to the free two weeks swimming sessions? Why? Because he’ll need a 1:1 no one will fund that. So why can’t there be a session for disabled only children for one hour every day? Why can’t my son go to a sports play group? Again, ‘coz he’ll need a 1:1. 

My son will grow up, he will be twelve one day, then he’ll still not be wanted because he’ll still be different. Mentally he may still be the age to want to go and enjoy soft play, but no we can’t let a twelve year old come and play, how insane is that! The era of keeping disabled people locked up has long gone! But there’s nothing for them in the community. They are treated differently to other children. 

When did parents become so judgemental? Just because you can’t see that Z has a disability, ok, look at him for long enough you’ll see he’s ‘different’, you’ll see him stim, keep looking at him, you may see how loving he is too. 

I’m glad he’s oblivious to everything, I hope that will stay with him! Oh to be that free, not a care in the world, how amazing would that feel? 

Posted in school

End of school

Last week I went to parents evening, Z’s made lots of progress in all aspects of the curriculum and his speech is coming on great, the odd word to even calling the teacher a cow. It’s amazing how far he has come on in a year. How much more confidence he has since he started, it really is his second home. 

We now have two weeks left, we meet the new teacher next week, at least a new one we have no expectations as a parent, I don’t know the person, I think I have a right to be nervous and want to keep our old teacher! Having a new teacher was a bit of a blow, but didn’t know who the lsa’s were. Today I found out it won’t be the one who’s taken Z in every day since he started and brought him to the bus every afternoon. I am gutted, she was the first name I heard Z say, he was saying it in the house long before school! I just hope the new one will take fowl tasting sweets! 

I can’t believe he has just over a weeks worth of school left if you take out school fete and school trip. His first year at school finished, over, complete. 

What are we going to do in the six weeks? 

I’m sure I’m worried more than Z is, it’s one of those things you really want to know but if you’re not happy you wish you didn’t find out! I know he’ll be fine, there’s two staying to look after him, I’ll be in the same position next year saying no don’t take her she’s been with him from the start! I suppose these things have to happen, ideally in an unrealistic world he’d start school and keep that teacher like a form teacher in mainstream, until one of them leaves! It’s us parents that hate the change!