Back to school

“Mrs. Kelly? I hear your twins are starting school this year. Would you mind if we came over to do a story on this for the papers?”

That was the call I received at 9.30am (or so) on the 24th of January 2011. Well, of course I wouldn’t mind, this was a wonderful opportunity to re-educate and remind people of the boys special bonds. They had been in the papers before, mostly because of their Hypohidrotic Ectodermal Dysplasia, so I was sure they wouldn’t mind either. I just had to get them all into their school uniforms……with one week of holidays left to go.

Siobhan got dressed right away! She even asked me to put her hair up, that is very rare for her.

Nathanael had a bit of a whinge but was convinced to dress when I told him he doesn’t have to wear the shoes. Sebastian, well he just shrugged his shoulders, got dressed and went to watch his favorite songs on ABC iview.

Matthew I had to bribe with a trip to the park and reassurances he also doesn’t have to wear shoes.

And so 11am rolled in, we were watching Arthur so the room was relatively calm when the two reporters arrived. That soon changed into an excited hubbub and some trepidation from Matthew.

They were talking to me while Nathanael cheerily played with his noisiest toy, Siobhan sat staring at the TV and Sebastian continued at the computer in his room. Matthew was scratching already, getting quite disturbed by the noise and his excitement of the impending trip to the park.

I made it through the “interview” and now it was time for the photo…..

What a change in Matthew, he is so enchanted by photography . When he gets his hands on my camera he loves to take photos of his own face until the card runs out of memory space. He was immediately engaged with the photographer and had quite a few photos taken before I had convinced Sebastian to come out and sit on the sofa.

Nathanael had his uniform, hat and school bag on 🙂 now to get past Matthew who took great delight in putting his face right up close to the lens whenever the photographer clicked the button.

Siobhan, who had been fine with the whole thing, suddenly “switched” off. She sat, vacantly staring into space and totally unresponsive to any prompts. When I touched her she squeaked (she does it very often these days) and hit her hand on her thigh. She was hovering on the edge of a meltdown when the photographer said to me, “You can be in the photo too if you want”

Well, I didn’t really, but she had wanted to be in it and I knew she’d be upset if she missed it later so I told her she can sit on my lap.

Slowly but surely, she came with me but she was limp and grumpy whenever he tried to take a shot until I suggested she gets Lisa too.

After a reassuring wink to the reporters they agreed to let this Lisa into the pic. I was most amused by their reaction when they realised she is a Rat but the trick worked and Siobhan sat for a couple of photos.

Then it was time to say thank you and goodbye. The kids were happy to be able to relax, and they got changed into their clothes to go out.

As promised, I took them to the bakers to have a scone each, I then took them to their favorite park where they played for an hour or so before they got hot and thirsty and then we went home again.

The resulting article was very nicely written and, I felt, really captured a snapshot in our life. We have our days but then there are these days that make those days even more special. 

Full,article  http://www.northernstar.com.au/story/2011/01/28/no-sweat-dealing-with-problems-tarja-kelly/

With love & support,

Tarja Kelly

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3 Responses to “Back to school”


  1. 1 Michele 30/01/2011 at 9:25 am

    I love that photo, well done the photographer (and you!;)).
    Such a lovely article too, it is rare to be able to say that someone else has written about your family the way you yourself would isn’t it! xo

    • 2 Jessica Gilbert 24/02/2011 at 2:49 am

      My name is Jessica Gilbert and I am writing a paper on Ectodermal Dysplasia and I was wondering if I could ask you a couple questions on how this disease has and an impact on your life and your families life. Thank You.

      Jessica Gilbert


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