Things Harry did yesterday I forgot to tell you about:
1) Dialled the emergency services. Dialled 999, and got straight through to despatch. Listened to the voice for a while before calmly replacing the receiver. It was Warwickshire constabulary who rang back (greeting John by name, which mystifies me slightly – I can only theorise that his shotgun licence flags up on their computer under this address and phone number. I am foggy on just how all-seeing big brother is, these days.) to enquire what the problem was. John grovelled appropriately for wasting police time, although I note he still hadn’t moved the phone!
2) Learnt to attach his brio train track together.
3) Figured out which (nearly-toddler-accessible) drawer of the freezer contains the ice-creams.
4) Ate Sunday lunch with us at the Delightful Doctors Next Door’s house, with Godmother Vet in attendance too. The considered opinion was that still-excessively-snot-ridden-but-otherwise-normal Harry has quite likely had Swine Flu after all – apparently, it really can be this mild. John has had it too, albeit he’s suffered a little bit more. I do so wish a lab test was possible; I’d be so delighted if Harry’d got it over and done with, with so little bother. I have been regularly coated in Harry’s snot, so am seemingly immune – I had full-blown flu 10 years back (and OH DEAR GOD I was SO BLOODY ILL) which theoretically should make no difference at all, but anyhoo: thus far, I have side-stepped the lurgy landmine.
Today, Harry had an assessment to ascertain whether he fits the Portage criteria. The Portage team (the US would term it Early Intervention) are child development advisers who provide weekly home-based support for children who have significant delay in two or more areas of their development. Their goal is to get to know the family, help you teach your child new skills through play, help make learning easier for them, and work with the other agencies – in Harry’s case, Speech & Lang and Physio – to pull together a concerted game plan.
Although I have been certain for the best part of a year now that he needs the help, I’ve also felt defensive and unsure because a variety of people around me have expressed the view that there’s absolutely nothing wrong, bar a few wobbles (normal!) and a speech delay (common!) and a few tantrums (typical toddler!). Like Mulder, you see, I really want to believe.
Well, the long and the short of it is: Harry qualifies. With a big, fat Q. Everyone who told us that Nothing Will Happen Before Age Two, Then Everything Happens – was absolutely right, it appears. Harry’s difficulties have finally become recognisable to trained eyes; the fact that he is switched-on, bright, extremely active and exceptionally visually and aurally observant has also been noted. While I am relieved – because by September he will be drawing down a significant amount of professional input – I am also deeply and profoundly sad, because my poor little boy is struggling, and it’s now officially not just my fevered imagination.
I am not so miserable that I have forgotten to look on the bright side, however. I feel that today’s outcome justifiably excuses me from being obliged to take my clothes off and run naked down Stratford-upon-Avon High Street. You can all put your cameras away!