What is it about?

The rollercoaster adventures of parenting three kids, dealing with disability and mental health - and discussing disability discrimination and how to tackle it.

Monday, 19 January 2009


Whoops is the word of the moment.

- We were doing well on the sleeping. And then I messed it up. Beaver kept hassling Charlie, so I said "if you do that one more time I won't let her sleep in your room." And of course he did it again. And I had to follow through. And of course he didn't go to sleep. And we had a few more difficult nights. Whoops! Thankfully, we found a compromise. Beaver now goes to sleep in our bed, and when it's bedtime for us, we transfer him to the sofa. In a few weeks he will go back to his bed.

- You see, things are complicated by the fact that Beaver has Whooping Cough. Before you ask, yes, he was vaccinated. But there is a bit of an epidemic around and the vaccine seems notoriously unreliable. Now this is not a funny cough. It can last up to six months. And as the name suggests, it comes with an almighty "whoop" when trying to breathe in. The coughing fits can last for minutes, and kids can faint (and very young children die) from lack of oxygen. Beaver coughs until he goes bright red. He doubles over, even falls over. And at times he vomits and gets nose-bleeds from the intensity of the coughing. It goes on all night, and doesn't make his sleeping any easier. It's partly why he sleeps on the sofa at the moment. His coughing fits wake up Boo Boo (not Possum he sleeps through everything) and it's easier for us to come to the sofa then go to the other end of the house to help him out with midnight vomits (and changes of bedsheets) and nosebleeds.

- Whoops also in our search for an au-pair. Yes, we have decided to get ourselves an au-pair. The kids really love having someone else in the house, and I would like the help and the company during the day. Ideally we'd like a Dutch-speaker from Belgium or Holland. I found two possible candidates through a website. They sounded very nice, both had some experience with people with a disability. So I contacted them and told them to go and read my blog to get a bit of an idea about us, and then we'd talk. Guess what? Haven't heard a thing. Whoops. I must have scared them off. This blogging business has its drawbacks, clearly. I find it strange though. I write about the funny bits, the annoying bits, the bits that make me angry, the unfair bits. But most of the time, we are just a normal family. With some gorgeous kids. Don't you think - have a look at Boo Boo the puppet show lady...

- Whoops just one more week and school starts again. This year is especially exiting, since Boo Boo is starting two days at preschool. She will go to a special school which is purpose built and fully accessible. The school is ok with her taking her powerchair, and have extensive experience with various disabilities and medical conditions. They run a reverse integration preschool, which means they also accept a certain number of neurotypical kids. And as luck would have it, two of them will go with Boo Boo to the same primary school (as they also have older siblings there) and might even end up in the same class. How lucky is that!

- And finally, whoops, I am about to take on the presidency of a disability advocacy organisation. The organisation will have to do a bit less than the previous president did - I have neither the time nor the stamina to live up to her high achievements - but I shall do my best to keep the organisation going and ready to grow. Another challenge. I wonder what adventures this will bring. Oh well, here we go...


fabig said...

Now, dat is vandag een hele boterram om te lezen. Het meeste weten wij natuurlijk al wel. We hopen, dat beaver vlug weer beter wordt, en ja kinkhoest is niet gemakkelijk. Hopen maar dat die twee andere het niet ook krijgen.
Veel sterkte.

Lieve & Stefaan said...

Hey !!!

Scare the au-pairs with your blog? No... It's so cosy and fun to stay with you guys. If you still need someone when our visum is granted in about a year, I'll be happy to apply :-) ?


Jacqui said...

I tried to comment the other day but blogger didn't like me. I hope everything is okay and the whoops turn into whoopees.
With the au pair - my opinion is that you are better off with someone with no experience with special needs - no bad habits to unlearn. That has worked for us so far.

n0thingbuteverything said...

Wow, you have a big year ahead.

The cough sounds awful. I hope it doesn't really last 6 months!

Gorgeous pic of Boo Boo. I hope she loves kinder!!

Finding an au pair sounds like a great idea, but quite a challenge. I hope it wasn't the blog that scared them off!

Good luck in your new role!