b3ta.com user Mrs. Spatum
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» Spoilt Brats

Oh but he can't help it
I am a member of a forum for parents with kids with autistic spectrum disorders (as I have mentioned many times my 8 year old is autistic) and I swear the place riles the fuck out of me. Everyday I log on and see so many of these parents moaning and whining about how their child does this that and the other but "they can't help it cause they got a special need innit". I swear it boils my blood. Slightly off topic but I shall tell you my story of how I turned what looked like a spoiled brat into my lovely star wars obsessed son. I am going to blow my own trumpet here because I think I've done a damn good job with my son.

Back when he was 3 he wouldn't join in with any of the other kids at nursery and wandered around at story time. The nursery staff had a different tale about my sons behaviour everyday and I absolutely dreaded picking him up. I have to admit my son was like the spawn of satan back then, would scream no in your face if you asked him to do anything, ran riot around rooms breaking things and generally being loud and verbally aggressive. Anyway the nursery decided to get child health involved by putting us in contact with someone who could guide us through getting him sorted out. I had never even considered the idea that he might have a special need (or additional need as the PC crowd demand it to be called nowadays) We were put in touch with a local childrens centre and was told that we would be getting a family support worker in the for of a special educational needs co-ordinator. At first I was totally against any idea of any help fearing being labelled a family of chavs who needed help from the system to control their unruly brat. We applied for a place for him at the local school and I could tell they didn't really want him there so this lady set the wheels in motion for a diagnosis, what she suspected was the cause of his behaviour I did not know, but I went along with it all expecting it to be a long and tiring task with no outcome other than a label of some sort of "Behavioural disorder" (You know the kind I mean, the one they stick on kids that they can't stick anything else on). Life went on with a whirlwind of appointments and meetings to discuss my son. It all changed at one appointment when my husband and I were sat behind two way mirror and watching my son interact with psychiatrists and paediatricians, he was running wild and creating havoc, when I was asked to go to him and calm him down. I walked into the room and picked him up and sat him on a chair and kneeled down next to him and said "Stop this now, we're going to sit here together until you calm down" it was exactly what I had been doing to calm him down all along and seemed to work pretty well. After the appointment I was told he wouldn't be able to attend mainstream school and a few weeks later I was told he had suspected Autism and that I was actually quite a good mum and hadn't been doing anything wring HURRAH. Now apart from watching the film Rainman I had never really heard of it before so I came home and read up about it on the internet. Joined many groups and learnt as much as I could about it. After learning all about it everything clicked in place, why Thomas the Tank engines had to be lined up in a certain colour order, why he chewed his clothes and repeated everyone's sentences but never able to make one of his own. A few months on we got the full diagnosis through the post in the form of a statement. Finding out it wasn't his fault to begin with was the start of something fantastic, I learned he was angry because he couldn't communicate what he wanted so my son and I learned Makaton together, I had stickers everywhere on wardrobes on the toy box kitchen cupboards and he carried a little book around with him and whenever he wanted to something he would show me a picture of it. Then we established a strict routine (being very anti Gina Ford this was extremely difficult for me) but he was like a changed child. He was happy and never angry and even managed to bond with his new baby brother. He now attends a special school and is excelling at everything, he comes home every day and can't wait to get through the door and tell me everything he's learned (usually after he's explained that R2D2 and C3PO are not Jedi Knights but Luke Skywalker is Annakin Skywalker and Queen Amidalas son and that Annakin skywalker is REALLY Darth Vader) *prouds*

Five years on I can honestly hold my hands up and say that his bad behaviour has vanished and he is the most placid and loving child I have ever met. He has tantrums occasionally but most children do, and when he does he just shouts "I'm going away" and he does, he goes and has 10 minutes quiet time on his own and then comes back and carries on as if nothing has happened. As for me, I now run the local special needs parents support group, and I am also on the board of directors for the very organisation that got me through the tough times.

So this takes me back to my original thought and it's a controversial one at that. A child having special needs is NOT an excuse for bad behaviour. If my child is rude, throws a hissy fit for no reason other than to be a little shit he will get told off for it. None of this Namby pamby shit here thanks, if you're naughty then I take something away, If I have to take away everything you own then so be it.

I rambled far too much here and haven't been able to get my thoughts in order properly for this but meh fuck it, it's been nice to type all that up.
(Tue 14th Oct 2008, 10:26, More)

» Bad Management

I have two bosses
At times they are horrible to me, I have to be at work for 7am everyday without fail, even on my days off at least one of the bosses calls me early in the morning for work related matters, and if it's not one of them it's the poor bloke who is covering for me. I am not allowed a sick day unless it involves being in hospital and then they would probably call me every two minutes.

