Posted by: Louise | March 31, 2012

and what about the kids?

Special delivery for Mum.

I am at work, my back to the room and the Little Boy Racer who is (im)patiently waiting for me to finish up for the Easter break. Today has been a finely tuned juggle of parentlng and Open Day – pulled off with an efficiency that has impressed even me.

A glass of sparkling water is placed beside me on the desk and a small pair of hands reach up to my shoulders and start massaging. I love this boy. I love his love, his little hands. I love that he would think of what is undoubtably such a perfect Friday evening special delivery. I love this boy.

A few weeks ago his teacher sat us down. Well you know what I want to talk to you about…. We didn’t. He struggles to stay on task. He is starting to fall behind. He works best lying on his belly on the ground because then he doesn’t get distracted. She is concerned. We do not recognise the child she is talking about. Well we do, but that is our other son, the Astro child, not the Little Boy Racer.

The Little Boy Racer recognised letters at the age of two, counted backwards from 20 for fun before he ever started school. This boy was our little academic. Would we think of  having him assessed by an Occupational Therapist she asked? K and I stagger out the door.

Our youngest child has a temper, except he’s not our youngest is he? The LBR blows his fuse every single day. Something happens and he is thrashing or crying or both. More often than not the something is imperceptible to us, but not (obviously) to him. Use your words, Sweetheart. Ask us for help. But the frustration overwhelms him. It never happens in school.

It’s not that we wouldn’t bring him to an OT. We have gone that route with the Astro Boy. I am a great believer in occupational therapy. How did I not notice that the LBR couldn’t stay on task? Was falling behind?

We were going to bring him to a therapist, a colleague of mine. She suggested cranio-sacral work first. We tried it – gave it a chance – but the LBR is still frustrated. And now his teacher says he is falling behind. OT assessments aren’t cheap. Neither is therapy. What about Barnardo’s? a friend suggests. They offer bereavement counselling to children.

I filled out the referral form the other day. When did the anger start? The winter after Laura died…..


These days they fight a lot. They call each other names. They pinch and hit and thrash and play contentedly together and laugh and then reduce each other to tears.

The LBR’s eczema has flared up. He’s been clear for months and months. What has changed for you LBR? I wonder out loud. It is usually stress induced. A day later I remember that we are in the middle of packing our entire house into boxes so we can clear the house for the builders to move in.

What else do I not see that is blindingly obvious?

What about the kids? They have been happier. They have been more contented. But so too have their parents.

Did they know about the baby?

That ‘baby’ was their sister. They felt her growing. They anticipated her with love and longing, just the same as K and I. They had plans for her too. Since Laura died both Astro Boy and the Giraffe Princess have seen their best friends’ families extended by surprise babies.

What about the kids? A sure they’re grand.

We, none of us, are grand. We are doing ok, thank you, but we are not grand.



  1. You are doing the best you can.. and I am thinking of you. All of you. xo

  2. Just want to echo Leslie’s thoughts.

  3. Oh Louise. I can’t really understand, I can only imagine. Because my two won’t know their sister. Well, perhaps J? But not like Astro Boy, Giraffe Princess and LBR knew Laura.

    My heart ached for you and K staggering out of that door. And sometimes it is the blindingly obvious that is hardest to see.

    Love from another family doing ok but not grand.

  4. I understand the not grand. The life going forward, and still – the not grand.

    Thinking of you all,

    Cathy in Missouri

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