Posts Tagged ‘Grandchildren’

Yesterday daughter came to collect her offspring and told me about her nightmare. This daughter is not given to sharing her dreams, in fact I can’t remember her ever doing this before. I listened attentively. The narrative was short, but it revealed so much.

In her dream she, and I, were in a hall and the 11+ decisions were being read out. It came to her daughter’s name and the outcome was non-selection for Grammar school. In her dream she cried hysterically, berating herself for not signing up to the coaching culture. She cried so loudly that she woke herself. Daughter described this experience as a ‘nightmare’, which to her it was.

I am no expert in dream interpretation but there are so many bits that leap out if I analyse. Grandaughter will receive her 11+ decision, result, today. She and her parents had made the decision not to go down the coaching route, unlike the majority of her classmates. AJ is bright. Her literacy skills are excellent, her numeracy is average and, she loves school. The central core of daughter’s dream is that she will blame herself if/when AJ is not selected for a grammar school. Her error will be not insisting AJ be coached.  Parent’s, but especially Mothers, do this all the time, throughout their children’s life they assume responsibility for every outcome. I find it interesting that I am with daughter. Is she sharing the ‘blame’ with me, or am I there as her support? Whoops! Now I’m doing it, assuming degree of responsibility for her anguish.

Daughter herself only attended grammar school for 6th form. We had made the decision to move her to another, non-selective school prior to what was then the 12+. Is the ‘nightmare’ revealing that she felt sadness at not having the chance to go through the election process? Her distress is now becoming mine as well. Luckily though, I can look back and know that the decision we made nearly 30 years ago did not, educationally, have any adverse repercussions.

This afternoon AJ will come out of school clutching an envelope which will reveal which school she will attend from September. I think I know what it will say. I would love to believe that natural ability will overcome the 3 years of coaching  that the majority of her classmates have undertaken. It would certainly reinstate my faith in the original concept of the 11+. Whatever the result AJ will know that it was honest and that we are proud of her.


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Today is Isabel’s 1st birthday. This time last year we were all on tenterhooks, after several false alarms early on, bleeding, prem labour and then an ECV my 3rd grandchild was born at home. Yesterday we had the family birthday party, there was a huge amount of food, an awful lot of it coloured a vivid pink. Izzy took her first steps last Thursday and took pleasure in showing everyone how, if you move one foot, then the other, you will fall over very quickly! She is fascinated by the twins, double the opportunities for sticking fingers in eyes and bashing heads. After repeated admonishments about using them as her personal punch-bags she crawled off, grabbed a (pink) balloon and was overjoyed to discover that she was allowed to bang them around the head with a large object and all anyone, including the twins, did was laugh.

It’s odd to remember that when Izzy was born we did not know that there would be yet another grandchild that year, let alone two. This morning I baby-sat for the boys whilst daughter and Amy went to the dentist, and I really don’t envy my daughter, or anyone else, who has twins, it is absolutely non-stop. One is happy and content to lie on his playmat, the other one is bored, wants entertaining or some milk. You get No.2 settled and previously happy little man starts demanding attention. I have found a good diversionary tactic, take their nappies off and let them have a kick around. That was working well, then Louis decided to show off his rolling skills, at the same time as having a sneaky wee, so Nanny didn’t know what was happening until he rolled onto his back again and the fountain became obvious, liberally showering him, Jamie and the carpet. What will it be like when they’re crawling?

Back to work tomorrow. I’m anticipating that my tray will be absolutely full of yet more directives from ‘on high’, audits that need undertaking and communications requesting a breakdown of stats. Completed my end of year stats before my holiday so at least that nightmare is over, hopefully. What I really am interested to know is why, if we have to complete monthly stats and send them to some poor data entry person via our manager, we then have to complete end of year statistics of exactly the same information. Have they not heard of Excel spreadsheets and the amazing ‘wizards’ that would, at the click of a button, produce all the figures they want in an assortment of formats? I really don’t don’t know why I question all the duplicating of information and tasks, it is the NHS after all.

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Family update

Jack – aged 3 and a half is at nursery 3 afternoons a week, and loves it. Today I took him and he disappeared at break-neck speed once we were in the school grounds, he couldn't wait to get his coat off and start playing. His sister, Isabel, or Izzy, is a little poppet. At 10 months she is tiny, a really petite little girl. She is crawling now but is never far away from her Mummy, there is a real love affair going on there. Izzy is 'double-jointed' which is at times really quite gross, thumbs go right back onto her wrists and her legs take on angles and positions which are freaky to observe.

Amy is not quite the butter-ball she was, thank heavens, her legs and tummy are slimming down nicely and she is just at the changing from toddler to little girl stage. Her Mummy says that she has spent too much time with me, she has all my mannerisms and sayings down to a T. We have a lovely relationship, she could be my favourite, but I try really hard not to have one grandchild I enjoy more than the others, perhaps it is just that we are so familiar with each other. Her brothers, the twins, Jamie and Louis are 12 weeks old now. Time has flown. They are the image of their sister, in other words little chubbies. It has become easier to tell them apart, if you know them, but Hubby and Son still get it wrong as often as they are right. Last week they both developed bronchiolitis and so spent the best part of a week in hospital between them. Traumatic time, trying to juggle the childcare. Amy's nursery have been amazing. She goes two mornings a week but since all the problems with Louis, queries about his hearing, spina bifida occulta and a heart murmur and then daughter becoming quite low due to worries and an almost total lack of sleep, they asked if they could have her on a Friday as well because she is 'so lovely and really helpful.' 


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