The day usually starts with me handing in some work which is usually considered wrong and gets thrown back in my face so I have to do it all again and twice as fast as we're running a tight shift. Once that's done with I'll try to grab a coffee and a quick snack which, if I am lucky might involve a few chocolate bourbons, but usually I get nothing. My next task is sort stacks and stacks of work into the right piles for later in the day when they will be folded, stuffed and posted in the right pigeon holes for each person in the company, all the while boss A yelling for me to organise my time more efficiently as he has much more important matters for me to deal with such as a presentation on ease of access to hunting grounds and how a bridge might make it easier to get the prey rather than going through the river. Boss B has an idea half way through my presentation and runs off to the design and construction department to oversee another new project, it's most likely a prototype for the bridge.

After finally getting those pesky pigeon holes stuffed and sorted I try to catch up on my e-mails but boss B and boss A have called a meeting where we have to watch a presentation on a construction company we work with everyday to see how they are solving the problem of inadequate staff and community issues, i've never known staff like it, I thought I was bad but the labourers on this building site are appalling, the bloke who works the cranes is terrified of heights and gets all upset when he picks stuff up, an hour later and having being forced to watch the same presentation 3 times and memorise it for later by pain of deaf I am already beginning to feel a bit tired and hungry so I plod off to the canteen and take my book-keeping books and calculator with me whilst I eat a lettuce sandwich and drink a cold cuppa whilst watching both bosses throw fine food down their necks and drink fresh squeezed juice. The companies finances are a mess and cutting staff pay or hours just won't fix it - I write a note to myself to call a meeting with the accountant.

After lunch I eventually get 2.4 minutes to check my e-mail before the news comes in that Boss B's new project prototype has been dropped from a great height and broken into pieces, I have to go and sort it out before he finds out, thankfully much to my delight boss A decides to help me with this as he knows that B can get very angry when things like this happen and even he doesn't like listening to him scream and shout. Thankfully we got it fixed in time, I don't think I would have been sacked but my day would have been hell, in fact I think hell might have been a slightly nicer place to have been had we not got something done.

A few hours later I find myself in the art department, I quite like it here as the staff are actually nice and I often get free designs from them to put on my office wall and they sometimes even clean up after themselves.

Eventually the day begins to wind down and my colleague starts his shift and we work together for a few hours trying to appease our tired hungry bosses so that they will leave in good mood so that we can continue our work in peace. I decide to order a pizza to save time as we've over-run on the schedule and there's still lots to do. The bosses are pleased with my decision - RESULT! Once again the cleaner doesn't turn up so I have to do it all myself, by which point I feel like a zombie. My colleague and I begin rowing over who gets to clean the canteen, I usually get stuck with it which I hate as there is tons of work to in there. My colleague at this point spends time catching up with the bosses where they usually bully him terribly and sometimes it ends up in a physical fight with boss A putting him in a half-nelson while boss B jumps on his head.

As the day closes and I am locking up the office with the last dregs of cold tea in my tummy, I walk into my bosses office to find them both asleep, I can't resist anything more in the world than walking up to them planting a gentle kiss on their cheeks and telling them how much I love them when boss B's eyes flicker open and he whispers "I love you too mummy, thank you for being so awesome" - My job is ace!
(Thu 10th Jun 2010, 23:00, More)

» The nicest thing someone's ever done for me

My best friend
I find this story incredibly hard to tell because I get choked up by it quite alot and still have a massive sense of guilt over it.

