Running up that hill….

Mrssavageangel’s been a bit quiet of late (unless you’re over with us on Facebook, then you’d know she never shuts the hell up!) It’s not that I don’t have 100 things I want to talk about, it’s just knowing how to, or when to, or even, well just, too.

Things are all a bit crazy over at Casa Del Savage at the mo. We’ve completely emptied our bedroom, so it can be gutted and redone (which I tell you is harder than moving, particularly when you have little space to move everything into!). It’ll be lovely when it’s done, but boy is the process painful. For me anyway. Moving all the furniture set my gallbladder off again. Thankfully it seems to have gone back to sleep again now, but it’s made me painfully (pun intended!) aware that I wont be able to put off having the bugger removed forever. I will until it’s unbearable though!

The before

The before

Then there’s been some movement on Oscar’s speech. While he does has a handful of words, it really is too few to be particularly useful to him in everyday life (Din au or rrrrrr* anyone?) and that’s the reason the HV has referred him to speech and language. We’ve also got a hearing check on 29th August just to be on the safe side. I’m pretty sure he can hear, but I am interested to see if he can hear everything (all frequencies, all sounds etc). I’m not looking forward to the tests. It’s asking a lot of a 2.5 year old to sit still for what he sees as no discernible reason. Ahh well. So anyway yes we’ve been referred for speech therapy, but I’m hearing the wait is really long. Even the HV didn’t seem optimistic as to when we’d get an appointment. Which pretty much sucks. And pretty much means I’m on my own if I want to help him. A couple of friends with an interest in communication have given me some ideas to try surrounding visual aids and another a book on learning through play. But the things that bind all the ideas seem to be simplicity, patience and PERSEVERANCE. Which is why it’s so draining I guess.

His behaviour’s been a little up and down of late, some days beyond tiring, some days angelic. But do you know, the more I look at everything he does, in terms of him attempting to communicate, the more I see. And the more understanding (and patient) I can try to be. I’ve taken to explaining where we’re going and how I expect him to behave at these places before we go out and that’s working wonders. And when he is cross or upset or frustrated I try to talk him through the outrage. I am also learning to see when he really has had enough, usually linked to him being too tired to keep the frustration reigned in. Take yesterday for example. We went the Hen House and he had a whale of a time, playing both alone and with other children. Earlier in the afternoon he was happy to share the roundabout with our friend’s daughter Elsa and watching them giggling together was just awesome. However towards the end of the afternoon, when asked to share the same toy, in exactly the same way with Elsa, he was having none of it. He didn’t get cross just would not let her get on. It was then I knew it was time to leave. So we did and despite small initial protestations, once he was in the buggy nibbling a cheese sarnie he seemed positively grateful.

Taking this approach is making me see him in a whole different light. I was worried what other parents might think or say if they saw me taking this (what some might perceive as) softly softly approach, but actually, do you know what:

1) fuck ’em

and

2) if you have a child that doesn’t needs this kind of eagle eyed understanding and can tell you straight up what’s going on then that’s great. Mine can’t

It’s quite a big thing to admit, to yourself more than anyone, that your child might need something (even slightly) different than the norm. But admitting it and running with, whilst it’s the hardest part, is the best thing you can do.

Pass me those Nikes will you – I’ve got running to do!

Wake up and smell the flowers Mama

Wake up and smell the flowers Mama

 

*Dinosaur Grrrrrr if you didn’t guess 😉

 

 

Speak up…..

As you probably know, my boy has just turned 2. He’s strong and active and bright and gorgeous.

And he is yet to speak.

Now before you rush off to tell me that you know someone who didn’t speak til they were three or it’s because he’s a boy or because he’s so active he doesn’t have time to talk, I’ve heard it. Thank you. Really. But I have.

I can break it down into two reasons why this lack of speech is bothering me.

