I think we’re back with bullet points

Because I have been disappearing up my own bottom with work. Not a good look.

Or a nice view.

  • My little stationery business, evidently sensing that I now have actual, proper, paid-per-hour work to do, has naturally – for no apparent reason – skyrocketed. This time last year, I would have Snoopy-danced my way to the bank, as I had the time to go and pay the actual cheques in. This year, I’m equal parts delighted and aghast: most of the cards I sell are only a quid, and I retailed £1100 last week. Eeeep! Bagging the buggers up takes time

(Naturally, if YOU want to add to my workload, that is OK. You are different. And the [whisper it] Christmas stuff is actually very nice indeed.)

  • Because I am mildly insane, I am also holding my annual coffee & cake morning for Bliss, the Premature Baby Charity on Saturday week, which sounds awful close now I come to write it down. Saturday 6th November sounds much better. I have an virtual cap hopefully extended towards you over there, as well as a page tab up top.   

and if you are in my neck of the Midlands woods that day, or want to be, fire me an email hairyfarmer@tiscali.co.uk and I will expand my baking plans to accommodate you. And apart from the 10 packs of butter sat in my fridge, my plans are still… just that. More Eeeep!

The coconut lime cake was very popular last year, btw, if that tempts you at all.

  • This deserves more than a bullet point, really. A week ago, I realised that our child has gone from a non-talking child, to… get this… a talking child. The last couple of months, and particularly the last 3 weeks, have been simply phenomenal, and have required all my redundant snoopy dances. He still can’t deliberately reproduce K, J, CH, P (unless he whispers, in which case it is perfect), G, Q, or EE, but his assault on Mount Speech with his current limited syllable array is determined and has come out of nowhere. Driving in the car, I can now pick words out of the babble in the back seat, and I suddenly have a precious window into his mind. Imagine my marvel, my elation when I hear ‘sheep’ and ‘grass’ as we pass a field. Well, I actually hear ‘ssseep’ and ‘dass’, but that will do very nicely indeed. ‘Tees’ he tells me, with hand stretching towards the car roof, as we pass under a gloomy tree canopy. ‘Drk’.

Harry now has the speech skills of… what? I’m not clued-in to normal development windows. A 16 monther?

I am so goddamn happy about this, I can’t quite arrange the words for you, although jubilant is certainly in there somewhere. Humbled. Grateful. Proud. ‘He’s started Jolly Phonics!’ I burble happily, to anyone who stands still long enough to be told. Three months ago he wriggled away in thrashing distress when I showed him how to make an ‘W’ sound. Now… well. Watch the video.

Co-incidentally, we are awash with speech therapists, educational psychologists, SENco-ordinators, disability link workers, forms, specialist assessments, reports… all the support, in fact, that would have made a world of difference to me a year ago when I felt alone with Harry’s problems. I found the delay in instigating Harry’s formalised assessments profoundly frustrating during the many months he spent on CDS’s waiting list, but I am now reluctantly acknowledging a sort of sense in the fobbing-off, particularly as his sensory processing issues are rapidly resolving. It’s weird. It’s… as if they somehow know that children’s abilities change out of all recognition between 35 and 40 months. Creepy, hmmm?


  • Incidentally, everyone who has ever said to me that ‘once he starts talking, you’ll want him to shut up!’ is, at this moment in time, still a complete twat. If and when they ever morph into shrewd prognosticators of my future, I’ll… ummm. Well, I’ll let you know.

27 Responses

  1. Go Harry!

  2. Brilliant! Well done – both of you!

  3. I was sitting around this afternoon, in a bad mood for no reason worth considering, and I remembered that there was the promise of a post from you about Harry talking. So I watched the video and laughed out loud in delight. I enjoyed it immensely, and have felt better the rest of the day. Given the time difference between us, that has been quite a considerable part of a day. Redeemed it, in fact.

  4. What a lot of good news. Especially that Harry’s talking! Enjoy your little chats because there will come a day when you will wish for some release from the relentless flow of words and then there will come another day, sometime in mid puberty, when you would just love to have your child talk as opposed to grunt at/to you 😉

  5. Hurrah for Jolly Phonics! And what a load of good things happening for you. Delightful clips to watch on YouTube. Thank you for sharing!

  6. Wow. That was astounding. I am thrilled to my toes for you.

  7. Not only is he speaking SO well, he clearly takes such joy in it. Sniffles.

  8. Such a massive amount of good news, yay!

  9. That is some video! I particularly love the seishy swashy bit. Btw have you and harry watched michael rosen reciting bear hunt on you tube? Made a huge difference to how I read it and children are riveted.

