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Wednesday, 24 August 2011

I'm just not that kind of Mummy.....

It all started last night while perusing Facebook, on my iPad. In bed. I came across a friend’s post of her son Harry's recent child-care photo. Cute little boy about Aiden’s age pulling a face with his tongue sticking out. Funny. It was accompanied by a witty caption by his mum, Alex who writes a blog called “Bad Mumma”. I like her.

Hold on, isn’t Aiden’s child-care photos coming up? Is that this week? Or next week? I think its next week. Isn’t it? Um..yep. Must be next week. Yes. I think….

About 3 weeks ago there was a sign up at Aiden’s day care advertising the up coming photo shoot, although photo shoot is probably the wrong word. Photo circus? Anyway, in Aiden’s pocket I found a nice new envelope from the photography company with all the details. I just needed to fill out the form on the outside, put some money on the inside and return the week before the photographer arrived. Easy. If you are a certain kind of mummy. I made some promises:
1.    I will not put the photo order envelope in my handbag to get crumpled and dirty, screwed up and forgotten.
2.    I will put the dates in my diary to remind me of when the money is due back at the child care centre, as well as the day the photos will actually be taken
3.    I will, return the envelope and money before the due date

Get in car. Drive to work. Forget above promises. Promptly.

Woke up this morning. I’m wondering if the photos are going to be taken today? Hmmm….I haven’t filled out the envelope. I wonder where the envelope actually is? Is it too late if I return the envelope on the day? What will I dress Aiden in? Do I have any money in my wallet?

Start mantra. Must find the envelope. Must find the envelope. Must find the envelope. Must find the envelope. Get distracted by making small boy’s breakfast. Where was I? Must find the envelope. Must find the envelope. FOUND! Its a bit grubby but not too bad. Fill out envelope quickly. Name: Aiden Pearson. Room: Room? Ummm, its….something to do with…well when he started there he was in Angel Babies. That was easy to remember! He was an Angel Baby!! Then he moved into the bigger babies room…..ummm what was that called? Hmmm…did it still have the word Angel in it? Maybe.  Doesn’t matter. He is in a bigger room now. It’s called, um…something like….is it still to do with babies? He’s not really a baby anymore. Probably doesn’t have the word baby in it. Errr…..surely the ‘girls’ know which room he is in? Don’t they? I’ll just leave that bit blank. Which pack do I want? Umm…don’t really need photos of the other kids, do I? I don’t know the other kids. Is that bad? Probably. Bugger. I’ll just order the photos of Aiden. Put the money in envelope. Lick to seal. Why isn’t it sealing? Oh. It’s not a lick type envelope. You have to peel a strip off. Peel strip off. Seal. Put in Aiden’s bag so I don’t forget to take. Start new mantra. Don’t forget to give the ‘girls’ the envelope. Don’t forget to give the ‘girls’ the envelope. Don’t forget to give the ‘girls’ the envelope. Don’t forget to give the ‘girls’ the envelope. Don’t forget to give the ‘girls’ the envelope.

Get Aiden to day-care. Didn’t forget to give the ‘girls’ the envelope. Phew! It’s not too late. Good Mummy. Well done.

On the way out, check Aiden’s pocket. What’s this? 

A birthday party invitation? For Salem’s 3rd Birthday? WHO IS SALEM? AND WHY DOES SALEM’S MOTHER HAVE TIME TO PREPARE SUCH BEAUTIFUL INVITATIONS AND GIVE OUT 3 WEEKS EARLY? She is obviously a different kind of mummy to me. I bet she returned her child-care photo envelope before it was due, correctly filled out, including the room Salem is in, with the correct money.

I imagine Salem’s Mother is also able to pull together a proper lunch box, for outings. You know. One of those nice insulated lunch box/bag type arrangements where you can fit a nutritious sandwich cut into bite size pieces, small containers with cut up strawberries, a special container for sultanas and maybe cheese pieces and a drink bottle with the child’s name on it from one of the those label mail order companies. I actually have some of those labels. They have Aiden’s name with a cute bicycle picture. I’m a good mummy. Just wish I could find them.

I went to a Tupperware party not long after Aiden was born. I was on maternity leave with nothing much else to do.  They were selling these containers with various compartments, especially for little kids and their caring mothers. It had a section to fit a sandwich and other little compartments for snacks. And it’s Tupperware. It has a lifetime guarantee. I got one. I’m a good mummy. We used it once. I don’t know where it is now.