The first, and probably the most difficult, is that his lack of speech is eminently frustrating. For both of us. When he was a baby and couldn’t make himself understood he just cried. That was a bummer, but I could try a number of things and usually got to the solution eventually. Also his needs were much less complex. He wanted ‘food’. He didn’t want pirate biscuits, not breadsticks, in a red bowl not a plate, in the garden not the lounge. He now knows exactly what he wants and he can’t tell me. I can have a guess, based on time of day, where we are, simple hand gestures (he doesn’t really point, more throws his arm in the general direction and opens and closes his little fist) but chances are I’m not going to quite get it. Which can lead to anything from a “Uh” and a pushed away item to a full on screaming tantrum. This sucks for both of us.

The second is much more selfish. He never calls me. About a year ago, he would, if he was very ill, call Maaaamaaaa in a crying whingey tone. That was fine. Now I don’t even get that. For a short spell if I asked him to say Mama (at about 18 months) he would. But he never called me. He calls for me, with various noises none of which are words. But he never calls me Mama. Or Mummy or Mum or even a specific sounds reserved only for me. And he wont repeat the word, or any word, now either. And that sucks for me. It doesn’t bother him. Maybe it’s because I’m usually the one who answers his calls regardless. Maybe he doesn’t feel the need to give me a name cos I’ll come whatever he shouts. But it’s starting to make me just a little bit sad.

So here’s the deal. I know he’s only just two. I know some children speak later than others. I know he’s a boy. I know he’s super active. I know he’ll get there. I know! I know all these things rationally. My rational head is telling me them all the time. But it doesn’t help the emotional side of me. Does it ever? The rational side had him up the doctors last week. I thought it best to rule out any rational reasons early on, you know, like maybe there’s a physical reason he’s behind with his speech? I went to get him checked for the toddler condition Glue Ear, a build up of fluid in the ear which makes everything sound like you’ve got your fingers in your ears. It’s very common and extremely treatable. Well the poor doctor was treated to a view of Oscar’s evil twin when he tried to look in his ears! Yowsa! And despite all that, he said he couldn’t see. We’ve been given olive oil drops to clear any build up of wax and told to come back in a week or so. As you can imagine, that’s proving a riot every evening 😉 and we still don’t have an answer on this front.

The other thing that’s got me in a flap I rationally know I don’t need to be in, is that now he’s two, he’s due his Two Year development check. I stopped going to the health visitor weigh ins when he was 10 months old (apart from one time a few months ago when I went with a friend to give her support. Those poor, glassy eyed new mothers, burnt out from lack of sleep staring in horror at my great big galumphing son! “You poor dears” I felt like saying “yes you too will have a terror like this one day Mwahahahaha!”) and I haven’t really thought about it since. But my friends are starting to have them and they’ve also told me snippets of where the children are expected to be by now. Physically I think we’re pretty much bang on track. 50th centile I’d say. It’s the talking and the gesturing I’ve got myself in a tizzy over. He “should have” 20-50 words or so by now and be making sentences. At a push he can say “car” (I even got it on film the other day in case he wont perform on the day and I have to prove it!) and “bye” or “bah” as he says it. So yeah I’m worried what they’ll say. We’ve got his check booked for next Tuesday, at home, alone. These checks are normally held in groups, but I’ve asked for a home visit as I know I’m going to want to chew this development question over and I’m not comfortable doing this with strangers. Well obviously I am here, just not face to face! So we’ll see how that goes.

And this is where we find ourselves. In a sort of limbo. Trying not to think about it too much, til something is confirmed. Or not. Glad that we’ve got the ball rolling, but with no idea where it’ll roll to. If anywhere.

Ben asked me the other day, what, about this whole thing I was most worried about. What was I actually worried the health professionals would say. I didn’t have to think.

Because deep down I’m most worried that it’s my fault. That it’s something I’ve done. Or not done.

Because I’m his mama – whether he calls me it or not. And that’s what mamas do.

If you call it a car, that's good enough for me baby

If you call it a car baby, that’s good enough for me!