The week that was

19 01 2014

GM sits on the sofa. Its ten past six on a Sunday morning. LML has her first breakfast and juice, GM her cup of tea. Cbeebies is on, LML mesmerised by the Teletubbies. GM thinks about the day ahead, about what she needs to do to have a better day, for them all to have a better day. Stay calm, remember PLACE, be playful and spend a chunk of the day outdoors .. Its a plan of sorts.

GM sighs. It’s been a tough week. Lovely TA has been off sick all week. GM purses her lips as she thinks about LML’s teacher waxing lyrical about how well LML has dealt with the changing TA’s, how much more compliant (GM’s word!), focused .. It feels like the list goes on. The teacher doesn’t see the anxiety, stress, anger, confusion that comes out at home. LML misses Lovely TA desperately, but doesn’t speak of it. She talks a lot about missing her lost Cheeky Monkey (that is a whole other sad tale), hits out at Lolly and generally finds self regulation impossible without significant support from the mostly functional parents.

All week LML has been enjoying the challenge of getting into the mostly functional parents bedroom early in the morning, the focus to ensure that both parents are awake and available. This means that whichever parent has got up first has to be hyper vigilant to stop her going upstairs. Any lapse has resulted in a bolt for the stairs and a early awakening for the parent who is supposed to be getting a lie in. They are tired, feeling stretched thin. Everything seems a little more brittle, a bit more precarious. Really it’s the same as always .. Just more so, thinks GM, as she sits LML on her knee for the fifth time that morning. “Feel your heart racing sweetheart, drop your shoulders. Take a deep breath and blow out slow slow slow ..” She instructs and explains and hopes that one day LML will understand what it is to be calm.


The need to know ..

11 01 2014

LML seems to have arrived at the asking stage of development. The Ed psych would probably say it is emerging. The mostly functional parents gladly answer the questions that keep on coming. They do wonder though, how ‘normal’ her questions are .. are her questions the same sort of questions that any child at her developmental stage would ask?

As LML and GM walk down the stairs, early in the morning, GM responds to the questions that are being asked. She explains who bought LML her quilt, her PJs, various teddies, her coat, her remote control racing car. The list goes on.  “Who bought Kitty Cat mummy?” She asks. GM smiles, always welcoming the opportunity to talk about how a member of the family ‘arrived’. “We didn’t buy Kitty Cat, he didn’t have a home or a family and needed somewhere safe, so we let him move into our house” she explains. “Who bought my slippers mummy?” The conversation moves on!

Finding the way

2 10 2012

… to rhythm.

Over the last 6 to 12 months LML has started to develop an appreciation of music. After much encouragement she has started to sing songs (as opposed to singing as stream of consciousness!). She has started to dance to pop music … well, if you can call what the chipmunks do pop or music.

The theme tune to chipwrecked comes on and she starts humming and twitching in time .. she notices GM is not dancing or sing along and gives her a nudge – “sing mummy ” she demands and continues her jiggle.

Safe hands

15 02 2012

LML comes home from her play scheme looking decidedly poorly. She had slowed down to a worrying shuffle.

“Me feel poorly mummy.” Says the sad looking little girl, patting her tummy.

The family have their dinner, and LML tries her best to eat a little spaghetti, sitting up on the sofa under her quilt. She doesn’t eat very much and it rapidly becomes clear that she is feeling poorlier.  CD finds her in the hall, trying to remove her nappy, looking distressed and uncomfortable.

LML manages to walk up five steps before she stops, clutching her tummy, crying “wee wee mummy, wee wee.”.  GM scoops her up and carries her the rest of the way, placing her on the floor when they get to the landing.  GM goes and gets a nappy from the bedroom and starts to steer the ailing child towards the bathroom.

Suddenly all the signs are there … GM goes into catch mode … LML clutches at the arm in front of her and throws up into the cupped hands .. somehow GM manages to open the bathroom door and get to the loo without spilling a drop from her overflowing hands. A quick rinse of her hands and then a dash to the sick child to catch the next lot, which goes down the sink.  GM manages to get the weeping child to the sink to finish off being sick.

