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    #26
    Sure you can, I'd be first in the queue for anything with peanuts

    After that it's caveat emptor

    ( You could toss any cauliflower or brussels sprouts in the compost bin though )

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      #27
      Originally posted by john the revelator View Post
      Sure you can, I'd be first in the queue for anything with peanuts

      After that it's caveat emptor

      ( You could toss any cauliflower or brussels sprouts in the compost bin though )
      Yeah, I'm saving sealed products for the local food bank and going to see if my neighbour wants anything that's already been opened but is still fine. I emailed the food bank to double check but I reckon they'll take peanut products, and they'll be pre-sorted so they know not to give out to anyone with an allergy.

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        #28
        Right. Will be solo parenting again on Weds and Thurs this week. The kids are both in after school clubs on Thurs which helps, but Weds was looking difficult as I'm chairing a meeting over pick-up time for my son. I have just cycled through every single possible option for an adult who a) we trust, b) can handle my son and c) might have availability to collect him. It's a total of exactly 7 adults (not including me and my husband).

        Three are relatives, my mum, my dad and my mother-in-law. My mum and dad are both busy and my mother-in-law is sick so that option is out.

        Three are local mums that we know well. Two are working that day (they work part-time). One is going to do some paid childcare for me starting this week, but her son is having an operation on Wednesday so she's out.

        The last option is my next-door neighbour who is lovely and is the local childminder. She's usually fully booked, but actually has a slot on Wednesday and has saved my bacon.

        I thought seven back-up options would be enough, but looks like I might need to be expanding the options.

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          #29
          Do you have no control over the timing of the meeting as the chair?

          Or are the alternatives just as bad?

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            #30
            Originally posted by ursus arctos View Post
            Do you have no control over the timing of the meeting as the chair?

            Or are the alternatives just as bad?
            If I'd arranged it further in advance, I could have changed the time of the meeting, but I can't do it two days in advance as there are too many senior people attending with busy calendars. Seen as very poor form to mess them around at short notice.

            Wherever possible, I try to book these meetings to accommodate school pick-up times. This was just one of those occasions where I couldn't.

            If my back-up childcare option falls through, I can always explain it's an emergency.

            Technically, I could collect my son, sprint back with him, stick him in front of the TV and just about make the meeting, but that's not ideal.

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              #31
              That all makes sense (and is actually quite familiar).

              It does make me think that you shouldn't be overly stressed about finding an eighth and ninth option (though they never hurt), given that these are genuinely unusual circumstances.

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                #32
                Three days to go and counting. She's got herself a flat about a twenty minute walk from here and is due to move out on Friday, though she didn't set the Internet up in time so will be coming here daily to work until that's up and running, which is about a couple of weeks, I think.

                Everything regarding the lease for my house went through just in time. I signed the new lease the day before the interest rates increase came about at the same monthly rate that we'd been paying before, and I did wonder whether that would have been the case had it been a couple of days later.

                I also had some goodish news on the utility bills front. I was concerned that they sent me a letter upping my direct debit to 230 a month before the October price increases, but I then got a second one from them confirming that this new rate is fixed for two years. It's too much, but I've been able to clear enough from my monthly outgoings to be able to afford it, at least until next April.

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                  #33
                  Today's solo parenting isn't going too badly so far. Husband left very early this morning. I got up in time to get the kids ready for school without too much rushing and drama and explained the after school arrangements to them. Son is being collected from school by lovely next door neighbour / highly qualified childminder and going to her house for two hours which he's very excited about. Daughter is going to school choir after school then walking home on her own / with some friends and I'll leave the front door open for her to let herself in. We've purchased a key box with a code to install on the front of the house, but haven't got round to drilling it into place yet.

                  Both kids got to school ok. Had a nice chat to the teacher. Son apparently kicked off yesterday because he didn't agree with the allocated turn taking for an activity, but she handled it very well (her adult son has autism so nothing my son does phases her).

                  Stopped at next-door neighbour's briefly to check ingredients on any snacks she might feed my son and warn her about his sensory issues. She already looks after another little boy who has autism so is similarly unphased. If this afternoon goes well I'm going to see if she has any more regular slots for childcare.

                  Have found another local nanny who might be able to do occasional babysitting (she's been the nanny of two sisters who have achondroplasia for years and has been absolutely lovely with them every time I've seen her) which might mean that me and my husband could actually go out on a date night, would be a total shock to the system.

                  Have organised two local cleaners who came yesterday for an hour. They have had a rethink and suggest they might need two hours to clean my house now. I don't really care how long they need, I was just very grateful to come home from work yesterday to a slightly cleaner house.

