Look at this cheeky face! The Health Visitor came this morning, and she was absolutely brilliant. To be honest, I wasn't holding a great deal of hope, but she couldn't have been more understanding. I couldn't have wished for anymore from today. It turns out, going to the GP about Stanley was the best decision I have made in a long time, things are being put in place, and everyone is helping. It reassures me that this isn't down to our parenting, and that there are clearly things going on with Stanley that he's going to need a little support with as he grows. I couldn't be happier with how things are progressing for him, and the supportive people that we have found around us. I'm certainly less anxious about him making transitions, just knowing that we have this support in place for him. The Health Visitor suggested that Stanley appears as though he could also have Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA), she advised that I have a read about it… something I had never considered before…

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So, who wouldn't want to go to a school with a TARDIS?! In all seriousness though, today we went to look at a preschool for Stanley, and it totally blew us away. To be honest, we have been swinging towards the idea of homeschooling recently… and looking at ways we can achieve this. But today, this school changed everything. Seeing what they can offer Stanley, we can't possibly send him anywhere but here, and we are going to do all that we can to make sure that happens. The school ethos… the environment… the forest lessons… the opportunities… the staff… the flexibility… the input they have on each child… letting them be themselves… quirks and all… no conformity… no regimental attitude! I never thought it was possible to find a school that shared so many of our views… and a school that is so willing to help Stanley. How could we possibly send him anywhere else after finding this?! We are taking Stanley for a couple of play sessions over the next week or so, and they are coming to see him at home too… so that Stanley can see the place for himself, get to know the staff, and see how he fits in, and what they can offer him. I never anticipated feeling so strongly about a school. We have gone from being so anxious to him starting school… to feeling so excited! I have come away feeling so much more positive about him making this transition. I am sure that it is still no doubt going to be tough for him, but if there's any chance of easing this for him, I am sure that this place is the best hope we have🤞🏻💛🌳🌻

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Today started with a trip to the doctors for Stanley, mostly because we are running out of ideas. For the last few weeks we have been having an issue with Stanley and his car seat. Every car journey now typically involves tears because his bottom is hurting, and more often than not it involves screaming and shouting from the minute he sits in the seat, until the minute he gets out… however long the journey may be. We don’t know if the car seat is actually hurting him, or whether he is just saying this because he doesn’t want to be in the car seat… because he doesn’t want to go anywhere… because of his anxiety. We have tried so many different things to help… we have tried a different car seat (forward-facing instead of rear-facing), but nothing seems to help. I feel like we have tried everything. Physically, everything appears to be okay, but he becomes so distressed that we wondered if he could actually be in serious pain. So, we had a trip to the doctors. After a long chat with the GP, he thinks that this is a reflection of Stanley not wanting to go anywhere (as we suspected), and not that there is anything physically wrong. The GP was wonderful and we had a long chat about Stanley, and how he's doing… and that it is likely that things like this will start to manifest themselves as Stanley gets older. So, plan is to review how Stanley is doing once he has started nursery… we'll see how he gets on there and where we go next. We're also still waiting to hear from the Health Visitor regarding an appointment, but the GP also pointed out the cuts that have been made. Health visitors are very thin on the ground, and so it seems we could be waiting a while. But… best part of the day? On the way home from the doctors, Stanley got into the car seat with no complaints. After around 5 minutes, he proudly announces: "my bottom is all better now", with the biggest, cheesiest, grin on his face! We'll see how the car journey goes tomorrow… 🤞🏻

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Wow. What a day. Once again told how shit we are. I am of no support. I do nothing. All of this because we ask someone to try and understand Stanley – because we want the best for him. But instead, people actually believe that I am mentally unstable and pushing a diagnosis on him – I want him to have a problem. They are so oblivious to the struggles we have, to the support we so wish for. But to be honest, I give up trying now. Why would I want support from someone that thinks so low of me? I know I am far from being a perfect mum, and far from being a perfect wife, but really… am I that bad? I know I most definitely don’t clean as much as I should, but my priorities right now are my husband, my children, and my PhD (which is taking a total backseat because of all this). I have had no time to focus on the PhD – to be honest, I could give it all up right now – so cleaning is definitely bottom of my priority list. Today has just been shit. I try so hard to not let any of this get to me, especially when I am with the little ones, but sometimes it is hard not to take some of it in. What hurts me the most is that I haven’t been there for Stanley today. At times, I could barely talk to him because I was so upset. As much as I try to keep it all in, Stanley was very aware. He was jumping around and repeatedly saying “laugh, mummy, laugh”. He didn’t realise that this was breaking my heart even more. So, what has Stanley done today? Because I have been dealing with all of this… he has been left to it at times. Some of his best bits? Pasta and smoothie thrown all over the kitchen floor, and a whole roll of toilet roll flushed down the toilet. I didn’t tell him off. How could I? I apologised, and gave him the biggest squeeze. I can’t blame him for behaving the way he did when I haven’t been there for him today. But, that’s it now. I can’t let all of this affect the way that I am parenting Stanley and Nora. I need to be there for them, I don’t need this. I don't want to change the way I do things. I am not going to start disciplining him in a way that others think that I should. Oh, and to top it off, Nora has been so sicky… so we have had numerous outfit changes to juggle!

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