Over the past week J has surprised me by suddenly becoming capable of putting on his own socks. This has been a constant problem for him over the past few years as socks are fiddly items to apply to feet and J has struggled. On Sunday J and I went swimming and had a great time especially as J is proving to be an adept swimmer. After our swim we went to get dressed before heading off with his cousins for some chocolate induced fun. J could hardly wait to get out of the changing rooms and before I knew it was dressed (if not quite dry) right down to socks and shoes on his feet. My appointment with the OT flashed before my eyes as I recalled telling them that J "cannot manage socks". This was a few short weeks ago and yet here was J having proved that when the impetus is there he can quite perfectly manage them. The words "idle little monkey" wandered through my mind and connected themselves to J! All this time I have been dressing him when the lazy little tyke could quite perfectly manage himself. But then I recalled the persistant palmer grip, the difficulties he has definitely experienced in school and which have been noted by everyone who works with him. Just because he can now manage does not mean this has always been the case, however, quite obviously matters have improved but the darling child was not going to attempt any task that he could get his mother to perform for him.
So we now have a change to the morning routine. No longer do I assist J to get dressed, instead I lay all his clothes out for him and then "race" him to see who can get dressed the quickest, J always wins AND his clothes are on the right way round too. Not bad for a child with "bendy fingers" who "can't do it Mum". A quiet word was had with the school about this latest progress and a request to continue encouraging J's independance - when he goes swimming on Thursday he will be doing his own socks.
This afternoon I went to see J in his school play. J's class did the story of the Nativity and J has been proudly telling me for weeks that "I'm an actor Mummy". Further questioning elicited the information that he was "being a Roman soldier" and then came the killer.... "and I am the drummer too". Bless the school, they have taken my son - the noise king - and entrusted him with a drum in the school play. No way was I going to miss this - so 1.20pm today found me queuing outside the school with Nanny, the first parents/grandparents there in fact. For too long I have rushed out of work to try and catch J's assemblies and plays at school and I am ALWAYS last there and always right at the back catching scarcely a glimpse of J. This time I was first and determined to be right in the front row in full view of J. This is what I cut my hours for... to be around and visible for J. And oh was I visible. Right in the front row, right in the middle and right opposite J and his class mates.
For the first time ever J was not accompanied in by a teaching assistant and walked in proudly with his classmates carrying a drum, he was dressed in a costume and looked very proud of himself as he lined up with the other Roman soldiers. The Nativity was beautiful and J was fabulous with his drum... he was also very restrained and only used the drum when it was called for in the script. Towards the end of the show he started to get what I call "an itchy bum" and began to fidget - lifting himself up and treating all the visiting parents to the sight of his pants. Eventually tiring of the show he left his classmates and brought himself over to my side. Mrs M the fierce but wonderful class teacher (who was sat next to me) said to J in her broad Northern Irish accent "Now J - you need to sit on the floor by Mummy and don't move". And do you know what... he hardly did move. I really MUST get Mrs M round at bedtime.