Friday, January 04, 2008
Baby Bear got a guitar as a (slightly early) Christmas present. Yes, it was what she wanted! Billy Hyde (excellent Melbourne music store) always has a sale in November and it was acquired then. It meant that on Christmas Day she got books and DVDs and jewellery rather than anything big, but she is thrilled! Given that she never had a guitar lesson in her life she is actually quite good and will become very good with practice. Dratted girl can pick up any instrument and play it.
I knitted some oddments socks. This is the pair I knitted for her. I have knitted myself two pairs which will appear in a later blog. (Too hot to model them right now, I;m in the study with the aircon on - it's the only room in the house with air conditioning and is very small, so we pretty much have to take it in turns!). I am now knitting a mitred blanket out of other sock scraps - having seen the one in Yarn Magazine and followed through the references to the blog - don't have any URLs to hand but I;m sure all of you knitters will know the one I mean.
I've lost track of how far though the holidays we are. OFficially this is the end of the second week of the school summer holidays. In actualy fact, Baby Bear finished a week earlier than that, and Wombat 2 1/2 weeks earlier. George starts three weeks holidays tonight which takes us more or less up to the start of the new school year.
Wombat finishing so early - a long story that I have alluded to before. He has been having problems all year, culminating in a complete disengagement from any attempt to learn or co-operate. AFter the usual dragging around to health professionals we decided to try to get him into a local special school for twelve months - it is not a 'normal' special school but offers 12 months interventions to people like Wombat with the intention of re-integrating them into mainstream schooling afterwards. We were warned that it wuld be almost impossible to get him in there, given the short notice and the fact that competition for places is very stiff as they are very tiny and very fussy about who they accept (it's a private school so they can legally do that, and their 'fussiness' is about choosing those children who they feel will benefit most from the program). We were lucky enough to be offered the last place for next year (this year!) and have very high hopes of it. It means paying fees (though they are minimal compared to most private schools, it is heavily subsidised) and taking him there and back by bus every day, which is going to be a pain. Instead of spending a total of maybe 45 minutes a day taking him to and from school it will be taking me about 3 hours, which is a substantial bite out of a day, and my TAFE classes on Fridays are going to prove a challenge - workable if George is around but if he is interstate, very difficult. They don't have after school care and the kids must be picked up promptly at 3pm. Fine except when I am in another suburb studying till 3.30! We will work it out. I do so hope this school does what it is said to be able to do, because we felt that we had come to the end of everyone's resources. I had offered to homeschool him (as many kind people have suggested to me - thank you all for your heartfelt suggestions) but no-one except me (and Wombat!) think this is a good idea at the moment. And I agree that the program at this school is xcellent and has a very high success rate. The home-schooling may still happen at a later date but I feel we must try this place out. For any interested people this is the website.
I had to withdraw him from his old school early because, two days in a row, there were incidents where he irritated other children and they beat him up. I wish I could make it sound better than that, but the first time I had to photograph his injuries for evidence and the next day, although not as bad, still left physical marks. He then proceeded to have what in layman's terms is still popularly known as a nervous breakdown, 'severe anxiety state' by our psychiatrist. It took me about ten days to get him calm and happy (no I am not a trained psychiatric nurse though I feel for them deeply now!) but he remains phobic about a number of things and nervier than before. I really hate the way things finished with his old school, because I had been involved there for eight years and everything happened so suddenly and unpleasantly that I still feel quite upset about it.
anyway, he is having a fresh start and is really looking forward to the school. WE shall see what happens!
Reply to Jill - thanks for your kind words (all of them, now and previously!). The principal of the Cheshire School considers that they have failed if the child then ends up at Berenngarra! However we definitely have it flagged as a possibility if necessary. I think the Cheshire School's attitude is because they pride themselves on providing intervention that negates the need to use somewhere like Berengarra - and professional pride!