Vote Hairy

I am very seldom genuinely pleased with myself.

Today, I am pleased with myself.

(With the notable exception of my ovaries, alas, which, on day 11 of IUI stims this week, were dropping the gonad equivalent of a moonie, blowing a derisive 11mm raspberry, and severely imperilling the scheduling-end of next week, when I have 2 days on which I Absolutely Bloody Cannot Spend Half A Day In Hospital, am Busy with Important Stuff, JUST NONONO CANNOT BE DONE. Bastard things. They know, I swear they know. AND the lead follicle is on the left, damnit. It’s never on the bloody left. I banked on it not being on the bloody left. *Headthunk*)

You may remember I constructed a straw bale Bride & Groom a wee while back. Or, more truthfully, I thought it up, scribbled diagrams on the back of envelopes in the pub (I really did do that, in fact), foraged among the fert bags for materials, fabricated all the gubbins, then leaned heavily on John and his father to actually stack and secure them. I was the shrieking girl with the clipboard, they were hanging half out of the tractor and yelling back why it couldn’t be done, I was stamping my foot and saying that it bloody well could, and  they…  well, you get the picture. Discreet trailer-propping and a few ropes later, and Bob was obligingly our uncle.

We took a few scrappy photos. A nice local amateur photographer called Steve Felton saw them, took photos at dawn the next morning, and entered a fabulous one

into the massively popular BBC Countryfile’s photographic competition. It proceeded to battle it out with 55,000 other photographs… and it won.

It bloody well won.

My straw people will have their own month on the 2012 BBC Countryfile calendar, and I am seriously as delighted as a little piggy in poo about it.

Now, of the 12 winners, there follows a vote for Best in Show. They are showing them on this Sunday’s Countryfile, 11th Sept at 7.30pm, and viewers then choose an overall winner.

If you should happen to be watching… vote for Hairy straw bales!

Harry’s first week at school went exactly how I thought it might: mixed, but fundamentally Awright. They found Harry changing his own very wet pants on the first day, and I felt completely out of our depth when I asked if they’d reminded him to go at break-time. ‘Yes, but we wouldn’t know if he’s one of the ones who went or not’. Eeeep. Ok. That’d be the Not At Nursery Anymore, Fostering Independence-stuff I’d heard about, then. They evidently learnt by the experience, as Harry has had dry pants at pick-up the rest of the week and has mentioned being asked by teachers to visit the toilet. Although, I did quite narrowly avert him from taking a quiet leak behind the school toy shed at pick-up today.

He is full of enthusiasm for school, per se; all keen to go and seems to be enjoying it. His teachers have already cottoned on to his fiercely independent problem-solving approach – asking for help is just not a Hairy thing whatsoever at all – and both say that they have got the general gist of absolutely everything he’s said; the boy described in his Statement, they agree, is not at all who they have in the classroom. He is falling less then they thought he might. They are impressed with his progress, and very upbeat. 

I think he’s troubled on some levels by the new-ness of it, naturally. He’s suffered weepy melt-downs over the sky being the wrong shade of blue as soon as he’s reached home every day, and has been sleeping his first-ever 12-solid-hours, even though they’re only doing 9-12 this week. I worry a little about his social skills, as his communication delay has left him rather more likely to meet & greet by delivering sudden bear hugs than saying Hello – the resulting melée usually resembles a rolling maul as the startled recipient takes fright and flight and cannons into other children in their haste to escape Harry’s headlock-of-iron.

Communication is a factor in his (as yet) inability to manage playing en masse, I think; groups seem to centrifuge him out almost immediately, and this morning I saw him join, then bounce straight off, a cluster of the 4 other boys in his class, and promptly seek one-to-one play with a girl (the class is 5:10 boy:girl, I think, but they all move a bit too quick to tell) instead. He was most crestfallen today when he told me that ‘no-one listened’ to his Show & Tell about London, and my heart ripped neatly in half; he’d been so excited about the prospect this morning, and I can’t help but be curious about what actually went on.

I am shitting bricks about his staying for school lunches next week, as it seems he will have to carry his own tray of food – with a drink – over to a table and actually get on with eating it by himself. Ruh-Ro. I had a hasty word with the food-servers today, but even so, I can foresee that going spectacularly… badly. I managed to mention textural aversion and dyspraxia, so they know he’s quite liable to A) baulk at the sight of some foods and B) drop any food they do succeed in giving him all over the floor, but…yeah. Concerned. And mildly wondering why the school dinner supervisors don’t already know who he is, given that they are supposed to be acquiring an extra one mainly to keep a weather eye on him – but maybe his teachers are supervising breaktime currently. I dunno. It’s really early days, and I didn’t want to collar the Head in her first week back; I will do next week. And perhaps the best way through this is for Harry to demonstrate through trial and error what he can and can’t manage, rather than me trying to iron out the wrinkles ahead of him. Most of it he’ll sail through just fine, and a dropped tray isn’t the end of the world – it’ll highlight the issue louder than I could. It’s just that I remember the roar of sarcastic applause that used to echo through my high school dinner hall when, once or twice a year, someone’s tray went down with an almighty clatter. He’s… quite young and small for that, you know? And… I don’t know what he’s doing, who he’s playing with, or if anyone is going to be standing close enough to assist him if he hits difficulties. And I am a control freak, as well as a parent of a Statemented child, to boot. So, excuse me while I chew the furniture in continuing anxiety.

However, I was touched that a couple of the older children appear to have taken him under their wing; Harry’s minibus driver from School Fabulous had told his son to look out for Harry, and son & friend have been playing with Harry at break-time, they tell me. Several children have smiled and said hello to us as we’ve left at lunchtime, everyone has been friendly and welcoming, and I essentially feel reassured and confident that he’s in the right place.  I just wish they knew him better already.

And yes, yes, yes, of course I snivelled the first day. All the way across the car-park, and all the way home. Only John saw, so it DIDN’T COUNT.

A delivery driver saw me the second day, so that may have counted a little.

Third day I was dry. Well done, Me.

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