Time, fun and resiliance

8 09 2012

“It’s five years since LML came home you know, and three since Lolly arrived.” says Crap Dad as the Mostly Functional Parents settle down at the end of another day.

“It is, isn’t it…” reflected Grumpy Mum. “It’s been one of those days, one of those weeks hasn’t it?” she sighs and  contnues “Today was great. At the park June told me that LML went up to her and spoke to her a few times, initiating the interactions – LML’s never done that before she said.  In fact I saw her going up to a number of people to speak to them. She just seems more confident.

And Lolly… she was great too. She’s so confident. Did you see her throwing herself about on the scrambling net and having such a great time on the rope swing.”

Crap Dad nods and smiles. “It was a good day today. I think they both needed a sleep this morning though, particularly Lolly; she was so knackered after her first week at school.  But this afternoon they both really enjoyed themselves, although they didn’t engage with the den making much.”

“It has been one of those weeks hasn’t it?  Full on, as usual. Did you talk to LML’s TA’s about the ADHD diagnosis? We need to tell them in advance so that they can monitor the effect of the medication” says Grumpy Mum.  “You know, we’ve missed such an opportunity to blog  about the whole CAMHS thing. It’s too late now but they’re so wishy-washy, it would have been fun retelling some of those sessions.”

“Not as much as the camping weekend.” CD says, laughing.  “God! The kids didn’t cope at all with the lack of their normal routine … we’ll really have to work on that next time we go camping. I was telling June about how they were in and out of peoples tents and caravans, no respecters of peoples privacy at all, that pair!”

GM nods, “Yeah, and Lolly’s last day at nursery and first day at school – she looks so good in her new school uniform.  I’m glad she is such a performer – we have some lovely pictures of her first couple of days – we never managed that with LML”

“The summer playscheme that LML has gone to.” adds CD “They still don’t get her need for structure and routine, but at least they have now allocated a key worker to her. At least it  seems that her days were a bit more focused.”

“Though did you hear what her TA was saying the other day?  That her heart sank when they were doing some number work and LML counted ‘one, two, eight…’ She said, ‘We spent all of last year getting her to count from one to ten.’ I think it’s just a blip though, she’s been counting one to ten all summer long.”

“Yeah, we should have blogged about the Safe Base training too. That would have been really good.” says GM “I know why CAHMS referred us to it, but there was no needs analysis done, and I’m not convinced that they know the philosophy that underpins Safe Base, it’s focus on therapeutic interventions rather than there more medicalised approach, or the fact that we’ve done so much of that Theraplay based intervention already. We didn’t learn that much from that did we, though it did help refresh and rejuvenate the work we do with the kids.”

“Then there was that whole thing about you losing your job.” CD interjects “I don’t think that many people would believe that a national charity would behave so badly to a member of their staff.”

“And passing your driving test GM, getting a car, our first drive as a family and how the kids have become complete pains in the arse, biting and hitting each other almost every journey.”

“Yeah, the biting, what are we going to do about LML biting Lolly? Have you seen Lolly’s arms, they are black and blue? I had to explain them to her teacher and she sort of just gave me this glazed look!” says GM, shaking her head.

“It had been a good summer though, I was dreading it at the start but I think we got the balance about right. Loads of playfulness, plenty of activities and structure … lots if structure.”

“Yeah, we should have blogged more, we missed some golden opportunities”

“Yes, we really must make the effort to record what’s happened or else we’ll forget.”

“And its funny too.”

“Hilarious” sighs Crap Dad.


Heal thy self

15 01 2012

As always happens after an LML related appointment, CD and GM have a bit of a de-brief.

Earlier in the week it followed a their second CAMHS appointment, which they attended without LML.

“I don’t feel like we got very far” says CD, “we didn’t get any further than the last session.”

“No” agrees GM, “we can only hope they actually read LML’s CPR before the next appointment. They have had it fir over a month.”

“I can’t believe that they asked us what we should do in the next session – who are the flippin therapists for goodness sake, us or them!!??”

Regroup! Regroup!

30 12 2011

The Mostly Functional Parents had both been looking forward to a whole week with no work, no school and no nursery.  By the end of the week they are on their knees with exhaustion, frustration and disappointment.

They are pretty much in agreement that they ‘got it wrong’ – the week has been too unstructured and unplanned, too spontaneous, too wet and cold and just too too much for them all.

So, the next holidays the parents will remember a few rules

  • it’s ok to divide and rule
  • the weekly planner that is created for Little Miss Loud during term time will continue during the vacations – for every week
  • activities will be planned in advance – even vague ones like ‘an outing’
  • distance makes the heart grow fonder … time off nursery and play scheme do not need to coincide – indeed, it should be very well planned and executed if it happens at all when not actually ‘on a holiday’
  • going to bed earlier and drinking a bit less might not be what the beleaguered parents want to do, but it’s probably for the best.

So, the Mostly Functional Parents need to put away spontaneity and impulse for now and really really knuckle down to predictability, planning and routine.


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.

‘Appy Daddy, Daddy Day’

19 06 2011

Crap Dad wakes to the sound of screaming. He tries to ignore it to gain a few precious more minutes sleep but it’s no good. The noise has wormed it’s way into his consciousness. He reluctantly gets out of bed and wonders downstairs.

