Once again, things are looking up around here.
Lady and Thomas are outside, bouncing on the trampoline, playing with the guinea pigs, riding bikes and scooters and whatever else they may be up to. I was thinking of asking Lady to do some sitting-at-the-table type of work, but I think they're much better off enjoying the few remaining days of sunshine together. There'll be time enough for desk work when it's cold and miserable outside.
Duncan is sitting beside me, using his own computer to watch Thomas the Tank Engine videos on YouTube. We have only just started using this amazing resource. Yesterday I helped Lady to search for Harry Potter related videos (there are lots that are inappropriate/plain weird, and she's been told not to use the site unsupervised). We all enjoyed a Harry Potter spoof made for Comic Relief. Gordon spent a few hours last night sitting with a big grin, watching videos by some of the electronic music artists he enjoyed as a youth; YMO, Thomas Dolby, Human League, Kraftwerk, that kind of thing.
Yesterday, Lady alerted us to a bit of a nature battle played out by our back door. A wasp and a spider were tussling on a web; the spider won and we were able to watch it wrap the (still live) wasp in silk, then haul it up to a corner (its larder) and leave it to dangle. It was a fascinating sight I'd never witnessed first hand before.
Thomas had a great discussion also about when he was a baby and how he's getting bigger and then he told me about how he was 1, then he was 2, then he was 3.......all the way up to 100 (though he skipped the 80's; 79 straight to 90!) then at 100 he will die and I will get a new boy. He asked me where he came from, so I told him, the he asked how he got out, so I told him. He just said 'ohh', and went to the next issue. He suddenly realised that I am not 100 yet so I must be growing too. I told him that I stopped getting bigger when I became an adult. He said that if I was still growing I'd be a giant and I'd have to sleep in the Giants Causeway!
We've also been having a few big conversations about our plans for the children in the coming year. Gordon still worries about Lady's education in case she has fallen behind her schooled peers. I have greater expectations from her now; she's older, much more mature and interested in learning about the world, loves to read and just needs some more structure and dedicated time to work. I am aware of things like the National Curriculum guidelines, but mostly I compare her against herself and track the progress she makes in her own development.
We also talked about Duncan. He has been having lots of outbursts, shouting and crying to get what he wants. We talked about how his disability affects him, as that's all that matters when looking at an individual. (Autiemom has a great post about these issues here.) His difficulties are all due to his very limited communication ability. We need to find more ways of helping him communicate without his feeling the need to shout/squeeze my arm/cry quite so much. I try to help him to label his emotions, so as not to deny him the right to feel and express different things, but to be able to show it in more suitable ways. I am learning all the time, and have a long way to go.