Friday, 25 October 2013

There's A Kind of Hush....

A strange calm and pleasantness has wafted in through the windows and doors and is making its presence known in our house at the moment.  I hesitate to use the word "settle" because it's too early to even dare to think that it might last.   But what is the source of this calm?

Katie is behaving herself.

Not just behaving herself, she is almost sweetness personified at the moment.  She is listening and responding politely and seems calmer in herself.  After months and months of rudeness and tantrums and belligerence and temper tantrums it is a relief that is almost beyond words to have this respite.  Other than a 2 day blip around Pip's birthday when we experienced a massive regression we have had nearly 2 weeks of calm. It's like the breath of fresh air you feel in springtime; the smell of damp earth after a rain shower.  It's really rather lovely.  Katie is a joy to have around. She is drawing and writing a lot and is responsive to being asked to do things.  She is noticeably stopping herself from being rude and apologising when she is.

So what is behind this sudden change of mood?  I wish I knew for certain.  One thing I The Borg; parenting techniques work for a period of time until the child has assimilated the information then they alter their entire DNA so that that parenting technique is no longer effective and a new technique is required.  It could be
have learned is that children and parenting techniques are like
a combination of parenting techniques or, as my SW said, it could just be that Katie has decided to try behaving nicely for a change. 

There are a few contenders as to the change though:

1. Katie is quite simply feeling happier in herself. She is accepting that Pip is here to stay and is feeling more settled about life in general.  She is starting to play and interact with him more and is not pushing for as much attention, seemingly happier with the attention I am giving her.  A friend has been saying for a while that things would improve in Year 1.  Maybe she was right.

2. Katie has realised that nice things happen when her behaviour is nice e.g. her reward (nearly 2 weeks ago) for not having a single tantrum all day was to come and see a dance show with me.  This was a treat in itself (particularly after her recent behaviour) but it was also in the early evening so it meant she got to go to bed late.  She was beyond excited and still thinks I'm the coolest Mum EVER when she said  

"I can't believe you're letting me have ice-cream 
in the middle of the night!" 
(it was about 7.30pm at that point).  

In fact her behaviour has improved significantly since that day.

3. TCM and I are on the same page regarding managing her temper tantrums.  We have been watching The Three Day Nanny together and picking up techniques.  When Katie has a temper tantrum she is removed immediately to her bedroom where she is allowed to be angry and express her anger and can spend some time to calm herself down.  Once the tantrum has subsided she is able to come back down.  We do not have repercussions for the tantrum but Katie has to clear up any mess she has made as a result of her tantrum.  We have stuck to this religiously; carrying her up the stairs mid tantrum on several occasions (which isn't doing my back any favours I can tell you).  We've not had to do this in a week now though.  In fact her last tantrum *fingers crossed* was this time last week.  Having said that there are no repercussions I will just say that last week Katie was not allowed to go to gymnastics because she had about 6 tantrums after school. I was concerned she was really tired so said to her that she wouldn't be allowed to go to gymnastics if she didn't calm herself down.  She didn't think I would stick to my threat, but I did, which brought about another tantrum and an early night but she has been a lot better since. 


4. I am giving her lots of Reiki at bedtime. Not every bedtime, but quite a lot.  loves having Reiki.  In fact she told me, whilst stretching out luxuriously like a cat,
She

"Mummy, this is the life! This is better than ham sandwiches".  

So there you have it. Reiki is better than ham sandwiches!

5. We are writing on each other with our fingers at bedtime.  Every night I write her a message on her back and then have to tell her what I've written.  Sometimes I write that she "is the most beautiful girl in the world"; sometimes it's "thank you for behaving so nicely today, it has made me very happy".  It always incorporates the words "I love you".  She then writes me a message on my hand.  It's a lovely way to end the day and I like to think that the messages I write are sinking into her body and being absorbed.


6. Katie helped me open a package from Amazon which happened to be the book "Why can't my child behave?" by Amber Elliot.  She asked me what the book was so I told
her it was a book that was going to help me understand why she was behaving so angrily and teach me some new ways to help her with her behaviour.  Maybe she was worried that this book might teach me scary ways of making her behave so she's decided not to take the risk I might use it?

7. Katie won "Star Pupil" at dancing last Saturday.  This was something she didn't want to win (she said).  She has been practising her spins and finally managed to do them.  For a girl with difficulty with coordination this is a really big deal.  She didn't want the teacher to know this (I am wondering why this is I must say) in case she won Star Pupil.  I had a quiet word with the teacher before the class and explained that Katie had really been practising the spins but didn't want her to know that she could do them as she was feeling shy and asked her to orchestrate Katie doing the spins in class, rather than going off with the girl who helps the teacher for additional help.  Katie's teacher gave me a huge thumbs up when Katie did the spins in the class (nice and subtle!) and then awarded her with Star Pupil at the end of the class.  Katie was actually made up that she won but shy about telling Daddy.