I like that Aiden’s day-care centre caters for both types of Mummies. They have dress up days. A few weeks ago they had “come dressed as your favourite book character” WHAT??? ARE YOU KIDDING ME???? I decided just to forget about that one. I could spend a whole lot of creative energy trying to think up something and then stressing about when I have to have it organised and then doing it at the last minute…or not at all….seriously, is a two year old going to care? This dress up day was for Salem’s mum. I’m just not that kind of Mummy. About 2 months ago they had “Wear your pyjama’s to child care day! YES, YES!! I’m that kind of Mummy. That’s gives me an extra 5-10 minutes in the morning because when he wakes up, he is already dressed! Genius. Pop on his slippers and you’re off!

Of course not everything is bad in Aiden’s life because he doesn’t have “that sort of Mummy”. Food companies have recognised the differences in Mummies and put Tiny Teddies in little snack packs! Hooray! He has learnt to like Café food because his Mummy never has decent snacks on hand. Woo, hoo! When his socks are mismatched his Grandmother assumes that’s the way they came. Awesome!
He’s also seems a relaxed and happy kinda kid. He goes to bed with no fuss, no matter where he is put down. He’s pretty happy to tag along with what Arran and I are up to.  He can be occupied with some matchbox cars and a couple of trains…. there are always upsides to not being that kind of Mummy!

Monday, 22 August 2011

Getting away

Arran, Aiden and I have been away for an extended long weekend. It came about when an "ultra endurance point-to-point" mountain bike race in South Australia, called the Mawson Marathon, got cancelled about 3 weeks out. Arran did the race last year and thought it was good enough to do again. Last year, Aiden and I flew to Adelaide to meet him at the end and we stayed a week in the Barossa (part of our plan to visit and sample all the wine regions in Australia). 
 Aiden and I in the main street of Angaston, SA

This year Arran thought we do a similar trip but stay in McLaren Vale. This didn’t really “tickle my fancy” and all, being 30 weeks pregnant and not being able to enjoy the ‘fruits’ of the area. Plus the thought of dragging a 2 year old around cellar doors…well enough said.

Arran, not wanting to waste the opportunity to escape on his bike decided to do a self reliant 3 day trip starting in the Blue Mountains and ending up in the Southern Highlands, where I could pick him up.  He sold the idea to me by offering to have a little break at “The Beach Bach”, Culburra Beach. We stayed at this great little holiday house last year after Christmas. I found it on Stayz last year during winter when fed up with the cold weather and with no holiday to look forward to I decided to book somewhere to stay after Christmas. It was expensive but I paid for it out of my tax return and then didn’t worry about it.

It was better than it looked online and across the road from the beach. Once we arrived there we invited a couple of friends, Simon and Julie and their son Henry (who is basically the same age as Aiden) to spend New Year’s Eve with us. It seemed a bit sad to spend NYE alone, stuck in a house while Aiden slept. Simon and Julie were in the same boat with a small child. Simon and Julie accepted immediately and said they would bring food for dinner. Happy days. Simon and Julie are outstanding cooks. We rave about them to other friends. We love going to their house for dinner. They cook "hatted" restaurant quality food and Julie has a real passion and talent for cakes. Special cakes. Cakes made to look like other things. Simon and Julie arrived with French champagne and lobster for NYE dinner. Happy, happy days.  They came for 2 days and we had a nice beach holiday together.

As such, I was really looking forward to visiting Culburra Beach and “The Beach Bach” again. Culburra beach is not the prettiest of places. It has a combination of fairly ordinary fibro and brick houses and a collection of million dollar new builds to take advantage of a great holiday spot overlooking a pristine beach only a couple of hours drive from Sydney. It has very few facilities and shops and I suspect most residents until recently when Woolworths opened, would make the drive to Nowra for supplies. I guess this is part of the appeal.

I was to set out from Sydney around 11.30 am to arrive at Culburra Beach mid afternoon. I had hoped to settle in and get dinner cooked while waiting the arrival of a shabby looking, bike-worn Arran. Not to be. Got a call from Arran around 9am asking pitifully if I could pick him up from Mittagong, where he had arrived very cold and worn out. He was worried he was suffering from hypothermia, from a combination of riding in the wind and the cold and the rain for the last 2 days, and not being able to get warm at any point.  Between tending to a small boy, completing an exit interview with an employee finishing with the company via phone in two stages (one where he didn’t tell me anything and one where he did!), trying to organise unsuccessfully to get a candidate tested for a role we were recruiting, I managed to pack the car with food, clothes, toys, more electronic connectivity devices than one family needs (iphones, Mac Books, work Dell laptop, ipads…) and got in myself in the car to take another work call.

