A shopping spree

I have now been trying to publish this since 28 July 2017!

When we drove out from the petrol station, on the 2 July, I asked my husband for the third time, how much the garage bill came up to. We were heading off on holiday, which we both knew, was going to cost us an arm and a leg, but still I needed to know, what he had paid for getting the AC fixed once and for all and for the so-and-so-many miles service. I screamed on the inside when he finally admitted 8,000 :- (£752 , € 839, $985 ). I can only say this: It is NOT fun to head off on holiday knowing that one is that deep in to debt, nor is it any fun to get home and realize that the kitchen fan above the stove, has to be replaced. It has been sounding like having a jet engine going when cooking and to be honest, it has frightened “Gubby” and “Boo” so much, that I have had to cook without it, causing the fire alarm to go off or bringing on a cough attack out of this world.

My husband usually prefer going shopping with his daughters. Or should I say, they just jump in to the car, preventing me from going? This time, he asked me to come along, which I think was a symptom of him feeling at a loss as what to do when F. starts nagging for more clothes. Last time he went off to just get something, she had him buy her TWO pairs of shorts and a pair of jeans. One can not be satisfied with one pair of shorts, oh no… Last week, she went with me to Sjöbo fair where I was persuaded to buy her both a Harry Potter necklace and make up brushes. Sparing her poor father to have to purchase that for her on the next day, when she went to the same place with HIM. Noone has told me if she had him buy her the ball gown she wanted for church dances (her having bought one in May, but one must have two to choose from) and the handbag she wanted for church, no longer wanting to carry the mini-rucksack containing her scriptures.

So off we went to buy a kitchen fan, T., F., “Boo”, “Gubby” and myself. T. had had to order it in for pick up, so we drove to Löddeköpinge, with a short stop off at Nova in Lund. He needed to return a filter for our old fan, since someone had thought it was just the filter needing to be replaced. I, have been drooling over an Odd Molly cardigan for months and months on end, suddenly realized that it might be 51% off, their sale being on. So I headed there on my own, since she will not tolerate me buying any clothes for myself. Only to discover that the cardigan was sold out in the colour I desired:

Not wanting it in the available coral/watermelon colour, I disappointedly started to head for the exit, when I spotted all their wellingtons on sale. Now, I bought Lola Ramona wellingtons on Campadre a couple of years ago. Really funny looking ones, like all of Lola Ramonas shoes and boots are. BUT fetching boys at school with high heeled wellingtons have not really been that comfortable. I mean, who in their right mind designs wellingtons with high heels? Wellingtons are not comfortable in the first place, to walk in. They are a necessary evil when it rains and I have to trot up to the schools on muddy gravel parking places and walkways. High heels make it a nightmare. Trust me, I DO KNOW NOW. So, instead of a romantic cardigan, I walked out of Odd Molly with a pair of practical wellingtons. Yes, this time they are practical. Not even tall so I do not have to stand and try to put jeans or trousers down a narrow shaft.

To my surprise, the daughter did not object to my purchase, BUT started telling us that SHE might not need wellingtons. Thank you for sparing us that expense at least. We headed for the fan next and while we stood waiting, the children ran in and placed themselves in front of a computer each, at the store, to play computer games. It actually looked hilarious! Even little “Gubby” sitting in front of a gigantic dream screen playing some silly game. The fan set us back 1,999 :- (£188 ,€210 ,$246 ). Deep sigh.

The best thing would have been to have sat down in the car and driven home, at this point. BUT how often do I get to go to Löddeköpinge nowadays? We used to go there all the time when J. and D. were young, but since Lund built its own shopping mall, there is no point in driving that far. They do have some fun shops though, especially the craft shop Panduro, which has a sale going on every July. While the children joined T. in HIS favourite spot, Kjell & Company (I, like most women, hate this shop. Low priced electronics and gadgets, which are not made to last! Heaven for my husband. Or should I say, Heaven 2 since Jula, a low-priced, low-quality do-it-yourself shop, is Heaven 1! He goes there every week and I would rather go to the dentist, and THAT says a lot, than enter that shop!) I walked around Panduro, contemplating whether I really should buy anything or not.

Suddenly my husband joined me, the children having taken off to a toy shop (we thought, but indeed, their sister had dragged the poor boys to some clothing shops) and he wanted me to look at this bullet journal corner they had set up. Now, the way he packed our purchased books, leaving England, resulted in my beautiful Union Jack filofax MELTING! I know, but I am serious, it did melt! The print that is, was all stuck to the bags plastic lining and when I lifted the filofax out, the print remained on the bag and the filofax was just one sticky mess. T. told me to order a new one. I wish he had told me about the bullet journaling before I went ahead and did that! He stood there drooling over the note books you do this form of journaling in and I can’t say that I was too interested. Finally, I started to ask him about it, to be polite and interested in what he was interested in. He exclaimed that THIS was the way to journal. To keep a diary, to-do-list, you name it, all in one place. “AND WHY DID YOU NOT SAY THAT BEFORE I ORDERED MY FILOFAX?”

