30 06 2010

“Mummy.  Mummy.”calls LML from the dining room.  “MUMMY” she shouts.

GM goes to see what she wants, before she wakes CD.

“Mummy,” starts LML seriously, she points to her apple “apcle” she says and signs, “drink, milk” she states, pointing and looking at GM.  “Lolly wake, mummy wake, daddy shhhh” she continues.  LML looks at her bowl of cereal, “puff puffs mummy” she expalins and tucks in.

GM returns to the kitchen glowing with pride.  LML not only wants to describe her environment and experience, she has also said ‘apple’ for the first time ever, rather than her usual ‘act’.


“…I’m afraid that how it is.”

25 06 2010

The mostly functional parents sat on one sofa in their living room whilst the clinical psychologist sat on the other.

“So how are things?” She asks.

The mostly functional parents start with the positives, LML’s improved language development, improved behaviour when out walking and an improving relationship with Lolly.

They then move on to the challenges. The anxiety when going somewhere unfamiliar or when her routine changes; when having her nappy changed, particularly when its soiled; when someone new comes into the group, for example when the parent fortunate enough not to have to get up early comes down stairs.

That even though the relationship with Lolly is improving LML regularly pokes, slaps, kicks and hits her little sister (often hitting her with any hard object she has to hand).

They talk about how difficult it is when LML has reduced Lolly to tears and then whilst one of the mostly functional parents comforts her LML will take the opportunity to do a ‘naughty’ act.

The pychologist nods her head and says, “Yes, that must be difficult. I think you need to ignore the ‘naughty’ act and just focus and Lolly. You can sort the mess out later.”

The mostly functional parents talk about how it doesn’t matter how much time they spend playing and focussing on LML as soon as they stop, even for the shortest of periods, LML will be doing something ‘naughty’. She’ll be either hitting her sister or maybe climbing into a draw to get paints, glue, pens out.

The psychologist says, “Hmm, that’s a difficult one. It’s typical attachment disorder behaviour. I would suggest that she’s trying to remain the centre of your focus, that she feels that you won’t come back if you aren’t there with her giving her your attention, and if what she can get is negative attention then that will do for her. With older children we would normally suggest using something like an egg timer so that you can say to the child I’m going to make a cup of tea, you continue playing / watching TV and I’ll be back when the bell rings in two minutes. But because of LML’s development delay I would guess that she wouldn’t be able to manage that. I think you’re just going to have to work hard and keep on top of things. I can’t really offer you anything more than that. At this point I think I’m afraid that’s how it is.”

They finish by talking about the various ways LML seeks to gain control of most situations and how they choose their battles allowing LML to feel in control but when it matters asserting their authority.

Are they really sisters?

19 06 2010

Usually trips to the corner shop serve the purpose of giving the girls a break from one-an-other, but today the mostly functioning parents walked to the shop with the girls together, getting Lolly used to her new reins.

“They really look alike, are they really sisters?” says the local shop keeper.

GM and CD smile and nod “yes they are” they say in unison, unphased that the shopkeeper obviously knows of their daughters adopted status despite never having talked about it previously with him.

“I mean real sisters?” he says, unsure that we have understood him.

“Yes” says CD “they really are sisters.”

“They have the same mum?” the shopkeeper presses

“They have the same birth mum.” says CD.

“Yeh – you can see.  They really look alike.”

“Yes they do. Thanks.  Come along girls. Bye.”


18 06 2010

LML’s communication development has speeded up again, having reached a plateau that lasted for months and months.  About 3 months ago she really started to link two words, and since then things have come on apace.  She has started to link her two word sentences together, making four word sentences, and is increasingly linking three words, which is all very enjoyable.

The most endearing aspect of this growth is seeing her think about what she wants to express.  Her eyes move up and to the left as she works it out, and just this week she has added “errrm” to the thought process.


repetative beats

17 06 2010

GM and LML ‘chat’ as they walk to the park …

“where daddy?”

“he’s gone into town LML”

“where daddy?”

“he’s gone to town sweetheart”

“where daddy?”

“where is daddy?”

“town .. where lolly?”

“nursery darling”

“where daddy?”

“daddy went to town”

“where lolly?”

“lolly is at nursery today”

“where going?”

“we’re going to the park love”

“where …”

This continues, on an anxious cycle, for the entire 20 minute walk.

Theraputic Parenting …

14 06 2010

How NOT to do it

The carrier bag with LML’s favorite soft toy, the very dirty, very wet Kitty-cow, flies through the window and lands in the garden.

“The bloody cat can stay in the bloody garden” shouts GM.

“Where cat? Where cat?” asks LML over and over again.

