The trouble with that is, it's very unsatisfactory to look back on. I'm not even sure I know how to find old stuff on Facebook and over here, on my blog, I can look at any time and see how I was and what was happening and how itty bitty and sweet my children were, way back when.
Awwwwww, how cute were those boys?
They aren't so cute now, they are all handsome and tall, lanky great streaks of back chatting hormones, that's what they are. Well the bigger 2 anyway, Eli is still like an untrained puppy, he flings himself all over the place, he jumps and climbs and if he had a tail he'd wag it. Sometimes, when he is feeling a bit left out he pretends to be all adolescent and door slammy but he isn't very good at it and he is still a bit cute with his cheeks and all, so we laugh at him or just watch him with a puzzled expression and he'll stop and carry on with being 9.
The other 2, well they are really good at it all, like GOOD at it. They are pretty great at the huffing and puffing, the slamming of doors and throwing of things, they are masters at holding onto a grudge and the grudges? Oooohie those buggers are growing on trees, no shortage of those, no way, you want a grudge? Ask a 12 year old, they'll drag one out of nowhere and hand it to you on a platter and YOU DID THIS TO ME!
Seth's school has a trip in February, to Paris and it is only £295 + a new passport £46 and spending money etc etc. He mentioned it about 27 years ago and then yesterday he was all "Well, you don't care do you because DID YOU PAY FOR MY TRIP TO PARIS?" ( yes, loud, always LOUD because I am dim and speaking normally won't sink in so it must be LOUD!)
"Well, it's £295 and a new passport and this is something we need to think about and plan and decide on"
"What? WHAT? But I want to GO! I NEEEEEED to go and it is PARIS and everyone who has parents that like them has already paid"
Oh my glory days, it is all so exhausting and wearing.
I manage to keep calm, usually, I practised on those big kids and learned that calm and bored, oh so bored, is the only way to go. A little spark of temper or frustration is like a glorious prize to a tween, if you let them see that they may have hit a nerve it's all downhill from there, you may as well give it all up and move into a home, they've won and you'll be in a corner rocking and humming and praying for the day when you go shopping with a sholley and buy individual cottage pies and a pack of mini battenburgs.
So, very quietly and as if I can barely manage to gather the energy together I said " Actually, it's almost Christmas and no-one in our house needs any 'stuff', I would love to not buy anymore stuff for you to pile up and not use. A trip would be a great present, it's a big present though, so if you choose to go to Paris that will be your Christmas present.
You also have to remember that there are 3 boys living at our house and you are all equal, maybe next year Isaac will really want a trip or something that costs the same as this trip and it will be his turn. If you go to Paris this year, you will not have the option to go to Barcelona when the school goes. All big choices Seth, you get to make the choice."
Guess who doesn't really want to go to Paris after all?
Isaac, oh sweet Isaac, he has started at comprehensive school and what a traumatic time it has all been for him ( and me) what terror lies in new places, new people, new things.
Sweet Isaac, my gentle boy has been pushed and tested and thrown into this terrifying new world and it has been the most heartbreaking task to make him do it. There is little more heart rending than a beautiful boy standing rigid with fear, tears streaming down his face because walking through that door is just to hard, means too many new sounds and faces, experiences and situations.
He has cried, puked, run away, hyperventilated, growled, cried again.
You know what a hero is? It's a little boy of 11 who gets dressed, takes a deep breath and says " I think I can do it. " and then does it.
You know what real joy is? It's watching a little boy run back to the car and say " I love it when it all falls into place!" because both his friends arrived at the same time as him.
You know what relief is? It's a text every morning at 11.19am that says "Having a great day!" or " I was scared but I am OK now" or even just "DOUGHNUT!"
He loves the cafeteria, thank goodness for that cafeteria, when all else failed he couldn't resist those doughnuts! He didn't eat before 4pm for 3 weeks, so afraid was he that eating or drinking would make him need the toilet that he just didn't eat or drink until he came home and then one day, at 11.19 he sent a text saying " I bought a doughnut, an appletizer and a milkshake" and we haven't looked back since.
He can go on line and check his balance, he can see what is for sale and can show me what he has bought.
We have to top that balance up every now and then because he just loves that cafeteria! They don't take cash or even have a card, they have fingerprint recognition and that is so exciting for him, it means he doesn't have to speak to anyone, he can pick up, take what he chooses to the till, touch a screen and leave. Technology at it's best for a little boy who finds speaking so hard.
The school have been great with him, his teachers have accepted that they will get emails from me with Isaac's worries and they reply explaining whatever it is he needs to know and then he relaxes and is able to walk through those doors another morning.
Today he told me that his new school is a number 4 on a scale of 1-5. 1 being the worst he has ever experienced and 5 is as good as it can ever be.
We are so relieved that he is settling, I am sure that after half term he will slip back a bit and be anxious again, re.scue r.emedy has been miraculous too, a few drops under his tongue has meant going from frozen terror to calm and being able to walk through the doors to registration. I bought him the pastilles and he would chew one before school and at break time, now he doesn't need to use them, they are just in his bag as a security 'blanket' Thank you little yellow flower drops of sanity!
Elsewhere in my life, I have started group therapy, that's a whole post of it's own though! My goodness, what at thing that is.