Sunday, June 23, 2013

tunnel of definitely-not-love

It's been a week of steep learning curves for Dulcie and I.  Dulcie, while obviously super talented in so many ways, is sadly lacking when it comes to social and physical skills.  She is very shy and clingy, falls over a lot (you can see a few of her head injuries in this photo) and is not very good at clambering or climbing... yet.  This week we decided to make the most of the warm weather and head to the park most days, where all these skills could be tackled and, I must say, it kind of worked.  After just a couple of hours hanging around on the slide/climbing frame, Dulcie had got to grips with steps and slopes and what railings could be for.  She'd also got a bit braver about approaching other children and was spending less time gripping my hand with white knuckles or wrapping herself around my legs.  By Thursday, her confidence had grown so much that she wanted to play inside this tunnel, something she had only every peeked into before.  She needed a bit of a hand getting in there, but was then happily scooting about, back and forth, keeking out of the portholes and generally having a lovely time.  After a while a boy climbed in the other end of the tunnel and the two of them had a bit of a stare-off.  Dulcie eventually decided the boy seemed harmless and gave him a big beaming smile.  That was when he grabbed her by the hair and began smooshing her face in the ground.  Poor Dulcie.  She always looks so crestfallen when another child is mean to her, it's like her estimation of what the world is and how it works suddenly stops making sense to her and the harsh realities of real life begin to seep into her consciousness.  Usually that's her cue to run back to me and recommence hand squeezing/leg wrapping, but this time she was well and truly stuck at the opposite end of the tunnel, so could just flail and cry, shouting, "Mama! Mama!" all the while.  Fortunately, the boy's mum, who was at the action end of the tunnel, managed to prise his fingers from Dulcie's hair, at which point Dulcie came flying out my end of the tunnel in floods of tears.  Such a sad scene :(  However, she got over it pretty quickly and even went over and waved goodbye to the boy, accompanied by her friendliest smile, before we left.  And the next day at toddler group (despite three instances of being  briefly inconsolable when another toddler stole whatever she was playing with) she seemed a bit more in the mix, a bit less clingy, a little bit braver.  I guess hard knocks have their positives, even if you might feel guiltily responsible for the upset/injuries at the time.

And my learning?  Well, I learned that swim nappies are not fit for purpose!  I should apologise to anyone who hoped to take their child swimming in Maryhill on Friday afternoon, as I fear we left the shallow end of the baby pool rather contaminated.  We had to make a hasty exit, peel (yes, peel) a once-blue-now-brown swimming suit from Dulcie's body and hose her down in the showers, all the while trying not to draw attention to ourselves.  I think maybe we got away with it?  If we summon the courage to go back, I just hope there won't be wanted posters with our faces on them...

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