So today was the day it all began or rather ended, life as we know it that is, lockdown was announced. I couldn’t help feeling a bit smug I’d already booked up a few Tesco delivery slots in advance as my son can’t handle supermarkets at the best of times, I advised my brother who is also autistic and shops online too, to do the same.
Boris announced that there would be no travelling even to relatives who do not live in the same home. I had to break it to my son that this meant he couldn’t see his dad now for a while after his dad rang having interpreted this as meaning the same. My son kind of imploded when I told him. He doesn’t tend to meltdown now, he internalises it. His words were in ‘I don’t want to be angry with you as I know it’s not your fault’ as he headed to his room and I heard the familiar slapping sound of him taking it out on his punch bag instead.
For me, although I felt for my son, in some ways it was a relief especially as my son is asthmatic and I worry about him getting COVID 19 and reacting badly but it was awful knowing my son was so upset.
Although as a home educator and a parent of a PDAer on the surface it may seem a lock down won’t make that much difference to our life in some ways it means the small things I do to relieve my own stress will now be harder. However I decided to take a leaf out of Will’s (from About a boy) book and become an island by breaking the day down into,units of time and focusing on each one completely instead of feeling overwhelmed by a whole day or week.
I read on twitter today that government clarified today that it was fine for children to visit the other parent as long as both parents felt it was relatively safe. I was unsure what to do as I thought perhaps it was worse to change it back only for it to change again in a few weeks time … when my ex rang and had heard the same we decided to ask my son what he wanted to do, it wasn’t easy for him to have to change what he thought was happening again but his choice in the end was to continue seeing his dad for as long as he could.
Later I made a huge batch of vegetable and lentil soup, enough to last me for a 7 meals. I felt pretty chuffed with myself as I left it to cool and went up stairs to check my son was settled. However on returning to the kitchen and switching on the light I caught Oatey dog straddled across the cooker Bambi like lapping up last of the soup…..
Today a very lovely friend of mine who writes award winning poetry invited me to join in with a her new online creative writing group. I’d been wanting to get on one of her courses for ages but they never seemed to coincide with the times my son was at his dad so it was great to have the chance to do one from home. After an inspiring morning of writing I felt set up for the day which was a relief after having a little wobble the night before imagining what would happen to my son if I went into hospital and he was also infected.
I made a pact with myself to only watch the official update at 5pm and focus on positive, beautiful, informative or amusing social media posts and avoid the doom and gloom for my own sanity.
On the plus side we have been making the most of all the extra free online learning resources available now almost everyone’s children have been banished from school. People talk about lack of support but they haven’t experienced what it is like to be the parent of a SEND child who breaksdown and then gets no help at all when they can no longer attend, These extra resources have been great for us.
Walking the dogs however is becoming increasingly hard as:
A) My son won’t come with me and although he is 13.5 and has a phone he also can get anxious so I don’t like to leave him too long
B) the town where I love has limited places to walk the dogs without driving and they remain busy as people as they are beauty spots and people are still driving to them making it hard to social distance.
As a result am finding it hard not to challenge people who don’t obey the rules which is really not like me. Yesterday I didn’t even take the dog for a walk as I’d missed the opportunity at dawn and was afraid of how busy everywhere would be. Poor dogs!
ThursdayMessing around with my son this morning pretending I was going to chuck water on him ended in a full blown indoor water fight. I wouldn’t normally of entertained this but decided to go with the flow as we both needed to let off steam, by the time I had mopped up all the mess it also counted as giving the house a deep clean.
Later my son and I made a rainbow for the window using the computer as he gets frustrated with drawing because he is such a perfectionist nothing he draws is ever perfect enough in his eyes. However once it was done he had second thoughts about putting it in the window in case it made people look in to our house. In the end we decided to place it at a night where it blocked most people’s view into the house and he was happy with that. His anxiety can really spike if he feels he is being watched for under observation in any way.
