Fit to Wear? – Sun 1st May 2016

I like to think I’m flexible – not so much the bendy flexible but – the “okaaay, we aren’t going to be able to do xxxxx today because D/T are too anxious, let’s try again another time”.  Which is how we roll, we have to, my getting het-up about something wouldn’t help, would it and probably add to existing emotions.

It would be nice to think that others are too, that people can look beyond their “script” and occasionally re-assess a situation and act accordingly.

Yes, you Clarks shoes, I’m talking about you!

It takes a lot to get D into a shoe shop or anywhere where there’s likely to be strangers, we managed it last week to get her feet measured and today we were due to go back and pick up our order.

She can’t tie shoe laces so shoes/trainers have to have velcro fastenings  – not easy to find when she’s not yet 12 years old and an adult size 6.

An assistant measured her feet last week and I had doubts at the time because, according to them, she went from an E width to a D, I think because the D size seemed easier for them to potentially make a sale – her feet seemingly suddenly being of average width.

Today the assistant would not “fit” her shoes or check them because they “don’t do that for adult sizes.”

In the meantime, D was getting anxious because she didn’t receive that reassurance from the assistant and, I’m no shoe fitter, I had to go by what I thought and by quite a few prompts to try and work out if she was comfy in them.  D has occasions where she’ll say what she thinks people want to hear so having some assistance as to whether they were okay would have been appreciated.

It wouldn’t have been too much for them to make an exception, she most definitely doesn’t look like an adult and from her mannerisms and anxieties today, was obviously not your average nearly 12 year old, ie not neuro-typical.

It would be nice to think exceptions could be made, especially when dealing with special needs children.

We have always chosen Clarks shoes because of the fitting service, it is disappointing to think that cannot seemingly continue and with special needs children that reassurance is needed even more that the shoes are a correct fit.

I’ve emailed Clarks customer service with much of the above.  Children of school age having adult-sized feet is not uncommon and yes, they’re expensive compared to supermarket shoes but to know that they fit correctly and aren’t going to cause pain/damage to my children’s feet is important to me (a childhood of being bought cheap and nasty shoes meant that I was determined to go with Clarks).

Here’s the shoes anyway, not the most fashionable but they’ll do for D, she quite liked the bouncy effect as she walked.  

Anyone else found this or were we just unlucky today? 

(Not) Fickle – Sat 30th April 2016

From the moment she wakes up and is “served” breakfast, D knows exactly what she’s eating/drinking/wearing that day. She most definitely is not Fickle.

Unlike her mum (me), on the rare occasions I go into town and (even rarer) if I pop into Prets and choose a sandwich, I differ and debate in my head the various filings (ham and cheese? Ooh yummy, but that’s a bit calorific. Chicken and salad? Healthier but not too keen on Mayo. Egg? Nope, just nope) and that’s before I consider white or brown bread, granary or gluten-free.

Nope, there’s nothing fickle about D, she knows exactly what she does and doesn’t like, same as her brother.

What she does like, though and what’s made her smile today are these:

And this:

Because she absolutely LOVES the Mr Men and Little Miss books and can quote verbatim vast amounts from the stories, she has an amazing memory for detail, but if you asked her “what’s 5 plus 10?” she’d struggle, unless it was written down.

Why the sausages? Well, they were in our shopping delivery, extremely nice they are too and D is always very helpful when it comes to putting the freezer stuff and crisps away (bless her).

She spied the sausages (now there’s something I never thought I’d write) and was instantly reminded of these two pages:

Her absolutely favourite part of the Little Miss Fickle story and, every time we see sausages in the shops (especially at the fresh meat counter), out comes the “beef sausages or pork sausages? PORK sausages” saying.

Something that’s made us all smile today.

Here, Now – Fri 29th April 2016

My children make me smile, always.

As per usual on a Friday, we sit around a table and tell each other our “best, worst and funniest bits of the week”.  I’ve omitted the word “all” because it’s usually 1/2 to 3/4 of us, but that’s okay, no pressure.

