‘It’s very quiet in the car today.’ means ‘Please can we have the music on?’
‘It says spaghetti bolognese on the picture.’ means ‘Is it spaghetti or is it twirly pasta?’
‘I’m a bit hot.’ means ‘Please could I have a drink?’
‘It’s nice and warm in the garden today.’ means ‘Please can we have an ice lolly.’
‘This sandwich is still big.’ means ‘Please can you cut it up for me?’
‘It says we’re going swimming on the picture.’ means ‘Are we going to the big pool or the little pool?’
‘It’s Friday today.’ means ‘Are we having Friday sweets?’
‘I like the park.’ means ‘Can we go to the park?’
‘It’s Tuesday today.’ means ‘I am wearing trousers for school?’
‘We played in the paddling pool yesterday.’ means ‘Can we play in the paddling pool today?’
‘Little’s not in the bedroom.’ means ‘Where’s Little?’
‘This story looks nice.’ means ‘Please can we read this tonight/just now?’
‘It’s hot in the car.’ means ‘Can I put the window down?’
Big never asks a question. Everything that she needs is asked for by making statements. I understand it. It’s scary to ask a question because the answer might be no. It’s scary to ask a question because that sometimes leads to people asking you things back. It’s scary to ask a question because the answer could mean that you’re no longer in control. It’s scary to ask a question because it might reveal something about you and you’re not ready for that yet. It’s scary to ask a question because it involves trusting that the person will be able to do the things you’re asking for.
Most of the time I’m tuned into this and I can interpret what she needs. Most of the time I preempt things and try to have whatever she needs waiting to try to reassure that they will be here. Lots of times I can be found with my head in the cup cupboard muttering ‘just ask for a drink, how hard can it be to just ask for a drink’, and very occasionally I can be heard shouting, ‘Just ask! I have no idea what it is you need/want, you’re going to have to ask.’
Because I wish she could ask. I wish she could, like Little, just go and get what she needs (Little often checks after the event if she’s actually allowed to get what she’s got but that’s a different story.) I wish she could trust that I will do the things she needs me to do. I wish that I didn’t have to play detective quite so often. I wish she could ask.
The best bits
Both the girls did a sponsored bike ride at school today. This meant different clothes, taking their bikes to school, riding their bikes at school, seeing each other at school. They did really well. I did mention that the girls are more sprinters than peloton riders and it seemed they were put in positions that meant they didn’t have to ride with the group!
Little and I have been in the garden a lot this week. She is wonderful company. ‘I like helping you mummy. Is this one a weed?’ ‘I’ll go and get my wheelbarrow to move all this mess mummy. Wait there!’