LML is clear that she just wants to go to bed.  By the time GM has got LML comfortable in bed,cleaned the sink, washed her hands (three times!) and got water and sick bowl, LML is sleeping soundly.  GM sits for 5 minutes, looking at her beautiful, pale, poorly daughter, checking that she is breathing ok and then goes down stairs.

“Never, not in a million years, would I have anticipated,” she says to CD, ” .. there is absolutely no way .. I would have thought it completely impossibe that one of the things I would be really good at, as a parent, would be catching vomit!”


29 10 2011

“Mummy” says LML,

“I” she points to her chest,

“Love” she spreads her hands over her chest,

“You” she points to GM and ends with a dazzling smile.

New hair day

17 06 2011

GM arrives home, and before the door is half open LML is shouting “WOW Mummy. Mummy home!” at the top of her lungs.  She launches herself down the hall into her mothers arms, “wow mummy, wow. Snip snip hair”.  She quickly strokes her mums face and hair, provides a kiss full of passion and races back into the living room.

GM sighs a deeply content sigh as she gives the waiting Lolly a cuddle and kiss.


oh la la

3 06 2011

Grumpy mum is very pleased to have finally figured out how to do french plaits  … Little Miss Loud has been very patient for the last two evenings, letting mum fiddle with her hair before bedtime.

Good morning

7 12 2010

GM lays in bed, drifting, LML sleeping against her body, warm and relaxed.  Her hand is lightly resting on LML’s ribs, and she can feel the soft breathing.  LML turns a little, and her hand moves to GM’s face.  For a few seconds she strokes and caresses GM’s cheeks and mouth, then sighs and turns away, snuggling into the warmth of her mother.

Family Lexicon

9 11 2010

“Lolly! ‘nap! ‘nap!” says LML “‘nap ‘nap mummy”

GM looks round and sees that LML has found CD’c foot long wooden crocodile.

She brandishes it at her sister and mum ‘nap ‘napping.

“What is it?” asks GM

“Cockabite” comes the answer.

GM smilingly agrees that it is indeed a “crocodile”, whilst knowing that this creature will soon be known by another, quite charming name.

Half term – day 3

28 10 2010

The kids are up at 5.45am, and the day starts with cuddles on the sofa and dvd’s on the TV, sugar puffs and blinis for breakfast.

CD leaves for work at 9ish and GM and LML take Lolly to nursery half an hour later.  They walk the mile to nursery, LML riding on the buggy board and walking – she is charming and funny all they way, cooperative and responsive to requests.  GM thanks LML profusely when they get to nursery. Goodbye kisses and hugs  to Lolly, who begins playing as soon as she arrives at nursery, and GM sets of to the train station with LML.

The pair go to visit Grandma, intending to stay for lunch.  The journey is great, LML being her usual loud self, but lacking any major challenges or tantrums.  They arrive early to hear that there are a number of other family members expected, and lunch will not be until 1.  GM worries that it will be a struggle to entertain an increasingly hungry and tired LML for another hour and a half, and manages to get LML to lay down with her for 15 minutes when she sees her teetering on the edge of a ‘naughty’ spiral.  This does the trick and LML continues to be delightful, if a bit – or very – cheeky with grandma.

She runs up behind the 80+ year old and smacks her bottom, or tickles her leg, or taps her elbow and when grandma turns and say’s “who’s that?” LML runs away laughing, then turns to blow a raspberry.  Grandma blows a raspberry back and makes a move in LML’s direction, making her laugh more, blow more raspberries and be more cheeky.  The pair play the game over and over throughout the visit, adding variations and developing a loose routine.  GM knows that LML will pick this game up again, next visit and hopes that her mother will remember and engage in it as enthusiastically!

8 people eventually sit down for lunch, LML eats plenty, especially given the number of people.  After lunch GM leaves for home, calling in at a playground on the way to the train station.  LML is really flagging by the time they arrive back in the home town, and falls asleep on GM’s lap on the bus home.    CD arrives home with Lolly about 45 minutes after GM and LML, and LML has had time to settle down back home and is watching a dvd when they get in.  Lolly has cuddles from GM and very very few ‘hits’ from LML and both enjoy a stress free bath time.

LML murmurs night night as she is put to bed, alreay more than half asleep.

GM leaves the room, feeling proud of her eldest daughter, and relieved that they have had one really ‘good’ day during the school break.

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