It’s such a weird term, “developmental leap” but it’s the only way I can describe what I witnessed in Jude this half term. Maybe leap isn’t quite the right word for Jude, bunny hop may be more apt BUT the key thing is, it’s in the right direction.
We had a really cool half term, compared to most others I can remember. Jude was pretty chilled out, happy, laughing, social, everything you’d hope for in your child’s time at home. Of course he had his moments. But actually, I can only remember one melt down (and it was a hefty one!) and even then it was only the once and Jude came out the other end remarkably quickly and in a positive.
I noticed a few changes in him this half term and it really made me feel proud. Firstly, we were able to go out every day – ok so most of the time the places we went were Jude determined but I’ll take that as a win. We weren’t stuck in the house for a whole week!
His favourite place to visit this half term was a shopping centre local to us because he loves the lifts. We went there pretty much every day bar maybe two days and ascended and descended in the lifts, inviting people to join us at every floor! Elsa cringed with embarrassment as her brother shrieked with absolute joy when people came into the same lift as us and she would usher Jude to the back of the lift and try to quieten him down. But if you’ve ever seen Jude at his happiest, you know there is nothing particularly subtle with his expression. He laughs, flaps his arms, waffles and chats to everyone and anyone when he’s in these moments of absolute joy. And on this particular day we went there with Elsa, he remarked to one of our fellow lift-riders “I like your shoes” which also made me laugh to myself. He asked people how they were getting home, if they were going to their car, if they had had lunch yet…pretty much any and all of his classic random questions that flood out of his mouth all at once.
But it’s a developmental leap! Jude actually went to the shops! I was able to try some jeans on whilst out with all three children (a remarkable achievement in itself), we went for a cup of tea and a gingerbread man in the cafe and all was happy happy.
Another thing that really struck me was Jude’s maturity at home and I can only honour this with his fantastic house staff at school. At bedtime he was so calm during the whole week. One night in particular was gorgeous and showed off a hugely social developmental leap for us. Jude, Elsa and I sat together on my bed and just chatted. I didn’t care what the time was because it was such a fantastic moment that I don’t think I’ve had with Jude before. We chatted and laughed and then went back to Jude’s bedroom and read a story. He loved it. His love of books seems to have been rekindled and it’s just amazing to share with him. He kept asking me to read stories and of course, I would have read to him all night if he wanted me to.
I met up with our Social Worker for a catch up and we reflected on his generally wonderful progress. Whilst she was over, I realised another thing that hasn’t happened for a long time with Jude. He now always has his bedroom door open. During his darker days (years), he would hide away in his room, have the door firmly shut at bedtime and also during the day whilst playing with his toys. Always shut. I don’t think he shut his door once this half term and even during the night, he wanted it partially open, I believe to maintain connection with the rest of the family. Maybe I’m reading too much into it but I see that as a real move forward. He doesn’t want to hide away anymore. He wants to be part of the commotion of the household.
It was a great half term, despite the fact I had to work through most of it 🙁 That sucked really as I didn’t feel I had a lot of quality time with the children but hey, you grab what you can, don’t you?
How was/is your half term? Have you recognised any development bunny hops or leaps recently?