Some days you cannot win as a parent
Some Days I Just Can’t Win
Yesterday we had a white out; in fact we probably had more snow than I’ve seen in recent years. The entire place looked like a picture postcard as I waited with excitement to wake Number One for the day (Number Two is currently still waking at between four and five – lovely as the clocks changing might be for the dairy farmers it’s highly inconvenient for the parents with babies).
Now, given the sheer amount of snow, my reluctance to drive in the white stuff and the fact that we live in the middle of nowhere, I was totally prepared when Number One got up to acquiesce to her pleas for a day off school. The pleas that normally appear should even the smallest amount of the white stuff fall to the ground. So I stood happily at the doorstep and waved the Other Half off to work, without clearing the snow filled drive and car.
Cue Number One getting out of bed and initial great excitement at the snow. Cue subsequent meltdown because she was given the day off. Cue us all ending up on the road walking the hour round trip to school.
Did she not want a day of school? And if not why not? The bottom line was, she didn’t know what she wanted. The change threw her. There was a choice to make: a choice between the known, regular day at school and the unknown snow day at home. The thrill seeker (buried somewhere deep inside her) would have loved to stay at home, sledge with her baby brother, build a couple of snowmen, drink hot chocolate by the fire.
But once again autism got in the way: her need for structure, regularity, the norm. Whilst other parents were arguing with their children about why they needed to go to school, I was arguing with mine about why it was safer to stay at home.
So off she went to school. And for what happened next I love her school. They opened, they were there, but it wasn’t a regular day. The children piled out on the field and they played. They built snowmen, made slides, threw snowballs; did everything that children do. Those that went to school had just as much fun, if not more, than those that stayed at home.
There are so many times over the past few years that I have been grateful we sent her there, so many times I have thanked the heavens for her teachers. This wasn’t the first and I’m sure it won’t be the last. I just hope they realise they difference they have made, not only to her life but to ours.
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