Friday, October 28, 2011

Wanted: One Career

Dreamer applied for an apprenticeship, and was going through the process, so that was one less thing to think about. For a while, anyway.

Hey, mate, have you checked your email lately?
No, not lately.
Can you go do it?

And damn. There it was - "Thank you for your application. However..."

Dreamer's future is back on the worry-list. We need to get the blob out of the house, at least occasionally.

Find him a McJob? Something simple, non-stressful, and very part-time, so he can get back into a bit of a
daily routine. Restocking shelves at the supermarket? He could just do a few hours each week, not lose his pension, dip his toes into the world of employment.

On the other hand, could he start off immediately towards some form of trade/skills base that could lead to a long-term future? The problem with this hand is... finding a direction and a starting point.

Wanted: One career.

Must not involve people, or sunlight, or heat, or grubbiness. Oh, and must not require speed (of movement or thought). Preferably should not require much abstract problem-solving or planning.
May include science, computers, shiny things, books, words.
Precision (aka obsession) guaranteed.

Bwahahahaha. I have to be joking, right? But I have to try.

I've though of  locksmith, jeweller, lab technician, photographer.

Lab technician may require a bit much efficiency (read: speed) but it's the only science-related thing I can think of! Locksmith and Jeweller apprenticeships aren't exactly thick on the ground, and Photographer would require him to be more of a self-starter than he currently is.

Then there's the issue of whether or not to get the disability employment services involved, or try to keep control of the process. Would long term plans be hijacked in the name of employment at any cost?

I just keep thinking around in circles. Any brilliant (or ludicrous) ideas out there?

Anyone want an apprentice/assistant/work experience person?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Speedy vs The World

Speedy is, well, speedy. He has two speeds - 100 miles per hour and asleep. He was himself before he was born- either asleep, or kicking me.
He hit all his physical milestones early - he was walking at 9 months, and running around at his first birthday party.

Determined? Stubborn? Yes, to the extreme. Smart little bastard? Yep.
He was difficult, to put it politely, as a baby.

I became frustrated at the lack of success I was having with parenting strategies, especially the one that has it that tantrums are attention seeking, and if you ignore the child, they'll lose interest. Ha.

It was getting dark, and Speedy was on the back deck, but wanted to go downstairs and play in the yard. I said no, and he threw himself to the ground in a classic tantrum. Right, I thought, let's play ignoring and see how long it takes for him to lose interest.

Thirty minutes... he spent 30 minutes lying on the deck, kicking and screaming and yelling that he wanted to go downstairs.

He was just 12 months old.

For 'time outs' we'd put him in his cot. By the time he was two, he'd kicked the wooden bars out of the cot.

We moved him into a bed, cleared the room of anything that could be broken or thrown, and would shut the door for time out. Before he was three, we had to re-screw the hinges on the bedroom door. Speedy would just stand at the door and kick it.

Language development was a wonderful thing. Finally, he was able to communicate his feelings, and we began to understand the why's of the behaviours.

It really boiled down to fairness, and not suffering fools. When he was able to explain what he wanted, or why he didn't want to do something, it made sense. He really, really did not tolerate being told 'no' without logical reason.

Road safety lessons worked when they went "I know you are fine, but you just can't trust the drivers of those cars. They don't look carefully enough, and they are stupid and drive too fast, so you have to be the smart one and make sure you look out for them. Also, I'm taller than you, so I'm easier to see, so how about you stay next to me and hold my hand."

Physically, he'd attempt the ridiculous, but had an innate sense of his own limitations. Friends and relatives thought we were crazy not to stop him climbing this that and the other, but we had to trust him. The only time I saw him hesitate and almost fall was when an adult gasped loudly and yelled his name in a frightened tone. He was halfway up a tree, and it broke his concentration.

Then he went to school, where (some of) the adults believed that children should comply without question.

(I found this lurking in my drafts folder. Half finished? Or is Speedy at School a whole 'nother story?)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


A year ago, I dipped my toe into the blogosphere. I wrote a few, and 'followed' some. Twenty-three to be precise. Then I flitted off to other things, with nary a thought about blogs for over a year.

My eldest son had a birthday, and I wanted to record the milestone so I logged back in, wrote and posted '18'.

But oooh, shiny! There was my Reading List of 'followed' blogs. Some seemed to have continued posting regularly, some sporadically, and some just not. I can understand that, after all, I haven't posted anything in over a year.

Gleeful Random clicking.
Like popping in to catch up over a cup of tea with old acquaintances.
Hey! How ya been? Haven't caught up with you in ages. What's new?