                  Tomorrow, both children have after school clubs, art club and yoga. I returned the little Lego figures that son had stolen from yoga yesterday, and have ordered some mini Lego figures for him to play with at home instead. Then the mum I'm employing for a bit of childcare is going to walk the kids home. It's an early transition into next week when my husband is properly away for three days and she'll be doing more childcare for me.

                  Comment


                    #34
                    For feck's sake. Very important call that I'm supposed to be chairing this afternoon is now likely to be cancelled, so that's a wasted couple of hours and stress sorting out childcare solutions and 12 down the drain as I don't think it's fair to cancel on the childminder at this short notice.

                    Though it'll still be useful to have the childcare in place as I can then finish at 5pm on the dot today and spend the evening with the kids rather than working late.

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                      #35
                      I have authorised corporate reimbursement for such expenditures in similar situations, though I am afraid that I am an outlier.

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                        #36
                        Unfortunately, my organisation is not the sort of organisation that is able to do that. I can't really explain why without revealing too much about the organisation.

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                          #37
                          So yesterday's meeting actually went ahead in the end. Meaning the childcare was useful and everything went well.

                          Then I got told that the big setpiece annual meeting that's due in two weeks' time, which everyone gets in a massive tizz about for no reason, and that we've spent about two months preparing for, has now been postponed for about three months. So I probably don't need the childcare I'd arranged for that day. My husband was due to be in Singapore for those days, but he's just told me that the Singapore work has switched to being virtual because of the skyrocketing cost of flights given the collapse in the pound.

                          How the feck am I supposed to keep on top of organising childcare with all these constantly changing parameters?

                          And it's not like I'm dealing with a neurodivergent child whose greatest wish in the world is to know what will actually be happening every day of the week and for that to stay the same every week. Oh wait, I am.

                          Comment


                            #38
                            Child-related admin that I've done today as well as my full-time job.

                            - got the kids up, ready and out to school
                            - chatted to son's teacher
                            - messaged the mum who's doing pick-up for me today and with dates for future childcare
                            - messaged the yoga teacher to explain who'll be picking up my son and apologise for his behaviour / stealing all the little Lego people from the nursery last week
                            - phoned / messaged five different people to try and find a babysitter for tomorrow evening (fingers crossed one looks like it might work out)
                            - printed out, filled in, photographed and sent a consent form for brownies this evening because it's at a different location to usual
                            - messaged the brownie leader to check if it's ok for me and son to stay at brownies as well if husband isn't back in time
                            - read emails about brownies sleepover, beavers trip to the woods,
                            - ignored emails about half-term art workshops and sibling photo day
                            - checked the class app and downloaded photos of son looking fascinated by a set of scales, daughter doing an impressive football tackle and daughter playing the tenor horn while sporting her star of the week medal
                            - wondered what opinions son has been spouting which means he earned a religious education related point
                            - done two loads of laundry and put the dishwasher on

                            Comment


                              #39
                              So my ex-wife moved out on Saturday. My mood changed in a thrice. Straight away, I felt calmer, more relaxed, and more in control of my own feelings and emotions. The house is tidy, the mouse/mice have not returned since my blitz of steel wool and peppermint, everything's up to speed and all the bills are paid. I felt pretty good last night.

                              But then came this morning.

                              She wanted them to see her new flat, which they'll be staying in at weekends, so they stayed over there last night and she was dropping them off this morning so I could take them to school. She has to work here for the next two weeks because they can't install her broadband for a fortnight, so it seemed to make sense.

                              But here's the thing. Last Christmas, I bought the kids a Switch. They love it and they're both completely obsessed with Minecraft, but they've also been fighting like cat and dog over who gets to play it, to the point that I've had to unplug it and stick it in a cupboard upstairs because the arguing was becoming intolerable.

                              Just before she moved out, she bought them each a Switch Lite, the handheld only version of the console. This all seemed very sensible. She hasn't got a TV at her place and will need something to keep them entertained at weekends. But when she pitched up with them this morning one they didn't have them and, when I asked where they were because they weren't in their bags, said that she'd told them to keep them at her house.

                              This has ramifications. It means that I am going to get complaining about not being able to play Minecraft every day (they've also left the carrying pouch with all the games in it at her flat, so even having a Switch here is pretty much redundant now), but having one each stopped the arguing over who's turn was who's.

