Well, my people, I can confidently say that since Hannah came along, life has never been dull.
Not one bit!
As I’ve said before, there’ve been ups…aaaaaaaand quite a few downs; just like a rollercoaster.
(In this respect, I guess us lot at Broccoli HQ are no different to many of you reading this!)
…and it’d be very easy to walk around looking all pitiful and wallow in the ‘why Hannah, why us?’ stuff. But, ugh, no thanks! That’s not how we roll at Broccoli HQ.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I could go on and on (and on) about the rubbish stuff that’s happened this year…the reflux, the sleepless nights, the self-harm, the tears and angst, the surgery, the frustrations, the countless appointments and traipses to and from the hospital, the autism and SMC1a diagnoses. Oh yeah, AND not forgetting the time when I was misinformed that Hannah had previously experienced a cardiac arrest (but after investigation, then advised she’d had a respiratory arrest. Dur!). Still rubbish, regardless, but different, although still potentially fatal.
…but I’m not going to harp on (you’re welcome!). After all, what’s the point? What’s happened, has happened.
So let’s move on, shall we?
Now my lovelies, in this, our very last post of the year, I thought I’d share a little of the more positive stuff, the funny stuff, the proud jump-up-and-down stuff…
Over the course of this year and especially the last few months, we’ve had the luxury of watching Hannah blossom a little more; she’s been more responsive (when the mood takes her!); been able to stay on task a little longer (again, when the mood takes her); been more alert and present…oh, and she’s even developed a bit of a bossy streak! (no idea where she gets that from!) *feigns look of innocence*
I recently had a look back at her photos on our Facebook page (if you haven’t visited us there yet, feel free to pop over anytime) and oh blimey, that joie de vivre of hers shines through and is totally infectious.
Here’s just a few examples from our page…
Have a guess who was awake at 2.30am and didn’t go back to sleep…
Guess who, despite being asked not to 25 BILLION times, pulled down the hood of her pram with such force, she broke it.
Then, guess who kicked a table over in a coffee shop, breaking several pieces of crockery and who found it totally hilarious…oh, the shame!
…Then who tried to ‘run’ (Hannah style) around the park with her hood over her face, just because.
(Yes, my darlings, that was a looooooooooong day!)
Sliding under the table in a fancy restaurant was SO much fun…and drinking through a straw was totally HILARIOUS!
Here’s Hannah painting at Broccoli HQ. I offered her services to any summer brides wanting their make-up done. Surprisingly, there was no take up. Dunno why!
This is the child supposedly unable to tolerate showers. However, whilst I was running Hannah’s evening bath, she decided it would be TOTALLY hilarious to have a shower…in her school uniform (saves putting the washing machine on, I guess!)
The time when a mass murder was (almost) committed. Hannah did exceptionally well feeding the ducks and was allowed, for the very first time EVER, to have sole possession of a rather heavy bag of bird seed. And she didn’t (well, not much) eat the seed – yay! However, seconds after we stopped filming this momentous occasion, Hannah decided to THROW THE WHOLE BAG IN THE CANAL!!! Thankfully, no ducklings eagerly awaiting a treat sustained a catastrophic head injury and daddy managed to fish the bag out of the water. Phew!
The obligatory return to school photo, which took about 500 attempts to get a half decent/non blurry one – Hannah finds it difficult to stay still.
But (then) this happened. After enduring CBeebies for the last 8 years and Hannah paying very little attention, she just sat on the floor and watched In The Night Garden…followed by the World Athletic Championship 100m finals. Hooray!
…and there’ve also been the times when photos couldn’t POSSIBLY capture my girls tenacity and courage.
Here’s a momentous occasion I posted on Facebook…
Oh my people, I CANNOT begin to express how very, very, VERY proud I am of my girl today. Hannah’s been having extra-curricular swimming sessions in school and today she came home with a certificate…a certificate which has been given to her for….
SWIMMING THE WHOLE LENGTH OF THE POOL IN HER RING AND KICKING HER LEGS INDEPENDENTLY!!!!!!!!!!!
THIS is a HUMONGOUS achievement for Hannah. THIS is also a glorious two fingered salute to those people who, many years ago, pretty much wrote her off. Sure, she was wearing her ring, but I don’t care – she could’ve ridden on the back of a sodding dolphin and done the length. It doesn’t matter, SHE DID IT. (Actually, it would’ve been pretty cool of she had ridden on the back of a dolphin, but I guess schools health and safety insurance wouldn’t have covered that).
Right, I’m off to source a MAHOOSIVE tub of goose fat. The English channels only 21 miles. The kid’ll easily manage that…in her ring!
…and it’s not just Hannah’s daddy and I that’ve noticed her blossoming; other people have too. Here’s an example; a lovely note in Hannah’s daily diary from her Teacher:
“We were waiting for the buses at the end of the day and Hannah was wandering around with the spikey big ball. I said to Hannah, let’s play ball Hannah and I pulled up a chair to sit at the opposite side of the table to Hannah. Hannah then walked away from the table and walked over to a stack of chairs. We thought Hannah was going to tip the chairs over as she was very giddy. To our amazement, she was tipping the chairs to get her own chair off, brought this to the table, pushed the chair in herself and then signed “more ball” to initiate the game….we are so proud”.
…I can’t begin to tell you how much reading this stuff makes my heart melt!
Proud, proud, PROUD! ❤
So, let’s try and wrap this up shall we?
Recently, I read two books by Naoki Higashida – a young man far more intelligent and articulate than I. Naoki was just 13 when he wrote his first book “The reason I jump” – his account of Autism, and, just like Hannah, Naoki is non-verbal. Whilst we’re all gloriously unique, Naoki helped me gain an insight into Hannah’s world…and he inspired me. He inspired me to keep going in aiding Hannah’s communication, to make sure I continue to observe and soothe and be persistent and have patience.
…and not to lose sight amongst all the ‘stuff’ that I’m still mummy.
And now, I’m absolutely confident that despite others perceiving Hannah’s behaviours and little idiosyncrasies as ‘severe’, this child knows FAR more than people give her credit for…and I’ll prove this to you in a post next year (ooh, the suspense!).
Naoki initially began to communicate by pointing to letters and spelling out words, requiring him to have a significant amount of patience and undoubtedly a time consuming task for all involved!
So, taking inspiration from Naoki and as my laptop is pretty much on its last legs, I thought I’d let Hannah have a play with (bash on) it and see what she came up with. After all, this is a blog inspired by her!
Please note that what you’re about to read is ALL her own work. It doesn’t matter that it’s not ‘legible’ to you or I; whether you understand the combination of letters and symbols and how they’re placed. All that matters right now is that she had the patience to do it and that she enjoyed doing it. We’ll work on the rest.
(Although I’d like to think she typed “my mummy is the bestest mummy in the world”. Just sayin *winks*)
So, without further ado…over to you, Hannah….
Cvk.jaaCCBB Z VUBMKMBBBBBBBBBBBBXXXXXXXXXXXXXFFFFFFFFFMMMMMMMMRRRRRRRRRF
Irrrrrrrrvvvrrrttgf tfbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbvh hk][hr tr5ky
M, llllllllllkklllllllllk ccccxxc nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnbbbbbbbnnmnbmnnm ggy77nn.//iio;l…… ,//,
That’s almost all for now, my lovelies.
But let me leave you with a little something by A.A. Milne from Winnie-the-Poo:
“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.”
…and we will Hannah, my darling, we will.
Wishing you and your loved ones a wonderful Christmas and a happy, healthy 2018.
Until next time