Honestly, winter can fuck off.
Augie is sick again. He’s been sick constantly since the start of May. This brings with it behaviour issues, no sleep and just misery for everyone. It’s been cold and wet so it’s hard to do anything outside and he refuses to wear a jacket or hat. I still try to take him to the park and he won’t get out of the car, but what else can I do to occupy him? I took him to the indoor trampoline centre and he just lay on the trampolines.
We go into Melbourne as much as possible to go to the Melbourne Museum and Scienceworks, which I can’t recommend enough for babies and toddlers. It’s amazing. If I lived in Melbourne, I’d go every day. Spring is just around the corner so I just need to hang in there. We are going to Sydney this week and it’s a full 10 degrees warmer there every day. Insane. Why don’t we move to Sydney?
Well in other news, I lost my job last week. Yep, this is the third time in a row I have been made redundant. Un-fucking-believable. I thought it was coming for a while so it wasn’t a shock. The whole team were made redundant because the company has no money, so I guess I can’t take it personally. In many ways, it’s a relief because I was burning the candle at both ends to work 25 hours and still be a full time stay at home mum. I was kind of killing myself and felt like I was a shit mum and a shit employee so it was causing me a lot of stress.
I’m not really sure what I’ll do now. I had a good situation where I was mostly working from home. I live a long way from the CBD so it makes it difficult to find work. I also just don’t think Augie is ready for childcare yet. He’s incredibly shy and I just don’t want to put him through that trauma. I really wanted to wait to put him in childcare when it was best for him, not when it suited me. I’m not sure I’ll always have that luxury, in fact I may need to start checking out childcare centres very soon.
Augie had a 2 year check up with the child and maternal health nurse a couple of weeks ago. It wasn’t a great experience. She got in his face immediately to engage him and upset him and just didn’t seem to understand he was shy (then she refused to let him have a sticker unless he came and took it from her, which he was too scared to do). She gave me a massive lecture that I rock him to sleep and said I was hurting him and it was very sad for him that he needed to be rocked to sleep. She told me he should go to sleep school and when I mentioned that I understand they let kids cry it out at sleep school and she said that’s what he needs to learn to sleep. I’m not at all supportive of cry it out methods for our family and I’m finding it frustrating that it seems to be the norm in our culture. When I talk to friends, or other mums or read sleep advice online it always leads to cry it out methods. I end up feeling like I need to defend my gentle approach. I think I just need to stop talking to people about it. The next time someone asks me how he’s sleeping, I should just say “fine”.
She also did an autism screening test, which he passed fine as it was just about making eye contact, pointing at things, recognising his name, creative play and things like that. I did raise with her that I had niggling concerns about him being different to other kids. I don’t know how else to say it, but he just isn’t the same as other kids at playgroups or my friend’s kids. I like to say he’s quirky, but I do worry it’s more than that. He’s obviously very shy, he’s obsessed with fans (which is an autism factor), if we go somewhere he just plays with the fire hydrants or other weird things and not the toys, he gets obsessed with opening doors and flicking on lights, sometimes when I sing or put on music he says “stop” like the noise upsets him (I do have a terrible singing voice). I don’t know what is just being a toddler and what is different. I really wish my mum was here because she had three kids and I’m sure she’d be able to give me some guidance.
It plays on my mind a lot. I’m not sure if it’s heightened because about 6 years ago I worked with a girl who was pregnant with a baby boy and she was obsessed with worrying he would have autism (he doesn’t). I don’t know if I would have actually thought about it if it wasn’t for that experience. AJ just recently reminded me that my mum used to say she thought I was autistic when I was young (which I’m not) so maybe it’s just hereditary traits. I guess all I know is that I think he’s perfect as he is right now and I don’t want him to change. But I still worry.
I’ve been quite down in the dumps lately from work stress, lack of sleep, feeling lonely, gaining weight, financial pressures, missing my mum and a lot of small things. I decided last night I need to do 3 things to feel better:
- Count my blessings to have AJ and Augie
- Be of service to the community in a charitable way
Wish me luck.