                              But these are *handheld* devices. I thought the point of her getting them was that they'd be able to shuttle between her place and here with them, for a bit of continuity. Her explanation was, 'but I got them for them to use at my place', but that doesn't make sense, especially when you remember that she knows fully well how bad their arguing over it here could get. Considering that they'll be going to and from hers by taxi with a bag and with one of us with them, it's hardly as thought they're going to lose them or anything.

                              It makes me worry that it's going to make it impossible for me to be cordial with her, if this is an example of how things are going to Be. Older kid told me on the way to school that he's going to ask her to bring them over tomorrow, so I guess I'll see how he gets on with that.

                              Is there a good reason why she'd insist on this? Because it literally makes no sense to me and I feel as though I must be missing something obvious.
                              Last edited by My Name Is Ian; 03-10-2022, 08:36.

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                                #40
                                Bit hard to say, really. Maybe your ex- thinks that keeping the devices with her makes mum's new place a bit more fun to visit than it would be otherwise, which might be quite useful if the kids are ever reluctant to go over at the weekends.

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                                  #41
                                  So, my plan on Wednesday was to go into the office. I'd scheduled lots of in-person catch-ups this day to make the most of the time. I'm solo parenting again this week from about 11am Tuesday to late on Thursday evening, so to make this possible I had:
                                  a) arranged paid childcare for after school on Wednesday
                                  b) briefed the children about this
                                  c) checked that the childminder can take my son to the park after school because it turns out that a boy in his class is having a birthday party with cupcakes there and he'll be devastated if he can't go
                                  d) checked that the cupcakes will be nut-free
                                  e) messaged the childminder all the possible ways of contacting me and/or my mother-in-law if anything goes wrong because she won't be able to call me on my mobile because it doesn't work in my office

                                  I have just registered that this is all moot because there are rail strikes on Wednesday and I probably can't get into the office anyway. FFS!

                                  Comment


                                    #42
                                    Originally posted by My Name Is Ian View Post
                                    So my ex-wife moved out on Saturday. My mood changed in a thrice. Straight away, I felt calmer, more relaxed, and more in control of my own feelings and emotions. The house is tidy, the mouse/mice have not returned since my blitz of steel wool and peppermint, everything's up to speed and all the bills are paid. I felt pretty good last night.

                                    But then came this morning.

                                    She wanted them to see her new flat, which they'll be staying in at weekends, so they stayed over there last night and she was dropping them off this morning so I could take them to school. She has to work here for the next two weeks because they can't install her broadband for a fortnight, so it seemed to make sense.

                                    But here's the thing. Last Christmas, I bought the kids a Switch. They love it and they're both completely obsessed with Minecraft, but they've also been fighting like cat and dog over who gets to play it, to the point that I've had to unplug it and stick it in a cupboard upstairs because the arguing was becoming intolerable.

                                    Just before she moved out, she bought them each a Switch Lite, the handheld only version of the console. This all seemed very sensible. She hasn't got a TV at her place and will need something to keep them entertained at weekends. But when she pitched up with them this morning one they didn't have them and, when I asked where they were because they weren't in their bags, said that she'd told them to keep them at her house.

                                    This has ramifications. It means that I am going to get complaining about not being able to play Minecraft every day (they've also left the carrying pouch with all the games in it at her flat, so even having a Switch here is pretty much redundant now), but having one each stopped the arguing over who's turn was who's.

                                    But these are *handheld* devices. I thought the point of her getting them was that they'd be able to shuttle between her place and here with them, for a bit of continuity. Her explanation was, 'but I got them for them to use at my place', but that doesn't make sense, especially when you remember that she knows fully well how bad their arguing over it here could get. Considering that they'll be going to and from hers by taxi with a bag and with one of us with them, it's hardly as thought they're going to lose them or anything.

                                    It makes me worry that it's going to make it impossible for me to be cordial with her, if this is an example of how things are going to Be. Older kid told me on the way to school that he's going to ask her to bring them over tomorrow, so I guess I'll see how he gets on with that.

                                    Is there a good reason why she'd insist on this? Because it literally makes no sense to me and I feel as though I must be missing something obvious.
                                    Congratulations on your ex-wife moving out.

                                    Keeping the switches at hers is very likely to be a way of making sure the kids want to come to her place, whether she's doing it consciously or subconsciously. As you're the primary carer she may well have a certain amount of anxiety about her future relationship with the kids.

                                    Comment


                                      #43
                                      Mine are absolutely obsessed with the Nintendo switch as well, and continually squabble over who gets to play it next. We try to stick to them only being allowed to play it at weekends but it doesn't always pan out that way.