Back to Christmas 2003 I was 3 months married and was going through a rough time, I had just been promoted at work to a manager and was taking a 2 hour journey on the bus from Bradford to Wakefield 5 days a week setting off at 6am and not getting in until 8pm all this is going on whilst I am finally realising that I wasn't a bad parent at all and I was being gently brought around to the fact that my son had some sort of social and communication disorder (later diagnosed as Autism), because of this my husband and I never ever went out together, we had many nights out on our own but never together. A few days after Christmas my father in law calls us and says that there is a New Years Eve party at the golf club and we should come, I declined at first saying that we couldn't leave the boy but then my own dad popped his head around the door and said that we should go and he and my mum would cope. So the night rolled around and I am sat in front of the mirror curling my hair and making myself feel a bit human and feeling very excited when the phone rings. It was my best friend, we had known each other for years and were really close to each others families and until we both left our homes we practically lived between my parents and her mums. we did the usual hi how are you stuff and then she said "what are you doing tonight?" I told her all about my night out, she asked me lots of questions like what I was wearing, told me I needed the night out etc and all the while I could hear things didn't sound right with her so I asked what was wrong and she said nothing, and that her and our other friends night had fallen through so they were just going to stay in cause she was tired anyway. Knowing this friend so well I didn't worry too much as she was always a bit grumpy when she was tired. I put the phone down and finished getting ready for what was to be one of the greatest nights out I had ever had, we drank far too much and then we were called outside by everyone only to see that it had been snowing very heavily and it felt so special and christmassy. The evening came to an end and the taxi's had stopped because of the snow and we were stuck in Huddersfield needing to get back to Bradford, so one kind chap who had remained sober piled a good fair few of us into his minibus and braved the short but snowcovered motorway trip to Bradford dropping us all off at the petrol station at the end of the motorway. My parents only live down the road so Mr Sp@m and I set off walking 3am in the snow down my mum and dad mile long hill. We were very very merry and decided to roll a snowball as far as we could, we must have got it to nearly 4ft tall (unbeknownst to me whilst trying to push this 4ft snowball and pissed out of my head I was actually 4 week pregnant oops) , cars were passing and people were waving at us falling over in the snow and laughing, we even stayed up until 4.30am building a snowman in my mum and dads garden (I know I know childish but fun).

Anyway I have gone way off track here but I always tell it like this because thinking of the night out makes everything seem easier to deal with.

The next morning I eventually woke up with virtually no hangover but we decided to stay at my mum and dads and chill out in our pyjamas for the rest of new years day. About 5pm I decided to ring my friend from the night before and tell her of my awesome night and see if she had decided to go out in the end at all. So I picked up the phone and dialled the number and our other friend answered, I asked if my friend was there and she said no and that she had gone to her mums with her grandma and aunty I said "ohh is her aunty and grandma up from London I didn't know they were coming, I'm going to go over and see them" I was all cheerful as you do and then my friend went quiet on the phone and said "Oh Sam its awful, she didn't tell you did she?" I said "tell me what?" then I was informed that her mum had collapsed and died the previous morning (she was 46 and it was totally unexpected) and she had rang me the night before to tell me but she didn't because she didn't want to spoil my night. I was devastated.

I find it quite hard to deal with to this day I feel guilty about not being there for her and after a while I think I was a little bit angry with her for not telling me but then I realised that's just again me feeling guilty. At the one time she probably really needed me the most she selflessly sacrificed it because she thought that my night out was something she didn't feel she could take away from me. She told me never to look upon that night with sadness and if anything turn it into a celebration of her mum. And that's what my best friend did for me. *cries a bit*

*edit*Christ that's long.
(Fri 3rd Oct 2008, 9:43, More)

» Meeting people from the internet

Not exactly meeting someone but waving at them instead.
On my way into the bus station on the bus I noticed that one of the roads was shut and there were coppers everywhere. I grabbed my phone and did a twitter search for Bradford to see if anyone had tweeted what was going on and if I'd need to get off the bus and walk the rest of the way to work. I had about 8 minutes before the bus would leave the station so I had plenty of time to find out.
As I'm reading down the page I notice someone had tweeted that they were having lunch sat by the window of a restaurant I was about to pass. On the spur of the moment I replied to this strangers tweet and said that I was about to pass there on my bus. She replied back asking the bus number so I told her and when I passed the restaurant she was stood at the window waving at my bus my a crazy lady. Of course I waved back like the lunatic that I am and then tweeted my thanks and told her to enjoy her lunch, she replied with her thanks and a "lol" and that was it!
It was really surreal but it still makes me smile.
(Thu 20th Oct 2011, 13:23, More)

» Performance

Oh my gosh a question that feels like it's JUST FOR ME!
(This will seem long winded like it's going no-where but it does become relevant I promise) I'd had singing lessons and been in loads of performances when I was younger and loved it. It fizzled out when I was about 17 and didn't even consider continuing it after I left school. Life went on, I had a child, got married, had another and was fortunate enough to be able to stay at home for 5 years doing housewifey things. I volunteered for everything I could but being quite ambitious about everything I do I usually ended up getting too involved in my voluntary stuff and ended up running the groups and joining governing bodies of the places I helped out at. The catch to this is you stop being everyone's friend and become the person in charge and you don't get to join in the social side of stuff because you're so busy organising it. Eventually I gained employment with one of these places but having 5 years at home had knocked my confidence greatly. I was incredibly low, I was desperate for validation and was very paranoid about peoples opinions of me. Because of this I found it hard to feel like I fit in, despite my colleages being wonderful and kind and patient and very reassuring, I never felt comfortable with who I was. My temporary contract came to an end and I realised how unhappy I was there, not with the people or the work, but with myself, so I chose not to accept their offer of permanent work. Before I could allow myself fully back into normal society I had to banish my own demons.

