Surviving Christmas (with marbles intacto)

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Deck The Halls

Christmas officially begins with putting the decorations up and it can be a joy or a pain depending on your disposition. Me? I love looking at them, especially the joy inducing fairy lights, but I totally stress myself out doing it and no, I couldn’t let anyone else do it because I need absolute control over where each sodding bauble goes! *twitch*

If you leave the decorating to your OH, you must try and look TOTALLY amazed when you walk in to their expectant face after they’ve been at it all day. A response like, ‘It’s alright, yeah’, will see you standing in A & E waiting to have a pointy bauble removed from your backside.

Note: OH should be able to sit down by New Year! 😀

Tangled Lights?

Shove them in a posh glass vase (fooling everybody into thinking it’s deliberate) and buy a new set for the tree.

Top Tip – save those cardboard boxes that Amazon books come in and use them to wrap the lights around when you’re done, innit!

Shopping

Do the lot online.

Stick your gifts in your virtual basket. *CLICK*

Place Order *CLICK*

Pay. *CLICK*

Then wait for the post-person to stick a card through the letterbox because you weren’t in when they tried to deliver them. :/

Food Shopping

See above.

Veg out on the sofa watching Love Actually and imagine our beloved PM dancing about to Jump in Number 10 while your shopping gets delivered to the front door. No being rammed in the ankles by little old ladies on a mission to reach that last packet of stuffing and NO WONKY TROLLEYS!

Awkward Teenagers

Its-so-Unfair

Sod em.

Threaten them with a satsuma and a sugar pig if they utter the words ‘IT’S SO UNFAIR’ or ‘YOU’VE RUINED MY LIFE!’ anytime in December. Yours truly woke up Christmas Day 1984 to no presents AT ALL due to an attitude malfunction the day before. I didn’t even get the satsuma! True story, kids.

Neighbours

Not the Aussie soap.

A BBQ at Christmas? *shakes head*

No, I refer to those people who live next door – the neighbours.

Remember to send them a card, including the miserable gits who’ve missed you out for the last two years. Pick the shittest card from an assortment pack and stick it through their letter box!

TV

Anything on Gold is apt for Christmas, it was good enough for Jesus, right?

Plenty of festive comedy around so kick off your reindeer slippers and have a good laugh at other people’s nightmare Christmases. Ha ha!

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Don’t Know If Reindeer Can Fly But They Keep My Feet Warm!

The In-laws

Who hasn’t fantasized about spending Christmas alone in a cosy log cabin somewhere remote and inaccessible by car? However, the reality is that you will probably be entertaining your parents, OH’s parents or both at the same time.

Here’s my tip..

Alcohol is your friend.

Before the MIL rocks up in her faux fur reeking of Estee Lauder – have a pint of something 40% proof and tell yourself it will soon be Boxing Day. Stick a large brandy in her hand as soon as her coat’s off and let the old girl reminisce about ‘the good old days’ while you manically stab some carrots. She’ll most likely be asleep with her gob open by the Queen’s speech – leaving the kids free to try out their new felt-tips on her face.

Have to say that my MIL was nothing like this. She was the sleeves up and muck in type of lady, Bless ‘er.

Music

I love Christmas music, apart from Slade’s Merry Christmas Everybody which I now despise due to having heard it every year since 1973.

‘IT’S CHRISSSSSSSSTTTTMAAAAAAASSS’

Oh sod off, Noddy!

However, I never tire of listening to Wham’s Last Christmas…

I was 14 when it was first released, back in the day when George had fabulous hair and I, along with millions of others, wished his girlfriend in the video would be flattened by an avalanche. Sadly, George’s hair is long gone now along with any illusions of me being Mrs Michael.

Gifts

Keep the receipts but disown anybody who asks if you’ve kept the one for their gift. Ungrateful gits! *snorts*

Gift – Oh My God – No’s!

Thongs (menopausal women in particular)

Any man who buys his menopausal OH a thong needs to have a word with himself. Stylish but practical is what the hormonally challenged woman needs – not a piece of bunting strung across her lady-garden with what feels like cheese wire up the bum!

I’d avoid buying underwear altogether, chaps. Stick to perfume and hope it doesn’t smell like fox piss when she has a hot flush!

Other Crap Gifts

Ped Egg = Potential nooky ban for life.

Tash removal kit (women) = Grounds for divorce?

Cliff Richard calendar (anybody) = Not even your Nan!

Anything from the petrol station = Your Christmas dinner’s in the dog!!

Anything from Ann Summers = Will potentially be opened in front of the entire family…

Christmas Fayre

Watch Nigella waxing orgasmic over her stuffing for inspiration but the reality is that it will go horribly wrong on the day because you’re pissed but the good news is most everybody else will be pissed as well so they won’t notice that your pigs don’t have blankets or the pudding isn’t quite defrosted.

Stress Relief

Book yourself in for a pre-Christmas lobotomy or failing that – keep something alcoholic in for medicinal purposes.