The clap for the NHS was really moving tonight. I just wish it had been better supported the last decade for the sake of all who are working in it now understaffed and without proper protection. So,e of these people are my friends and I worry for them and their families. I know the show of appreciation from the public will be felt by them though. If one good thing comes out of this is will that we will learn to cvalue and save our NHS.
After my son went to bed I gave myself a pamper session which resulted in an impromptu home haircut! I am now sporting a fairly neat bob. I hope I don’t regret that in the morning..
I forgot I cut my hair until I went in to wake my son and he screamed! I am assuming it is the change rather than the haircut that’s upset him but it could be 50/50 tbh. Autistic kids struggle with change and this is the first style change I have had since he was one, however I am also notoriously bad at cutting hair…
Drove my son the six miles to his dads today listening to Heavy metal full blast (my sons choice and latest passion) and feeling like an outlaw despite checking that visiting the other parent can be deemed as an essential journey. Police are doing spot checks in our area and asking your reasons for travelling so I hope they have that same information.
Pulling up at he petrol station I realised I hadn’t brought any gloves and there wasn’t any provided so I improvised with tissue. My son gave me a withering look at my frosty the snowman like tissue covered arm as I used the pump and then tried to get the tissue into the bin without touching it with my other hand.
When I got back I waited until it was almost dark to walk the dogs hoping it would be quieter but there were still people arriving for walks in cars, the downside of leaving me a beauty spot I guess.
Later I heard Prime Minster and the health secretary now have coronavirus, illness is a great leveller although healthcare is often a two tier system and while the public aren’t tested unless in hospital this doesn’t seem to apply to ministers.
Pottered about in my little yard today. I sent off for a rose which arrived yesterday it is a pinky peach fragranced one called compassion. You see I have found all this talk of death toll and people not having funerals hugely triggering. Last September a really dear friend of mine died of cancer and left his body to medical science so he didn’t have a funeral, something I have found really hard to cope with. We shared a love of roses so I thought this would be a fitting tribute and point of remembrance not just for him but for all who have died without an adequate marking of their passing. Compassion is certainly so,etching we all need for each other right now.
My brother messaged me later to say he couldn’t get any delivery slots which is really stressing him out as he can’t cope at all with crowds and has low resistance to illness after years of barely leaving the house. Like me he has got all his groceries online for years.. Luckily I will be able to shop for him, a luxury a lot of autistic people do not have and I worry how those without family or friends to help are managing as there doesn’t seem to be any provision being made specifically for them as they wouldn’t necessarily be considered vulnerable by age or health status.
Some good news today, my old flamenco teacher announced she is now doing live online classes, it’s amazing how accessible everything is getting now which is a boon for those of us who find it almost impossible to get out even without a killer virus on the loose!
Last night I dreamt of visiting some of my friends and family, something I must admit I often put off because on the days my son isn’t at home I always feel I have so much to do but now I can’t of course I want to see them much more than do the washing. We take so much for granted don’t we? Anyway it was nice to see them in my dreams at least although it left me in a bit of a dreamlike state and I didn’t get much done.
This afternoon while I was doing was the usual routine of changing my sons bedding and hovering his bedroom I couldn’t help wondering how long visits to his dad would continued to be allowed?
My sense of unease wasn’t helped by the knowledge that we all have a letter in the post from the PM, what that’s all about? Can’t help thinking that it is more risky to make posties tramp to each any every home in a pandemic than any benefits it will bring. I can’t imagine there are many people in this day and age who have an address who don’t at least have a radio and most have TVs and computers too.
Anyway that was my week. How was yours? I know these are hard times for everyone and I worry so much about all different groups and individuals and wonder how they are coping. I emailed my neighbours to check she was ok, we all need to look out for each other but equally we each also have our own worries and personal circumstances. We can only do what we can do and if you are keeping in and safe then you are doing great. This will be over one day and things will get back to normal. We have made it through a week already after all. X