I spent my days sat at home feeling very sorry for myself, I could feel real depression creeping up on me (I was probably already there but not willing to accept it) and I didn't know what I could do to drag myself out of this pit of self hatred and despair. I was invited to a 60th birthday party and it was to be my first night out in about 4 years. I only managed an hour of it before I felt dizzy and sick at the thought of being around so many people and having to come home crying the whole way in the taxi because I was positive everyone was looking at me and saying bad things, I don't know what I thought they were saying and in hindsight it's completely ridiculous to have felt like that.

One day not long after all this I was flicking through the channels on the telly and one channel had a performing arts program on it and as I was watching it I suddenly felt incredibly jealous of the people on stage, I could do that, I I wanted to do that! I grabbed the laptop and googled for local societies and by chance found the exact one I used to be a member of on facebook. I sent an inbox message asking about joining, thinking it was one of these whims I often have where I start a ball rolling and then leave it.

An hour later I got a reply from the group owner saying they were auditioning for a pantomime that weekend, I thanked him and didn't think much more of it until that Sunday. I woke up and oddly the auditions were the first thing that popped into my mind. They were at 2pm, but I wasn't going. No way, I didn't know anyone and the thought of walking into a room where I didn't know a soul and singing and dancing filled me with dread and horror and made me feel sick. I spent the entire morning feeling sick to be honest, even though I wasn't going I was still really nervous right up until 1.45pm when I was sat on my bed in my pyjamas and my husband walked in and said "Why aren't you going, you'll spend the next few months kicking yourself and wondering 'what if' if you don't" and he sort of hustled me out of the door throwing clothes at me on the way telling me to get dressed.

I began to feel a little excited in the car and felt much better right up until the moment I walked through the door where I introduced myself and began shaking like leaf. I was handed some forms and a sticker with my name and number on it and wobbled off to find a corner to hide in. I looked at the form asking me what I was auditioning for and desperately searched for the "chorus" box and ticked it, when a hand touched my shoulder and said "Hi, (she looked at my sticker) Sp@m, don't sit on your own here come over here" I grabbed all my things and went and sat with a group of people in the middle of the room, all of a sudden there were a million questions thrown at me. "have you done this before, do you know anyone here, can you sing, can you dance" I answered that I'd had singing lessons and could also dance, but I ONLY WANT CHORUS!

After a little warm up group sing and dance the characters names were being called out for audition and when it came to the principal roles (Jack and Jill) only one person stood up for the role of principal boy, after some encouragement from the director a few girls stood for principal girl and suddenly I felt a hand on my back shoving me out of my chair and someone shouting "Sp@m's done this before she'll audition" I had a choice, look scared and sit back down and end up with nothing or just bite the bullet and go for it. So I did, I did OK and met some really nice people that day and was looking forward to hearing if I was villager number 1,2 or 3. I wanted 3 because they had the least lines to learn.

That evening I went to check my e-mails and after wading through african princes wanting my money I saw one from the Director. It simply read.. "Hi Sp@m, thanks for auditioning today, we would like offer you the Principal girl, Jill". I couldn't believe I'd bagged the lead role on my first audition, I was happy, scared, gob-smacked - every emotion all at once.

September came and the auditions started, I made friends slowly with the other members and when Christmas arrived I'd learned all my lines, songs and dances and had the best time ever. Show week came and I stood on that stage and didn't drop a single line, I felt awesome, I felt like I was in the place I was meant to be. I sang "I dreamed a dream" all on my own with 200 people watching and was shaking so much the principal boy had to actually hold me up in the next scene as my legs were like jelly, but apparently, no-one in the audience could tell. Seeing my kids faces light up watching their mum on stage was the best moment of my entire life.

Since then I've returned to work, I work at the same company as the girl who played principal boy. I lost 2 stone in the 6 months from auditions to performance (it's creeping up again now we're "out of season though" and I no longer wonder what people's opinions of me are, I don't need validating (as much ;) and I am possibly the happiest I've ever been.

I auditioned for this years panto a few weeks ago, I will be playing the role of Principal boy this year. I've nearly learnt all my lines already and now I'm thinking of dance moves for my duet with the princess.

Sorry this is so long but I wanted to let people know how much it changed my life and if anyone has ever had a fleeting moment where they've thought "I wouldn't mind doing that" then just go for it and do it, it's fantastic and awesome and brilliant!
(Fri 19th Aug 2011, 10:42, More)
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