Sunday, 27 January 2013

The Not So Little, Little Man

I thought I'd do an update on the Little Man Joseph seeing as I haven't done one for a while.
Considering he was such a slow starter he's caught up so well now. I'd say he was well on par for any two and a half year old (even though he's not quite 2 1/2 yet)
At one year old his preferred position was lying flat out on the floor with no attempts at moving. When he did start moving it was bum shuffling and he had no desire to stand or cruise the furniture. He finally started walking at 22 months, almost two years!! I know that's not that unusual but when you are a mother of five and four of them had all walked before their first birthday, it was a bit of a shock for me. Also, there was the language delay. I have a friend with a little man six weeks younger than Joseph (and he was walking at one year old) who's language skills were really brushing up at the stage where Joseph was just beginning to say mummy and daddy properly. Now children develop at different rates, I'll tell anyone this, it's true, it doesn't mean anything. And it's so easy to say when it's your child leaps and bounds ahead of the other parent you are telling it too. When it's your own child, and you already have two kids with disabilities, the worries just spin endlessly around in your head.
So here we are just months later (around seven) and it's like I have a completely different child on my hands. Not only does he walk, he runs, jumps, climbs, dances, goes up and down stairs (Lucy didn't master this until about three years old) and doesn't even use a buggy any more. His language is great too, he talks in sentences, can sing whole songs, and his pronunciation is really good too. He can recognise some numbers when he sees them (7 and 9) and can count to 12. He has truly caught up.  You would not believe he was a slow starter at all. See, all children develop at different rates, even ones in the same family.

While I'm here I will inform you that I am winding down this blog. It's been great recording my pregnancy and early years of my little man and  I will keep it here and add to it infrequently for my own benefit more than anything else. I'll update on my five 'babies' when I need to on my other blog Raisie Bay This will be my main blog from now on and that's where you will find me.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Do I worry Too Much (part 2)

Last July I wrote a post about how I was worried about my five year old daughter, Leila. I'm sad to report that things are just getting worse. She doesn't seem to be doing any better at school. She is on an Individual Education Plan and getting extra help with her work, but her progress is not good. She can barely read, when at this age Lucy was reading by herself. Leila can spell out all the letters in a word but then has no idea what they say. Her writing has improved a little, well, at least she can write her own name now. Her drawing is quite good, at least that's something.
More worrying than ever is her behaviour. It still seems like she doesn't hear things properly, event though a hearing test came back ok. Her speech is underdeveloped and she doesn't sound words properly, kind of like a deaf person, but as I've already said, she's not deaf. She has difficulty in understanding simple instructions and will insist that you've said something that you haven't. She screams and cries all the time, she's incredibly fickle. When playing with others she gets bossy and if they don't do everything she says she ends up having a screaming and crying fit like a toddler. It's getting to the point where no-one wants to play with her.
I find it difficult to explain but it's really like she doesn't understand, she doesn't understand rules, what you are saying to her or how to play with others. She spends most of her time in a mood or tantrum. I am really worrying now. She was always my good girl, slept well and was good at occupying herself. She was never demanding or difficult to look after. So why is her behaviour so bad now? It seems that she is having difficulty in understanding the world around her and is reacting by behaving like a toddler.  (I never had the terrible two's with her, maybe she's catching up now!)
I do not think she is autistic. I did have suspicions in the past, but things don't add up. She does have learning difficulties and I think these are making her behaviour so bad.
I know I worry too much.
If anyone else has a five year old like this I'd love to hear from you.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Seven Do Christmas (and New Year)

So how did Christmas go in our household?
First up we all got sick in the weeks before. Leila started straight after her school disco party and ended up missing the rest of the week off school, including her Christmas Dinner, Christmas party and a trip to visit Santa at the farm. Lucy managed to stay well until the last day and only missed her Carol Concert. Joseph made it to his Christmas party but missed the last two days at school (which meant absolutely no FREE time for me to finish off any Christmas shopping and preparations) Of course I was poorly throughout. I kept plodding on the best I could but I was going to bed with the kids in the evening and getting very little done throughout the day because I felt so bad. Dad was poorly too and so were Big brother and sister, but they seemed to recover pretty quickly and were not as bad as the rest of us.
Me and the girls managed a trip to the theatre to see the Gruffalo's Child on the day before Christmas Eve. I was feeling dreadful but we still had a good time, the girls loved the show (And so did I)
Then Christmas day suddenly arrived. I really could have done with it being a week later, but sick or not I was still fully prepared. (What would I have done in the days before internet shopping/home delivery?)
I was awake at 6am but not anyone else!! The girls finally stirred about 7am so I woke everyone else up too. And we all got up except big sis. The present opening frenzy began, thank goodness for Santa, hey, I don't know if mummy could have provided so many lovely wrapped presents.
The girls and Joseph were totally thrilled with their presents, really excited but also just happy, not stressing out or anxiousness or arguing, they were lovely. The big kids were fairly happy with their presents, they did get what they wanted after all, (just not many surprises) My presents were not good, but I was too sick to feel disappointed. I much more of a giver than a receiver anyway so I won't complain.
So on to dinner! I'd got everything prepped and ready by late morning and the turkey was in the oven. But! The big kids did not want a Christmas lunch, the earliest they would go for was 5pm. At first I was frustrated, I wanted it earlier, get it out of the way and chill for the evening. However, it worked out well though because I could take things easy and I wasn't on my feet all day in the kitchen.
I really expected at least one meltdown or argument during the day but it all went really well. Big son (Aspie) was brilliant with his little sister (ASD) they are so on the same wavelength. He kept her happy and occupied all day, helping her out all the time so she didn't get frustrated (i.e. opening boxes, setting up toys) He even played a Barbie board game with the girls. The Little Man was really happy with his new toys and played peacefully all day. Dad spent a lot of time at his mum's house (neighbour) but he also helped out a lot so I'm not going to complain.
Dinner was really yum. I made no exceptions, everyone had the same, even Lucy who has a limited diet and refuses to try anything new. Most plates were empty afterwards (apart from Lucy but she did try) Leila discovered she loved sprouts :-) She definitely is her mother's daughter! And Big Sis made no complaints either, and trust me, she HAS to complain about everything on her plate usually.
So that was our Christmas day.
On to New Years Eve. We hadn't planned anything but the usual routine is that I make a buffet style dinner and we have a few drinks before scoffing loads of cheese and biscuits and other treats. We had to pop to the supermarket and I suggested to Dad that we could invite a couple of people over if I bought a little more buffet food. We made a couple of phone calls but it was a bit late in the day and the  'no' replies were expected. Then we had call backs saying ok they'd be up later.
I still wasn't feeling well but I just didn't care any more, I wanted a drink and some fun. So that's what I did. Family and friends arrived and we all had a lovely evening. Leila and Joseph decided they'd had enough about 10pm and went to bed like little angels. Lucy stayed up until midnight and saw in the New Year with us. We always finish the evening by going outside with the neighbours and viewing the fireworks.
And New Years Day? I felt better than I had done in weeks, no hangover, no illness, nothing!

Happy New Year xx