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.

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