Thursday, 20 September 2012

Smash that netbook.

My elderly father is still driving me nuts.  I didn't know him as a child, and you can count how many times I've met him since I was about 8 on two hands.  Now in his eighties, the Octo has decided that we are a family again.

The resulting decision sees my telephone ring about 10 times a day sometimes.  The kids are getting fed up of it, the man is getting fed up of it, and it interferes with my daily life enormously

Sometimes he is on the phone for an hour or more at a time.

It is almost ALWAYS to do with his netbook.  The one he can't figure out how to use.  I go over and over and over the same things and he still can't quite get it.

He says he's grateful for the netbook bringing us back together as a family.

I want to smash that netbook SOOO BADLY.

And since I can't do that, will somebody please buy him a bigger screen.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Filling the void and losing friends.

I've lost another friend.  It happened slowly, but I didn't see it creeping up on me.  The mum is a special needs mum, but she has two parents to one child, and their son has young grandparents.

I'm used to parents of neurotypicals slowly moving off the scene when I can't manage to find a babysitter and have to cancel something yet again.  I always explain why, and with special needs, there isn't any way I can get replacement child care easily. 

It's not as if I can ask the neighbours teenagers to look after the kids while they're sleeping. Babysitters have to be able to cope with the onslaught of a possible outburst from a tired and unmedicated child if he wakes up and loses the plot.  He's not a little toddler they can calm, sing to, or shoogle to sleep again.

It's not an easy ask.

Grandparents are thin on the ground here and there is really just my mum, who isn't able to watch all three of mine so that we can go out together.  The long shot is that unless the man can get home, I'm generally stuffed.

It doesn't go down well if you have to cancel at short notice. 

People take it personally when they seem to think we just don't want to know.  They don't really get it that we'd 'love' to be with them, having a glass of wine and chit chatting like regular adults do.

We can tell them until they're blue in the face, but they still take offence.

I just shouldn't commit to things.

I don't know why I really bother to try, but perhaps some of me is hoping that sometime, somehow, my life will return to what it was pre foetal alcohol in the family.

It will get better, I know it will, but in the meantime, the friend is not answering her phone.  She's stopped texting and didn't take me on when I e-mailed her. 

I'd be getting into the realms of stalking if I keep trying to contact her, so it stops now, and I'll just give it up and move on.

Somehow it doesn't feel like a loss, it feels like a bit of a relief.  Maybe that's how it gets.  The relief that I don't have to bother with someone else's problems.  Perhaps I take that on board too much.

I think the loss of this friend is no bad thing.

Does that make me a monster?

Wednesday, 5 September 2012


My father is elderly.  He is in his 80's and struggling with his short term memory.  He has a girlfriend of about 4 years or so, who is independently well off, where my father is rather short of the readies.

She's been quite good to him over the years, but he won't go or do anything that means he can't pay for it himself.  This situation often leaves them at loggerheads as she has said she'll pay a few times.

At the moment, they are in an "off" period, with her flouncing off on holiday, while he seethes at her supposed fling with another octogenarian in the village.  They're both as bad as each other as far as this goes on, but at the moment, I think they are more heading for the "off" permanency as his memory seems to be stuck on a short term loop that is bearing her a grudge for some imagined discretion.

On top of this, she is really switched on money wise and he bought her a netbook for her xmas a couple of years ago.  She never used it as her son bought her a Mac.  My dad decided to go get himself online, and she persuaded him to buy the netbook off her, which means the skint dude effectively paid for the same netbook twice.

I've no gripe with this as I told him not to, and to please her, he did it.  He's a victim of his own inability to make or take decisions of his own.

The thing is, that he's now determined to use something his brain won't let him use.

BT have taken over his screen to reset what he's done more times than I can believe they have been so patient for.  I bet they regret the day he signed up for broadband, but I really can't complain as they have been rather good with him and so far, have kept trying to sort out what he does.

Trying to set him up on google for e-mail, to make it easier than BT, he found it impossible to be able to type in an email and a password.  After 3 hours, we finally got past the login box, and then he couldn't work out how to take the next step.  At this point, I'd had enough.

He says he only wants to send e-mail, but if he can't ever figure out how to log into e-mail, it isn't ever going to happen.

He's not fit to be living where he is, but it's his life, and nothing to do with me.  I have to keep reminding myself that what he wants is none of my business.

He was never a dad to me apart from giving me my surname, so why it should bother me now, I have no idea.   He's forgotten all he did in the past, and I have a hard time getting past it all.  He wasn't a nice man when he was young.  Not violent, but a tongue that could peel an orange.

I have a disabled child and my mother at home, along with two other children who struggle, a blind dog, and some health issues of my own.  I know he is not my responsibility as he has never been in my life until recently when his on again off again girlfriend made him get in touch.

So why does it make me feel so bleeding guilty?