Purple Patch


An overly elaborate or effusive piece of writing. Also, a period of notable success or good luck.


Buckle your seatbelts, you might just be about to get both. I probably should be stepping away from the keyboard, because rather like Fight Club, the first rule of the Purple Patch is you should never speak of the Purple Patch. But I’m hedging my bets and assuming that because Rufus is unable to read, he’ll never know, and he can’t get his spanner in to mess with the cogs. Although adversely his Purple Patch has me looking at him in a whole different light.

But for whatever reason (school? weight gain? period of good health- touches wood throws salt over shoulder-?) RD is coming into his own a bit. His glacial development has suddenly hit a nice free run, and he’s making great strides. Well OK, before you get worried, MENSA are hardly quaking in their boots. But Google Earth has picked up a swelling of pride in the Manchester area.

Physically, his back is straightening up. Did I notice when Dulcie changed from sitting like a sleepy hedgehog to unfurling her back, each vertebrae aligning properly? No, because she probably didn’t, she entered the world with a cartwheel and a squeal and no issues with her tonia (sic). But that’s what makes having a child taking the world at his own pace so rewarding, everything is broken down into this minutae. Just when fears of back problems start to creep in, RD gets frustrated and works harder and harder, and then nails it. It may cause some family members to start singing “Sitting on the top of the pouffe” to the tune of “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay” (naming no names), but we can take the rough with the smooth.


Rufus’s hand use has always been something of an enigma. He could pass from hand to hand at the right age. And whilst it is most definitely and firmly still delayed, his ability to manipulate and explore using his hands is something he should have on his CV. Possibly a side effect of skipping the mouthing of objects that most children spend months delighting in, and using their mouths to bring you your slippers (just Dulcie?), but he loves a good fiddle. But he’s had two problems- one, his eyes dost deceive him, and two, his fingers appear to be part wet noodle. But now, now he can isolate a button, curl his fingers into a fist, point out his index finger and press it. So a career in data entry it is. This is actually huge, excuse me whilst I effuse here, but I think of it like snow and snowflakes. Rufus’s development is like a slow and steady fluttering of snowflakes, we’re back to the glacial thing aren’t we? Can you tell I’m feeling the cold?


But part of this button pressing is not just jabbing, jabbing, jabbing. I wish this would apply to nappy changes, but you can’t have it all. He understands action response, he listens and waits. He’s also posting (postie can be his afternoon job). When you really think about it, choosing and gripping an object, guiding it to the right place and then releasing it, when you are fighting against a body that doesn’t respond so well to what your mind is telling it, well, are you with me on the excitement bus? Rufus is trying to develop whilst pushing water uphill with a rake.

I’m saving the sweetest thing until last, and this is quite the knickerbocker glory. The one thing that has always tried to break me with bringing up my boy is his inability to look me in the eye. To connect with me. Bundled up in sensory issues, it meant once he learnt to push me away, cuddles were off the cards. He wished we would all naff off really, especially if we keep insisting on getting up in his space. I was unable to comfort him when distressed, in fact, touch could send him all the way to Bat Shit in a split second. But now, all of a sudden, cuddles are where it’s at. And those new finger skills? I’ll use them to trace your facial features as if you’re Lionel Richie in “Hello”. It might not be the freakish eye contact that reminds me of those little dinosaurs in Jurassic Park just before they eat Wayne Knight alive that Dulcie does, but it’s a connection. It says “you’re alright, you are. Quite like you actually. Not as much as your phone, but gies us a hug.” And if there happens to be a mamamama simultaneously, well, I’m worried about spontaneous combustion.



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