The perfect Christmas really doesn’t exist and trying to achieve it will see you in a secure unit by December the 27th so save yourself the stress. If, like me, you become overwhelmed pretty quickly then step away from it.

Sod the cards.

Sod the wrapping.

SOD EVERYTHING!!

Load the best Christmas film ever into the DVD machine – put your feet up and relax with a comforting mug of hot chocolate and let Uncle Frank Capra fill your heart with joy and remind you of how wonderful life can be.

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Merry Christmas.

Love, Mummyshambles x

 

Image Credit Kevin Dooley

A Bit Of Everything

 

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Do You Hear What I Hear?

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Christmas is is a magical time for children but for those with sensory issues and ASD, it can be incredibly stressful.

The unfamiliar sights, sounds and changes to much needed routine means that it’s a challenging time for children and parents… I’m on my tenth migraine of the season. Fa la la la la, la la la la!

S struggles massively with sensory overload and change of routine so we have been warning him in advance of any changes. For example, putting the decorations up. The wonderful Mrs C, (teacher and most excellent human being), made us a special booklet, a social story to read to him, so that he would be familiar with all the changes in the school routine in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

It’s a “This is what will be happening at school over the next few weeks and it’s OK” deal. We read it to him every night, after we’ve read Foxes in the Snow for the millionth time. Not that I’m prone to exaggerating…

I had concerns over how he would cope with the Nativity. I say concerns… I broke out in a cold sweat just thinking about it…

Mrs C kindly reserved us a couple of seats near the door to lessen my discomfort in crowded areas and for a speedy exit should it be required if S kicked off, but I needn’t have worried because she sat at the back with him. She had a bag of cars and numbers – all his special things to keep him calm. S loves singing but doesn’t like the noise – I noticed that his party hat doubled up as ear defenders! Once reassured that he wasn’t distressed, I could relax a little and enjoy the show. Who knows, maybe one day S will make it onto the stage… *swigs from the gin bottle*

OK, I don’t drink gin on account of my malfunctioning hormones but it reads better than *swigs from a beer bottle*, it’s slightly more ladylike…poetic licence and all that.

The next event that had me torturing myself with worry was the Christmas party but we were assured that he’d had a good time. He came home clutching some numbers from school. His teachers recognise his need to have these numbers in his hands or pockets. In these last few weeks, he’s needed them constantly. Numbers have a calming effect on him. Unlike me where they have the reverse effect. *twitch*

Also, it seems that the school trip to the pantomime went well.

OH NO IT DIDN’T!

You know you’d have done it too hehe

Actually it did go OK – he tolerated it with the help of Mrs C and her bag of tricks. I am immensely proud of my little guy.

He tolerated being in the hall for a carol service with the help of a magnetic letter and number board.

The negative side to it all is that there have been a few incidents of pinching and scratching at school. These incidents seem to happen when he is in a group or crowding situations, especially at the end of playtime. I understand this only too well but Mrs C has removed this stress after each break time so the incidents should lessen.

Mrs C wrote in his home-book that when he’s stressed he babbles and shouts, so she’s taken to running around the playground with him to “let the silly words out”. I can just imagine them both racing around the yard shrieking! She instinctively knows how to calm him down.

This week is emotional for us because, as of January, Mrs C will no longer be his one on one. S has been granted a Statement of Education and interviews for a replacement to work with him have taken place today.

S has a bond with Mrs C and we think she’s absolutely fantastic. If ever there was a teacher who understood children with special needs, it’s her. I knew she was special when she came to meet S and me in the summer holidays. I knew he’d love her when he sat on her lap and cuddled her.

But this is the way it has to be. He bonded with Mrs C and there’s no reason why he won’t bond with anyone else. She says hopefully.

We chose a gift for her from S that she could always connect with him…

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He had an obsession with the story “The Owl Babies” when he started school so we wanted to get her something owl related, so we bought her this mug…also we thought it more appropriate than The Omen DVD’s which was the obvious choice… IT’S DAMIEN FOR A REASON!!!

Mrs C doesn’t know that this blog exists, Thank God. I mean, I’m sure that she’d be interested in the stuff about S and herself but less so in my hormones and the flatulent lurcher. But don’t worry, she’ll know how we feel. We can never, ever thank her enough for what she has done for our son. She goes the extra mile, she’s one of life’s good souls.

We don’t know what the future holds for S. He will face lots more challenges as he goes through his school life, that’s when this early foundation of love and support will make a difference. In my opinion, it will make all the difference.

I had an e-mail from a friend who’s son is autistic. She quoted what the doctor had told her when she received the diagnosis.

” It’s about making him the best he can be”.

I cried when I read that.

It’s about making every child the best that they can be but, for those with learning difficulties, it’s more challenging but ultimately rewarding when you know that you have helped them to reach their potential.

We hope that in years to come, Mrs C will look at the owl and be reminded of a special little boy who’s heart she touched and in whose life, she made a difference.

“The path I travel is lit by those who came before me, and it will shine brighter for those who follow me. See my potential.”

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