Just that time of year?

16 07 2014

LML chooses to watch Something Special in the morning – the first time since GM doesn’t know when – specifically the ‘baby’ one.

After school LML goes to get her memory box out of the cupboard just before bath time.  CD tells her she can have a proper look after bath time.  He half expects that she will have forgotten as he takes it as an attempt to avoid  going in the bath; just another bid for control.  once she is ready for bed though, she goes to her memory box and explores the contents.  She recognises the number 1 on a birthday card and asks about cards that she received from her foster carers for her 1st birthday and her first Christmas.  She tries on the England (football) Team’s baseball cap which was a gift to her from her birth parents.  She rummages through the special gifts and items from her foster family eventually pulling out a tiny baby grow that GM added to the box to give LML some idea of just how small she was when she was born, and goes under the bed to dress her baby monkey in it.  All this whilst GM or CD make comments and observations about her early experiences, before she came home.

When they go downstairs for supper LML really surprises the mostly functional parent by asking if she can have the baby bottle.  They have kept one as sometimes Lolly will have a phase of revisiting the bottle, but LML has rarely shown more than a passing interest in it.  GM put milk in the bottle, and explains, as she always does, that mummy or daddy hold the bottle and she must lay on their knee if she wants some milk from it.  LML climbs onto GM’s lap and lays in her arms, way too light for an eight year old.  She suckles from the bottle and gazes at her mum, as she talks about how this is what she would have done if she had been there when she was a baby; about how LML was so tiny that she couldn’t feed from a bottle at first, but she would have held her and told her that she loves her, just like she is now. After a couple of minutes LML sits up and climbs down from her mothers lap, calm and ready for supper.  

Lolly quickly replaces her and goes through the same process, although she drains the bottle and clearly gets enormous pleasure from having teat in her mouth.  Lolly would have a dummy if she could and will always have her thumb or another item in her mouth, and there is clearly a sensory element to her desire for a bottle.  Lolly hasn’t asked for it for quite some time – certainly not this year, and LML never has – not once

GM is astonished by LML’s request.  Encouraged, astonished and hopeful.   


Question and answers

24 02 2012

Grumpy Mum, “What would you like for dinner Lolly?”


“You can’t have pudding for dinner.” replies GM.



“Ice cream?”







“No,  you can’t just have deserts for dinner.  How about some baked beans instead?”

“Yes please” replies  Lolly eagerly.

Little Steps…

30 06 2011

It came as no surprise to the Mostly Functional parents that their application for a Statutory Assessment of LML’s Educational Needs was turned down. The schools Educational Psychologist had hinted as much at their last meeting. What they didn’t expect was the way the conversation would go at the meeting to explain the Local Authority’s decision.

The meeting was with the Authority’s Assessment Officer, the Senior Educational Psychologist for the Area and the Schools Special Educational Needs Coordinator.

The Assessment Officer explained the decision making process and that he had, with some reservations, recommended an assessment because LML has above 50% developmental delay. In his words, “My view was that if we didn’t do it now, looking at the case history of LML, it was very likely we would have do it in the future.” This then went to an independent officer who reviewed his decision and advised not to proceed to an assessment because LML had made “significant progress” within the school setting. A panel of senior officers then made a decision not proceed.

The Ed Psych. explained that had been in the school for the past two weeks undertaking an assessment of the school’s overall provision which had nothing to do with LML. However, he had observed LML on a number of occasions “You can’t help but notice her” he said. He also stated that he had not been given the Authority’s reasons in the paperwork sent out prior to the meeting and it was only now that this had been explained to him. Given his observations, he said, he would like to explore what was meant by “significant progress”.

The Mostly Functional parents exchanged a knowing look.

The SENCO then explained that in the three months since the school submitted their report for the assessment LML’s behaviour had deteriorated and that much of the progress they had initially observed had either stalled or gone into reverse.

There was then a lengthy discussion about LML, her development and behaviours which illustrated why the Mostly Functional parents had submitted the application in the first place.

The Assessment Officer observed that some of the contributing factors to the decision were that some of the reports the Mostly Functional parents had submitted were about a year old, that because she was in reception it was less academic, more free flowing, and the panel thought that the support provision of the school in this sort of setting met LML’s needs

The Ed Psych. proposed that we wait until the new academic year, when LML will move to a more structured curriculum where everyone acknowledged that she is likely to struggle in the setting and get a fresh set of reports from the professionals involved in her case. They would then submit a new application.

