Yes we have made it week 5 relatively unscathed. Uniforms all bought and nearly all labelled just need a pump bag for Popples and I’m done.
To be honest I was dreading the big summer break, 3 kids at home apart from her three sessions at nursery and at first it did not look like it would go well. The boys are usually out at school or placement so Miss P usually has me to herself during the day. “You’re my mummy!” has been heard regularly for the first two weeks and I’ve had to explain that I’m everyone’s mummy even Emily’s even though she doesn’t live with us anymore. For a just turned 3 year old this concept has been hard to grasp but we have persevered and there’s no more griping, as everyone gets mummy time and everyone gets daddy time as well as all time together. The sharing of toys has also been tricky with many arguments turning into fisticuffs. For a tiny person, Popples can certainly hold her own. “That’s not nice. Let’s share. No fighting. There’s enough for everyone”- honestly got sick of the sound of my own voice! When it comes to sharing food, no one has a problem everything is distributed fairly with no complaining or hogging.
I also decided this summer to give everyone a break from hard learning. The speech therapist, Vicki, has discussed with me how Oliver takes time to process things and should be given time when the pressure is off to just kind of make sense of things. So we went back to mainly play based learning, taking turns, colours, numbers letters- etc. Still learning but not at a desk with a pencil and work sheets. I can not believe the progress they have made. My non verbal Oliver has not shut up! We bought Sing! for them and Secret life of pets a while ago and these have been great for both of them. Oliver made a stage and microphone out of stickle bricks and was singing proper words to proper songs When he wants to watch it he comes up to me and says “shake it off shake it off” which is what the pigs sing “piggy power”. His negatives have improved but Vicki said that’s usual as he is more motivated to declare his objection to something “no more bed time” “no more car” “leave me alone” but he has also started verbally requesting things “more juice. Want crisps. breakfast now” and telling me just things “bumped head. it’s raining”. Now for a child who had 20 words at best before the summer, well I’m impressed. But what made me really proud was yesterday and him voluntarily sharing. They have a set of secret life of pets figures each, just little ones that were about 2 quid a set from ebay and they love them. Usually they still fight over them but Oliver split them into two piles and then came over to Popples and said “Peppy’s” (he has always called her Peppy) and then when he found another 2 Gidgets in his set he brought her one. Obviously I then text and told everyone I knew what he’d done- I was so proud!
I think the turning point in their relationship was when it was raining hard the other week. The weather is not great in the summer holidays- it’s like the universe wants to see who’ll go crazy first. They’d had enough of staying in so I ran them a bath and opened the back door. There was a huge muddy puddle in the border I hadn’t finished planting in and they both dived in running up and down, screaming and laughing, in the pouring rain, getting wet through and muddy head to toe. I’d done the bath so when they came in they were warmed straight away and into warm clothes- last thing we need is poorly! Now Oliver joins in when we play chasing, obstacle course, racing, and everything. He was the monster yesterday so put his Gruffalo gloves on (they are like claws) and chased “Peppy” round the garden shouting “Raaaaaahhh!” and attempting to tickle when he caught her.
We have a week and a bit to go before Oliver goes back to school and I’m worried he may lose his speech? It’s busy at school and he doesn’t have much confidence in his voice yet- he’s only just found it. But I’m going to put that aside and enjoy what I have right now. I’ve heard her helping him with his words and I’ve seen him helping her with her confidence in climbing. Maybe it’s the start of a beautiful relationship, best friends.