As the old year ended I thought about how things are and what I need to change to be happier. It turns out that some major adjustments are required so I had to work out how to achieve them. I've been stressed and worried about things but I think there's been a resolution and though I'm fearful, I'm now also hopeful about the months ahead.
The Christmas holiday wasn't as happy as it could have been, but there were some brilliant times. The children were delighted with their gifts on Christmas morning. Duncan liked the Roller Coaster Tycoon CD Rom more than anything, even the cuckoo clock. Yep, I got one, and the blasted bird doesn't go out and in properly on the hour. I would have returned it to the online shop, but I see he's already customised it by painting the bird.
Thomas has been in Doctor Who heaven with his haul of DVDs, including a set from some of the old series. Lady likes her fancy new leotard and spent much time upside down against a wall or doing the splits on the floor.
I enjoyed a night out in the pub with a gang of cousins and my brother and his family stayed with us for a couple of nights; they finally saw our beach. I was also very happy to spend some time with one of my oldest and dearest friends who lives in New York. She's just as wonderful as ever.
Duncan has been hard work. He's very shouty and grouchy. I've not been able to figure out how to deal with it yet but it's hard. He's been emulating this awful YouTube video of an angry German kid, and keeps bashing his computer and disc boxes. It may be, actually it probably is, that he's picking up on my own less than optimal mood. He's my personal barometer. We were in Ikea yesterday and he roared and shouted, utterly obsessed with getting an ice-cream from the cafe behind the tills. I was very close to just heading off to the car with him many times.
It's likely that that as well as autism, as his paediatrician pointed out, he also has ADHD and this is what causes many of the difficulties. He has next to no impulse control: he's all about the Id. He can be very focused on tasks of his choosing but it's just about impossible to get him interested in other activities. He's certainly hyperactive, and when we're out places he always dashes off to whatever it is he's interested in. He's highly oppositional. If someone in the family hums or whistles or sings, even on another floor, he shouts at them to be quiet. He hates it when people express pleasure when eating, a yum or appreciative 'mmm' is countered with his angry, 'yuck!' If someone is counting down, he'll often start counting up and saying 'go' is likely to make him shout 'stop!'
I have to think again about how I can help him more. He's smart and cute, funny and loving. He's my darling boy and I'm proud of him. It's important that I see what can be changed in him or in his environment and what must be tolerated.