He apologized and tried to sell me on this idea instead. So I asked him if he was buying one of the Leuchtturm1917 notebooks. He said that he wanted to but… I could tell that he really wanted one but was considering the price, especially after the fan purchase. Since I was feeling bad for him, I said “fine, grab the colour you want”. He picked a drole steel-blue, small size one, and this is when I looked at the samples they had on display. It did speak to me, I must say that! All those notebooks spread around the house, with books to read, quotes I like etc. All that is supposed to go in to your bullet journal as well as daily chores, appointments etc. But looking at the stabilo pens they recommended with a purchase of the Leuchtturm, really was a turn off for me. They are not waterproof and it is enough to be out with your bag in the rain ONCE and then all your work will be one floating mess, illegible among other things.

At the cash register, I suddenly grabbed myself a petrol/teal coloured one. I was going to give it a go, after seeing these pictures on Panduro’s wall.

I know, a bad thing for a perfectionist like myself! All the stress it will create. Anxiety. Why do I do this to myself? We walked out, happy though, with our notebooks and a set of Panduro’s waterproof pens in all sorts of funny colours and the best of all, they do not bleed through the thin Leuchtturm paper! (Who is the idiot who calls that paper thick???) I realized that I had a new hobby going, but I am not so sure my husband understood that, at this point.

We joined the children and poor “Gubby” told me how boring it was to look at clothes with F. (The poor thing was with her and my husband two days ago, when the shorts and jeans were bought and when I asked him if he felt sad about not getting any clothes he said “No mamma! I do not need any more clothes!”. For someone with autism, he is very skilled at knowing what the difference is between need and want.) Maybe it was my feeling of looking forward to dive in to the world of bullet journaling, that made me benevolent, but I ended up buying F. another T-shirt at H&M because she said, her previous one in those colours was too tight, and a black pencil skirt, at New Yorker, to be spared all the whining every Sunday, about her present skirt not being up to snuff. And this, even though my husband and I had sworn to not buy her any more clothes! Coming out of the last shop, I did tell her that I do not appreciate this though. I came home with a whole bag of clothes from Primark, from England, and yet she keeps on telling us that she has no clothes to wear and that she just needs more and more and more. At the same time, we are drowning in clothes. The house is full to the rim with them. Or so it feels!

To give the boys some sort of reward for their immence patience, during this constant clothes shopping for their sister, we took them to McDonald’s for McFlurries. After our shopping spree, that is all we could afford, but they munched away, as happy as could be.

Coming home, “Kitty” had not even noticed that we had been gone for six hours! His computer playing has reached new heights this summer and we do not know what to do about it. Autism combined with ADHD is impossible to deal with in certain respects. The gaming addiction and the anger… It will just make me mad to talk about it. I am going to have to go ask the experts about it, because it has gone too far in my opinion.

But, after dinner, I tried to shut out his screams from the computer area, people on the internet not doing what he wants them to do on Overwatch, and googled Bullet journal. WOW! Talk about performance anxiety now! T. tried to tell me “You make it in to what you want it to be! Don’t bother with what others are doing! Do your own thing!” but how can I when I see all the possibilities? All the pretty layouts on Pinterest? I want to do them all! So, I set out to do the thing I wanted to do the most. Before anything else. A book list. Now, when it is done, I realize that perhaps it should have been a “want to read list” instead of books read this year so far. Hmmm! I also should have taken a photo of it before I started to enter names of the books. It sort of ruined it all, when I started to write them in… See my problem? No? The feeling that things get ruined when I USE them!

But my problem was not just that one. My husband asked me why I had not made a future log first. So I did one when he took the children swimming. I guess I had not understood what a future log is because when he came home, he told me that that was not what he meant. And then he laughed because I was livid about having made an ugly mistake in the middle of the page, when numbering dates.

Purple paper to the left: Because I wrote the wrong weekdays beside the wrong numbers and of course I messed up the numbering to make the page extra “pretty”!

It turns out that my mind is determined to wreck my pretty layouts, because I make mistake after mistake and I have a difficult time accepting ugliness when I am trying to make something pretty and pleasing to look at! Him laughing did not make things better though! When trying to stamp a nice Volkswagen bus, he laughed so loud at my foolishness that I slipped and only got half the bus stamped. And when I tried to fix it, the lines became too thick, not getting the stamp properly aligned.

