Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Regression...for WASO


regressive stuff is coming quite naturally to Squiblet and us at the moment.  She loves to be held like a baby and will throw her head back and say "baby" when you give her a cuddle and then "pass" so I "pass the baby" to Mama.  She likes it when we rock her, feed her milk with a bottle and sing rockabye baby and it's all very comfortable.  It feels comfortable to us because we have read about the importance of these things, but also because it's nice to know that we are sharing these special moments with her.  I think it would all feel a bit more new age and regressive if she was, five, for example.  I wonder if she is still regressing then, whether I will feel the same.  I know some people think we shouldn't be giving her a bottle any more, that at almost two she is too old...I say...pfft...what's the bloody problem!  The girl can recognise the difference between lichen and moss...she walks, she climbs, she talks and she is progressing at an incredible rate...why should I care that she likes to drink her milk from a teat rather than a sippy cup?  I quite like eating petit filous with my finger which some people would probably think is weird...but then those people can either silently judge me from the sidelines or go away...because I'm not hurting anyone and neither is Squiblet with her bottle.  And I honestly don't think I would mind if she still wants a bottle from time to time when she's 5, 6, 7...if you're in the privacy of your own home, why not?  I guess at that age, other children may judge and then it becomes an issue, but well...I'll worry about that if and when it happens.

We thought that striking the balance between nurturing her and giving her the toddler independence she needs would be difficult but it isn't so far.  When she gets tired of spiking her food with her fork, she asks for some help and we feed her a bit.  I can't imagine having to feed myself with the motor skills she has!  I guess it's a bit like using your left hand to write because it just doesn't quite feel fluid and natural yet.  I can see that eating makes her tired, especially cereal where she has to keep her spoon the right way up and angle it just so or she ends up with it all over her.  We have made great progress this week as she can now drink from an open cup (one with 2 handles).  It's very cute because she looks super serious and says "carefully!" and then very slowly slurps it.  It ends up with all sorts of things floating in it but she is very proud of herself and we are very proud of her too.  It's funny because I read the Mary Sheridan Birth to Five Years book the other day to see what sorts of things she should be doing and that was one of them so I thought I would try her with it and...tah dah...the girl can do it!  She's such an observer though.  You won't be concentrating and you turn to face her and she's mirroring your arm position and facial expression exactly.  I was sitting cross-legged the other day and she couldn't continue with anything until she could do it too.

I've wandered from the topic of regression into jabbering on about how wonderful she is again.  Apologies...but she is!! He he...sorry.  Right yes, regression.  I'm not sure what else we do. Lots and lots of cuddles is the main thing...lots and lots of the same books...she quite likes reading her baby books but I think all kids are like that because they like the familiarity.

I'm enjoying having a theme to write to.  Thanks WASO folk!

Take care everyone. x

Thursday, 18 April 2013

A frivolous post for a change!


The sunshine is bringing out the best in both Squiblet and I...I don't think she had a sad face yesterday and today she cried when I turned the hoover on but moments later was dancing under the hose and saying "rainbow" and then shrieking as I chased her round the room singing an improvised hoovering song which (thankfully) now I can't even remember.

What I wanted to write about today was animal accents.  I don't know about you but when I am being the voice of different animals, I am overcome with the urge to use some sort of bizarre accent.  I was reflecting on this after yesterday Squiblet wanted to "show it [her playdough pond] slug [a playdough slug]" in this instance I was the slug (oh the glamour) and for some reason I gave the slug a Bob Hoskins style accent and was saying things like "oooh, that's lovely, that is..real lovely....whatya got over there then?...oohhh....a frog...he's a fine lookin' fella, he is..."  Just like when I read a book with a duck in it and I come over all Janet Street Porter.  I can't help myself!  Am I alone in this?!

That's all for today as I'm heading over to to stock up on cake tins and icing (only a month until b-day!).  I'm getting pretty excited now!  I have invited a few of her little friends from her music class so I hope they can come.  I don't know if it's random to invite people who haven't been round before but never mind if it is...I've done it now!

Oh, and I should also share the swimming joy!  She's floating on a woggle, kicking her legs, smiling and GETTING HER HAIR WET now!  Amazing.  Oh...and (proud Mummy) she knows her left and right! Impressive stuff!  Sorry...will try not to do that too much!

