Letting Off Balloons

Every year our primary school gives the Year 6s a bit of a send off.  Usually the last part of this is a bubble extravaganza on the school field.  One year it also involved a balloon release.  I thought that they had stopped doing this, but I was dismayed this year to see balloons coming out with the Year 6 children.

It might seem like being a bit of a killjoy to say it shouldn’t happen, but I think it is something that should be stopped.  All balloons return to earth as litter, so by sending off a balloon you are doing the same thing as deliberately dropping a crisp packet – that isn’t a very good thing to encourage children to do.  Even biodegradable balloons take several years to decompose and they could easily kill an animal before that.  Sadly many animals see parts of burst balloons as tasty food and that can be a mistake that can kill them.  To be honest if a balloon release kills just one animal, it isn’t worth doing and it isn’t the way to look back fondly on your school career.

Another problem with balloon releases is the use of helium.  Helium is a finite resource and has important scientific and medical uses, but at the rate we are using it, it could be all gone within a generation.  That isn’t a good legacy either is it?

It really saddened me to see that children were being encouraged to release the balloons or being given them at parties and so on.  We don’t buy balloons ourselves, although we do sometimes use air-filled balloons, but we always dispose of them safely.  I wouldn’t feel happy buying a helium filled balloon and I’m amazed how many people do it routinely.

Unfollowing On Facebook

Over the last few weeks I’ve unfollowed 3 people on Facebook.  I’m still officially friends with them as I wasn’t looking to cause offence.  I don’t really want a lot to do with these people, but neither do I want any awkwardness.  Maybe that’s a bit cowardly, but I unfollowed them because I didn’t want to be exposed to things that I didn’t like to reduce my stress levels.

One had been brewing for a while, but the sharing of the nonsense around ‘using a pen’ for voting as a serious post, was the last straw for me.  Another shared a petition against the BBC.  I do think there has been a lot of uncalled for BBC bashing, but it wasn’t the petition that I objected to so much.  She seemed to have some friends who turned it into a bit of a bigoted discussion about the referendum and she did nothing to counter it.  I was a bit disappointed and decided to call it a day, although maybe I was a bit harsh.

The other was someone who I thought was a nice, tolerant person, partly because they had health issues that I thought might make them more accepting of others.  It didn’t seem to be the case post-referendum sadly, so I cut the news feed.

I’m a bit sad to do this in a way.  It’s not that I have any objection to seeing differing points of view, far from it.  If someone believes in something and can say why in a way that isn’t bigoted, then I have no issue with that.  I have been sorry to see so much prejudiced stuff, but I guess I should count myself lucky that I have only had 3 people in my news feed that I take issue with.  This seems pretty good when you consider I have a few hundred friends on Facebook. It also feels pretty good compared to my American cousin’s posts about things like gun control and gay rights.  He gets a lot of nonsense said back to him and I find some of it offensive on his behalf.

Getting There

I’ve talked about our trials and tribulations of getting J to the stage when he is dry at night.  It hasn’t been straight forward and at 9 he isn’t reliably dry yet.

We have moved forward.  He no longer wears nappies or pyjama pants at night unless we are staying overnight somewhere away.  Generally he does then (unless it’s at Grannies) because it saves on potential embarrassment.  It does mean though that he hasn’t gone on cub camps and so on because he is worried about either wetting the bed or been seen wearing pyjama pants.  Kids can be cruel.

We’ve stopped lifting him too.  I was never a big fan of lifting as I just felt it was cheating and potentially unhelpful.  We only did it because he was keen to avoid the pyjama pants.  It helped with that and seemed to help his self-esteem.

Now we have little phases where he has a bad patch, but he might go a few weeks without an accident.  Generally, I’m feeling that he is growing out of it.  We have seen a lot of progress.  I think his body is now reducing urine production while he sleeps and maybe his bladder has more capacity too.  The final hurdle seems to be around not waking up when he has the urge to wee.

Yesterday morning I went in and he was fast asleep, but the room smelt of wee.  It was soon clear he’d wet himself.  This morning he came in to tell me he’d wet the bed, so he must have woken up afterwards.  So he can sleep through weeing still and that is the major problem. I think generally the incidents are happening early in the morning – say from about 5 as I am rarely woken to change the bed before then.  As he gets up at 6 we are nearly there.  The only thing is that if he manages to make it through to 6 because of increased bladder size or something, then would that just be disguising the not waking problem?  Not sure.  Another thing that puzzles me is that even if he hasn’t wet the bed he doesn’t go for a wee first thing, in fact it can be an hour or so after he wakes.  I find that a bit mystifying.