Clumpsy double lines AND unfortunately, Leichtturm’s paper is not thick enough for stamping ink! You can see the image through (see above on the month log).

Note added: This morning, my husband came in reading the do’s and do not’s in bullet journaling. That one is not supposed to freak out, not dress one’s journal for the Oscar’s, to just write the way one would if a child has pooped on the floor and the in-laws standing in the door for a surprise visit… Somehow I did not like that article. Guess why?!



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2 responses to “A shopping spree

  1. Hello Michelle!
    First of all, I was very happy to hear that you enjoy my blog. I must say that I have been too busy with life, to blog as often as I want to, and it really makes me sad, because it is an outlet for me. I also have so many technical problems, which take most of the joy away from blogging. All that said…
    Now, over to the real reason for your comment. First of all, unless you have been offered a job in Sweden or have been offered a seat at the University, I am afraid that there is no way for you to move to Sweden. We have very strict immigration laws, just like in the US. So unless you are a Swedish citizen or can claim that you are a political refugee from the Arab world, our borders will be closed to you.
    On the topic of autism and ADHD. Some years ago, I started receiving messages like yours, from my readers, and I sat down and answered e-mail after e-mail, till I finally felt that I could not sit there and type almost identical letters to everyone. So, I did write a specific post to answer all the questions, foreigners might have, who are interested in what Sweden can offer children with autism and ADHD. I would like to refer you to that post, since it should explain a lot. But if you have further questions, I will be glad to answer them, since I now have even more experience, being a mother of three sons who have the above handicaps and having to fight every day.
    I still want to make one comment: I am afraid, that your friends have been pulling your leg. Noone in their right mind would suggest to a woman in your situation, that you should get help for your child in Sweden. I am afraid that when researchers looked in to the situation of children with autism and ADHD, in the world, and what help they recceived in their different countries, SWEDEN CAME IN LAST. In other words, Sweden is the worse country to live in, if you are a child who has one or both of the handicaps. You do not get any help here.
    It is a small country, a country heavily in debt, which is cutting back on everything, including health care and schooling. And as usual, it is the weak, who suffer the most. It is the ones laying down, who get kicked on. As far as school goes, it is up to each individual head master in this country, to decide whether he or she want to spend money on an autistic child or buy iPads for an entire class. 99% of the head masters in Sweden will buy the iPads! A majority of teenagers with autism and ADHD, sit at home, refusing to go to school because the situation there is REALLY bad and since homeschooling is not allowed in Sweden, they receive no schooling at all. Many end up committing suicide. The parents scream on facebook, but all we can do, is send hearts to each other, since we are all in the same boat and can not offer any practical help. It is a disastrous situation, which is just getting worse and worse.
    From what I have heard from all US mothers who have written to me, you at least have special needs schools in the US. That does not exist here. All children must go to mainstream schools. And you have so many other things available to you, like courses, tools etc. which my country could not even afford to offer people living in the capital, let alone us who live on the borders of our long country. I know that it might feel like the grass is greener somewhere else and that Trump has made life hell for many people in the US, who live on the brink of poverity, but a move to Sweden is really not an answer. If you have serious problems, I would start with contacting Autism Awareness and such institutions (?), to get answers. I am sure that they have suggestions for you, because THEY have power, which the equivalent in Sweden, do not!
    To have a child with autism, can on good days be great. The child opens your eyes in a way no other child could or would. And you don’t want it any other way. But on bad days, when the school phones you and tells you they can not handle him, “can you come and fetch him right away”, “he has done or said this and that to the other children” and “their parents are very angry”, then it is not fun to be a mother to such a child. Nor is it fun to sit in meetings and see the stonefaced teacher and headmaster, not willing to give an inch, not willing to listen to care officials, let alone the parent. Nor is it fun to see society judge your child and even more so YOU, the parent, for obviously raising such a “monster”, not knowing what you are doing. It takes strong women, and I say women, because I am more and more convinced that fathers just can’t cope with it. I hear of so many escaping their “duties” or living in a permanent state of denial. I weep with you. The only thing I can say to you is, be strong! It is alright to cry. But then pick yourself up, because your child needs you. I do know that America is for the rich and successful, but there must be help to be had, somewhere. Do not be proud! Accept the help there is. Do not cease to ask for it.

  2. Hi, as a mother of 5 I really like your blog. I have a child with ASD and many people have been telling me to move to Sweden for my child to get help since it is so pricey here in America and I am now a single mother. I would like to ask you some questions if you do not mind. My email is lifesamirage82@gmail.com