This photo says a lot about how things are right now. We are both trying to enjoy ourselves, but you can see that we look tired, and a little lost. Tomorrow, I'm at the GP to discuss Stanley and getting a diagnosis. This could be a total waste of time, or the start of a very long process. Either way, I'm trying, and I feel I'm going to need some luck! We have just about ran out of luck right now, things seem to go from bad to worse. As things get tougher with Stanley, we attempted the dreaded conversation with family… and what was the result? We are now left with no childcare for Nora, and 2 days short for Stanley. I am in my last two months of scholarship payments from the PhD, and with no idea of what I will be doing after then. Things were already going to be tough with finishing up the PhD, looking for full time work, and juggling the childcare situation. But now, with pretty much no childcare, we are stuck. We can't look for alternative childcare because in 2 months time, I'll have no income. I now have Nora every day, and Stanley for at least 2, how am I going to find time to continue the job hunt, let alone find anytime to finish this PhD.

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Twice. Twice we have tried to leave the house this morning. Twice we failed. We feel lost and helpless. It's getting harder to leave the house with Stanley, because he just wants to stay at home. The first attempt at leaving he was with Daddy, and he kept delaying and delaying… there was always just one more thing. They eventually gave up the attempt to go out, and came back in the house. Stanley then told us he didn't want to go the shop. Second attempt a couple of hours later, with all four of us, and after much persuasion… we eventually manage to get in the car, one step further. But, from the minute he sat down, to the minute we get home, he just screams that his bottom is hurting, and that he wants to get out. He did this so much that we eventually gave up and came home. We checked, and tried everything in between to make him more comfortable, but nothing worked. When we get back home, he could then tell us that his bottom wasn't really hurting, he just wanted to get out of the car (which is what we suspected). This is because he doesn't want to go out. He doesn't want to go anywhere. He wants to stay at home, because it's easier to cope with. Our whole morning has been an attempt to leave the house, and I feel like we are going to end up getting stuck. What happens when we need to leave the house? Should we have just forced him into the car this morning… kicking, screaming, and crying? When we know that it's going to end in a meltdown, do we just go with it, and let it happen? Or, do we give in… and stay at home… where it is quiet, and he is content? Stanley and Daddy are now out walking the fields, and he couldn't be happier. So peaceful.

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Today has really been an up and down kind of day. I spent the day with this little man, instead of taking him to Granny's (it's my last official week of maternity leave after all!) – so we had a trip to the castle, which was so lovely. Unfortunately though, it ended with a meltdown in the car park, and us not attending the planned picnic with his auntie. As much as we try to prepare him, he doesn't seem to be coping with transitions. It wasn't nice today, it's not nice seeing him so upset and distressed, and I feel so lost in those situations. He's really not had a good week, and I'm not sure if the weather has a role to play in this too. He's not a fan of the heat, and it's all too bright for him most of the time. It's certainly not helping anyway. I know I don't cope too well with this heat, it stresses me out! I have found this week really tough… I have felt stressed, helpless, and so tired… and I know this has meant that I'm not reacting to Stanley as I normally would, and how I should. I haven't been the best I can be with him, and then that only leaves me feeling more guilty and stressed. Tomorrow is a new day though, and it's just me and the little man again. I think we'll end up back at the castle… but we'll see if he's changed his mind in the morning. I'm planning to do whatever he wants to do tomorrow. Let's hope we have a better end to the week! πŸ’›βœŒπŸ»πŸŒ»

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Since our rubbish morning on Monday, I've spent the last couple of days with Stanley, and I've been tying to talk to him to find out if there is anything we can do to make going to childcare easier. Amazingly, he was able to tell me a few things. For one, he always tells us that Granny's is "scary", and so we've been talking about what makes us (+ Nora and his superheroes!) happy, sad… and what things are funny, scary etc. He seemed to really enjoy playing these little games, and it's incredible to see how much he understands and what he picks up on. Some of the scary things included "dark lights", "changing things", and "windows". When we got to Granny's on Monday she had changed her playroom around. As soon as we saw it, we instantly worried about how Stanley would react, and he noticed everything. He just kept asking Granny "Why? Why have you done that? Why have you turned this around?". Anyway, when we were talking about scary things, he told me: "Granny changed it and I didn't like it (he started cowering, and put his arms up as though he was uncomfortable and trying to hide), and Granny didn't put it back to normal". He talked about windows quite a few times, but I'm really not sure what it is about the windows. My only thought is the brightness, especially with this nice weather… he's always been quite sensitive to light. Or, it could be the people that he sees coming and going through the windows… I really don't know. It's just nice to hear from him, nice that he is able to recognise that "changing things" is "scary"… because this is something we can now work on with him, and prepare others for. I hope that the more we continue to have these little chats, and play these little games, the more he'll develop an understanding about feeling and thoughts, and what we can do to help. This morning he's been fab, he's been practising (with help from a great @sesamestreet app) doing three big breaths for when you feel frustrated πŸ’›

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