D’s had a good but tiring week and I would have expected her “best bits” to have included her Oliver performances, somewhere.

She’d already told me her “worst bits” on the way home, that her (boy) friend had fallen over twice during their tennis lesson and she’d been worried for him, her saying it as it was fresh in her mind meant that she wouldn’t be re-living it over tea – which she’s prone to do, with any negative memories.

Her “best bit” we’re “now” (ie tea) and winning the “tidy the bedroom” game in tennis (no, I don’t know either).  Proof, if ever we needed it, that D is very much in the “here and now”, which is fair enough.

A good way to think, especially given the quote below:

Roll on a looooong weekend 😉 

Confidence – Thurs 28th April 2016

Oh boy, it’s Thursday already.  Part of me is glad it’s nearly the weekend, another just doesn’t want this week to finish because it’s been a good one.  Tiring but good.

This little lady has done us proud this week, narrating and singing in the choir in two Oliver evening performances at her school.

We are so immensely proud of her, proud of her wanting to take part and enjoying it.  It’s no mean feat putting on a production in any school, but factor in the many SN needs and challenges and … well, it’s just amazing.  

D decided tonight that she’d say her narrator words without a script in front of her and, after doing the first one, said “see, I told you I could do it without a script” to the lovely TA next to her, thankfully away from the microphone (!).


The image above so applies to D, she gets there in her own time at her own pace.

Confidence, my word for the week.

Applies to me too.  I went along to a lengthy Board meeting this week and joined in more than previously, giving my views and suggestions.  I felt proud of myself…well someone has to!

Something else that’s made us smile tonight are these little cuties:

I wrote about them hatching last week and forgot to link my post up anywhere (typical me), the chicks are just over a week old now and heading off to a farm tomorrow so I’m mega pleased that we saw them – as we walked past the classroom they were in after tonight’s performance.

If I do remember to link this up and someone reads it, enjoy the long weekend Jx 

Pulse – Weds 27th April 2016

It was a tired, but happy, D who woke up this morning, after her school’s Oliver performance yesterday evening.  She seemed relieved too, understandably there must have been a lot of rehearsals for it.

As well as taking a smiley picture yesterday, she also wanted a “silly” picture, so…

Anyway, back to today and she came out of school having learnt a new skill today, that of taking a pulse.

Her class has had a PE lesson where they’d taken their pulse rates after walking, sitting, sprinting and jogging.  D’s sitting rate was high until the teachers realised she was swinging her legs at the same time!

So, our walk home was full of D walking around quickly in circles, running and then stopping and skipping, all whilst measuring her pulse rate afterwards.

A new skill learnt today, one that might prove invaluable if ever a situation arose. Good to know.

Small Steps Amazing Achievements – 27/4/16

Welcome to this week’s Small Steps Amazing Achievements, as Jane at @ourlitescapades and I co-host, the Linky is back with me this back.

Thank you to everyone who linked up last week, we enjoyed reading your posts.
If this is your first time reading this, you can find out about the Small Steps Amazing Achievements linky here, we do hope you join in. Posts can be old or new and please don’t forget to visit and comment on other posts too.

Here’s the badge code if you’d like to grab it:

<div align="center"><a href="" title=“Our Little Escapades" target="_blank"><img src="" alt=“Our Little Escapades" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Jane and I enjoy reading and commenting on your posts and sharing them via the #SSAmazingAchievements hashtag.

Here’s Jane’s highlights from last week:

@stephc007 shared how Center Parcs is helping her youngest gain confidence in the water

and Sir’s love of Center Parcs is helping to improve his speech at @earlyrisingmum 

Zak took a big step and slept in his own bed with @Wendyg06

and finally @SoThisIsMeMrsT shares how the @Care4theFamily course helped her”

We always find it difficult to choose a few to highlight as the posts linked up are always so wonderfully varied, but you can read them all here.  We’re looking forward to your posts.

Oliver – Tues 26th April 2016

We are proud parents tonight, mega proud.  

