Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Parents' Evening

We just got back from Drew's first Parent's Evening.
It reminded me that I hadn't added a post for a while. So HUGE apologies.
Life is moving fast, but not fast enough to let you know our developments.

Harry (as I type this she has just woken up. 1 hour early. Grrrr!)

[slight pause]

Okay, back with you again. She's gone back to sleep.

Where was I? Oh yes, Harry [she types anxiously waiting for another cry] has been sleeping through for a number of weeks having not been ill for a while. However, we came to the conclusion she just isn't a happy baby. But as I type this, I know that's not true. She does smile and laugh and has a very recognisable giggle, but we find that she cries more than she smiles. We decided there must be a reason for this and took her to see the Osteopath who helped me with my Symphasis Pubis Dysfunction. He also specialises in osteopathy with children, so we had no hesitation taking Harry along to see him.

I listed her problems starting with the bronchiolitis which started when she was 3 months old, moving onto the constant throat rattle, the crying for no apparent reason and her difficulty in bringing burps up. After reeling off Harry's 'problems', Martin, the Osteopath, felt her trunk area and immediately felt a tightness of her diaphragm. He advised that this tightness was common in babies with colic and could be as a result of all the coughing she did when she had bronchiolitis again and again. He did what Osteopaths do, manipulated her ribs and organs in that area, giving her diaphragm more space to expand, thus allowing her to breathe more easily and help prevent wind getting stuck.

We've since been twice and Jerry and I both feel Harry is much happier and there is a definite change in the pain she seemed to be suffering. She also sleeps much better in the day.

We had weaned her off the dummy a few weeks ago, just after we did it with Drew. However, due to the symptoms of colic, our ears could take no more and back the dummy went. I'm not going to get uptight about giving it back to her because I know we can take it back in time to come as we did with Drew.

Drew's vocabulary is increasing by the day and as with all kids her age, will repeat most things...in her own way. She's stringing 2 to 3 words together and slowly we're teaching her to say full sentences (e.g. "I would like some water please") instead of "WATER!!!"

So, I drive an inebriated but happy Jerry and I to Drew's Nursery for Parent's Evening. Jerry's been on an all day work event with a 3-course meal and 'drinks'. He arrives home just in time to put the girls to bed and to talk our babysitter friend, Claire, into staying for more than just an hour so we can go out for a meal and in his words, go clubbing.

Mouthing to Claire, behind an enthusiastic Jerry, I explain he has been drinking and is to be ignored.

On the journey to the Nursery, I explain to Jerry that under no circumstances is he to ask a silly question or show me up in the process.

On entering the Nursery, we are shown to one of the rooms where there are seats available and told to help ourselves to wine and nibbles. Jerry chooses to sit on the scatter cushions on the floor under a canopy, he calls the loveseat, and then asks me to furnish him with a handful of cheesy wotsits and more importantly, a glass of white wine.

Knowing how particular Jerry is about what wine he drinks, I advise him that not only do I think he's had enough to drink for now, but the Pinot Grigio that's on offer will not meet his oaky Chardonnay requirements.

Tutting, he asks for a Pinot anyway, which reconfirms my first thought. He definitely had HAD too much to drink.

We are given 2 large A3 sized books to look through. They are a diary of Drew's time at the Nursery with loads of informative developments from when she first learnt her shapes to learning how to ask for a wee-wee. Interspersed amongst the text written by her keyworkers are loads of photos which made us both go 'Ah' quite a few times.

I was concerned that she was still visibly upset and cried everytime we leave her at Nursery and that she appeared not to want to play with any of the other children. Drew's keyworker was really good and explained that because Drew only attends Nursery once a week, she doesn't have much time to bond with the other children and on the other days of the week, she always has one to one attention from either me, Jerry or our childminder. Once I go back to work in June (hooray!), we hope this will change and Drew will be at Nursery more than once a week and will therefore have more of an opportunity to bond and get into the routine of going to Nursery. (We hope!)

Thankfully, I managed to keep Jerry mostly quiet by pointing out the photos in the book which seemed to work. However, as soon as he said 'I do have one thing that worries me', both the Keyworker and I shuddered...probably for different reasons.

'I'm a bit concerned about Drew's OCD issues'. With both of us not saying anything, I interrupted and tried to explain to Jerry that ALL kids have their strange ways or routines and that this should not be confused with the REAL OCD. At home, we say she has OCD, but honestly, I know she doesn't. Having actually researched this,
Drew does not spend hours stacking and restacking books, she doesn't line up her toys in straight, even rows, she doesn't ask to be kissed 3 times on the forehead before closing the door at night-time. That, apparently, is OCD. Generally, all toddlers (aged 1-3) will all go through a phase where they want or need to be in constant control of everything and need a routine. This is how they learn. Jerry seemed to think that it needed mentioning and that it was something the Keyworker should be addressing. Sensing we were over our 10 minute time slot, I laughed the OCD question off as a silly Daddy question and said our thankyous and our goodbyes, shooshing a mint-sucking Jerry back out the door to the car.

Phew! So, we made it through our first Parent's Evening alive!

I think Jerry is looking forward to the next one.

Or is he just looking forward to more cheesy wotsits and a glass of the Nursery's finest!!!!


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