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Summer holidays so far (2018)

It didn’t start well, my son had a meltdown on his last day at school and we were called by the school to take him home in the afternoon. I gave in and said to my mum to collect him, and stop the school from losing face and embarrassment at the end of the school day from other hawking eye parents. I know it was another illegal exclusion, but I was thinking more of my son’s feelings, but this cannot go on into year 1. To be honest my son has been doing better and progressed to a normal full time timetable for the last few weeks of school, has been joining in and attending lunch time and playtime, and has coped without a major meltdown since April. The last one was at his first full day school excursion with his current school. I did ask the school for a full explanation of the end of term/academic year incident to pass on to the paediatrician at our next child development clinic appointment, but being the end of term/academic year and all, we didn’t get one and not holding my breath that we will get anything useful or accurate from the school about that now.

I did fear that summer holidays would now become something negative and ominous, but just a few days away from school, my lo appeared to settle down and become more relaxed, and much better behaved. He has been spending a mixture of his time at holiday club, with his nan, quality time with his dad and with both of us fully at the weekends. We have had no reported incidents at holiday club since April (his first session there) until the day we unexpectedly had to try a full day due to lack of childcare, my mum had to attend a short notice and urgent hospital appointment a couple of weeks back and we only had originally planned to send him for a half day morning session. Unfortunately he did not cope well during the lunch time session there, and had a full on meltdown. However, the holiday club are actually much better at communicating incidents to us and I have a written report, something concrete to pass on to our child development clinic appointment this week, although I don’t know how much use these appointments are right now. After 45 minutes he did calm down and rejoin activities, and the holiday club have welcomed him back and have been very professional so far. Fortunately for my mum all the test results came back clear, and she will be monitored for a year for a couple things that they did find on the scan, but so far looks like nothing nasty.

We have also started sending my son to summer school and getting him extra tuition, which I know seems a bit early as he is only 5 years old. However, one bedtime he told me he was upset about getting things wrong in his phonic lessons and it seemed to bother him, and I don’t want him feeling sad about that and it hasn’t been fair that he has missed almost half a year of school, because the school cannot manage his behaviour. I saw a local education centre that accepts childcare vouchers, we haven’t been using them much as we have been prevented from accessing wraparound care due to his reduced timetable. I had this education centre in the back of my mind as something we might use in the future, and not necessarily now as I didn’t want to put him under pressure. I really wanted learning to be fun for him, but I have fast track these thoughts as I want him to feel confident and not left behind, so far he has had one assessment and 4 lessons, and it seems to be positive so far and it is nice to see him feel like he has accomplished something after each session. He still has a long way to go to catch up, mainly early reading and writing, but it is a start, and we are continuing these lessons in term time after school.

The family holiday last week was so so, very good moments and then low moments. I can’t fault my son’s behaviour when out and about he was mostly fine, apart from the long journey back home, but think we were all tired and tetchy. However, every time we were back at the holiday cottage having some down time, my son was quite rude and obnoxious at times (hard to believe he looks like an angel), and completely different child to one when we are taking him out to places and doing activities. To be honest it tried mine and my OH’s patience, mine probably more so. Also we were struck down by what seems now as two tummy bugs, my son in the early hours of Wednesday morning and me on Friday morning last week. I thought the days of dealing with vomit on holiday was behind us, but obviously not. Also not sure whether that had a part to play in my son’s downturn in behaviour as it was really towards the end of the holiday his behaviour started to become grating or whether some of it was just boredom, he seems to get bored quite easily and better now we are home with his toys, which at least seem more exciting to him again. We both got over our illnesses quickly and I was pleased that I still managed to get myself ready to go on a seal boat trip that Friday morning, and not let anyone down. Although when we got back to our holiday cottage that afternoon, I started to feel bad again with a low grade fever so had to hand childcare duties completely back to my OH while I rested in bed and they had fun spending my money at a amusement arcade and going to a local park that has this fantastic playground ship, very realistic looking and lots of fun for kids. Although spitting boy incident (not my son I hasten to add) on it earlier in the week will always slightly taint the good memories.