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                                        #44
                                        I think Balders has nailed this. It may well not be conscious.

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                                          #45
                                          Gotcha, cheers. It's a load of nothing really, and I probably overreacting (internally, at least - my external reaction was, 'Oh... okay') anyway.

                                          I've not been working today, so I've been able to spend that couple of hours doing productive things with them instead.

                                          Comment


                                            #46
                                            Day 1 of this particular stint of solo parenting. I'm shattered and I want to go to sleep but the kids are still arguing. Daughter wants the light off. Son wants it on. So I give son the yoto player we have bought for this very situation which has a nightlight and plays stories to him. Unfortunately, son takes this into his bed and it has an irresistibly twiddly volume button so he keeps turning it up to full volume meaning that daughter can't sleep. So I confiscate the yoto player and we're back to square one of squabbling over whether the light is on or off. This is why they need separate bedrooms, which we're trying to sort out but it takes time.

                                            Current state of play is that I'm letting son sleep in my bed with the light on and daughter sleep in her bed with the light off, but I'll then have to carry him through to his bed later. I would let him just sleep in the bed with me except that he is the most fidgety sleeper ever, continually turns full 360 degree rotations, roams all across the bed kicking anyone who's unfortunate enough to be sharing it with him. Me getting that level of disrupted sleep is simply not an option when I'm in sole charge of the kids.

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                                              #47
                                              Daughter is now asleep in her own bed. Son is now asleep horizontally across my bed.

                                              The alternative option to carrying him is just for me to go and sleep in his bed, which I've done in the past while solo parenting. It's reasonably comfy. One of the few advantages of being a short-arse.

                                              Comment


                                                #48
                                                I'm back to the drawing board re: childcare strategising. I have learnt in recent weeks that:

                                                a) my dad can't handle my son for ten minutes without threatening to slap him.
                                                b) my mum, who is a qualified ex-primary school teacher, can't handle my son for an hour downstairs without choosing to ignore him when he injures himself.
                                                c) my friend who is a mum of two similar aged children, including one who is also challenging and has SEN, can't handle my son at her house for three hours. He got returned from today's trial session with the message that "this is not sustainable".
                                                d) my neighbour who is a fully qualified battle axe childminder who's seen it all CAN handle my son for two hours, but even she finds it challenging and she doesn't have any spare places at the moment.

                                                This is on top of the previously known fact that the employees at the school summer camp can't handle my son (when we tried to send him there they rang me in a state of panic in the middle of the day to complain that "he's just not listening to us").

                                                Fortunately, we have an absolutely amazing school with teachers who CAN handle my son. I suspect at another school with less emphasis on pastoral care he'd be on the road to being excluded already.

                                                Further food for thought on the "maybe it's unsurprising that we're a bit tired" theme, as well as on the "maybe he actually has ASC and ADHD and I should get him diagnosed and apply for DLA / carer's allowance" theme.

                                                Comment


                                                  #49
                                                  Have you spoken to the teachers about the conundrum?

                                                  They may have contacts worth exploring, or can at least be a good sounding board.

                                                  Comment


                                                    #50
                                                    I forgot that two childcare solutions that are currently working ok are:
                                                    1) son goes to an art club after school. It's at the school with a teacher who he gets on with really well. She can handle him and he's been going for about a year now with no problems. It gives me an extra hour and fifteen minutes beyond normal school finishing time on a Tuesday.
                                                    2) we've started him at an after school yoga club again at the school. The teacher isn't a teacher from the school but she's very experienced and very good with him. I spoke to her lots before he started to explain his behaviour and needs, and so far, fingers crossed it's going reasonably well. The first few weeks he only danced in the free dance sections of the class and played at the edges for the rest of time. Last week he actually joined in with the yoga poses for the first fifteen minutes. That gives me one hour and fifteen minutes on a Thursday.

                                                    I have two friends with sons who are friends of my son who can handle him. He can go to play dates round theirs and everyone survives and they're willing to have him back again, even if, for example, he gets wildly excited and throws a bucket of water over one friend's head (i.e. the adult), or throws a tantrum at the other friend's house because he doesn't want to play football. If either of these friends were available for childcare it would be amazing, but unfortunately they both work pretty much full-time.

                                                    We tried a drama club and a karate club which were both fairly disastrous. Son announced this week that he wants to go back to karate again despite screaming and rolling around on the floor almost the entire time we tried going there. In drama he refused to join in with anything except playing musical statues which wasn't even meant to be part of the class.
                                                    Last edited by Balderdasha; 05-10-2022, 20:11.

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