Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Toilet training - the beginnings

You get the books, you share tales, you watch videos, you do everything you can, but at the end of the day toilet training is just one of those rights of passage you wish someone else could do for you.

We're taking the first steps with Emily. We've got her in pull ups (although we just found a stash of 144 nappies so we have to pretend their nappies). We've also started trying to get Emily used to the loo. Her poo gets chucked in the loo from her nappy (if it's whole enough to roll out) and we're now sitting her on the a seat on the loo to get used to it.

A lot of story telling and nursery rhymes have been used to placate her sitting on what she must assume is a portal to hell.

I'm wondering when it'll just click with her. When she'll go, "ah... that's WHERE I drop a deuce, not in my nappy!" D'oh.

With most other children, they say hold off until they can tell you they need to drop trou. Em can't even tell me when she's thirsty (she cries, along with her need for everything else), so that's out. We also fear if we do wait until she can tell us, we'll run out of nappy sizes and have to move to Depends.

Toilet training. The fun of it.

Monday, 21 March 2011


You're not supposed to have a birthday celebrations for each year you are. That, however, is exactly what Emily's enjoyed over the last week.

On Tuesday, her actual official birthday, we had cake and presents and hugs and all the birthday things. On Saturday, we had a BBQ for all our friends without kids who wanted to wish Emily all the best on her way up the single digit year ladder. Sunday saw us have the party with the kids, the finger food, the Hairy Maclary cake and the bouncy castle.

I arrived at work today completely exhausted from the events of the weekend. This MAY be the reason people have kids earlier in life - to handle birthday parties.

The sad thing is, she doesn't even realise what's going on. Yesterday, although she was whipping round the hall we rented and having a grand old time, she was COMPLETELY unaware it was for her. She would have reacted the same if we'd gone to a soft play centre for afternoon play.

I guess at this age, parties are really for the parents. You start the get backs this early on. We went to their party, so they have to come to ours. It doesn't end until your wedding is full of people you don't know, but who's kids' weddings your parents went to and your wedding is just the last in a long line of "get backs".

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Now that we are three

It's been three years to the day since Emily entered our lives as a screaming, placenta covered newborn.

She's still at the age where events like Christmas, birthdays, etc. mean more to the adults around her than to her, but I guess it's the repetition and instilling into her that they are special times that makes them meaningful.

As a special birthday present to Sue and I, Emily decided to leave a number of brown presents in her bath... again. She was rewarded with a prison hose-down which she did not enjoy. Talk about being pampered on your birthday!

Overall, I think birthdays allow us to reflect on the past year or life to date and it's easier at three than say.. 38 to do, as you haven't done as much.

Emily's short life has been filled with a lot of travel, parents who have had to bring up baby with no real local support network and in all this, she's had to deal (rather obliviously) with a learning delay.

Birthdays for kids also brings out those "what you should be doing at this age" checklists, and I'm quite proud to say that Emily's doing almost everything she should be doing at two years old!

If  she's only a year behind, that's not too bad and in the past 12 months she's really really developed so here's hoping that in the next year that gap narrows even more.

We have to now open a bunch of cards and presents for Emily that she may or may not be aware are for her.

Come the weekend, we do it all over again, but with a bouncy castle.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Portage visit

Shiela from Portage came today to help Sue and I fill out a Disability Living Allowance form.

It took ages, but gave us time to talk to her about various other things about Emily - like why she jumps ALL the time, puts her hands over her ears, whether we should move her to a Sutton council-based nursery, etc.

We also got some more information about the specialty nursery Dragonflies. Apparently most of the kids there at the moment are "graduating" at the end of the school year so there should be quite a few spaces open for new recruits. It really sounded quite exceptional, low distractions, music therapy and hopefully some occupational therapy in the new school year.

It was quite an enlightening meeting, but it seems everytime Shiela comes round, it's quite a decent meetup.

We've also been told that Shiela will be seeing Emily again at least once after she turns 3 (Portage help children up until their third birthday) so it was good news all around.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Ill again.

Today was up and down.

When Em and I got home, we went through her "100 words" book. Using my finger as a pointer, she actually pointed out wheat and said the word.

Where the hell did that come from?

She got a few other words too, which are par for the course for her right now - milk, eggs, bread, cow, dog, etc. It's funny, about 6 months ago those words would have been major milestones, like wheat was today. Now they're expected. Hopefully we'll see enough progress from Em that in 6 months time, "wheat" will see insignificant.

The night went quickly downhill.

Em's been quite ill lately with a cold. Tonight when she went to bed (having fallen asleep on the sofa) she actually started screaming, in what I assume is pain. A few drops of Calpol later and she seemed to calm down. About an hour later, it was all stations Emily again as she woke herself up screaming. A few MORE drops of Calpol and she's (currently) fast asleep.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Wheat-free diet for Emily

We had a chat with one of Sue's friends over the weekend who suggested we start Emily on a wheat-free diet. Apparently there's quite a bit of research about wheat intolerance and autism and the correlation between the two.

It's not to say that if you have wheat in your diet you'll become autistic - I didn't and Sue didn't. It suggests that if there is a possibility of autism, taking wheat out can help tip the balance.

At this point, we're eager to try anything to give Em a chance. It's all rye bread and oat cakes from here on in, I guess.