That's assuming I can get them off her first of course... I explained at bedtime what was going to happen, and took all 6 dummies up to her room (I think we did have 10, so it won't surprise me at all if Sasha manages to find some that the dummy fairy forgot over the next few weeks, but hopefully I'll get to them first in a mega clear out!!!). So anyway, I told her and then put the dummies under her pillow, to which she laughed and quickly grabbed them all back up in one handful. So I tried leaving them on the table next, and made her count them for me (so hopefully she'll remember the relevance of the same number of chocolate coins in the morning) - well when I said 'let's count them', she did - in Spanish!!! Think it all seemed a bit of a joke to her... hey ho, it will become real tomorrow and we'll see the tears then when she can't have them anymore. That's if I can prise them out of her hands - when I left her to sleep she had a very tight hold of 5, and the other one in her mouth of course!!
Bedtime also showed me again how amazingly bright she can be - she asked me to read one of her 15 Dora books, Dora Goes to School, which we've not read since sometime before we went away for our week holiday. I read the first 3 pages and then she decided she wanted to read it to me herself - something she did most nights on holiday with her other books, think she's enjoying that independence. Well she had a good stab at the story on mot pages, and as always said everything in Backpack in order, expecting me to repeat it, starting and ending with the same thing in the funny ordered way she does. But then she told me what was going to happen on the next page exactly right before seeing it - i.e. that Dora would have the pencils, Boots the rulers and the teacher the files (or books as she calls them). She has an amazing photographic memory obviously - despite reading that book several times myself (to her, I prefer chicklit myself ;) ), I wouldn't have known or even thought about who had what!
Earlier on today she also said 'not tickle mummy' but also 'no tickling' at relevant times, which shows she has a grasp at least of when to use verb or noun. She can say the whole 'abc' rhyme now and I'm sure she's beginning to recognise the written letters. It's a shame that the speech therapist doesn't really realise this.... we finally had a visit from an NHS SALT at home just before we went on hols, and to say it was a disaster would be an understatement. Sasha decided she didn't want the very nice lady here as soon as she arrived, and proceeded to have the biggest tantrum she's had in a long while - ending with her taking herself up to bed, screaming herself hoarse and then finally going to sleep at 11 o'clock in the morning - not particularly helpful when we had an appointment with the paediatrician to get to for 12! So anyhow I ended up showing the SALT a short video clip of Sasha on the phone to my mum, babbling away quite happily, which was about all she saw of her and so she has concluded she has a problem with 'T' and 'D'. Which may be true, but not always true. In fact she quite happily said 'draw' instead of 'straw' the night before. I feel that Sasha's speech sounds entirely depend on what she feels like saying most of the time, although I do believe T is a particular problem for her. So how she can be treated I really don't know; it has upset me greatly over the past couple of weeks but I'm back to being philosophical and hoping for a major breakthrough somehow. Not that I think for one minute that removing the dummy will do that for her speech; I just feel it is the right time to lose that particular crutch as she gets older, and I'm more concerned about her teeth than her speech on that front!
So after the SALT had been here I had to wake Sasha and drag her out to the paediatrician, which could have course have gone either way, and was in fact still wavering when the paed came down to reception to see us. Fortunately Sasha was happy to go back in her room and see the toys, and she let me speak to her for about, ooh, 20 minutes fairly uninterrupted before Sasha decided it was time to leave. Hertfordshire - very complicated system I'll explain another time) and I'm just waiting for the end of the summer holidays before I embark on that 'fun' task. It was a relief to know I would have at least one professional's backing, but on the other hand it did make me sad as really she was confirming what I already know; that Sasha will struggle in education without individual care and understanding. Sometimes I can hardly believe we are where we are - most parents have it so easy with school and their children, as indeed we did with Tamsin, and until you're faced with the difficulties you really have no idea what other people may be going through. And even saying that, I know we are still very lucky and our time will be nowhere near as difficult as what others have to go through, which makes me feel bad for feeling even a little bit down.
Thankfully in advance of the pain tomorrow we've had a lovely day; we went to see Dora make an appearance at a local shopping centre! It involved a bit of hanging around, and although the organisers were very helpful and did offer to let us not have to queue for so long, we managed to stick it out with Sasha not getting too upset (well OK we did go and buy her a Peppa Pig top while Daddy and Tamsin waited in the queue :) ) and it was all worth it when she saw Dora appear - she mouthed a very quiet 'wow'! So, as one of my favourite old mottos goes:
Life is queer with its twists and turns, as every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about, when he might have won had he stuck it out,
Don't give up though the pace seems slow, you might succeed with another blow.
And here ends this evenings lesson - I may quote the rest of that in weeks to come!