Monday, May 19, 2008

Young Carers

Someone from the local Young Carers support group is coming to see my kids this evening.

Over the last twelve months they have had to do far more than most kids would have to do in helping out around the house, and in particular helping their mother, who is in almost constant pain and has great difficulty in carrying out many normal, straight forward activities.

My daughter in particular is quite sensitive, and feels "different". My son mostly just notices that his activities are somewhat curtailed from what he used to be able to do. Sometimes it is just that if I'm late home from work, he can't go and do whatever activity was planned, because Mum can no longer drive.

Typical of the things they help out with is putting the washing on, fetching and carrying, and helping mum with socks and shoes. Some of it is fun (my son enjoys whizzing round the block on the electric scooter as he brings it from the garage to the front door); other stuff, such as cleaning the rabbit's house out, is not. Sometimes they'll answer the phone, because mum is in too much pain to talk to anyone (my daughter says she hates sales calls - don't we all?) Very occasionally they have to get themselves something to eat to put them on until I get home from work.

Tidying their rooms is of course a dreadful thing to ask them to do, but that just makes them the same as any other kids!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Uncultured

We had a family day out yesterday; me wife, two kids and dog.

We started the day in Crosby, just north of Liverpool, to take a look at the sculptures by Anthony Gormley, standing in the sea. The dog had a nice walk, kids got to run about on the beach, and we had our picnic looking out to sea towards the offshore wind farm.

After that we moved on to Liverpool. My daughter wanted to go to the Tate Modern, and my son went along with that idea when he found out they had a den-making exhibit.

The drive to the Albert dock was a nightmare. It took three quarters of an hour to travel about 5 miles. The waterfront seems to be one huge building site, and the traffic lights seem to be doing everything they can to hold you up.

Once we got on to the dock we discovered that it had just six disabled parking spaces. Six! And there are no concessions for the disabled. I ended up dropping the family off whilst Woody and I went to find somewhere to park up and wait. I came back an hour later and found a space, and decided to let Woody stretch his legs whilst we waited. Guess what? No dogs allowed on the Albert Dock. So, back in the car to wait for the others. At least they had a good time at the Tate, where the staff were very helpful, and the den-making was great fun.