Our (Amazing) Summer Update

So we’re half way through the (pre)school holidays and I thought I’d update as to how it’s going. I won’t lie to you I was preeeety nervous as to how it would go. We don’t have a car and there are few clubs or activities going on locally that he’s a) old enough for b) likely to want to join in. Add to that the change in routine, well I was a touch concerned that we would be in for a world of pain.

As it happens, its been fine. In fact it’s been more than fine, it’s be great!

We’ve had a little over four weeks at home, but so far Oscar either hasn’t noticed or doesn’t care that we’re not going to preschool twice a week. Which is making things easier than I hoped. The weather’s been unpredictable to say the least, which makes going outside something of a lucky dip, but he’s thoroughly enjoyed playing in the garden when he can.

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Playing in the garden with friends

Other than that we’ve kept things pretty much the same as usual. We go to the Sure Start Centre on a Tuesday, our wonderful Home Start Volunteer comes on a Wednesday and we see his little buddy Cecily at least once a week. We’ve been to parks, met some animals, had play dates and visitors and parties to attend. It’s been pretty much the same as when he’s at preschool to be honest.

I think the biggest difference in routine has been for me. I don’t get my two, two hour sessions a week at the moment. And when you’ve gotten used to even such a small amount of time out, it’s hard to give that up. Thankfully our Home Start Volunteer or as I call her, in the nicest possible way, our ‘Rent a Gran’ (because she does things a grandma would if they were nearer) has been visiting long enough that I can now leave Oscar with her. So once a week, she’s been staying here with him while I head to my ‘office’ (read Dylan’s Milk Barn 😉 ) to work or write or just to take five. Gawd bless her! It’s making all the difference.

But in as much as everything has stayed the same, A LOT has changed in the last few weeks. Oscar’s language has EXPLODED! I’ve been nervous talking about it, lest it should disappear again (we’ve been burnt like that before), but I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m going to celebrate his achievements regardless. So what if it disappears? The fact is it’s here today. And boy oh boy is it here! Where do I start? Colours, shapes, numbers, nouns and more excitingly adjectives. The boy who had a handful of words in January can suddenly count up to 28. He can read numbers. Hell, this morning he spelt out S.H.O.E.S, pointing to letters in the word! Every single day he’s blowing my mind. He can tell me when he’s ‘hungry’, when he ‘need help’, when he’s done ‘poos’, when he’s ‘sad’ or even ‘happy’! He can ask for any number of toys, food items (his new favourite being sandwich!) and even hugs, which he does often. He sings songs, totally unprompted, most of which I can make out. Favourites are Wheels on the Bus, Old McDonald and The Farmer in the Dell. It’s less than a year ago that he would slap me, hard, if ever I sang. He’s also following instructions and answering questions in a way I’ve never seen before. Don’t get me wrong, we’re not talking sentences and discourse here. But holy moly it’s soooo much more than even a month ago.

What else? Oh yeah, he calls me Mummy! Not Mama, which I’ve called myself every day since he was born, and I would have imagined is easier to say, but Mummy. No idea where he got it from (Cecily mainly calls Bethany Mama), but boy oh boy does it make my heart smile every single time I hear it. Particularly when I’ve been out and come home to an excited ‘Mummy!’

Honestly so much has changed in the last four weeks, I can’t even begin to imagine what he’ll do next!

Sod the weather, this has been an amazing summer 🙂

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My happy, talking, developing, boy

 

A Cornish Mum

A picture’s worth a thousand words

So last week we bought a printer. You may have seen I wrote about how much Oscar was loving the box? We bought it for several reasons, one being to support Oscar’s speech development, which as I’ve explained before is delayed. One of his issues is not only does it take him a long time to ‘get’ words, he seems to use them and then ‘lose’ them again. So in order to provide a visual support to the words he discovers, we decided to print images out and have them accessible to him at all times. Which is how Ben and I found ourselves hard at work with Google images and the laminator last night.

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What do you think? We also have cards for Key, Cheese and Apple.

I decided to use a couple of pictures for each word, choosing a selection of drawings, illustrations and photos. I have no idea if this is the ‘right’ thing to do, but I wanted to see if he could identify each picture as the word, regardless of how they appeared. I’ve also added the actual word, not that he can read yet, but just to get him used to associating the letters with the item as he gets older. Again I have no idea if this is the ‘right’ thing to do, but it felt right to me and as such I went with it!

We put them up all around the lounge and kitchen last night and you should have seen his face this morning. It was like Christmas had come early. He ran from one picture to the next, saying the correct word in front of each. The joy was palpable, his and mine! His favourite seems to be “Fish”. We also made some animal cards, as although he hasn’t got the names down just yet, he is making the correct noises each time for Dog, Cat and Sheep.

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Mmmmmeeeeeehhhhh

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Meeeeeow

We’ll see if this helps the words to hang around any longer and I know there are words I’ve forgotten he can say like flower and elephant, so I’ll be adding to the collection tonight as well as when he gains new words. Putting the ‘Car’ images next to the front door also gave me the idea to have a go at more directive cards, such as bed, bath, garden, food, drink that sort of thing. Not only will it encourage him to link the word with the image, but hopefully we can both use it to indicate what we want to happen (I’ll let you know how that goes!).

For now he’s happy to run up to the Fish and shout something that sounds to me like “It’s a Fish”!

And that makes me happy.

 

 

 

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 😉