Friday, January 8, 2010

Splendid Isolation

Over the last few weeks of our imposed, snowbound "holiday", the phrase "splendid isolation" kept recurring to me.
Being cut off from the distraction of shops, travelling, deadlines, schools and occassionally electricity, we have been given oodles of time to navel-gaze.
It's kinda like going into rehab...especially as our offie is pretty much out of bounds (without the assistance of a snow plough, or maybe a decent pair of skis and some will power).  My mental health is suffering, as a consequence, but my liver is eternally grateful.
The scenery is breath-taking...all clean and white and silent...but what's going on indoors chez Bob is another matter entirely.

Bob's Dad checks his tesosterone levels each workday by taking the ice impacted roads as a personal challenge.  He hasn't missed a day at work yet.  I,on the other hand, quite enjoy being free from altercations with hedges and can happily pursue a life where imminent loss of life or limb isn't a threat.
So Mother and Children have been housebound for the best part of 3 weeks, with at least another week to go, if the weatherfolk are to be believed.

A few things have become apparant to me over the past while.  Because I've been spending so much up-close-and-personal time with my kids, without the usual busy distractions, it's become painfully clear that Bob devours about 75% of my time and energy.  Toads No.1 and 2 just don't get a look in.  I'm trying not to feel guilty about this, as logically I know this is just How Life Is, and that input into Bob now equals (hopefully) some pretty cool results down the road.  The fact that the elder toads (aged 9 and 12) fully understand and accept this, without any obvious resentment, is a credit to them. I guess I didn't really see this properly until I had nothing else to do.

When Bob's Dad is home (like today) everything is much easier and he took them out for a couple of hours to give me a bit of head space.  I also got a very pleasant surprise yesterday when my Guardian Angel Lorraine (Home Support to the rest of the world, but what do they know?) arrived, depsite me telling her not to  (Bad Lorraine!!...but Feckin' Fantastic Lorraine too!!).  I guess she just spread her wings and flew here.  She has such a loving and playful relationship with Bob, and I happily scampered off for a much needed shower while they Did Their Thing.  Now regular readers will know I'm not religious, but sometimes small miracles happen here on earth.

Our Splendid Isolation afforded me a little time to read a real book (which I haven't done in months), and my kids got properly cooked dinners instead of my usual flung-together mush (which I like to refer to as art).  We had chats and games, which probably saved me from from slowly going out of my mind as cabin fever bit deep.  I'll be glad when the thaw comes, but it's nice to forget about the world outside our avenue for a little while.


  1. awwwwww lovely blog hun xx im loving being snowed in with the kids, it has it's moments but it's lovely and peacful. Glad you got a much needed break as well thoe

  2. I worry about my older fella too, re the attention thing. With an ASD toddler and a 10 month old baby he has to fend for himself a lot. It is amazing though, how the older ones 'get it', and understand in a way that a lot of adults don't. There is a lot to be said for that and I think our older children will turn into fine, caring, understanding adults :) I am delighted you are enjoying the lockdown, it brings its own type of relaxation. I hope Bob and Toads enjoy the extra few days off school and wish Mr Briers safe testosterone testing! Jen

  3. Kyra once asked me, when were dead will she be keeping Luca ( her words) I said only If u want to but no u are not expected to, she then asked as it's in tha family could. Have one ( again her words but meaning could she have an autistc child ) I said yes, she then said wow I should learn all I can from u so il know what to do with luca and my kids

    Sweet, mature but wow. What a heart that child has

    they really do get it, I take Kyra off on her own for meals, cinema etc un be known to us we make more of an effort with our other kds than we realise

    release the guilt, were super duper mums xx

  4. Great post, we all have those feelings of guilt about whether we are spending enough time with our other children, Lauren has often asked me will she have to look after her brother when we are gone. Its a hard question to be asked from a nine year old and one that is tough to answer because none of us know what the future holds for any of our children. We are all doing what we can for all our children so feel safe in that knowledge for the time being xxx

  5. Great blog as usual! Even though Belle is younger than Button, she already "takes care of him" (her words). I think having a sibling with special needs can only make our other kids mature into caring and sensitive adults. I'm enjoying our imposed exile too - but being honest I don't think Button is! He's a man who likes his routine!

  6. Can totally relate to this post, it's lovely. My eldest is a rock of strength, she has to cope with my aspie son while I'm hoisting or toileting or feeding or entertaining my teen with CP. Now that the trauma of Christmas is over, everyone is happier and I feel we are getting closer in this extra time that we are spending together - hope it's that way for you too.

  7. Siblings are great for an autistic child, I think so....don't know from experience as Griffin is an only child. But the concept is nice, it seems as though they are helpful and understanding.

    It is wonderful that you are enjoying this time with the family and time alone. When Griffin and I lived in Alaska we had way too much isolation, so it is nice that you have found the right balance.

  8. yes jeaalso enjoying this peaceful do nothing time. our little guy defo takes up most of my time thoughn am , my older kids call him "the boss"!!! that says it all lol! lovely post xxx

  9. sorry about those typos above

  10. Hi Jean, I have been seeing you everywhere, which means we have a lot in common, more than just a name! I have been so busy, but finally decided to check you out. I am just saying hi now, but will come back to read more later.

  11. Good home support are woth thier weight in gold!!

  12. I can't imagine being trapped indoors for 3 weeks, and then staring at another week! When my 3 year old ASD son doesn't have school we all go crazy, let alone not leaving the house! His behavior and my patience level are way higher when he has school. Even though it is only 3 hours it is time for him out of the house and time for us to all have breaks.

  13. Jean Jeannie: as you know I live in an autism bubble, so my holiday was a chance to observe and appreciate how the normals live. And learn from it.

    As for siblings? You are both right, they shouldn't Have to learn about special needs but if your attitude is right they will be better people because of it.

    And set up a trust fund and will that supports them. Don't will your assets to the child, they will lose access to pension and other supports.
    Will it to their nominated carer and ensure that taking responsibilty Does not vise them a financial burden.Xx

  14. Yup hammie...sadly we have already taken legal advice and have been instructed as such...our will reflects this. I would encourage any special needs parents to do the same xxx