Sorry it’s been so quiet around here lately. While waiting for Chatterbox’s ADHD meds to be approved by the fostering agency we were dealing with a lot of behavioural issues. They managed to approve it two days before the end of school term. Last week we went away for a few days and this week we have been doing two hours of Occupational Therapy each day at the Sensory Gym. The problem is that it isn’t two hours in a row – it’s two separate hours with a three and a half hour break in the middle. We live too far away to come back home for the break which means that we were out all day.
As I mentioned earlier we went away last week for a few days. Going away now isn’t the same as going away before Chatterbox went for her night time walk. Before when we went away we were cautious about security and looked doors where we could, but didn’t worry too much. Occasionally we would move furniture and put it in front of the door so she couldn’t open it without making a noise. This is what we did the very first time we went away. That first holiday was while the kids were still only with us for respite and we went to the beach for my sister’s wedding. We moved the dining table in front of the door. Eventually, as Chatterbox started telling us that she would never run away from us, and as she wasn’t attempting it, we relaxed and enjoyed out holidays.
Last week was the first time we have stayed anywhere overnight other than home since the night after the ‘walk’, and we went away with my parents and Aunty. We made lots of plans. To start with we had to look for somewhere that was single story – just in case the bedrooms were too far away from each other on different floors and we wouldn’t be able to hear Chatterbox. We planned what to take so that we knew if she was out of her room, or got out of the house. On our way away we bought new door alarms as we had one and I wanted more. We took our ‘buzzer’ and our pressure mat.
When we got there we put door alarms on the back door as well as Chatterbox’s bedroom door.
We put an alarm on the window in Chatterbox’s room.
We put the buzzer sensor near the front door and the box in the bathroom (as this was the only spare power point near our bed!
For the first night we put the pressure mat in the door way of the ‘sleep out’. We only did this the first night as after that my parents were sleeping in the sleep out. We also used our video baby monitor in her bedroom so we could check on her if we heard noises as night. We were able to deadlock a number of the doors, so I went out and got copies of the house keys made so that my parents and Aunty could have one each to have next to their beds at night in case of emergency!
Lots of preparation. Lots of alarms and fail safes! Lots of blu-tack (to stick all the alarms up)! Luckily Chatterbox did lots of sleeping.
We were able to enjoy our time away – spending time playing on the beach, relaxing and going on a bushwalk in the rainforest.