It just can't be possible.

One year. Twenty-three blogs. Subtract two which are professional, newsletter type blogs. Twenty-one personal blogs.

Lori - is still blogging about the suicide death of her husband.
Lulu - wrote her last blog post about the funeral of her sister. Comments on that post revealed that she had
died shortly afterward.
Jen - is now solo parenting, and I'm hoping like hell that nothing awful happened to her husband.

I'm stunned. I'm appalled. I keep thinking about the snippets of lives that have been shared because of
blogs. I've never even met these people. Their writing has made them real, and is the reason I feel like
I've been hit with a sledgehammer.

I'm hoping that the other bloggers who have stopped posting have done so because their lives have become
fuller away from their blog, or that they've taken up crochet instead. (Not looking at you here, Ro).

I'm grateful that my family and I are still alive. Crazy, frustrating, battling. Still here.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

What difference does a year make?

I could be doing my tax. I could be looking for a new job. I could ask you to note that I'm using the word 'could' and not 'should'. I could be planning world domination.

In the true spirit of procrastination, I fire up blogger. Wow, has it really been more than a year?

The different brainspace has been ... in other brainspaces.

I have an adult son now. Sort of. The dreamer reached a chronological milestone, and had a bunch of friends meet up with him at a bar to celebrate his 18th birthday. OK, it was a gaming bar, which isn't such a bad thing. Gamers don't tend towards punch-ups and glassing, or anything physical, really. And he didn't even have a hangover the next day.

For the purposes of posterity, I should take this opportunity to reflect on how his different brainspace intersects with the larger world view. Ahem.

Let's run through the NT checklist:
Enrolled to vote - check.
Income - check.
Job - has applied for an apprenticeship, and made it through three sets of interviews and aptitude tests. Awaiting the yea/nay letter due in November.
Social life - check.
Relationship - check.

Sounds great? And it is.

Oops. I must have my Parental Bragging Hat on. That's the one I wear when acquaintances and distant relatives ask me "How are things going?", just before they start telling me about Their Dear Johnny, who has just graduated with honours in and become engaged to and is already an executive at and he's only sixteen.
Alrighty then.

Reality Hat on, and let's try that again with some other popular markers of adulthood:

Driving licence - 4 attempts so far on the written test.
It's multiple choice ffs. He tells me he 'overthinks' the questions, and that it couldn't possibly be that easy. It's possible that he's terrified of the next step - actually being in control of a tonne of fast-moving metal. He just doesn't think that fast. I'm more than slightly nervous about that part too, so I'm not pushing the licence test too hard.

Education - I can say he 'finished school', but usually omit the part about how he failed to complete any assessment in any subject, so doesn't actually have an official piece of paper.

The income -  It's a disability pension. It gives him a bit of spending money. Which he does. Spend, I mean. Usually the day he's paid. Can you say 'impulse spending'? On the bright side, his impulses tend toward good books.

I'm terrified about the job application. It was for an apprenticeship with a large company. I'm sure that he did well in the aptitude tests - considering that they were basic numeracy and literacy tests. I can even stretch to imagining that he was as capable as most incoherent teenagers in the interviews. Where I see impending doom, if he was offered the job, would be his capability to be 'present' for 8 hours at a stretch, 5 days each week. He wouldn't have enough time left each day to shower and eat! I have no idea whether it's the medication, or the drifting away on the computer at nights and needing sleep during the day, I just know that it's impossible to keep him upright. Turn away for 5 minutes and he's asleep again. He still doesn't have either the self-discipline, or the short-term memory, to remember to eat breakfast.

Aside from that, he has a wonderful life.

The girlfriend (I think I'll call her 'Red') decides on their social life, walks in the front door, nags him into getting out of bed and getting dressed in time. If she doesn't come and get him, he doesn't leave the house (or often, the bed). He still takes 2 hours to have a shower and get dressed. Minimum. She knows that if a social event begins at 2pm, she'll have to be here at 10am and spend the next 4 hours nagging and threatening.
Luckily, Red is a 'type A personality'. She bullies, nags, decides, tells him what to do, threatens a bit more, and it works. It takes hours, but they go out and have a good time.

Maybe I'm a bit over the nagging after 18 years,  but she's stuck around for 8 months now and seems to be enjoying it.

I think I may have to hand over my Carer's Allowance.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'll move on to the more immediate crisis of three Year 11 assignments due Monday. Yesterday, they were 'easy' and 'almost done'. Now, they are 'impossible' and he 'may as well quit school now'.