We’ve just come back from watching a school performance of Oliver in D’s SN school and could not be prouder of D and everyone who took part. They all sang and acted their little socks off.  Imagine being up on stage anyway, feeling anxious and nervous, now throw a disability into that and you start to appreciate just what a huuuuuge event tonight was.

Our D, who couldn’t even go into the hall in mainstream school, spoke her narrated words beautifully, even saying at one point “I don’t need a script, I know the words” and joined in with the singing and actions.

We sat near to where she was at the far side, it meant that we didn’t have a great view of the stage but we were always in her sight and that was important.  She spoke, she sang, she gave us thumbs up and blew kisses.  One very happy D.

Just wonderful.  I could gush on for longer but the performance by everyone was fab.

And I get to see it all again on Thursday.

Guilt – Mon 25th April 2016

The guilt is sweeping over me in waves at the moment, a metaphorical soft, gentle wave comes in, telling me all is okay and then a big one crashes and says “nope, nope, nope”.

Why?  Well Hubbie and I both needed to be two separate places tonight, normally we tag-team but we couldn’t today.  One of us would have to take D with us.

Normally it would be me.  But tonight it’s Hubbie as my meeting isn’t appropriate to take her along to.  

So, they headed off just after 4pm, D with a bag with tea, a drink, snacks, iPad, bunny (got to have Bunny), a fleece blanket she can wrap herself in, a camping chair, headphones and books.  She didn’t look happy and as we bumped friendship bracelets together and did pinky fingers once she was in the car, there was no smile, no real acknowledgement, but I could tell she was sad/cross with me.

Oops here comes another wave as I write this…

The positive side of me says it’s good that she experiences these challenges, that sometimes life isn’t all calm and peaceful.  The other side of me reminds me that I probably won’t be able to discuss with her how she got on because she’ll then remember and relive it and there will be negativity.

Then the cheerful side of me (who knew I had more than two sides?) says that when I phoned to see how everything was, Hubbie told me that she was okay and had moaned a bit that her tea was cold (oops, catering fail) but seemed fine.  Hope so.

Measuring Up – Sun 24th April 2016

Hubbie and I have had a wry and relieved smile together today and it’s not just because D had a successful foot measurement taken in Clarks today.

It was busy in there and around the shops.  Unusual for a Sunday afternoon and D was not keen. She complied though and we got a new foot size measurement.

We haven’t told T her new shoe size yet but he’d be delighted to know that, for the first time in about six years he has larger feet than his sister.  

T is 18 months older and that competitive streak of his was severely dented when D went into precocious puberty and not only shot up in height but also in shoe size.  His ego definitely did not appreciate the fact that D was at least half a head taller and a shoe size bigger.

All change today though, as D has only gone up half a size and is now a whole shoe size smaller than T.  Which is additionally proof for us that her puberty-blocking treatment has slowed things down.  She only has one more treatment left and then nature will take over, maybe she’ll stay at this size now, maybe not, but well done D for letting the measurement happen.  The challenge now is to find D-friendly trainer type shoes in an adult size, which means no laces and soft backs.  

A calmer time followed over a coffee for me and a water (the only thing she’ll drink) for D.  Much needed as she has a busy week school-wise coming up.

Chillin’ – Sat 23rd April 2016

Hurrah, that D decided she’d rather have a trip to the shoe shop to get her feet measured tomorrow.  It’s always quieter on a Sunday at our local shops and this will make for a calmer D before, during and after measuring time.   

I’m glad she came to that decision herself, rather than me suggesting it, she does listen to rationale when in the right frame of mind and most definitely not when she isn’t.

The picture above came home from school, isn’t it great? She’s still very enthusiastic about archery and I’ve been looking into where locally might offer SN-friendly archery, I think we’ve found somewhere.

I’m glad D had a chilled day, next week sees her school musical production, with performances on three days (two of those evening) so she needs to store up those calm and chilled vibes, just in case.

T’s football team won today too….yay!