Aiden and I drove to Mittagong in the miserable rain and the wind, which didn’t dampen my thought of a weekend away because I remembered that “The Beach Bach” had a lovely fireplace. In summer it wasn’t much use but would be perfect for staying indoors and catching up with my un-read fashion magazines (September issues!!), blogs and books, while lying on the fluffy floor rug. We found Arran at a bakery café where he had been keeping warm and drove the 80 or so k’s to Culburra Beach.  A quick stop to pick up the house key and we were off again.

Arriving at "The Beach Bach" we piled out of the car carrying various bags with us to the back door. The key was a little hard to get working but I remember this was the case last time. The lock is quite close to the door jam which makes it hard to turn. We both tried. No banana. Arran went round to the front door which the real estate agent said was open. Nope. It wasn’t. And the key didn’t work. Back to the agent to get the right key! Annoying but it was only a short drive. We would be in soon.

Nope. We had the right key. To the wrong house!!!  Arran had booked "The Beach Batch" not "The Beach Bach" They are 3 houses away from each other! Arran had quickly booked the house on Stayz and didn’t really look at the photos assuming there could only be one Beach Bach. Apart from getting over the initial disappointment of not staying the house I had been looking forward to all week (as well as the only holiday house we would have ever stayed in twice!) it got me to thinking that there are really two types of holiday houses you can rent. And I don’t mean houses or apartments that are owned by large companies or hotel chains. I’m talking about holiday houses that are owned by a family, perhaps for their family and friends to use and that they rent out during the year to help with expenses.

The Generous Holiday House
People who fit out their holiday house with the things they love, and the things that makes being in their holiday house comfortable. We once stayed in a massive house in Bowral with a large group of people in easy reach of a mountain bike event. It was a stunningly huge house but that’s not what put it in this category. It had the BEST stocked kitchen I have ever seen anywhere. The owners must love to cook and entertain and that kitchen made the Christmas in July dinner we cooked there easy and fun. It also showed a generosity of spirit that they were willing to rent their house out and let people they don’t even know get the same pleasure from that kitchen that they obviously do.

The “Beach Bach” at Culburra beach is a little the same. It has an amazing design aesthetic which I absolutely love. I like to think that the owners usual place to live must be fabulous, because their holiday house is just so cool and beachy, but not in a beachy-must-stick-shells-on-everything kinda way. It has the combination of second hand and new furniture that most holiday houses seem to have (I always imagine that someone's grandmother has died and left some furniture that the family didn’t know what to do with. So it ended up in the holiday house. Mismatched and dated but fine to sit on in your slightly damp cossies). 

Not the “Beach Bach”. The furniture that looks to be second hand (coffee table, dining table, perhaps the Danish styled retro arm chairs) blends effortlessly with the new (white leather lounge, fluffy rug, lighting). It has fabulous artwork and trinkets and a thoughtful layout. The Beach Bach also has a great kitchen and in addition has a well stocked pantry which guests are welcome to use. Often when we go away to a holiday house we forget those little things that are always there….salt, pepper, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, glad wrap, foil etc. The Beach Bach owners are generous in spirit in letting us use these items.

I imagine the people who own these types of holiday houses are great hosts.

The “You can stay here but don’t have too much fun on us” Holiday House.
This house is where the owners, maybe from self preservation of their prized possessions, keep many of the house items locked away. I do understand that having a locked cupboard in a holiday house is a good idea. If I were the owner there are a number of things I would keep there for our use so we didn't need to bring each time. Clean bed linen and towels, beach towels, toiletries etc. I’m sure there are other things as well. 

But there seems to be quite a few things locked away in this house. Case in point. “The Beach Batch” that Arran actually booked is still in a great location and has lots of room (its 3 doors away from the house we thought we were renting). If you were here over the summer it would be a great place to share with a group of people except that:
·      The pantry is locked! I didn’t bring any basics with me as "The Beach Bach" has them! Plus there is no place to put our pantry items except on the bench and there is not much bench space.
·      There are no bedside lights in the bedrooms! I love reading in bed and the room that Arran and I are sleeping in has bedside tables and powerpoints right behind them!! But where are the bedside lamps? Maybe they got stolen by the previous occupants or are they in one of the multitude of locked cupboards in the house?
·      There is a great lounge room upstairs that has these huge new and comfy lounge chairs, a couple of nice retro arm chairs, muted colours and a view of the ocean. But where is the TV? Is it locked away so we can’t use it? There is a BIG TV downstairs hooked up to a playstation. Where are the games? The TV is also fuzzy because it needs to be hooked up to a digital box. Is this locked up with the playstation games?

