Habilitation & Horrible Halloween

As I have mentioned before, there are two days in the year that I hate more than anything. One is Easter Thursday and the other one is Halloween. For me, these days are very stressful because my children have such high expectations. They have to become perfect and for them to become so, I have to bend over backwards. And this is tiresome. For both days, the children need costumes and unfortunately they are becoming more and more opinionated on what they want to wear. Some mothers of course will go all out and purchase expensive things or make them, but I am sorry, I am not going to go overboard for ONE day! My budget is limited and the costumes will be accordingly. But the children will try and nag and “Cookie” will whine the loudest that she can. She “is sick and tired of always being this or that, she is sick and tired of wearing the same thing every year”. If she only knew how spoiled she sounds and how angry it makes me to hear it!

So, my morning was not a good one. And I did not even go near the pumpkin carving. E. was in charge of it, or she and “Cookie”, and that is not more than right in my opinion, because this really isn’t my holiday nor my country’s. I understand elderly people who don’t open the door for kids begging for candy on this day. And I understand if people do not have anything at home to give the children either. At pre-school they did not bother carving their pumpkin this year, since it rots so quickly when you have done that.

Kids made pumpkin to the left here at home and "Cookie" made the one to the right at a friend's house

Kids made pumpkin to the left here at home and “Cookie” made the one to the right at a friend’s house

I did not see the finished pumpkin till I got back home, since me and “Gubby” had an appointment at habilitation for “Gubby” to be IQ-tested. WE thought! I arrived there at 13:00 and was received by K. who took us both in to this room. And she started right away with one thing after the other. He had to draw a straight line, make a cross, make a triangle, make a square. He had to cut things out. He had to puzzle. Count, name shapes. He was told to ONLY colour the tail of a bunny, and I reflected on how well he colours. He does his best to stay within the lines and he colours everything so there is no white. Not quite what his two-year older brother does. At all!

The testing went pretty slowly, because she had to read and do things correctly and find things that were missing, even though she said she had prepared for the test before we came in. I guess it is very important that everything is done the same way with every single child, otherwise one can not trust the test results. Half way, we took a break and he was allowed to go in and play with toys in the two-way mirror room, beside the testing room. Boy did he think that was fun! He found this funny toy by Fisher and Price I think, where two chickens race down two tracks and it sounds. He really loves toys that sound! He did it over and over again and of course did not want to stop when it was time to stop and go back to the testing, nor leave the room. I had to coax him, but back in the room, he was not as cooperative anymore. We already knew that there would have to be a second testing day, the following week, but the more that could be done this first day, the less needed to be done the next time.

When he finally laid down on the floor and refused to do as told, she said it was time to break. And then she told me that this of course is not an IQ-test. WHAT? But it is an IQ-test we need! – No this is a PEP-test which shows where he is and what he has learned so far. There is not going to be an IQ-test now, since he is going to be at the pre-school an extra year. “This is the extra year that he is doing now!”. – No, the personnel is convinced that he is staying another year! “No, they know this is his last and final year because you can’t have him stay there another year. He is one year older than all the oldest. It’s a pre-school that runs up till you are six years old and he is already six! It says 3-5 years of age.” – But then there has been a misunderstanding! “Yes, there has and he needs to be tested quickly so we know what school to look at for him!”. She was shocked and promised she would talk to the team which also contains psychologist and counselor. She did say that this test is not wasted though, because it does give some indication of things. Good, because I really have better things to do with my life than to sit at habilitation and wasting good petrol and car parking money.

