Friday, May 31

Back at last!

Little blog, it has been so long! 

After a long drawn out farce (TWO MONTHS, TalkTalk, TWO MONTHS) with installing a new telephone line in our new house, at long last I am finally connected to the Big Wide World again beyond a decrepit and irrational mobile. Wriggles reached the point where taking a laptop to a café or such with wifi to connect with all things online became not an option. I did try once; I went armed with a Mr Tumble comic, two toy hedgehogs, Quavers AND chocolate buttons, the favourite book of the week and spent a terse ten minutes fishing stuffed animals out my coffee, removing CBeebies stickers off my laptop keys and trying to shield technology from a tsunami of drinks, snacks and the sticky hands of a bored toddler who had climbed onto the arm of a sofa and was balancing precariously. Needless to say I got nothing done.

So we have moved in to our new place and have been quite happy pottering and settling in. Although not hugely busy, we have been up to quite a lot and trying to make the most of the brief snatches of sun as well as  drenching mummy  finding out about puddles during the rest of the time. Wriggles seems to have grown up again behind my back. She looks older, less like a typical toddler and more like a pint sized child with a wilful glare. Although she coped well with the move, it does seem to have accelerated her toddlerisms. It turns out I was kidding myself if I thought she had learnt about tantrums before or being a pest. Noise is her forte and she is not afraid to use it, especially if I dare take her shopping in the buggy (otherwise known as a fate worse than death). For someone who cannot yet walk independently she is adamantly averse to spending anything longer than two minutes in said buggy, which is a shame as she has finally put on some weight and at the heady heights of 12.3kg is a bloody great lump.

I will elaborate more but here are some of the things that have happened since the end of March in no particular order:
  • physio confirmed that Wriggles will need to start wearing splints (AFOs) for a few hours a day to ensure her dynamic tone doesn't start hampering her range of movement, balance or teach her an incorrect gait pattern (wonky walking to you and me. It has already been noted that she walks a little like John Cleese in Monty Python's Ministry of Silly Walks. Funny now, far less so in the playground). The Piedro boots aren't quite hitting the spot on their own. We're just waiting for the appointment to be measured and fitted for splints. "She can choose her own pattern!" they said cheerfully. I am not sure that will be consolation enough but needs must. No one said things were easy all the time.
  • Wriggles has become obsessed with Bagpuss. I admit to gleefully encouraging this as it does beat Baby Jake and other Cbeebies rubbish at times. Her favourite episode is without a doubt the Mouse Mill with the chocolate biscuits, and she asks/demands for "mouse!!!!" or "choc[olate] bi[scuit]" if she claps eyes on my laptop.
  • her speech is either finally making some strides or I deserve a degree in translation. We still rely heavily on a mixture of Makaton/BSL signing to decipher sounds, as she can only pronounce either the first syllable or letter but her signing is getting quite clear and she has at least 70 'words' she can use singularly. They aren't all consistent and not all clear, particularly without signing or a context but it has to start somewhere.
  • talking of speech, I had to waste several hours of my life throughout April attending a speech and language 'help' group. I am sure those devising it meant well and I truly hope it helped some of the parents attending but I can honestly say I have never felt so patronised, belittled or talked down to by NHS services and I have seen some pretty annoying consultants in my time and had to have a rather humiliating argument in the middle of a ward round in NICU when a consultant questioned my cycle dates and conception date for Wriggles, insinuating I was either fibbing, mad or forgot occasions I may have had sex, in front of a large audience and at a time when I was incredibly fragile, as was she.
  • I have had some lovely evenings painting, re-painting and 'upholstering' some rather knackered furniture I own. Thank you Dulux and your 3 tester pots for £1 offer.
  • Wriggles has had her first hair cut. I did it in the bath and hated it straight away, although am used to it now. I think it was the shock of seeing her less like a baby and looking more grown up.
  • we met a real life baby when my closest friends from university came up for a glorious and memorable weekend, one bringing her 10 month old son. Wriggles was warily fascinated and carried around a photograph of the pair of them after he left and has become very interested with the idea of babies (although does refer anyone under about 5 as a baby). I in turn have also become interested with babies and ever so slightly broody, though this is now wearing off as I contemplate the idea of having two noisebags in the house, not to mention not possessing a man.
  • I have ever so slightly started dreaming of trying to re-start non-child related hobbies. Recently we went to a picnic style gig outdoors and I briefly had a turning lindyhopping with a good friend and only fell over once. I danced (badly) all the way through university and it suddenly broke through to me that though I love being Mama I also am beginning to miss being Amy.
  • we are officially doing the Blended Diet having confessed to the dieticians who are better than I thought about it. They were very damning on the telephone then turned up with a stack of recipes proclaiming "Shhh! You didn't hear it from us!. Our community nurse advised us to be a bit creative about how long we have in actual fact been experimenting and to let them think it is all their idea. So far, so good. We have also FINALLY added chocolate buttons and Pringles (red flavour only) to Wriggles' oral diet.
  • I have my own bedroom back. It feels a little disloyal, but it is minor bliss.
  • Wriggles fake-cries to try and get her own way or if I tell her off for being a pest. It can be like living in a very poorly directed pantomime at times. With less sequins.
  • I decided to be frivolous and buy Wriggles a pair of spotty Doodles shoes for summer. She calls them her Mr Tumble shoes and definitely prefers them over her Piedro boots. So do I (orthotic benefits notwithstanding). After getting fed up with constantly seeing other toddlers progress so quickly and battling with a newer physio regime of more exercises, a walking frame and seeing on some paperwork Wriggles officially described as 'disabled' I needed something obvious and rooted in so-called normality and it turned out £15 canvas shoes that will probably not last long was it. It felt good. I am acutely aware things could be far more complex but they also at times, wear me down.
  • we have found a new music group nearby which Wriggles really likes. This makes me feel less guilty about avoiding toddler groups and dragging my heels about looking at preschools. She has picked up the group routine, language and actions remarkably fast and I am now hoarse at the end of bath times after singing all the songs we have learnt.
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