Wednesday, 16 November 2011


So, last week. A week ago today in fact, William said his first word. His first actual, proper, undeniable, every letter within, word.

He said duck. He said the d and the u and the ck.

And he was pointing to a picture of a duck at the time.

So he definitely said duck and he definitely meant duck. And did I mention that he said duck?

Speech. It brings up a BIG array of emotions, most of which I choose to bury deep.

So here's something you should know about me. I do not like to fail. I am a high achiever. I have high expectations of myself and I take it really hard if I let myself down. You can probably analyse my childhood or my parents or both and figure out where is comes from but it really doesn't matter. Because that's just how it is. I am a perfectionist and expect nothing less from myself than just that, perfection.

Because of this I have a coping mechanism. Again you can analyse and what not but this is just how it is. If I think I am going to fail at something I will not do it. I will not even try. Because I do not like to fail, and if I don't attempt something it dramatically reduces the chances of me failing at it. This may well be why I hate sport. why I don't play an instrument and why I never really forged a career before having kids. If I don't try these things, I cannot get them wrong. It is definitely why I was a wreck about breastfeeding when I was pregnant and determined not to do it. As it was that turned out alright for me and I was one of the lucky ones, as was my son as he benefited from 9 months of the stuff.

And so back to speech. Now this is not so much about trying or failing because it's not about me. But it's about expectations. I have NO expectations of William when it comes to speech. I know that in my heart and in my head I have accepted that he may never talk. Because it's easier for me that way. That way if he does never talk, it's OK. And if he does talk, well then, that's bonus for all of us. But I don't have emotions tied up in it. Ahem.

But then he said his first word. He spoke.

And now I do not know what to do with myself.

Because you see, this opens windows. It releases possibilities. It gives hope. I do not like hope any more than I like failure because one can only lead to the other. Right?

Wrong. Because this is my baby. And I have higher hopes for him than I have ever had for myself. Not expectations, I expect nothing for him or from him. But hopes. And dreams. And with him, hope cannot lead to failure. Because he cannot fail in my eyes. And he cannot let me down.

This parenting lark has turned my world upside down.

I'm trying lovelinks again this week, pop on over and check out who else is...


Wednesday, 9 November 2011


Milestones are funny aren't they.

You turn 16, 18, 21, then wait for 30, 40, 50...

And somewhere in there you have kids and they are an hour, a day, a week, 2 weeks, 3 weeks, 4 weeks...5 months, 6 months, 7 months...a year.

Yesterday my baby was 18 months.

EV-ER-Y-ONE says it. "It goes so fast; they grow up so fast; you'll miss this stage when it's gone" etc etc.

And it's true. I do not know where the past year and a half have gone. I remember him turning 6 months like it was yesterday. Some days I'm certain it was. He seems so grown up, so capable. So smart. I watch him walking, running, laughing, signing. I remember him sleeping, breastfeeding, snuggling, crying. The change was instant. I do not remember him learning any of the things he does now, it just changed in a snap of my fingers.

But at the same time I have minimal recollection of our life without him. I don't remember not being a Mum. The past year and a half feel like the whole of my life. I have changed so much, been through so much. I have been pushed to limits I didn't know I had. Experienced emotions I didn't know existed. Felt the highest of highs and hit the lowest of lows. I feel like I have lived 10 years in this short 18 months.

I read yesterday that 18 months is often the point parents accept that their baby is no longer a baby but a little person. I have to admit I got a lump in my throat reading it, knowing how present that feeling is.

And I know that just as quickly we will be celebrating his 18th birthday and I will feel like today was yesterday but that I have lived for 100 years in those 18.

Kids mess with the time continuum. There is no denying it.

Monday, 7 November 2011

The greenest of monsters


Once upon a time a good friend of mine (she doesn't look like that) said to me 'Envy is wanting what someone else has, jealousy is not wanting them to have it'

I have been thinking a lot about both recently, fueled by this post here, which I feel has blurred the line between the two. But it's about something I know nothing about. Here's what I do know about.

I suffer from what is, based on the above, a big old case of envy. Ever since I found out that William was deaf I have looked at all the people around me having children and wondered why they 'got off'. Why it had to be my baby that got the duff gene out of nowhere. Why my baby has a harder life than theirs. Why they get to moan about sleepless nights and weaning and laundry while I sit on the floor rocking, wishing that these were the only things I had to worry about. Why do my friends get to fret about their perfectly normal children going to school, making friends and coping with the change when I, already, worry about my child going to school and being able to talk.  

But not once, not ever, not for one portion of a second, have I ever, ever wished that these people had deaf children. Or that their children had any kind of disability at all. Or that they didn't have their wonderful, non disabled children.

