On being amazing

Over the past few days I’ve been leading groups of new first year students around the campus to give them a gentle and friendly introduction to campus life.  Most of my “mentees” were mature age students, and I shared some of my history with them as a way of explaining that life has challenges, but there are mechanisms in place within the university to support people who have added challenges, and that different people have different challenges – your worries are every bit as valid as mine.  We all need a bit of help sometimes.

I made a point of stopping the tour outside campus wellbeing and explaining in detail about the services they offer.  Mostly because I don’t know if I would still be at uni without that support, and because I know that the attrition rate for first year students is really high, and I want “my” team to know that help is available when life gets sticky.

And the response I got was the usual “you’re amazing”.  I didn’t think much of it at the time, apart from a general uneasiness.  Later I reflected that going to uni is a very selfish act, and that the people that support me to do this are the amazing ones.  My husband is amazing.  His forbearance and tolerance border on saintly at times.  I’m not amazing.  I am a sorry and broken person who has no choice but to gather the pieces in a bucket and carry on.

Without Squish, without Mark, I wouldn’t have even been able to find a bucket.  Without my parents, my in-laws, my friends and family, I’d be living on the streets and eating out of bins.  Or I’d be dead.

So I loved this piece I read today. We are amazing because we are human.  Extending empathy and compassion is part of what makes us human, and without that we lose our humanity.

Leftover gnocchi with aubergine and courgette


Mark and I went to the opera last night (Falstaff, you should see it, best fun Lorina, you were AMAZING!), so I made gnocchi for the Squish and his gorgeous Tia Nani (Aunty Jane who very kindly babysat for us).

This morning I decided to sling the leftovers into the big dipper to try it out as a main meal container for wet foods.  We’ll see how it goes – I have ordered another big dipper so I can also use one for fruit.  Today I sent his fruit in a glass container, but I anticipate that won’t wash for long.  Why does it have to be so hard to find leakproof containers?  Even the big dipper leaks a bit, but not nearly as bad as plastic.

Thank you everyone for your kind and supportive comments about yesterdays post.  It feels really nice to be able to be honest about my insecurities and not be judged.

I do trust the school and his teacher is terrific, it’s just really hard to let go of the day to day management of Inigo’s learning.  It’s hard to hand him over to someone who hasn’t yet had time to work out that he can read a lot of simple stuff and is learning new words every day.

Of course the tiny compartmentalised rational part of my brain knows that the teacher has an awful lot on her plate and I wouldn’t do her job for quids!   Maybe I just had too high expectations of the best start assessment. And hopefully I will learn how to be a mum of a school kid in time, without too many people writing me off as crazy.

All too soon he’s going to be telling me about how his home made particle accelerator works – I can take a deep breath and know with certainty that he is going to be fine.




Week three of school.  He’s stopped talking about how much he loves school, what he’s looking forward to, who his friends are…

Last week there was a kid in his class following him around and getting in his face saying “I don’t like you”.  Then she hit him in the face and knocked his hat off his head.

I had a meeting with Mrs D, and yesterday he told me that the kid had been nice to him.  Crisis averted.

Except despite having loads of kids in his class that like him, he is apparently wandering around the school on his own most recess and lunch times.

And he hates school work.

Every other kid in the class finishes their work on time, but Inigo stares off in to space and dawdles.  We’ve worked out that he thinks it is boring and just can’t be bothered, but the problem is he can’t be given more interesting work unless he can prove that he can do the easy stuff.

Yesterday he had his first home reader.  He asked for more books for today, a bit more of a challenge.  But there is a system,  Later on, when the teacher has time to spend with each kid and assess their reading level he will be given books that will challenge him a bit more. I get that every kid in the class is just as important as my Squishy, that they all need to have their needs met too.  And I so don’t want to be that awful whinging parent that thinks everything their child does is perfect and beyond reproach.  I am not that parent, though I am sure I look like it to Mrs D right now 😉

So I just have to be patient.  And encouraging, and support what the teacher needs. And try not to freak out that he will end up hating school.  Because that is my baggage, and projecting it on him isn’t helpful.