8. Katie has been doing two individual programmes at school to help with her reading and also with her emotional development.  She really enjoys doing them and loves getting the rabbit out of the cupboard on a Monday to do Ginger Bear.  I wonder if this is having a positive knock-on effect?

So there are 8 contenders as to this current turn around.  I suspect that it's a combination of all 8 that is the source of the magic.  All I can say at the moment is that it is lovely having some respite.  The really nice thing is that because Katie is behaving more nicely, I am feeling calmer so therefore my parenting is calmer which brings about a calmer reaction in Katie.  It's all interlinked.

I think adoptive parents feel under enormous pressure when it comes to parenting techniques.  There are many differing views about how you should parent (aren't there always?) and I think generally adoptive parents feel a lot more anxiety about finding therapeutic techniques that will help their children behave well but also heal the damage that their child has experienced.  This is a big ask.  I think our aim has to be to enable our child to live in this world with the tools they need to heal themselves throughout their lives.  How our children feel and respond to their experiences will fluctuate throughout their lives. I know I'm still dealing with experiences from my own childhood many, many years on.  It isn't as easy to do as it is to say however.  So many of our children have experienced things that no-one should ever experience and their behaviour reflects those experiences and emotions.  There isn't often an easy fix so we seek out people who have developed ways of parenting specifically for children who need a different sort of parenting from your average parenting expert - that's not to say that we can't still find methods from more mainstream parenting manuals.  It's about finding what works for our children.

Having said all that, as I've highlighted above, sometimes we have no idea what works or what is working, or why a behaviour pattern has suddenly changed.  I do know that I'm going to enjoy our current calm and my wonderfully behaved daughter.

I'm going to enjoy every single minute of it and hum one of my favourite songs by The Carpenters......








Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Birthday Boy!


I have to admit that I can't quite believe that Pip is now 1 years old.  Where have the past 5 months gone?  When he first came home being 1 was a marker that seemed so far in the distance and yet it has come and gone with the speed and fluidity that time seems to bring these days.  Being 1 means the end of formula milk and bottles and is the start of becoming a toddler.  Pip's face is starting to change now his teeth are coming through and his weight is streamlining. He almost doesn't resemble the boy we met five months ago. People are quite surprised when they see him.

We have had two celebrations for his birthday (as is often the case in our house). I seem to remember Katie having three last year!  On his actual birthday we were incredibly lucky that the teachers strike meant that Katie had the day off school so we were able to spend the day together.  We had a quiet morning at home eating croissants for breakfast; playing with his new toys and having a snooze and went to a big soft play area in the afternoon followed by dinner at our local Prezzo.  It was a lovely low-key morning in many ways although Katie felt quite bored by the lack of action (conversely lack of action is something that I find quite attractive these days!!).  Pip enjoyed playing with his new baby laptop and retro phone.  Katie has already pinched his pull-along dog however and I have a suspicion she has hidden it in her room! Both children enjoyed spending some time on their respective swings in the garden as Katie's present was a slip on baby swing for the Plum swing set we already have.

It wasn't quite the serene and fun day that the previous paragraph suggests however.  Katie regressed so far backwards on Pip's birthday that I was surprised she didn't want nappies and a bottle! she spent most of the day talking like a baby and generally being a bit of a pain and behaving very naughtily.  I totally understand the psychology but it doesn't make it any easier to manage at the time.  Pip was full of cold and pretty fed up by dinner time so between them it wasn't a pleasurable dinner (which was a shame because I'd been really looking forward to my yummy Fiorentino Gluten-Free Pizza!).  We did have a lovely time at soft play though. Pip particularly enjoyed the big slide and was even happy to crawl all the way up the steps to the top once he realised the big treat that awaited him there and enjoyed holding mine and Katie's hands as we slid down.  He also loved the ball pit, scaring the life out of me the first time when he crawled up the steps and dived headfirst into the pit as I was removing my boots.  He also really enjoyed following Katie around, who was attempting to play with the bigger children, chasing after her with a big smile on his little face.  My sister and nephew arrived for the last hour and Pip had great fun in the ball pit with his adored Auntie BB. 

