Bye bye ganma jay

24 03 2014

GM has the weekend planned with military precision, as CD is presenting a course all weekend. Lolly has attended her gymnastics class and picked up her new glasses (pair 5!), LML has managed to sit and play on the tablet for the duration of the class and they are at last heading for her favourite place to play.

GM and the girls are slowly making their way up the hill with the scooters towards the skateboard park when Lolly shouts out “Daddeee!” Both girls abandon their scooters and run down the hill to his waiting arms.  GM is slightly confused to see that it is indeed CD, and finds herself dismissing the possibility that absolutely no one turned up for the training. As he approaches she sees that he looks upset, he reaches her and sobs an incoherent sentence as he gathers her into his arms.”Oh no” she says, grasping some of what he is saying, “Your Dad?” .. Her heart is in her mouth.

“Jay” he gasps out, “your mum”. GM freezes. She hears the rest of his words. Her sister had been trying to contact her, and eventually had got hold of CD. He had come straight away. GM walks back to the car, leaving CD to get the girls and scooters sorted. She manages to drive them all home before crumbling.
The girls go straight out into the garden to play when they get home and GM sits in the dinning room crying.  Lolly comes to her mother and strokes her hand, as GM explains to her that Grandma Jay has died.  Through out the day they talk about what that means “Grandma is gone, she is in our memories, but who she was is gone”, ” Now?” Asks Lolly repeatedly, “Ganma poorly?”, “No Lolly, she isn’t poorly any more” GM reassures her, feeling the relief of that herself, mingled with her sadness and heartache.


Can’t or won’t?

4 03 2014

As GM walks by the living room door she hears CD saying “you wouldn’t be cold if you hadn’t lost your fleece at school Lolly.” Unusually he sounds irritated. GM sighs … It is irritating. The mostly functional parents have had to replace so many jumpers and cardies, shorts and sports tops since September. Even a pair of (expensive) wellies.

It seems that Lolly is expected to be able to keep track of her clothes and equipment now that she is in year 1. The mostly functional parents have an on going conversation about whether Lolly can keep track. She is not as emotionally mature as many of her class mates, nor educationally. Developmentally she is probably about 12 to 18 months behind many of her peers. GM wonders if that is ‘all’ it is though, or whether there is more to Lollies apparent inability to keep track of her belongings.

At home she often looses her current favourite object or toy, and will have the bemused patents searching for days. She often puts things in a safe place and is then unable to remember where it is.  These things will often turn up weeks later, in bizarre and unusual places. Like finding the golden purse with current object of desire wedged between some DVDs on a shelf.  This ability to loose things extends to her most precious blanky and toy doddies. Her ratty, scratty holey blanket, that came home with her is no longer allowed anywhere other than home or in the car, due to the many retraced steps and waves of relief when it has been found.

After bed time CD and GM again mull over Lollies tendency to loose things. GM mostly believes that the loss of yet another pair of glasses is probably deliberate, but is not so sure about the clothes. They talk in circles, not really feeling that they understand what, if any, the problem is.
A few days later CD returns from Lolly’s parents evening meeting. Lolly is lavished with praise for the progress she is making in phonics, in particular how well she is doing with her blending.  CD tells GM that Mrs F is really pleased with the progress she has made, but .. But they continue to be concerned about Lolly’s ability to retain her learning. Not only learning, she has not seed to have internalised any of the classroom routines, and needs prompts to move between activities frequently. CD asked Mrs F to be more specific, and she described a particular daily routine. Every morning all the children in KS1 split into ability groups for phonics, with Lolly being in the reception group.  At the end the children return to their classroom, get a book and sit on the carpet to do independent reading for 5 or 10 minutes. Every day, Lolly returns to the classroom and will stand, confused, until the teacher or TA directs her to the books and carpet. Every day!  The mostly functional parents are quite shocked to hear that she has so little grasp of the class routines.  This seems to be much more significant than a penchant for loosing her jumpers.

CD delves into Lolly’s book bag … “This is some of the good work Lolly has been doing” he says, “and these are the forms we need to fill in for the needs assessment that they want to get in motion.”

GM goes to bed feeling quietly sad and bad. She wonders if they would have picked up on this earlier if LML’s significant needs hadn’t overshadowed Lolly’s?

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