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!

13 Responses

  1. I am both saddened and relieved that this day has finally come. Plus, OF COURSE, bitterly disappointed not to have a reason to travel to England just now, camera clutched firmly in hand. Care to make another similar promise for Harry’s third birthday, so I can have something else to look forward to? Pretty please?

  2. I’m sorry and glad for you at the same time. Sorry that he is struggling in the first place, but glad that your voice has been heard and that now you can get on to doing whatever needs to be done. And am really looking forward to Harry getting the chance to do everything he clearly wants to do. The boy is obviously persistent (stubborn even? 🙂 ) and when skills training gives him the opportunity I think he will take it and run with it!

  3. I’m glad that you can stop worrying and start focusing on a specific plan. It sounds like there is quite a bit of silver lining in this cloud – and a bright, observant child will probably be easier to help. Sorry we won’t get to experience the entertaining spectacle, though.

    Portage – what an odd name. Brings to mind Native Americans carrying canoes around waterfalls…

  4. Good that They finally cought up with you. Shame it took Them so long. Pants for Harry’s struggles. But a big Yay for him getting extra support now too.

    And sulk that we don’t get the Spectacle.

  5. I think you should do that naked run thing anyway, just for fun.

  6. I am sorry that Harry needs the help, but very glad it is beginning to come through for you. It’s much harder to struggle alone.

    Also, calling 999? The clever little man 🙂

    Wait till he does it to complain about parental discipline one day. 🙂


  7. Glad to hear that Harry will get the help he needs. And all the positives he displays, bright and persistent, can only help with the intervention program. You have done, and will continue to do, a great job as his best advocate.

    And here I was ready to book the tickets. And I have a new camera to try out and all.

    PS. Move that phone.

  8. I am sorry to hear the confirmation that Harry needs some help, but also relieved that at last your own observations have been confirmed and supported. He’ll probably blaze through his therapy given his cleverness and his determination. Fireball Harry.

  9. Well, phew. I think it’s good news. given all his strengths, the help he’ll now get is just what he needs to start to get more out of life. Glad they were helpful.

  10. *Puts camera back in case and takes self off Stratford High Street with disappointed expression*

    Nobody wants to be right about their kid needing extra help. But it is, if not nice at all, then at least satisfying to have your knowledge (you’re his MOTHER! Of course you can tell he needs help) confirmed, and yah boo sucks to any ostriches around you with their heads in the sand and their bottoms in your face.

    Harry is very bright and determined. Which makes parenting fun fun-fun fun-fun, but is good for Harry. I still fully expect to see him spending his 25th birthday at Everest Base Camp. Or similar.

    Also, calling 999? Rite of passage. All clever toddlers do it. Diva then had a little chat with the lady answering about her cat ‘Cat is miao! Cat is miao! Cat is miao!’ which is how we realised she could reach the top of the hall-way table. My God, they expand and contract like periscopes at that age.

    Very much hoping that was Swine Flu and you’re all done with it now. That would be good.

  11. No naked HFF Wifey? But…but…we have an SLR camera. It takes such good action shots. Sniff! *shuffles away sadly*

    I’m glad Harry will now get the help he needs and that you can finally stop doing handstands with firecrackers clutched between your toes trying to summon that help. I wish it had not taken so very long.


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