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  • Writer's pictureEliza

A School Run.

Updated: May 7

It's 6:30am and, so far, the day has been a quiet one. Mainly because the children are still snoring. In approximately half an hour our 7 year old will need rallying to get a move on with school run routine. Our 2 year old will need rousing from her position across the pillow in our bed while we hang on for dear life on either side. How can someone so small take up such a large amount of space?

6:45am. The clock is ticking and I can already sense my anxiety growing. The desperation to have just a little more quiet me time scrolling for nothingness on my phone is overwhelming. I seem to feel desperate to be alone a lot. I ponder it and turn the thought over. I remember the days before children when I felt desperately lonely and wished for busy little brains to fill my home. Its odd how life has come from one extreme to the other. Maybe the pendulum will hit the sweet spot in the middle sometime soon? Maybe one of you more experienced Mum's can give me hope.

7:00am. The alarm goes off like a starting pistol. The race is on, the mother-load begins. My feet hit the carpet and the cold hits my hairy legs. I used to shave. Now I feel its a luxury. I could make time but honestly I have my showers in the dark now for some sensory relief. Shaving in the dark doesn't bode well.

I'd rather have the emotional resilience to support my oldest child with her regulation than have legs like a baby's bottom.

7:05am. Meltdown number one. Getting out of bed is a challenge for my sensory seeking oldest. I get it on one level. Bed is pretty awesome. I would stay in all day too if I could. Together we hug it out and find our way to the clothes for the day. Top tip: a wall hanging pocket labelled with the days of the week. Today...Monday... we pull out everything - pants - one of many pairs through the day - toilet training still a work in progress for our 7 year old. Next come the skirt and tights. It has to be skirt and tights to hide any accidents. Then the white blouse and red cardigan. Red - such a strange choice for a uniform I think. Red tend to be triggering, bright, bold. Perhaps that is the message the school want to send. I worked in a 'red' school and in the end I covered the tables and furniture in temporary wood effect vinyl. It was all to bright for my tastes and more importantly too bright for my students with sensory needs.

7:25 am. Meltdown number two. I promise this gets more uplifting! We regulate with some play therapy games while we make breakfast. I must review my experience of play therapy I note. Then forget to write it down and like so much that goes into my brain, the thought flies straight back out. The trigger was lunchbox zip malfunction. Enough to frustrate the calmest of us but when you live your life at escalation curve level high, as 7 year old does, it can cause quite the overwhelm. Again, hugs pave the way. Deep pressure, rocking and hums bring her back down to functioning and we continue. I wonder if it will always be this way or if the following of therapists and psychologists will rewire and heal the trauma in the end. I pray it will. For her sake mostly but for ours too.

7:40 am. We have made it. Food is being eaten, medicine taken and husband has appeared bleary eyed. He has recently been diagnosed with ADHD and the medication makes it hard to sleep and the time blindness makes late night catch up sessions frequent. He brings the youngest down. She is being her bright sunny self and I feel relief. Of course she has had a great start in life. The difference never leaves me. Our oldest came to us and exactly the same age as our youngest is now. The idea that so much of our oldest's life was spent in trauma breaks me and resolves my compassion even in moments of fatigue. Those early years really count and it can take a lifetime to heal from.

8:00 am. So close. We chatter and laugh. We are fed, dressed, hair is being cautiously brushed with reassurances about being safe and 'I will be gentle.' Although we always are the fear runs deep. I feel proud to brush her hair and to be able to chat at the same time. We have come a very long way. The little moments of hope are so precious. Shoes on and we are on the home straight. I expect the pre-door walk out wobble and preempt. I must be well rested. This morning is one of the good ones and I have managed it well. I pat myself on the back. Not because I think much of myself in all honesty but because I know its important to celebrate the wins and be your own cheerleader. I will believe myself one of these days - the more I say it to myself the more it will become my thinking. Brain hacks.

8:05 am. Pre door wobble averted - thank you play therapy and distraction. Play wins again. We walk. Its ok for me. My husband keeps the little one at home because school starts so early. On other days I leave at 7 to teach my own class. Today I get the gift of doing the walk to school. Our big conversations happen here and our much needed 1:1 time too. She holds my hand the whole walk and tells me about her secret thoughts and feelings. The glow in my heart is warm today. Its not easy. It never has been, but it is worth it. I get to be her Mum and I feel like I've won the world.

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