My last post about Ollie was a difficult one to write. I am torn between posting my innermost heartfelt feelings but also doing it in a balanced way to reflect what that is truly representative of what is happening in our lives, rather than letting the feelings of one day or even one moment become my focus.
But I did write it, and I'm glad I did, because it did articulate how I have been feeling about my little boy and the worries I have about him and since then I've had the opportunity to talk to a few friends about whether his behaviour and our interaction warrants another opinion, a professional one, to determine whether he is just the way he is, or whether I need to worry about something bigger.
So, what's the verdict? Well... there isn't one. Will and I have done some serious thinking and talking about what we want to do. In the same way that I was on the verge of getting a speech pathologist involved when Ollie suddenly started talking, the last few days have been quite extraordinary. I have had some of the most positive interaction with Ollie that I've ever had, conversations rather than words, he's asked me for cuddles rather than the other way round and he's been way more engaged with whatever it is we are doing. And the reason for the change? I'm not sure, but I do think our conscious effort to let Ollie lead (within reason) has made a big difference to how much he is enjoying himself, and that in turn has led to his interaction with us being more positive, rather than negative. We are making an effort not to start every sentence with 'no' or 'stop' or 'don't' and trying instead to use positive language to persuade him to think about what he's doing. We have, of course, been doing this for a while now, but it hasn't really worked, and for that I blame Ollie's complete stubbornness to do things his way, something which I actually think is a positive and will, I hope, manifest itself into dogged determination when he's older.
One of the big issues for us is that we're doing this parenting thing with little support from the outside world. Most families have a network of grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins but we don't, and that's because of the choices we have made, so it's not that I am complaining about it, but I am acknowledging that we've made things tougher than they need to be. We're lucky to have a good system of day care for Ollie and that gives us and him a break and much needed change of scene, but it can still be difficult when we don't have the luxury of an afternoon off when the kids might be with their grandparents.
Anyway, I digress. The point of this post is... well there is no point, but suffice to say that we are hoping we might have turned a corner, and I'm looking forward to writing about Ollie again, be it about the challenges or the joy. It's almost as though he knows the next move and he's keeping a step ahead of us. but if that's what it takes for us to continually question the way we are doing things in order to do them better, then so be it.