  10. Way to go Harry! He’ll be talking your ear off- in the best possible way- before you know it. I’m so happy for you and the Hairy Farmer clan.

    Your accent and speaking voice are delightful, BTW.

  11. Awesome! Great job, Harry!

  12. That’s the boy! So, so thrilled for the Hairies.

    In fact, I think yaying is called for. YAY! YAAAAAY!

  13. Yay for Harry! I love the video and am so impressed with his vocabulary. And I must add that your discussion of delaying speech therapy, etc. does warm my heart as our fusspot is still sans speech therapy although she has now been evaluated twice.

  14. You should’ve seen H and me, bouncing on our chairs, grinning like loons and emitting little squeals of delight and encouragement. Go Harry!

    Whether or not they were leaving you to it as they all KNEW Harry-type kids improve massively at this age, I do so wish they’d held your hand more at the time. It was a heartbreaker of a thing to get through.

    And business (busy-ness!) is picking up! Hurrah! Hurrah is right, isn’t it? Yay? Good?

  15. Oh how exciting! It’s almost like a switch has finally been turned on isn’t it? I felt the same way with mine. Great job Harry!

  16. I hear some tentative word combining too, no? He’s not repeating phrases as a chunk (as if they were all one long word), but as the bits he can do, separately.

  17. Even if he can’t pronounce every sound perfectly clearly just yet, you can make out what he’s saying and it’s obvious that he’s comprehending and can memorize! That’s huge!

    Go, Harry go!

  18. What a wonderful video! I can’t wait to see where he goes from here. Lovely speech and comprehension and I loved hearing his British accent (or perhaps you might say–his lack of American accent!) so clearly already.

    His comprehension in particular has always seemed excellent. He must have so much to tell you. I can’t wait to hear all about it.

    Those asterisked twats are either simply just that, twats, or else deeply unfamiliar with human behavior in multiple ways (and still twats for not realizing that in even some foggy manner). But as for the delay in formal assessments… meh, they’re not off my mental hook either. I know we’ve seen everything through your lens at the time and at some distance, but still. I can’t help but feeling that they really let you down by not better communicating the possible timelines, their reasons for acting or not (mostly not), a better emotional understanding (as the ever-articulate May said)… etc. Not to mention that you really struggled with a lot of behavioral issues at the time as well. You had a year or two through the wringer, and they should have done a better job at supporting you through that, in many different ways.

    Still. Forward we march and I am so deeply excited for you two and Harry as he blossoms.

  19. Well done of all the you have achieved and have done. It is great your son is talking and you are managing to do so many things at once. Onwards and upwards!

  20. I like to think Harry was more dramatic. You know, he’d say “To heck with this ‘yes’ and ‘Mummy’ and ‘more’ business! If I cannot quote Proust, if I cannot quote the Bard, then I shall wait to speak!”

    Harry’s a rockstar. He has been biding his time waiting to get iambic pentameter down. You can tell by the video.

  21. Ahh what a stupendous bit of footage. So thrilling to see. Yey Harry!

    As to the support team – glad they are finally all around and if they did all have this inkling that this period would be the one where stuff would come together they could have bloody well explained that a bit better.

  22. Go Harry!

  23. Harry is very similar to my nephew. (I think I’ve said this before). Nephew is also finally talking now, and has even once said ‘pack up – no way’. Although he mostly still says single words.

    I would love to hear more about Harry’s sensory issues improving when you have time. Nephew has issues with eating anything that is not liquid or a hot chip. He won’t eat ‘hard’ things – even toast.

    He also runs, non-stop from morning til night. And he is petrified of entering a lift, which I have read is a sensory issue too. He is also very restrictive, but mostly in a non-stop movement kind of way, rather than fits of anger.

    LIttle nephew even looks similar to Harry, he is shortish and stocky with light brown hair. He was a bit premmie, but only in special care briefly.

    Anyway – sorry for raving on, but it is almost eerie how my nephew and harry are tracking along similar lines, but on opposite sides of the world. And it always gladdens my heart to hear of such leaps forward.

    But like you, we are ecstatic to hear the little voice talking.

  24. Sorry – above should say that Nephew is unintentionally Destructive, not restrictive, which the computer
    has somehow come up with…cp

  25. And where are the jack-o-lanterns of yesteryear? Share, do.

  26. […] Just Call Me Igor Posted on 31/10/2010 by Hairy Farmer Family Back by popular demand: […]

  27. Fantastic. Great job, Harry and Great job, Mum.

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