we went to a shopping centre. We looked around a store the hubby ( I’ll refer to him as Boof from his point on) likes, full of tools and crap, then went and looked through a shop I like with never ending craft supplies…heaven…then sat in a food court and ate lunch with our 3 boys (now known as 9, 8 and 6). With lunch done we dropped into a super market then drove the hour home. Once home we all did our own thing until dinner, then with kids in bed I’m now sitting in a hot bath relaxing and writing about our wonderful day.
Whats so wonderful about this day…well only a short time ago it either wouldn’t have been possible, and if we had of attempted it, it would have been the stuff of nightmares. There would have been fighting, swearing, crying, and that’s just from me, the kids would have been acting like little ferals and Boof would be cranky and short tempered with us all.
You see with my issues, Boofs issues, 9’s Aspergers, 8’s hyperactivity and 6 just feeding off everyone else’s moods we rarely leave the house. But things are changing, I am changing and as a result my family is changing. It was not a day without hiccups, it was not a day without stress…but it was a day where I managed to handle the issues before any of us had a meltdown…and meltdown free days are always good days
So how did we accomplish this day, well lately I’ve been working on ‘reading’ my body and minds signals ,I’ve come to know what each of our ‘weaknesses’ are as well as what signs to watch out for that indicate if any of us are close to breaking point…So a detailed description of the day would go like this…
We started at Bunnings, busy place, I have issues with noise and crowds, as does 9…so we spend time browsing but after a while both 9 and I start feeling a little antsy, more people are coming in, noise is getting a little much. I let Boof know that the 2 of us need to leave soon so he grabs what we originally went in there for and we leave. About an hour is spent instore and while Boof could look around for an hour more he knows that its time to go.
Then we head to Spotlight, craft heaven. It’s quiet, its got that smell that craft stores have and that calms 9 and I, we spend more time just browsing and after about 45mins I notice that 8 is starting to act out a little, can’t blame him, with being hyperactive and an extrovert he needs people around, and the store is too empty for him, plus 6 mentions he is hungry so before 8 tears the store apart and 6’s hunger turns to screams of “I’m starving to death” with full dramatics (he’s our little actor) we leave the store and head to the food court.
Now the food court is packed, Boof takes the kids to sit at a table while I order lunch, 8 is happy and behaving because there is people, 9 and 6 are just looking forward to lunch. I order and step back, lots of people waiting for their orders. They are in my space, they are too close, I’m feeling crowded. I take a deep breath and step forward, out of the crowd, people are still too close to me but not surrounding me anymore, I can breathe again…
Once I have our food I make my way to the table, looking first for a clear way to weave through the tables, a way that won’t bring me in contact with too many shoppers. As I’m nearing the table a lady stands up and as she passes me her arm brushes mine, I smile but inside I am freaking, I don’t like physical contact, in part because fibro makes my skin just hurt somedays and even the slightest touch can be agony, and physical contact just feels like the worst violation of my personal space (well not all physical contact…I do have kids after all…), I love my bubble, don’t burst it please…I tell myself it’s ok, its a good fibro day so the pain was ok, and as long as lunch is eaten at a moderate pace I know we will be on our way home soon.
After a little grocery shopping we are back in the car, kids are tired, we have been out for hours, so they all fall asleep, I’m relaxed because its quiet and Boof is happy because he didn’t have to yell at the boys.
Once home I go for a nap because while I held it together all day I am now exhausted, Boof sits down to watch some drag racing on tv, 9 goes to his room to read, 8 goes bike riding around the neighbourhood, and 6 plays quietly with Lego. After dinner the kids went to bed, Boof watched some more tv and I’m in the bath…and that brings me full circle to where this post starts.
Today went so well because by paying attention to the different needs and quirks of us all, we could cut any problems off at the pass, leave the situations when they got too much, communicate what we needed to calm down with each other…for once we were just a normal couple with their kids enjoying a day out…not the frazzled looking couple with the feral kids that were melting down and drawing attention to us making us feel judged, making the trip into the centre as quick as possible before one of us loses it….and when we got home we each took the time to recharge in our own ways.
So now I’m thinking its time to step out of this bath…curl up on the lounge with Boof and relax together for a while, then off to bed for a little of the physical contact I don’t mind and a full nights sleep after a good day…