There is an underlying feeling in this house that says, we only trust you to a point. We won’t be staying here again.

You are probably getting the feeling we stay in a lot of holiday houses. We have stayed in a few since Aiden was born, mainly so Arran could convince me to attend yet another mountain bike event. Running water, a fridge and toilet are pretty handy with a small boy to look after. And I am less then willing for this to happen again….

Notice the book light attached to the book for reading? I even have a bedside lamp when camping!

  This is Aiden and I at a 24hr Mountain Bike event. In Canada. We are sleeping in a tent. At the event. It’s not even a proper tent. It has a big wide opening at the front where the cold can get in. The bike track is RIGHT OUTSIDE THE TENT! Aiden (4 months old) is in the sleeping bag with me because it got so cold during the night I was worried about him. And the traitor of a person who was supposed to be riding a bike was taking a picture of us instead! This is why we stay in holiday houses instead of camping at mountain bike events!!!  ;-)

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

A perfect Glebe day.......

Every now and then, usually on a Saturday “a perfect Glebe day” will unfold. Its hard to judge when these days are going to happen, there is no warning and they certainly can’t be counted on. They are characterised by great weather for walking the Glebe streets and include quintessentially Glebe activities.

A perfect Glebe day starts with a sleep-in. Not a “before baby sleep-in”, where you could stay in bed till midday if you had a hangover (or just a really good book), but maybe a sleep in till 9 or so because Arran and Aiden have ventured out for coffee and toast together and left me awake but not needing to get up. When they come back they bring coffee and a ham and cheese croissant from Sonoma, to consume in bed. It could be the start of a perfect Glebe day…...
I might surface from bed to make the 10 am reformer Pilates class at Tiaki, if I’m in a virtuous fitness kinda phase and in need of some zen. To get there I walk along Glebe point Rd past the Glebe Markets, held in the grounds of Glebe Public School.  There markets are typically bohemian Glebe. Second hand clothes, home-wares, plants, crafty artisan hand made objects, screen printed t-shirts, good food….on one particular perfect Glebe day I picked up this great 2nd hand kettle. Random purchase, not needed but I love it anyway. 

I put this purchase in the category of “spending out”, defined by Gretchen Rubin as spending modestly on things that make you happy. Gretchen wrote the book “The Happiness Project”, her account of 12 months trying different techniques to improve her happiness.  “Spending out” is one of Gretchen’s personal commandments of happiness. I heard about the book from some friends and downloaded it from Amazon to my iPad to read on a work trip to the US in May. While in the US I forgot I had downloaded it and bought a hard-copy. Obviously jet lag and baby brain is not the best combo! Anyway its worth a read and it meant I had a gift to give my Aunt for helping look after Aiden while I was away. Check out Gretchen’s blog for some more detail on “The Happiness Project”.

After Pilates I meander home with tired muscles and a floaty state of mind, picking up Saturday’s Sydney Morning Herald on the way. I really only buy it for the Good Weekend Magazine and the gossip page on the back of the front section. Tragic.

The afternoon might consist of a “mani-pedi” for the bargain price of $42 at Tip-Top Nails (they have those great foot spa massage chairs) and a wander further down Glebe Point Rd towards the water to the “Flower Man” (Michael's Supermarket Flowers). A perfect Glebe day always involves buying fresh flowers for the house and the “Flower Man” has a stunning variety of flowers and plants at reasonable prices. If you are buying a bunch of flowers for a gift the "Flower Man" will arrange them and wrap them in cellophane with an older style florists bow for an extra $3! Mum and I were there last Saturday to choose flowers for Laura and Luella who kindly offered to baby sit Aiden that afternoon and evening. Most people who saw us carrying the beautiful blooms wanted to know if we got them from “The Flower Man” down the road.