Still back to reality, son is back doing some part day sessions at holiday club, last week of them and hope he gets on okay. We have our next paediatrician appointment later this week, not sure what to expect from it or whether I will get a ticking off for not arranging to attend the sleep workshop earlier in the year, but I cannot take any more time off of work to attend these daytime workshops plus cover childcare in school holidays to give my mum a break who has been supporting us throughout my son’s reduced timetable and my attendance is now being monitored at work due to taking one week off of sick, pah! Anyway just over 2 weeks of summer holidays left as I have previously said not sure whether I am looking forward to him going back to school as for one thing, although the childcare is difficult to cover over the school holidays particularly the summer one, the phone calls about my son’s behaviour or the fact they cannot manage it have ceased. So some external sources of stress has temporarily diminished. However, we shall see how he progresses into year 1 and whether he does really need an EHCP, as I am still baffled.

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Sometimes feels like we are actually back at school, rather than my son

After having a really positive weekend last week and starting to feel quite upbeat about things, now feeling deflated again. I had a difficult time with a certain colleague at work and not sure why they were behaving in such a rude manner, but asked for this particular job to be reallocated as I could no longer work with the person and to be honest I am still a little fuming over their tone. However, person is leaving for another job, so end of story dealing with it, but just was not in the best mental place to deal with someone being a twat for no reason with everything that has been going on for us.

My OH’s mum is still in hospital and after 2 weeks of confusingly not knowing what action the hospital has decided to take, they finally know she has broken her hip and still confused why it has taken 2 weeks to discover that, and now his mum is waiting for a operation, which will still take a good deal of time to recover from. I have to say the in and out hospital trips that have been happening since the beginning of this year have been exhausting for all of us.

Then having my son’s nursery inability to look after my son and manage his behaviour has been disappointing as well. I hoped he was getting on well with the new childminder and he seemed to be, the drop offs have got a lot easier and no more dramatic goodbyes. However, this week his pal from his gymnastics sessions has started again, although haven’t seen the boy at the sessions lately.

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On the same wavelength these two, but yes, my lo does need the learn the art of being kind to his friends at times

My son was very excited to have some similar aged company at last with him at the childminders. Although I think this week he has been feeling a little too at home at the childminders, relaxed and himself and over excited about having a playmate, which is a good thing, but with that he shows both his good and bad sides to his personality. I finally get told again that some of his behaviour is unacceptable, her daughter has been dying to tell tales on my son for weeks, but being shushed by her mother and I think perhaps my son irritates the 8 year old girl, I mean I don’t suppose a 4 year old boy and 8 year old girl have much in common. I don’t know how to take it, but as far as the health visitor is concerned there is nothing to worry about his behaviour and he is just displaying normal behaviour for his age. Yes, he can be a monkey at times and some of it is boundary seeking, but most of it is manageable and he is not constantly embarrassing us when we are out with him. It’s disappointing as he has started to enjoy going to the new childminder, and I know he does like the other little boy that is attending, but I am starting to get fed up with those that are fed up of looking after my son because yes, he isn’t always an easy child, but he doesn’t have special needs or any indication that he has. I am not withdrawing him for another childcare provider and will try to work with her, and realise soon he will be spending more time at school and hope that is good for him. The school transition sessions have gone OK, again no dramatic tearful goodbyes, so that is something, he has seemed very happy upon collection, but don’t know fully what he has been like at every session as we only got to witness the first one. I don’t know if he got over excited or did any inappropriate things, but hoping he responded well, but don’t know until we start to get more feedback from the teachers.

Anyway it is a shame as I was just starting to get optimistic and now just feel doubtful, but we are doing our best by our son, we regularly go to playgroups to socialise him with children his age, taken him to story time sessions at the library to work on getting him to sit still and interact with that, preschool gymnastic sessions, helping him to follow instructions, participate in both larger and smaller group activities (he responds better to smaller group activities usually at the moment), wait turns, sit still and develop patience. We walk almost everywhere and try to do lots of physical activity either by going to soft play or outdoor play at playgrounds and parks and swimming when we can. We read to our son every bedtime ourselves.

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Marble Reward Jar, hoping this helps

We are trying to only reward him for good behaviour, have even now got a marble reward jar to help my son visualise when he is being good better. He has always enjoyed filling up jars with coins, so I thought this would be a more simpler way to do it than our previous star chart award system, which was just getting too exhausting for us too keep up with and we’ll probably put that away for when he is a bit older. I don’t know what else we can do, but keep re-emphasising how he should act, but sometimes this parenting lark feels like we going back to school and being told off for something we cannot control while we are not there to supervise.