“Gubby” and I drove home and went by Serena. Because that is the awful thing, this Halloween fell on the same day as All Saint’s Eve. I decided to go early since it was starting to get a little bit dark and the candle trees fill up awfully fast on All Saint’s Eve, the holiday when we honour and remember our dead with candles, wreaths and flowers. I did not want to go home and get the gaggle, since “Boo” just can’t behave in the cemetery. He starts chasing “Gubby” and hits “Kitty” and this is NOT the place nor the DAY to do so! So, “Gubby” and I trotted in together and tried to get the candle to light on a very windy day, when the candles did not want to light. Some older women were there at the same time and raised an eyebrow, because when I fought with the candle wicker, “Gubby” started to flax around on top of where the dead are buried in the ash grove. I need to get those business cards from the Asperger and Autism society that says “The behaviour you have just witnessed is difficult to understand and explain”. They also say “This person has autism. Difficulties with interaction, communication and a different and abnormal behaviour are common symptoms for autism…”

imageWe did manage to get the candle lit for “Gubby’s” baby sister Serena Rose, and there were a couple of places left in the candle tree. I did not have any flowers or a wreath though, so we just had to admire the beauty of all the others’.

image image image image imagePity that the cemetery workers had not got rid of all the leaves laying about. But the wind is blowing so much every day, that I guess it is a fruitless job, new leaves on the ground every morning.

When we got home from the cemetery, people were pretty frantic about their clothing and “Cookie” had received a last-minute invitation from her best friend, whom she sees very rarely, since her friend lives way out in the countryside, goes to another school than her and lives a busy life with riding and you name it. Her friend’s little sister was having a Halloween party and S. wanted “Cookie” to come and help her with the scaring part. This would have meant “Cookie” foregoing her trick and treating and she said she had planned her costume since Easter. So she wanted a two-hour trick and treating and then for us to just drop everything and run her up North, to her friend’s farm. I said, forget it. I was not going to force E. to bring everyone home if they were having a good time, so that “Cookie” could do two things in one evening. And who does her friend’s family think they are? We should drop all of our plans, to suit their life?! I am sorry, but I do not feel that this is alright. Yes, they have “Cookie” over for sleepovers lots of times and have often fetched her, but it has been on their way home from work, so they were out driving anyway. No, they have money, they spoil their children, but I am not going to kneel to the rich and play their games of being a subservient person. I have a life too which is as much worth as theirs and my children matter as much as theirs do. And my children had looked forward to candy and going begging for it, for weeks.

I had to sort out everyone’s costumes when I got back and as soon as it really got dark it was time for them to head out. But not until I had tried my best at dressing them warmly. A feat in itself. “Boo”screaming his head off, refusing to wear a sweater under his skeleton outfit. Not even wanting mittens or beanie on his head. I had to force him because I knew noone would appreciate him whining from being cold, 10 minutes after they got out there. Poor “Gubby” looked somewhat like “Andy” in “A Christmas Story”. It was not easy to get fleece trousers under his pirate outfit, but no way I was going to have sweetie suffer out there.  I guess I did a very good job eventually, because they have never ever been out as long as they were that night. “Cookie” was supposed to be driven up to the party at her friend’s house before it was over, (what was it 21:00 or 22:00?), and they were not back by then. When they finally did arrive, I had been a little bit worried. They had been out for so long! I saw the reason why:

imageThe sad part was that I had bought candy and so had T., for children ringing our door bell and there were only two rings that evening when I would have thought lots of children would come for free candy. Once it was three girls, soon after my children walked out. The second time, it was my own children… So, we had a lot of candy at home for a while! But I know that if I had not seen to having candy at home, there would have been lots of children ringing the door bell. Perhaps they don’t find it fun anymore? They are too spoiled with candy as it is. A friend of mine and I discussed it a couple of months ago, that the excitement of receiving Easter eggs full of candy is sort of gone. Loose weight candy has come down in price and children eat too much of it during the year, that Christmas and Easter is not special anymore, when it comes to the candy aspect. Both she and I confessed that we don’t splurge and go overboard at the holidays either because who wants sick children? And perhaps that is why my children love going out at Easter and Halloween to beg for candy, because as you see above, they hit jack pot!

To finish the story, it was too late for “Cookie” to head up to her friend’s that evening! Her dad had put on pyjamas and I was not in the mood for doing a late night trip in the dark either. She had to go up there come morning instead, but they had a fun time, and carved the weirdo pumpkin seen further up in the post. And I survived another year of Easter Thursday and Halloween!!!


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