I am envious that they don't have to deal with what I have to deal with. But I am not jealous of their 'normality'. I would not for one second wish this heartache on anyone.

But that doesn't stop me from wishing it was different sometimes. For me. Not for anyone else.

I'm linking up with lovelinks for the first time...come join me!


Friday, 4 November 2011


I have decided, partly to make myself feel better and partly from a purely administrative point of view, to keep a list of William's signs. I also want to publish them with photographic evidence but, as I'm sure you know, toddlers are not always camera compliant, so we will see how that works out.

Ok, so for now, at 04/11/2011 (at almost exactly 18 months) we have...

1. bye bye (waving)
2. dummy (pointing at mouth with one finger)
3. food (pointing at mouth with all fingers)
4. bottle (fist with thumb and little finger out, drinking from thumb)
5. please (tapping mouth with open hand)
6. thank you (tapping mouth with open hand)
7. yes (nodding)
8. no (shaking head)
9. dog (hands bent forward like paws in front of chest)
10. cow (fist with thumb and finger out, thumbs into side of head)
11. sheep (fists with just little fingers out, little fingers spiralling from sides of head)
12. pig (fist twisting nose)
13. horse (fists on top of one another, in front of body, up and down)
14. bird (thumb and index finger tapping together)
15. duck (thumb and rest of fingers tapping together)
16. fish (moving flat hand infront of body like fish)
17. cake (tapping clawed hand onto flat hand)
18. ball (making ball shape with both hands)
19. up (pointing up)
20. come (beconing to come with his hand)
21. lion (making a claw coming toward you)
22. giraffe (hand coming out of neck and moving upward)
23. elephant (fist coming down from nose, mimicing a trunk)
24. train (flat hands either side of body moving circularly)
25. car (mimic turning a steering wheel)
26. bus (mimic turning a larger steering wheel)
27. digger (pretend to dig with one hand)
28. banana (pretend to peel an imaginary banana)
29. orange (pretend to squeeze something round, next to your mouth)
30. grape (hold one hand as if dangling a bunch of grapes, use the other to twist from it bigger and down)
31. hot (go to touch something and pull hand away sharply, as if it is hot)
32. cook (pretend to hold a frying pan and shake back and forth)
33. gone (have claw hands open and together and then pull away to clasped hands, repeatedly)
34. ready (with two open hands, push your thumbs into your chest)
35. again (flick the index and middle fingers of one hand down with the rest curled into a fist)
36. plane (make a fist with your thumb and little finger protruding and move it around up high, like a plane)
37. balloon (make a ball shape with your hands as if coming from your mouth while blowing)
38. drink (make a cup with your hand and pretend to drink from it

I feel better already, my kid is smart! Time to get some snaps!

Tuesday, 1 November 2011


I have been trying to write a post for a while now about Will's speech. Or lack of, rather. He still doesn't have any words and it's taking it's toll on me. Since he started wearing his hearing aids consistently he has come so far and the difference when he has them in is breathtaking.

But we have stalled. Predictably, I guess. Nothing can continue along that steep trajectory of progress. He has more sounds than before. And more listening skills. More understanding. More signing. All so very positive but my heart longs for a word. Just one word.

We work so hard, every day. Repeating, playing, reading. Nothing.

Today we went to deaf playgroup. It was much better than the previous time. There was a new boy there that William took quite a shine to. They played beautifully together around the toy kitchen and then with some jigsaws. One of the jigsaws was animals, an area where Will's signing excels. He was showing each animal to the other boy and telling him what it was, through sign. Horse, giraffe, elephant. Monkey, dog, alligator.

The professionals that run the group were so excited that of course my heart swelled with joy and with pride. My baby, not only communicating but teaching.

We decided from the beginning to sign with Will and always knew he would sign before he spoke. In sign he has as many, if not more, words as the children we know with normal hearing.

And whenever he signs a new word, I get excited, I praise him, I hug him and I am genuinely happy for him and for us for making such a smart kid. Because he is super smart.

But I still long for speech. Just for one word so that I can be reassured that one day there will be more. Because as much as I boldly say 'Will may never talk' and 'we are learning and teaching sign because he is deaf, it's part of who he is', there is still a part of me that is desperate for him to be normal. The part of me that is worrying about nursery, school, friends, bullies, exams, careers, relationships, grandchildren. That part of me was given hope when he started wearing his aids. Hope when he started to make sounds that I thought would become words. Hope that he would grow up to be just like everyone else but with hearing aids in his ears.

But the truth is he won't ever be like everyone else. Because he is different. Because he is disabled. And as much as I know I need to embrace this fact. Some days, most days of late, I just want to embrace him and cry about it.