The Assessment Officer, who may or may not have nodded his agreement, concluded the meeting by explaining to the Mostly Functional parents that they could of course appeal against the decision based on the evidence they have submitted so far.

Crazy golfers

30 05 2011

The Mostly Functional parents are at the seaside for a few days with the girls. After an enjoyable afternoon on the beach they decide not to stretch their luck too far before LML and Lolly’s good spirits break. On the way back to their apartment they agree that a game of crazy golf might entertain the troublesome twosome.

The attendant informs them that they are the last group of the day. Indeed there it’s only another quartet on the course.

The mostly functional parents demonstrate the idea of the game to LML & Lolly. The first hole goes ok with Lolly needing some assistance and LML insisting that she needs non.

At the tee for hole two LML was already showing signs that she’d had enough. Before Grumpy Mum could tee off with Lolly LML was already racing across the course. She was soon followed by her ever willing accomplice. Within moments there was peels of laughter as they clambered over the obstacles, peered down holes and chased each other about. At one point LML hung off the side of a lighthouse  waving her arm and growling in the manner of King Kong.

They then played a game of one of them rolling a golf ball through one of the obstacles whilst the other lay facing the exit, mouth open trying to catch the ball.

Not a traditional game at all but hey they were happy. Crazy indeed.

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 One

8 06 2010

The great storm was making visibility limited and driving very slow and careful, it wasn’t the best of starts. LML and Lolly started out in good moods but as the journey progressed their geniality started to wane. CD tried to keep them entertained with a range of action songs. The girls joined in and demand half a dozen renditions of ‘Wind the bobbin’ up’.

The mostly functional family arrive at the caravan site and find their box. The kids love it. Running up and down the limited space, opening every cupboard and door. LML claims her bed almost instantly, ‘my bed’ she states, ‘my bed’ as she plonks her beloved meow onto it.

The mostly functional parents quickly unpack and store stuff away. The kids are fed and soon start to become restless. GM and CD decide to go for a walk, even though it is already past the tykes bedtime. They stroll to the cliff edge and watch people far below, walking their dogs on the beach. On the way back to the box they check out the amenities on the site. LML runs into ‘the fun works’ rapidly followed by GM. She is quite overcome by the flashing lights, the games, the music; happy and excited and not wanting to leave, but noticeably relaxing once GM manages to get her out!

They return to the box and start to settle down for the evening. The kids run around excitedly.

CD puts a plug in the bottom of the shower and runs a shallow bath. LML and Lolly watch with keen interest, pushing CD out of the way. They eagerly get undressed, wanting to try this new experience, of bathing in a tiny confined space in only a few inches water. Squashed into the shower tray together they excitedly splash about, Lolly becoming rather giddy and reluctant to leave.

Normally, after some milk and a rice cake or crackers the girls are falling asleep, not tonight. They wriggle, giggle and jiggle. Eventually GM takes them to bed and sits with them until they fall asleep – it’s after 9pm when she emerges from the little room. It’s been a long day (the girls having been up as usual at 5.30am) and the mostly functional parents soon collapse on the settee, open a bottle of wine and begin to relax.

Crunch Biscuits

10 04 2010

LML and GM do quite a lot of baking together.  Here is what they made this morning .. probably their favourite biscuit recipe.

The recipe comes from a Women’s Institute book from the early 1950’s which was given to GM by her father.  She remembers using the book when she was a child, with her dad and she really likes the feeling of continuity she get’s when she bakes with LML.


6 oz flour (plain)

5 oz sugar

3 oz Quaker oats

1 tsp baking powder

4 oz margarine / butter

1 good tbl sp golden syrup

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda dissolved in 2 tbl sp hot water


1.Mix all the dry ingredients together, (except the bicarbonate of soda which should be dissolved in the water).

2.Melt marg/butter and syrup in a pan (GM tends to get it half melted and then turn off the heat – this way it isn’t too hot when it’s mixed with the dry ingredient, and little LML fingers are spared the heat)

3.Mix all the ingredients together to form a dough

4.Make dough into balls (about walnut sized) and place on a baking sheet, giving plenty of space for them to spread

5.Bake for aprox 15 minutes at gas mark 3

Makes about 30 (we tend to fill two baking sheets) biscuits (which will last all week, but only if you can stop eating them!)

(We sometimes add sultanas or glace cherries, but haven’t tried chocolate chips)

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