The second part of Pip's birthday was on Saturday when we had a birthday party for him.  We tried to keep the party relatively small but our house seemed very full of children on the day.  We had one of those "organised chaos" parties that seemed crazy at the time but everyone really enjoyed themselves.  We played pass-the-parcel; musical bumps and statues; and pump the Pumpaloons and Katie helped Pip play his first ever birthday games.  I gave out so many sweets and chocolates to everyone that I am sure they are all still high as kites!  Pip's Foster Carer and her children came and joined in the celebrations.  Katie was delighted to see them, as was I, but Pip has now pretty much forgotten them really.  I think he was having a hint of deja-vu and trying to work out why they seemed familiar.  I really felt for his FC's daughter who was desperate for cuddles but Pip is quite clingy to Mummy these days and didn't want to go to anyone else for quite some time.  He did relax once the party was in full swing though and, like a good host, crawled his way around everyone for cuddles and playtime.  It was a lovely day and it was really lovely to be able to celebrate some firsts.  Firsts are something that adopters don't always get to have with their children and it's been lovely having lots of firsts with Pip.  First word (sort of), first tooth, first steps (still waiting for that one!), first birthday.  Those memories are so lovely to have and I treasure every single one.

One of the highlights for me (and my waistline) was the wonderful birthday cake made
by my fabulous friend.  Pip adores watching Mr Bloom so I asked her to make him a Mr Bloom cake.  I've only photographed the veggies here for the photo due to security but you can see how brilliant the cake was.....Pip and I are still polishing it off!

So my big boy is 1 now.  We have switched him fully to normal cow's milk and, due to TCM not listening to me properly on Sunday night and bringing a cup of bedtime milk instead of his bottle, the bottles have also sailed off into the distance, the steriliser has been packed away waiting to be sold.  I still get my night-night cuddles with the cup of milk though so my grief isn't too intense and I'm glad the decision was taken out of my hands because I was resisting ever so slightly.  I never got to feed Katie a bottle and I didn't ever realise how powerful it feels to feed a baby every night.  To snuggle them into your body and listen to the happy, slurpy, sounds they make when feeding.  To gaze into their eyes and feel the bond growing so intensely.  The slight whistle of the bottle as they suck furiously.  I will miss it, I won't lie but I have to let Pip move on to the next stage in his life.  I now have to concentrate on building up to taking the dummy away from him at bedtime.  I'll give him a week or two to get over the loss of the bottles though!

So Happy Birthday to my beautiful baby boy.  Your sunny smile has lit up my world and your presence in my life has brought so much happiness with it. Don't be in too much of a hurry to grow up though as I rather like where we are just at the moment, even the new temper tantrums when I'm changing your nappy or doing anything you don't want me to do.......

........have you been taking notes from your lovely sister I wonder?





Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Leap of Faith



When we were first matched with Katie we were asked if we would also adopt her  baby brother, Kip, once he was freed for adoption.  We agreed to this but confusion remained as to his paternity because BM wasn't forthcoming with information and this delayed things moving forward.  I made a suggestion to our LA as to how they might find his BF based on the little information they had and this proved fruitful and BF was located.  A DNA test proved he was the father and he fought and won the custody of his son and we adopted Katie on her own.  The only drawback was that the LA were concerned that we only lived about 4 miles apart.  They live in our local shopping town which means that the children could easily end up at the same secondary school in the future.


We were keen for the children to know each other so last year we met up with with Kip's father to discuss starting contact between the children.  I liked him immediately.  He is very young and has had a lot go on in his life and he admits he's made some bad decisions in his past (who hasn't?) but there was something about him that I trusted.  It's hard to explain that feeling but it was a very strong feeling in me.  The love he has for Kip shone from his eyes and was clear in his words. For the first time I felt happy that Kip was exactly where he was supposed to be.  During this meeting Kip's father told us that the children's BM was pregnant again and this is how we first found out about Pip.

During the meeting we all agreed that face to face contact between Katie and Kip would be in their interests and our mutual SW was going to set that up for us.  Unfortunately due to one thing and another this didn't happen and it has taken until now to set everything back in motion again.

Two weeks ago TCM and I met up with Kip's father for a coffee and a chat.  We took
Pip with us (mostly because we still can't leave him with anyone who isn't CRB checked).  It was nice to see him again and I felt that feeling of everything being OK once again.  TCM could only stay for a while so I stayed after he left and chatted for the best part of the morning.  We showed each other photos of the children.  We chatted about our lives and families and generally got to know each other a bit.  We talked about confidentiality and also about the amount of contact that he has with BM.  The fact that they are in contact bothers me, I won't lie, but it's a part of their court agreement that they have each others telephone number.  BM doesn't know where he lives and he wants to keep it that way.  Phone contact can be once a year or she may phone three times in a week, it depends on how she is feeling and her lifestyle at the time.  He has tried to help her from time to time but this has not brought any additional physical contact other than once.  He was so open and self reflective that it was easy to feel that he has the maturity to take all this on.  He admitted to me that this isn't how he planned to become a father and that there were so many unknowns that it worried him a lot.  He, like us, is concerned about how many more siblings will be born and where they might end up.  Family is very important to him, so much so that he contacted the LA to ask to adopt Pip as well.

