Full Thursday

Yesterday: steep learning curve at work and a different sort of a day. Felt challenged, a bit daunted, but glad to witness the most difficult part of the job first hand and observe experts at work. Christmas chaos at school and a change of staff all at once are very tricky for children with ASD. I feel very much for X and just hope that I can learn to do everything I can for him to help him cope with school life and move his learning on. And the staff at the school are amazing. Patient, tolerant and supportive. I’m a very lucky newbie indeed. 🙂

Last night was Taxi Service Wednesday again. Big drawings and glitter glue were on the menu at youth club. When I collected Three from the junior session, as we were getting out of the car at home and I was gathering up her pictures, I uttered words I have never uttered before and probably never will again: ‘Oops, I just put my finger in Rudolf’s eye’. (The purple glitter glue came off under the tap but probably still hasn’t set solid on the actual picture even 24 hours later!).

Also coming out of youth club with Three, we heard the Rotary Santa sleigh in the distance. We went on a Santa hunt and followed him slowly down the road for a few hundred yards – Three was too shy to get out of the car but we enjoyed watching!

As for today, I had the day off work – us new starters were allowed to be a bit flexible about our hours for the first couple of weeks, and I needed to get the car MOTed and watch Three in her school Christmas performance, among other things on a list as long as my arm!

The Christmas performance was fabulous; years 4, 5 and 6 did themselves proud and Three was amazing in her role as an African mum – she had been terrified before she went on stage but you’d never have guessed and she sounded clear, loud and confident. When I think back to last year when she was a narrator, and mumbled her short line at her feet, she was like a different child today. So proud of her!

After the play I nipped in to school itself to see the 2 teachers I’ve been volunteering with for the past two and a bit years. The year 5 class said goodbye to me and gave me three cheers, which almost made me cry – I’ve known these fabulous children since they were six and have watched them all grow up into the strapping 9 and 10 year olds they are now. I’m going to miss them so much! The year 2 class had gone home by the time I got to their classroom but I had a good chat with the teacher who is one of my favourite people in the world.

As for the MOT: it is never good news when the garage phone you and ask you if you are sitting down! The ABS system is broken and the parts are not cheap. It’s lucky I now have a job, plus a little bit in the savings account which will help. I can have the car back tomorrow afternoon but need to take it in again on Monday after work to be finished off and retested. In order to get to work tomorrow I’ve nipped to the hire centre up the road and hired a little car for 24 hours – slightly amusing being given the keys and then driving about 50 yards with it then stopping outside my house!

Intersperse the above with school runs, visits to the GP surgery to try to organise a prescription for One, phoning the surgery late afternoon to see if it’s sorted (answer: no; try again tomorrow), wrapping all the presents ready for our family ‘Christmas Day’ a week tomorrow, working through a long list remembering everything I needed to ask / tell my mum, doing a supermarket nip in the unfamiliar car, cooking and feeding everyone at teatime, being a diplomat… truly I am five times as tired tonight after a ‘day off’ as I have been after a day at work the past couple of days! I used to joke about ‘going to work for a rest’ – now I am discovering the full truth of that statement!

Joking apart, there is something very good about the 40 minute commute twice a day – having that enforced space between home and work, both time and distance, helps me to fully distinguish the difference between my home self and my professional self. I would find it more difficult to separate the two, I think, if I was working on the doorstep.

My eyes keep closing as I’m typing, and I need to wash up and make a packed lunch. Must move myself before I fall asleep here and wake up at 3am with a messy kitchen and a guilty conscience!

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4 thoughts on “Full Thursday

  1. The commute to a professional job is invaluable for a focus change. My first job as a SEN TA I had to get two buses to the school and the walk between bus stops was my “stop panicking about X at home and focus” moment!

  2. ‘Katherine, you can always hang your coat on my window’ as my colleague said to me this morning.
    I did a think at work where they said people were divided into Separators and Integrators. And Separators take much more mental energy to get over the divide between work and home, so can like commutes and things that mark the change. And are hence the types that find phonecalls from work when on home mode hard.
    Erk about the car. You don’t want to know what the garage got paid down here earlier in the week. 😦

  3. Katherine, that’s fascinating – I am definitely an Extreme Separator and always have been – I remember having a meltdown one evening when I worked in a bible college library because one of the students phoned me at home with a library related enquiry. (I was polite enough to wait until I was off the phone to have the meltdown…!) I definitely have my life organised into very tidy boxes inside my head and struggle a lot when the contents of the boxes start spilling into each other.

    Sugar, I can totally relate to that moment between your two buses. My car journey to work begins with me thinking about home and what I’ve left behind, and then I drive under the M6 and as I come out the other side I begin to think about work and what I have before me that day! And vice versa on the way home. 🙂

  4. My school is a brisk 15 minute walk from my doorstep (up a steep hill) or a quick 5 minutes in the car. It means I have very little time away from children (mine or those I work with) & also that practically every time I go anywhere locally, I see children & parents that I work with. I now know why teachers try to work in a totally different town to where they live.

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