Hope you are all chirpy in the sunshine too. x

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Transition (for WASO)


I'm writing this for WASO on the theme of transition but it's so strange, because we're just at a point where transitions are a big part of our lives.  Most notably, Squiblet's foster carers visited yesterday and it was clear to us that they have not managed to make the transition from being Squiblet's carers, to people from Squiblet's past.  We had been told by our social worker that they would spend the visit reinforcing to Squiblet how wonderful her new home is and praising her for her achievements and settledness...this did not happen...not in any way!  What did happen was that the whole family seemed fixated on getting her to perform party tricks like high fives as she used to do when she lived with them.  Squiblet has recently morphed from baby to toddler and was having none of it!  She also couldn't remember them.  We have shown her pictures, talked about them and we made them a cake and used that as a way in to talk about them more and yet, after 3 months she just couldn't remember them and they clearly found that pretty hard to handle.  I mean, of course it would be.  To go from being someone's "family" to them forgetting you ever existed in 3 months, as an adult, must be pretty difficult.  But then if I'm being harsh about it, that's what you sign up for as a foster carer.  And that's not just what you sign up for, it's what you sign your whole family up for, including your teenage children...and it's got to be hard for them because they're not even fully emotionally developed anyway.  I don't know how foster carers do it.  I take my hat off to them.  They have one of the hardest jobs in the world the day they have to say goodbye.  But surely this meeting was supposed to be for Squiblet's benefit and not theirs?  I thought it was supposed to be to help Squiblet understand that people don't just disappear, they are still there, and still OK even if you don't see them anymore.  I thought this meeting was for them to see how settled she is so that they can feel happy that she has gone to a good home.  Instead they seemed fixated that she hadn't really made much progress (she's gone from not even standing with furniture to walking...she's gone from saying nouns, to describing everything she sees and having mini conversations...she's gone from spoon to fork...she can crack eggs...she has jumped up the centiles for both height and weight...she throws her head back and laughs and laughs and laughs like she doesn't have a care in the world...I could go on) and that she was "already speaking well when she left" and "still isn't really walking very well".  Eurgh.  It made me cross.  It made Mama sad.  That's a role reversal as in the past I would always default to's my plucky inner mother hen that did it!  I don't want anyone to march in and belittle her progress...we've never said it's down to us...we say it's down to her...down to her (despite her scary start in life) being a downright awesome, clever and sparky little person and all we are doing is giving her the things she needs to grow.  The social workers have praised us and said we are making a difference and that made me feel really great, like we are doing the right things for her.  But we saw that spark in her birth mum, and who knows where her birth mum would be if her environment had been different from when she was born.  The foster carer however, wanted to explain Squiblet's intelligence to her early input, the books they had read....the things they had done.  Aaargh!  All very tricky!  And I'm trying to feel sad for them, sorry for them, to understand, put myself in their shoes...but I can't and the reason I can't is because I have to put Squiblet first now, and I know that I could never be a foster carer because I just couldn't do the part where you have to say goodbye, let them fly away and know in your heart that someone else will give that child what they really need 1000X more than you ever could because they are going to love them forever, without question, without financial incentive just because.  Apologies for that incredibly long sentence!

And onto our transition.  Our transition was a gradual one.  Somehow we went from being two mums who tried so hard all the time that by nap time they collapsed in a heap.  We loved our daughter from the day we met her...I don't know how it happened like that but it did.  But now our love for her has grown and grown and we have become a family.  Today when I was watching Mama take her for a walk in a restaurant I had a tear in my eye.  We are a unit, a co-dependent unit of people who love each other.  Mama and I were talking about that the other kids love you or do they just depend on you?  I'm a big softie sentimental old soul and I think that they love you...if they feel like you love them.  And maybe when they're a teenager they "hate" you, but then when they come out of that they love you again.  I know I love my parents.  I love them for who they are, for all their quirks, and that's not just because I know that they love me, it's just a feeling which is real, and is there, and I know it won't ever go away and that's what I want for our daughter.

So there we are.  We've come through the first molar relatively unscathed after lots of frozen choobs and calprofen!  Not really looking forward to the other three.

And to finish my rather emotional post I'll just give you a flavour of Squiblet at the moment.
neighbour: "oooh, are you looking at the birdy wirdy?'
Squiblet: "nope...pigeon!"

