We’ve had some interesting conversations with Holly over the past few days which are different to conversations that we’ve had before. The first one happened on Saturday afternoon. We’d put some Disney clips on the tele and one of them was from Dumbo. The clip that they were showing was of Dumbo and his mum being separated and the image was their trunks intertwined and then losing grip as the truck containing his mother drove away. Holly asked what was happening and David explained that Dumbo had been teased for being different and his mother had been protecting him. There had been a bit of a mix up and the two of them were being separated but that they got back together in the end.
There was a moment or two when Holly mulled it over in her head then with a theatrical gasp she put her hand over her mouth and raced out of the room sobbing. She returned moments later clutching most of her cuddly toys, crying inconsolably. In the end she managed to catch her breath enough to explain that the film clip had made her think about being apart from Oscar and that she wanted him with her now. That was just enough to shatter our hearts for the day. We’d not seen that reaction from Holly before, ever. Of course Oscar is a part of our lives every day and when Holly talks about him it’s sometimes about her happy memories and other times about sad feelings but this was the first time that a random trigger had caused such a response. This feeling of loss that she got out of the blue is exactly the same for Holly as it is for us. You couldn’t underestimate how deeply she ‘gets it’. The difference with Holly, and as we understand it other children of her age, is that they are able to put their feelings into boxes better than we are. So once she’d told us how she felt she was ‘fixable’ with an episode of her current favourite TV programme.
The next conversation happened on Sunday morning as we were about to leave the house. Holly was full of beans and ready to head out and was just putting her shoes on by herself at the bottom of the stairs. Suddenly we heard sobbing and she explained that she had been thinking about the elephant’s mummy and that she wanted Oscar back.
Then this morning at work she called to say Hi as I had left the house before she woke. The conversation went along these lines… general chat about what she was going to be doing with her Daddy today and then:
Holly: How’s bump Mummy?
Me: He’s fine thanks Holly, having a bit of a wiggle.
Holly: Has he made a hole yet? <she is visualising the baby hatching out of an egg, hence her question>
Me: No Hols. He’s got a lot more growing to do before he is born. We’re not going to meet him until sometime in May.
Holly: <brightly> Oh! That’s a similar date to your birthday Mummy
Me: Yes, that’s true
Holly: So <thinking a bit> I will be the oldest child in our family. Oscar will be the toddler in the family, and Bump will be taller than me when he grows up if he doesn’t die <she says this because she knows boys often grow taller than girls>.
Me: <gulp> Well yes Holly, although it’s really unlikely that Bump will die. Oscar was just a very unlucky boy.