The end of a perfect Glebe day might be a couple of friends coming for dinner or a walk down Glebe Point rd with a bottle of wine (or even doing a bigger walk across to Newtown) for a cheap dinner. Alternatively it might be a simple meal with just Arran and a great bottle of red wine, shared on our crappy plastic outdoor table. For some reason I moved our crappy plastic outdoor table from Brisbane to Sydney and it has moved with us to every place we have lived since. 

I liken this crappy plastic outdoor table to buying casual clothes.  I would much rather buy beautiful dressy clothes, shoes and accessories than casual laid back threads. I seem to suffer the same affliction with furniture. I’m much happier to save up and wait to invest in a Dattner table, original artwork or turquoise Designer Guild fabric covered 3 seater lounge, but absolutely no interest in more casual outdoor furniture. Last year we discussed getting some nice outdoor furniture as a joint Christmas present for us and our guests to enjoy on Christmas day. Instead we bought each other an iPad and we still have the crappy plastic outdoor table!

Anyway, I digress. A crappy plastic outdoor table does not affect a perfect Glebe day but there are general things that support one:
-       Not having to get in a car and go anywhere. Every place we have lived in Glebe has been easy walking distance to all the good spots. My daily work commute is 45 minute drive each way. Not terrible in the scheme of Sydney traffic but its still nice to not go far on the weekends. I feel healthier for getting some incidental walking in too.
-       Enjoying what Glebe has to offer. Shops, restaurants, interesting people watching, good coffee....
-       Seeing the water at Blackwattle bay while walking in the park
-       Catching city views through the row of shops/houses on Glebe Point Rd
-       Admiring the beautiful old homes that line the Glebe Streets
-       Having the Glebe dog walking man say “God bless you”, “ You are so beautiful” or “Your husband is a lucky man”!

What makes a perfect day for you?

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Lounge and Dining Room get a makeover.....

Last week’s blog post was such a success that I wondered if I shouldn’t just write about Aiden in every blog update? Thank you to everyone who gave me such lovely feedback and I’ll be sure to provide updates on Aiden and the next baby in this blog.

Renovations are a tough and sometimes emotional experience, particularly if you are living in your home with the dust and dirt as it’s happening. For this reason during the Glebe St renos we often had a break between each room or area to:
a) enjoy the newly completed room and bask in how clever we were to achieve the beautiful and practical outcome, 
b) have a much needed break from the dust, noise, unreliable trades people and general chaos, and 
c) replenish the bank balance for the next project.

The room we tackled after the kitchen was the lounge/dining room. Here are some 'before' shots from pre-purchase inspections....

Having lived in our bedroom for the past 2 months meant this was the next practical step. Before we moved in we had some building work completed – squared up some arches, had a chemical damp course injected into all the downstairs walls and a solid hardwood floor laid. This left our lounge/dining area with 2-tone walls -the original dirty/creamy paint colour and raw cement rendering, all covered in hardwood floor dust. Noice.

Mum and Dad offered to come to Sydney from Brisbane and paint. Offer was accepted before they could change their mind and they ended up coming for a week.  They arrived on Friday night and first thing on Saturday morning we were off to the hardware store for paint, ladder, brushes, drop sheets, sugar soap, wall filler….you name it! The first decision of the day was which undercoat to choose. The walls had many imperfections and the undercoat needed to cover the different wall colours as well as smooth out some of the ridges and bumps. Perfect walls would be unrealistic without replastering and not what we wanted anyway. In my mind the point of living in an old house is acknowledging that it holds the history of the families who have lived there over its life, and life is never perfect.

After caffeine and sugar to discuss the merits of various undercoats, we were able to complete our purchases and take the loot home. Dad started the prep work on Sunday but the majority of work got completed while Arran and I were at work each day. We would come home in the evening to two dishevelled, paint splatted and weary workers ready to be fed and watered. Most nights we took them up the road to sample the delights of the various Glebe Point Rd restaurants. We had to keep their energy and motivation up to finish the job!

In the end the job was a lot of work and took the majority of the week to complete. The result made a huge difference to the look and feel of the room. We chose Dulux Antique White USA, which is a bright ivory white colour. I really wanted to steer away from any creamy-yellow white undertones as I felt these would contribute to the light problem.

So here is the finished result. 
In the foreground is a beautiful Dattner table and chairs we bought with Arran’s inheritance money from his maternal grandmother. We covert this table and it wasn't a hard decision to spend the money on such a beautiful piece of furniture. Nicholas Dattner used to take out full page ads in The Good Weekend magazine that comes with Saturday's Sydney Morning Herald. It used to tempt us each week but we were strong and didn't enter his shop on Pyrmont Bridge Rd in Glebe until we knew we could have one of his Australian hardwood tables. You can't buy these tables directly any more so we feel very lucky to have one.