GM rants that the cat is in the garden because LML “WILL NOT DO AS SHE IS TOLD!” “And it can bloody well stay there.”


10 minutes later, when GM and LML have had a cuddle and things have calmed a little, they go up stairs, fill a basket of washing and retrieve the mucky toy from the garden. They load the washing machine together, and place the dirty cat inside.

“Kitty-cow dirty” states LML.

“Yes love, Kitty-cow dirty”


13 06 2010

Lolly is standing looking at a book as LML rapidly approaches from behind. LML grabs Lolly’s face just as CD notices what is happening.  He cries out “LML, don’t do that!” Too late.

Lolly remains standing and there is a moment of silence. Then LML’s face begins to distort. She pulls away from Lolly.

“Lolly bite!” She screams through swelling tears. “Lolly bite!” becoming increasingly distraught, “Lolly bite!” she keeps repeating through flooding tears. “Lolly bite!”

CD tries to comfort her. He makes a big display of telling Lolly “No biting” Lolly looks at him blankly, there is even a hint of a smile on her face. He makes a concious decision not to rise to the bait.

“Lolly bite!” LML continues to scream and wail through her copious tears.

GM joins the scene and takes the distressed LML into her arms. “Lolly bite!” she stammers through the tears. She shows the damaged finger end to GM, there are clear teeth marks, the skin slightly broken.  She continues to wail and sob intermittently for a few more minutes.

The mostly functional parents exchange a glance and smile over the top of the distraught child’s head, acknowledging the role reversal. GM considers using it as a learning opportunity, pointing out to LML that this is how Lolly must feel after LML’s regular physical attacks, but decides that the older daughter is too distressed to take in the learning and will wait for the opportunity later.

Life in a box – day 4

11 06 2010

“Big poo?” states LML

“It’s a normal sized poo” reassures CD as he finishes changing her nappy….

“Bird poo?” LML enquires.

“Yes, my love, bird poo” confirms GM…

“Lolly’s poo, me see” requests LML

“You can look at your own poo, but you don’t have a right to see anyone else’s sweety …” explains GM …

“Doggie poo, yuk!”

“It is dirty that people don’t clean it up” confirms CD…


“I think that’s just a seed off the tree” responds GM hesitantly…

“Look…” LML shows a handful of sand crowned with large seagull shit.

“Lovely sweet heart, but daddy doesn’t want any bird poo thank you”

“POO! YUK” and with this LML starts to become distressed.

Life in a box – day 3

10 06 2010

The pool is cool. The girls love it, but LML is just a slip of a thing so swimming is cut short. Her teeth are chattering until she is fully clothed and running again. The girls have hot chocolate and a snack to get fully warm. Whilst CD and GM discuss what to do next, Lolly makes her escape. CD searches for her and finally he finds her being herded back into the building by a young boy – he had seen her going out side and had followed her. When they leave the swimming complex their table is awash with hot chocolate and quavers.

The family get back to the caravan and the girls are just too tired to eat their lunch. They sleep for an hour and a half, and only wake up at CD’s gentle suggestion. The playground is dry enough to play in at last, so they do, and then it’s on to the ‘funworks’ for another mad half hour of lights and music.

After tea GM puts LML and Lolly in their pretty dresses to go to the pub. LML twirls around in her new dress for her daddy, and Lolly copies her. The mostly functional parents are better prepared for their ‘night out’ this time, and are armed not only with snacks, but also sticker books, paper and pencils and an agreement that ice-cream can be used ruthlessly if necessary. Their pints are not quite finished when LML falls over and howls. Its time to leave.

Life in a box – Day 2

9 06 2010

Scene one

“My home?” says LML as they walk through the site. “My home?”

“That’s not our caravan, baby. Our caravan is over there”

“My home?”

“Not that one either.”

“My home?”

“We are near, but that’s still not our ‘van”

“My home! My blanket!” cries LML as they turn a corner and she sees the caravan loom into view.

Scene two

Lolly launches herself though two soft play rollers, which look like a giant mangle, she lands head first and looks to GM shrieking with delight. She does this over and over again and each time her face beams.

Scene three

The tide is coming in. LML stands on the edge of sea delighted as the waves splash around her wellies. She picks up some seaweed and throws it into the encroaching waves, her laughter mingles with the gently breaking waves. GM and CD look at each other and exchange a look of parental pride and joy.

Scene four

CD is at the bar getting snacks for the girls. GM is ‘containing’ them at a table and takes the great escapist LML onto her lap. LML begins to shriek and shout as loudly as she can.

“LML” says GM, to gain her attention, “look” she says and signs, moving LML’s focus from family to family that surround them “do you hear any other child making this noise?”

LML looks around, and then back at GM. She shakes her head and giggles.

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