Today we had a diagnosis for Big Grin. Autism Spectrum Disorder. If old terminology were used, Asperger's would fit the bill. It's not a shock; it's been a long time coming. Currently in Coventry, the waiting time for assessment is over two years. Right now, as her school is serving her pretty well, it doesn't really change anything. It doesn't change her. It's a relief though, that as parents, our hunch was right and now we have access to other support if needed. It's no surprise to Big Grin either. She's clever; and knowing. Over the next few days we may be privvy to her thoughts and feelings on it, or we may not. We shall see. At any rate, as I said to the diagnosing psychologist MH, with the right support, there's every hope for her future.
That was this afternoon. This morning I embarked on day 7 of our current Bathroom Renovation Morning Routine, which basically means getting everyone up and out a bit earlier than usual so the men can crack on, with a few extra jobs done like the breakfast dishes not only washed, but dried and put away too to spare them from the dust. It's all hands on deck and it's wearing a bit thin. But we are reminding ourselves that it's not forever, we're blessed to be having it done, and even with only having an inside toilet pan and a bucket with which to flush it, we still have more than a lot of women and girls in the world: a safe, inside toilet over night. However, between the hours of 8:30 and 4:30 the basic toilet is removed to make space for the guys to work, which means that the girls and I - including potty training Rizzy - have to stay out all day. It is exhausting. With 3 school runs a day we cannot venture too far, and after a morning at Nursery Biscuit is already quite tired. Sometimes we go to a friend's home, but that requires manners and continuing to be sociable when some quiet down time or even a nap might be preferred. Sometimes we go to the library or to Ikea, but then it is quite a dash to make it to the toilet for Rizzy. Sometimes we go to the park, but that involves the trusty Porta Potty. All of this is done on foot as I don't drive, and for the most part, Biscuit is being brilliant and uncomplaining. Even Rizzy though, who can fall asleep in the buggy, is showing signs of fatigue. And for Big Grin? She's coping as best as she can, but the upheaval is difficult. I'm proud of them all. Little Feet is most definitely bearing the brunt of the extra chores.
This morning after a straightforward school run, Rizzy and I had coffee with 3 lovely friends and their little ones, and I used Sarah's shower (so much nicer than the bucket arrangement at home). We then went back to school to collect Biscuit from Nursery, then walked to another friend's to eat our packed lunch. Having taken the afternoon off, The Mister collected me, we left Biscuit and Rizzy with our friend and went to Big Grin's assessment, via home and a quick word with the builders. After the assessment and diagnosis we collected the little 2, just in time for the Mister to run up the road to school with towels and shower gel, collect the big 2 from after school choir, and deposit them with another friend round the corner for them to have showers! And that's pretty much how we're operating at the moment. It struck me today how blessed I am with so many lovely people who have offered the use of their shower, let me and the girls hang out at their place for hours at a time, or who have minded our girls for us. Like Big Grin, I have struggled in the past with friendships, and it was good to think, actually, she'll be OK.
Then, to round off a full, positive day, The Mister cooked dinner and did all the bedtime routine whilst I first had a nap and then went out to a ladies' event at church. It was packed, and I got a seat at the back, but not before I bumped into the psychologist MH. It was awkward, weird, a bit flabbergasting, but made me realise that God had one of His people in that assessment this afternoon. My heart was singing as we raised the roof with "It is well with my soul" and "Every blessing You pour out I'll turn back to praise." Moreover, we heard in the talk that God has prepared good works for us to do in advance, and that He knows us so well that these works are for our good, and that God wants to draw us out into being the best, the fullest we can be, as He created us to be. The biblical woman used as an example? Esther. So our Esther, our Big Grin, is in God's hands. She has a diagnosis, but that by no means limits God's prognosis for her life.