My Gorgeous Girl

7 Aug

My little girl, Squidger, was born at 29 weeks weighing just 2lbs 7 ozs. She was the size of a small doll. She spent two months in the Special Care Baby Unit but needed no help other than a little bit of oxygen when she was born and a gastro feed tube into her tummy.

Preemy

She was seen by her Neo Natal Consultant every three months until last summer, then these meetings have been every six months. Next week will be her final meeting, at just over three years old. I’m a little bit sad about this. He is the last person currently in her life to have known her all her life. He thinks she is a “remarkable, confident little girl…bright as a button”. He is amazed at how healthy she was when she was born and how brilliantly she has continued to develop and grow. She’s a little bit smaller than average but she’s tough! At our last meeting he made my heart swell when he said he thought she had blossomed so much in the short time she’s been with me.

Future Problems?

ABC Radio News pic

The above description does not entirely tally with the medical description I read from the Social Services’ doctor who claimed Squidger may be at risk of fetal alcohol syndrome and have a low IQ. I know that developmental problems sometimes don’t manifest themselves until age five when children start school but I seriously doubt Squidger is going to have any major problems. She already knows her colours; can count to ten; ‘reads’ her books; has great pencil control! She has a fabulous memory, a great imagination and perhaps more importantly, a fantastic sense of humour!

Gorgeous Girl

Squidge is a kind and thoughtful little girl. She always checks to see if her nursery friends are ok. If any are crying she will go up to them, give them a hug and tell them, “Don’t worry”. In toddler singing group when it is time to collect an instrument or a cuddly toy, Squidge doesn’t get one for herself first. She scans the room, finds the babies and makes sure they’ve all got something before then choosing her own.

She is fairly even tempered – we do have tantrums! But they’re shortlived and usually borne of frustration or tiredness. She already ahs a fairly strong moral compass and takes herself off to the ‘naughty spot’ if she feels she’s done something that warrants a time out! And she tells me ‘Sorry’ before I know what mischief she has created!

At nursery Key Workers from other classes stop me and comment on how lovely she is, “She so happy and confident”, “She’s always checking the other children are alright”. One afternoon after lunch, Squidge decided to entertain everyone and stood up in front of all the children to sing them her version of Baa Baa Black Sheep to rapturous applause from the staff and a few children!

The pair of us enjoy cuddles and giggles on a daily basis. If I am tired [and look it] and sneaking a lie down on the sofa, Squidge will come along and stroke my forehead or arm, “Are you tired, mummy? Have a little rest”. Every time I pick her up from nursery she drops whatever she’s doing, runs over with a huge grin on her face and jumps up for a hug. When I go in at night to check on her, pull her covers over and steal a kiss, she smiles. In her sleep, she smiles.

Biased?

But am I not bound to say all of this, given that I am her mummy and perhaps a tad biased? Well yes, I suppose so. But, there are different facets to this admiration of my gorgeous girl.

1. I spent three years being assessed by Social Services and being prepared for a severely damaged child who would not be able to attach to me; a child who would need a lot of educational support; a child who would not take well to discipline; a child who may have long term physical and/or mental health issues and so the list could go on. I realise they need to prepare for thoroughly for worst case scenarios. Even so. The reality is my little girl is as near perfect as I could have ever imagined! Even down to the way she look! Years ago, in my late teens, I had a vivid dream that I and boyfriend at the time were the parents of a girl. The dream was of her bouncing on a bed. I swear to you that the girl in that dream looked like Squidger! [And those of you who know me know I am not a supernatural, Fate, religious type]

2. When Squidge first came home we were just getting to know each other. Here she was, a ready formed toddler! Her personality was already fully fledged. Those attributes of kindness, thoughtfulness and sensitivity were already there. Nothing to do with me. I had read about them in her Social Services report. Along with references to her cheekiness and cheerfulness. I suppose it was part of what drew me to her in the first place. The other major parts of the report detail the events that transpired which resulted in her being taken into care and a life history of both birth parents and their families. Whilst it’s not easy reading it is possible to see the positives in there too. The positive aspects of her birth parents’ personalities that I can now see have been passed on. I will let her know this and when I write to birth parents I will let them know too.

3. Linked to number 2 is that Squidge has had a less than perfect start to her life. That resilience she demonstrated at 29 weeks prem has sustained her throughout her first 2 years: the stress of her birth family’s situation and their subsequent grief; her foster placements, which whilst happy are still a disruption for such a small baby; her transition when moving in with me, new home, new smells, new sounds, new family members…; then starting a new nursery – a big thing for any small person, let alone one who had already experienced a significant disruption in their lives already. How could anyone NOT admire my gorgeous girl?!

Squidger

I can now start to see aspects of her personality that she may have picked up from me: her love of all things creative and arty-farty. Whilst she already liked drawing and books and music we have really developed these talents together. She has a box of musical instruments and copies me if I am playing my clarinet or guitar. Her bookshelf overfloweth, SO pleased she loves stories. She also enjoys writing and painting and has a wild imagination. Like peas in a pod! Sadly I think she has my dislike for numbers tho’! We do counting but I sense she gets frustrated with it – or am I projecting my own number fear?! And those tantrums? Well I don’t drop down onto the shop floor, limbs flailing but I have been known to have a strop or a rant or two [!]

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2 Responses to “My Gorgeous Girl”

  1. Angie August 22, 2011 at 8:13 am #

    Hi Sam. Just wanted to thank you for your blog- it leaves me in tears sometimes as I still remember your battles from a few years back – I’m so happy you’ve won them all! Congratulations again. Lots of love for you and your wonderful daughter.
    Angie xx

    • howwelaughed August 22, 2011 at 11:42 am #

      Aww thanks, Angie 🙂 How you doing? xx

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