We arranged to get the children together on Sunday at a soft play park just far enough away to prevent us bumping into lots of people we all knew.

As the day approached I felt excited and nervous.  This is a life changing event for Katie and Pip and Kip. A real leap of faith.  Once we start down this road, we cannot turn back.  We live so close to each other that it makes sense but it also means that it wouldn't be the usual adopter once or twice a year sort of contact. This would be regular.  It would pretty much mean adopting them into our family as well and that scares the hell out of me after protecting the children's anonymity so vociferously for so long.  We were clear about what starting contact meant.  We wouldn't just be able to disappear back into our normal lives once this door opened and we were taking a real risk with our lives and that of our children.

We arrived first on Sunday and Katie and Pip played for a while before they arrived.  I saw Kip and his dad and waved to them as they paid to come in.  Kip walked straight over to me and said "Hello, where's Katie and the baby?"  Just like that he walked into our lives, this little boy who was almost ours and looks the image of my nephew.

I took Kip to meet Pip and then to meet Katie.  Katie was playing with some other girls her age by this time so wasn't quite so keen to play with Kip.  You could see she was torn so it was a little difficult for the first hour or so to get her to stay and play with him.  This understandably upset him a bit but we all thought it was best not to rush them and to let them spend time together when they were ready.  By lunchtime they were sitting together and chatting.  We gave Kip the present we had brought him and Kip's father gave Katie and Pip a present each.  It's Pip's first birthday tomorrow so he had brought him a birthday present.  All three children were born within three weeks of each other so we agreed it would be nice to meet over half term and have a birthday get together for them all.


Kip really wanted a picture of them all together but Katie point blanked refused.  Can I admit that there was a little bit of me that was glad?  A little bit of me that was happy that nothing was permanent just yet?  That issue of security is a niggle I won't lie.  I have this secret fear that it's all just a ploy to get the children but at the same time I don't really believe that at all.  He has as much to lose as us so why would be compromise us?  Katie very cleverly told him where we live after it transpired that Kip's father went to the same school that she is now at, and the same one she will attend from Year 3.  Katie then went on to tell him how close to that school we live and the markers to find our house (she's heard me say them so many times when giving directions to our house).  I wanted to scream "Stop" but how could I? I already know where here lives.  He's already put himself out there to me.  How could I not allow him this information?  I wasn't going to just yet though and it did mean I had another conversation with him about security.  I hate having to hand control of information over to someone else.  There is no love lost between him and BM so why would he share the information?  I just reminded him that this confidentiality agreement was a lifelong agreement for the safety of the children and that, if the time came when they wanted to meet BM, we would help facilitate that.  I'm going to hold onto my instincts and how much I like him and hope that my instincts are good.

As for Kip? Well he is just lovely.  Such a gorgeous little man that he would be so easy to let in and love.  I'm looking forward to spending time with him and getting to know him better.  He deserves his family around him as much as my two do - how could we deny them each other?

So toes have been dipped into the water and a leap of faith made.

I tell you, this adoption lark does take you to places that you never thought you would ever be.







Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Hand, Foot and Mouth



Since Pip joined us the boy and I have kept ourselves to ourselves quite a lot.  This isn't really by design but due to the fact that the little man naps in the morning, thus scuppering our social life. By the time he wakes up it's lunch time and then it's almost time to do the school run again.  We have seen some friends but it's occasional rather than regular.

I've been feeling a bit guilty that Pip isn't spending enough time with other children his age though and as he approaches his first birthday I decided it was about time that we both got out of the house a bit more and did some baby stuff so we've been to our local soft play and also a special soft play for under 3's run by our local leisure centre.  I'm more confident about moving nap-time around these days and Pip can handle pushing his morning nap back by an hour or so now he's that bit older. 

It's nice to go back to this particular soft play because it brings back memories of taking Katie when we first went and the children can play relatively safely with minimal parental initiative (which some days is a real blessing!).  What I didn't think about though was the viral risks lurking in these places that will jump on a baby's immune system and I'm in the middle of a bit of a rude awakening on that one because Pip has contracted Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD).

