BAPS Awards (not what you think)

FREE BOOZE!
Confession time. I feel like a fraud. I just spent a night at a very fancy BAPS (Bloody Awesome Parents) award dinner for SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability) bloggers. The evening was hosted by Sally Phillips, the brilliant comedienne best known for the likes of Bridget Jones and Miranda, who also happens to have a ten year old affected by Downs Syndrome. The dress code was 'formal', which for me meant digging out the one generic non-scruffy item I own, and even then I was sincerely underdressed. There was a posh dinner, complete with multiple cutlery sets; thankfully my mate Rachel* was on hand to tutor me through the whole experience (outside in, if you're ever in a bind..). And there were more acronyms than you can shake a stick at. At one point I got a little concerned I'd eaten the next door neighbour's bread roll- seriously, make that shit clearer, it's 50/50 right?

The Oscars of SEN blogging..
I'd gotten through to the finals in the SEN with a side dish of humour category, but was pipped to the post on winning the coveted perspex trophy by a very lovely daddy-man (who blogs over at http://www.storiesaboutautism.com/about/, if you're interested). I made sure to introduce myself afterwards, and magnanimously gave him the middle finger and muttered expletives while simultaneously congratulating him on his excellent achievement. Luckily for me, he was a little drunk and very forgiving. I'm a truly gracious loser. Plus I did get to take home an A4 foam delight to remind me of my finalist status, and also of the fact I didn't win. ;-)


One generic non scruffy outfit for all occasions. Tick. 

I also got to meet a ton of other awesome parent bloggers. To be honest, I'm fringe in that community. I started blogging mainly for my own catharsis and sanity, and never thought I'd end up nominated for an award. I have fuck all idea on marketing my stuff, and boosting my reach, and whoring myself out to Google or whoever for ads. Literally no idea on all that blogging admin. I just love writing.





My excellent 'you didn't quite win' reminder!




Hanging out with all these other lovely bloggers was a bit of an eye opener, and the truth is, I felt like a bit of a fake. Here were a bunch of brilliant, incredible parents dealing with chronic shit day in day out, advocating, running their own awareness campaigns AND understanding a billion acronyms to boot. For me, I have a million fingers in a million pies and can't really get into any one in any sort of depth. It's kind of how my brain works. Too much SEN and I think I'd drown. Too much parenting and I think I'd go insane. I also have three typical kids too, so the foot in each camp thing is always a challenge.


Rach and I squashing Sally Phillips face. Standard.



It hit me again the mammoth task we face as parents of atypical kids. The uphill battle. The fine line between being that screaming bitch-fit parent and being palatable enough for Team Social Care to want to help. The daily exhaustion of seizures. The pad changes. The tricky behaviour. The non-verbal communication guesswork. The negotiation of a system utterly unfit for purpose. And the looming threat of a government who have made an already difficult existence even more impossible.

Yet in that room? A total powerhouse of people. People who don't let stuff slide; who bottle tears, and unleash frustration in the places it will matter. People whose lives were never what they signed up for, but who have made it their mission to make it work, acronyms and all.

Fellow Bloody Awesome Parents, I absolutely salute you.

Finalists!
*Rachel blogs over at http://www.bornattherighttime.com/ and has also written an excellent book (The Skies I'm Under) which you should most definitely read.

Yes, a book. How inadequate do I feel? 😆





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This was the shit. Especially after the free booze. 

Comments

  1. I had to get a proper breakfast the next morning. I know, a night out and staying out... unheard of! It's only when looking at the photo above I realise how small I am. Doesn't help that I'm stood next to a guy I guess. Was a brilliant night - glad you had a great time. xx

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  2. Haha loved this! And your honesty about the middle finger! It was a great night and unlike Ann I can see how big I am! The diet starts tomorrow!

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