That's gone down in my book of funny and awesome things she does!

Love to all x

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Teething times, LAC review, foster carer visit...busy busy!


So we had our LAC review.  All went well and they are sorting the paperwork so that we can apply for the adoption order!  Hurrah!  Then we will be free of all the waiting and wondering and sorting this and that and we can just get on with being a family.

Squiblet has not been quite her usual jolly self of late.  She was up in the night with a really high temperature last week and I felt like a real Mum, giving calpol in my dressing down at 2.00 am.  I think now she is teething as she is just a bit down and much more fractious and likely to cry than normal, and she keeps holding her mouth and looking morose.  Poor little thing!  I love her so much, but after 12 hours I must admit, it is rather a struggle to be sympathetic! I keep dosing her up with calprofen and I'm not quite sure if it is her teeth, but it seems to's all a bit of guess work really.

Foster carer visit at the weekend.  Will let you know how it goes.

Right...a short post as she has just woken up!

Hope all is well with everyone.


Monday, 1 April 2013

Happy Easter!

Sorry for the lack of posts lately...we have been having far too much fun!

Squiblet is now walking and running without the need for our 'ands (hands) to assist her and she's like a new woman. She has elevated herself from jolly to extra jolly with her newfound freedom! Her speech is just amazing...she knows her colours too! (Proud mum!) and she is just all smiles. I'm hoping this's great! Mama goes back to work tomorrow and all our usual classes and clubs are cancelled for Easter so the next couple of weeks could be a bit weird.  Then Squiblet's foster carer is coming so will let you know how that goes. I think most of her memories of them now are hooked on the photograph we look of them in our living room rather than having real, clear memories of living in their house as whenever she mentions them she says "sofa". We showed her a video of her at the foster carer's house the other day and it made her quite sad. She cried a bit and was quiet for a few days but after that she was perkier than ever.  Our new social worker says that we don't need to push it and can be guided by what we think, which is reassuring. I don't think she really has a relationship that needs maintaining but I think the important thing is that she knows that she can talk about it if she wants to.

She has been enjoying Easter crafting and making cards and things lately and can settle to concentrate on something for a bit longer now. We bought her some Happyland toys which are pretty hideous but mean she can engage safely in imaginative play. At the moment she still keeps putting things in  her mouth so I wouldn't trust her with playmobil quite yet. But she has been enjoying having little imaginary tea parties and baths and things which is wonderful to see as she has reached a new stage in the way she pretends and thinks about things. Today she said "hold on..keys!" And I said "you can't hold on to mummy's keys but I've got a lovely pretend set of keys here", passed her nothing and she was perfectly happy playing with the pretend keys! Amazing! I wonder how long it will last.

I think we have finally come to a decision about work. I don't think I want to return in January as we have always said we would rather be poor and give her time. We have worked out that if I work 2 days a week then after nursery fees I will earn £200! It doesn't really seem like it makes sense. So I have a plan to make an app....possibly an ambitious plan but we will see. One of the resources I put on the tes website has been really popular and I'm planning to try and make it into a program but we shall see. We have invested in a mac and if nothing comes of it we will have gained a lovely computer and not really lost anything.  Hopefully I can do revision tutoring and things too, rather than regular tutoring and that will help and will keep my intelligence at a slightly higher than toddler level! So I need to talk to school about what they think. It's scary times, diving into a one salary world but I feel like it's the right thing for us right now. But I am losing a bit of sleep and worrying about branching out on my own.  Eeeek!

So that's us.  Oh, and our first visit away (to my parents' house) went really well. She loves her Gramma and Dadad (Grandma and Grandad) and I think the extra attention really kickstarted her walking on her own.

I've been really emotional over the last few days!  So much has happened and she is just so perky and happy and it makes me feel so wonderful and proud of her and lucky to be her family. Her relationship with her Mama has really developed too as they have been spending a lot more time together and Mama now does bath time on her own while I do the clearing up. I think their attachment is really growing which is so great to watch, and also takes the pressure off me a little bit. I didn't really feel particularly under pressure but now I feel like our little family is getting stronger and stronger and it's just so great!

We visited a farm this weekend and saw all the piglets and lambs and chicks and things. I'm not religious but I think all the new life and sunshine and hope for the future has made me all emotional!

Happy Easter everyone! X