He finds Grumpy Mum on the settee with LML on her lap snuggled into her shoulder and Lolly tightly curled up tight beside her.

“Yer a bit noisy you lot. How am I supposed to have a lie in when at 7.30 in the morning there’s all this screaming” he enquires.

“We’ve had a bit of a difficult morning so far Dad” GM says. “Lolly’s still not feeling any better and LML has been struggling a bit.

We’ve also had a bit of an incident with the milk. I think LML thought it was a good idea to give the cat a drink of milk. I was in here, if I’m honest snuggled with Lolly, slipping between consciousness and sleep having been up a four times in the night and then getting up with these at 5am. So I didn’t realise that LML had slipped away and how long for. It was only when the cat came charging into the room soaked in milk that I realised that something was wrong.

By the time I’d got to the kitchen it was covered  2 litres milk. It’s surprising how far 2 litres of milk can go.

We’ve tidied up as best we can but the floor’s going to need mopping and the rug is going to need cleaning. It’s already starting to smell.”

Crap Dad mumbles something about there be be enough milk for a cup of tea as he slopes of towards the kitchen

The Big Blue

10 01 2011

The big blue package sparked interest

“My bed?” enquired LML.

“Well no, it’s Lolly’s new bed” replied Crap Dad

“My bed!” states LML

“No, it’s the mattress to Lolly’s bed”


“Would you girls like to help mummy and daddy make Lolly’s new bed?” enquired Cap Dad.

The two girls jumped up. “Yes, yes, yes” they shouted excitedly. They pushed and bumped each other as they scrambled up the stairs. Lolly jumped up and down, waved her arms in the air, spun around and yelped with joy as she saw the mattress wrapped blue plastic.

“We’ll need to take down the cot first”

The girls run around and ‘help’ with unscrewing and dismantling the cot.

As Crap Dad and Grumpy Mum assemble the frame of the new bed Lolly tries several times to clamber on. “No, Lolly, it’s not ready yet. It’s not safe, wait.” Crap dad and Grumpy Mum repeatedly say.

It’s not long before the bed is up and the mattress is being unsheathed from it’s plastic rapper. As soon as the mattress is on the bed Lolly and LML are jumping up and down on it.

“Let mummy and daddy put the bedding on.” pleads Grumpy Mum.

“Lolly’s bed, Lolly’s bed” pants LML as she jumps up and down.

Eventually the mostly functional parents persuade the excitable kids off the bed and put a sheet and quilt on.

“Wow, look Lolly, your big girls bed” exclaims GM

Lolly clambers into the bed. “Night, Night” she says as she snuggles down.

The mostly functional parents and LML laugh. “It’s not bedtime yet darling, you need to have a bath.” Lolly takes some coaxing out from under the covers.

Jingle bells, jingle bells…

26 12 2010

“Daddy look!” says LML as she spots the stockings placed by their grandparents by the fireplace.

“Look Daddy!”

“They look interesting, what do you think they are?”

“Ho, ho, Ho!”

“You think Santa has left them?”

“Yes” say both the girls, Lolly nodding her head vigorously.

“Do you want to have a look?”


They delve in the stockings, Pulling out torches, bags of chocolate coins, masks… It’s not long before a range of small objects have been explored, played with and explored again.

After a few minutes LML comes up to Crap Dad and kisses him on the cheek and says, “Thank you Daddy”.

Crap Dad says, “You need to thank Nan and Granddad when they get up. Though that’ll be a few hours yet, as it’s still the middle of the night.”


Sick Note.

19 12 2010

Spotty, snotty, smelly. LML and Lolly have been ill for the past two weeks.

If there was a market for snot then the mostly functional parents could have made a fortune.

The sleepless nights are now starting to take their toll. Dispositions are becoming frayed and fractious – and that’s just Grumpy Mum and Crap Dad.

Letter Box Contact

11 11 2010

Bring, bring…. bring bring

“Hello, letter box service”

“Hi, it’s Crap Dad, LML and Lolly’s dad. We’ve just received our letter box contact from birth mum and birth grandmother. I’m afraid they are again unacceptable. Both of them have the senders address and telephone numbers on, they are full of things like, ‘I’ll find some way to see you soon’, ‘ We’ll together again one day…’ I don’t want my daughters to see these. I’m going to have to send them back to you.”

“That’s OK Crap Dad. Would you like us to check them in future to see if they are appropriate or not?”

“Yes please.”

“OK, we’ll do that. Send them back to me and I’ll put LML and Lolly’s files in the red folder.”

“Thank you. Bye”



5 11 2010

Routine is everything in the Mostly Functional household, morning, noon and night.

CD & GM had had enough of 5am starts, so a month ago they bought and ‘day and night’ clock, which changes when it is morning.  It provides the girls with a very visual sign that it is morning.

At the end of three weeks the girls had started to wake closer to 5.30 in the morning most days and 6am maybe twice a week.


5.15 this morning was a vast improvement on the previous days, which have consistently been 4.something am.  For some reason LML has woken lively and unwilling to stay quietly in bed.  She shouts, kicks, objects and wakes everyone.

The mostly Functional parents hold onto the hope and belief that they will not always have to rise so early, nor battle at the beginning of their day .

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