The chandeliers were a wedding gift from Mum and Dad. It seemed fitting that they hang in the room they spent a week painting. We bought them with us to the Terrace house we currently live in.

Love to hear your thoughts!

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Caring 4 Aiden

I’ve been contemplating my next blog update and originally thought I would tell you about the lounge room renovation at our Glebe St house.  Then lying awake for most of the night last night I was thinking about something that happened yesterday afternoon that would make a nice blog update.

I left work early yesterday. Feeling sick and fed-up and wondering for the 10th day in a row how I hadn’t managed to cough out my poor baby bump early. I was also fantasising about “un-friending” the next person who updated their Facebook status with tales of warm weather and cocktails or anything related to wine and chocolate.  Need a holiday much?

On the 45 minute drive home I contemplated whether I would go for a walk before it got dark (most of my walks over the winter months being conducted after 8pm in the cold) but as I got closer to home I decided to park the car at home and walk up to Aiden’s daycare centre to pick him up. Two birds and all. Arran came along for the walk, having been home all day on a bank holiday. Yes banks make so much money they can afford to give their employees an extra days holiday while the rest of us work!

We arrived at Caring 4 Kids at the Broadway Shopping centre. As we entered the multitude of doors that would impress gaolers at any maximum security prison, the centre Director Toni saw us and was so excited! She had seen Aiden do something during the day that she had never seen before and was desperate to show us. She bowled past us, through more doors to show us out to the little outdoor area where Aiden and his group were having fun with Chantell.

Aiden, as always was very happy to see us and couldn’t decide who he wanted to be with more! It’s unusual for both Mum and Dad to pick him up! He had a desperately needed hair cut the day before and one of ‘the girls’ had fashioned his hair into a Faux-hawk! Cute.

Toni scraped open a little shed in the yard and pulled out 6 coloured buckets attached by a rope and demonstrated how Aiden was able to walk across each of the upturned buckets all by himself (like stepping stones), while she watched nervously by, ready to catch him if he fell. 
Aunty Em found this photo!
Of course any encouragement to get Aiden to repeat this feat was useless. Aiden refused to be a show pony and would not perform on demand! Toni did a great demo in his place! Probably doesn’t sound too remarkable. Most 2 year olds could easily do this.

Aiden has a visual impairment. He has a genetic condition called Albinism, specifically oculocutaneous albinism, which means he has no pigment (melanin) in his hair, skin or retina. He is pretty pale with white, white hair! An amazing number of people stop to tell us they were as fair as Aiden when they were little or their children were as fair. We generally nod and smile while thinking “yeah right!”. Arran has been known to show less restraint with sticky-beak, nosey-bodies in line at Coles.

To date, we have had only one instance of a lady chatting to us at Astor Espresso in Glebe who actually has a son with a similar condition to Aiden. While not having pigment in your hair or skin is not too concerning (apart from wondering if you should invest in sunscreen shares), pigment is needed in your retina so you can see well.

Aiden can definitely see, though will probably end up being “legally blind”. Functionally, his sight is pretty good. He rarely trips over things or runs into walls, despite well meaning people assuming this must be the case. In fact he is generally more careful than other children his age and rarely sports the bumps and bruises of other kids. His reduced sight has meant that some of his physical development has been delayed. As babies develop they are motivated to move because they are curious to explore their surroundings. If you can’t see your surroundings that well you tend to stay put a little longer and develop physical skills a little later. Aiden crawled and walked later than his peers but as a consequence of being stationary for longer is a really good talker!

Since Aiden was very little Vision Australia have been a fantastic help. Anna, his Occupational Therapist has made home visits, invited us to events to meet other parents of children with Albinism and other visual impairments and worked closely with Toni and ‘the girls’ at Caring 4 Kids to ensure that Aiden’s development keeps up with the other kids. Anna has also worked closely with the additional carers Toni was able to secure for Aiden through government funding.

So Aiden being able to walk across coloured upturned stepping-stone buckets by himself is pretty cool and so is his carers being so excited about this achievement they can’t wait to show us. This was the best bit of my day and I was glad I left work a little early. I think it’s pretty hard to find people like Toni and Anna but I’m really glad they are involved in Aiden’s life.