I'm lucky, in some ways, being an older mum whose friends have already raised their children because I've picked up things along the way, through hours of feigning interest in their children's illnesses and symptoms during our infertility years. I'm armed with this bank of information that I seem to have absorbed by osmosis.

On Friday Pip was really ill.  Really, really ill.  Temperature over 102 degrees sort of ill.  The sort of ill when they just want to lay on you and sleep and can barely open their eyes.  It's lovely that they want to sleep on you and you can get some amazing cuddles and snuggles but it's horrible that it comes at the price of them being ill.  Pip was so hot that it was like having a hot water bottle laying on me.  I was pretty calm about it all though.  I alternated between Calpol and baby Nurofen (taking care to read the administration guidelines of course) and had success in bringing his temperature down.  He seemed to have a sore throat but it appeared to only effect him eating acidic fruits and he was fine with cereals and lasagne.  I did phone the GP though for a chat about when I might need to take Pip to the doctors.  The doctor went through the checklist of symptoms to worry about and we both felt happy that Pip was doing as well as he could be at the time and we didn't want to make him trek to the GP unnecessarily.

After a fitful night Friday night which resulted in Pip leaking the most amount of
mucus I have ever seen in my entire life (my hair was sodden after cuddling him.......it was gross!) we awoke on Saturday morning to a very different looking Pip.  His mouth was covered in angry red spots.  A little light bulb sprang on in my mind and I quickly checked his hands for clarification.....yes there were little blisters on his hands.  Hmmmm I think this might be HFMD I said to TCM.  I couldn't see anything on his feet though.

Being a modern mum and embracing all technology (and being a A full list of symptoms listed by the NHS can be found here. After reading through the symptoms I realised that Pip didn't have a sore throat but lots of ulcers in his mouth.  This would explain the issue around acidity. Poor little Pip. He was feeling really rotten.  Of course on a purely selfish front this would have to happen on the one weekend that I had finally booked to see a girlfriend for a day out and TCM and I were going out for dinner!  Our first dinner out alone in over a year and the first since a farewell to freedom with friends in February!  All plans cancelled of course.
dab hand at self-diagnosis) I jumped onto Google and asked it to show me information and pictures of HFMD and all the other spotty viruses and bugs that children can contract. 

Pip slept a lot of the weekend and coped amazingly well with Calpol and cuddles but by Monday I was concerned about a post-viral rash that had also appeared all over his body and I wanted him checked over by the GP.  The GP confirmed my diagnosis of HFMD and noted that the spots on his face were becoming infected and his poor little nose getting crusty so prescribed some yummy antibiotics for Pip (we are noticing an improvement already - although his nappies are like something that an alien might create!).  I am also covering him in Epiderm to counteract the fact that his skin will feel awful when the rash dries up and putting some Aloe Vera on his facial spots to aid the healing.  He slept much better last night and only woke up around 11pm for around an hour.  He even greeted me with a smile this morning although that soon vanished when he realised he was going to get his dose of antibiotics.

Giving a child antibiotics is tough at the best of times.  They taste foul (however much they try and flavour them) and the type that Pip is on can't be mixed with yoghurt etc to mask the flavour plus they have to be given on an empty stomach.  I can mix a little orange juice into the syringe though and this is helping make it taste more palatable.

Obviously we are in quarantine at the moment, not wanting to pass this onto anyone, and washing our hands a lot!.  Hopefully we'll be back at soft play next week and I will await the next bug that he catches (of course Katie is bringing them home from school as well!).





Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Ups and Downs and New Additions.......


The Autumn term is progressing and Katie is starting to settle into Year 1 and the change of class, and class mates.  It's not been an easy transition so far. She's said she doesn't want to go to school for the first time ever and is definitely still out of sorts.  All the girls seem to be missing their friendships and cling to each other like a rash after school.

Boots very kindly sent me a care package to accompany their Back to School wall chart which has helped mend some of the school scrapes and bumps that have already provided many after school highlights (Katie is still regrowing the skin on one of her knees).  Sadly the pack didn't have an emergency spare baby tooth after Katie finally lost a wobbly tooth at school.  The tooth had been wobbly since February and it's been quite the event for far too long in this house.  She finally reached the "I look like Nanny McPhee" stage and we knew that lift off would be imminent.  Lots of twisting and turning proved futile.  It was a lovely apple that finally did the deed and Katie came out from school clutching the smallest envelope you ever did see containing the tooth.  She opened the envelope in the playground to
show me and her best friend.  Seeing the eventual outcome I suggested we put the tooth back into the tiny little envelope.  I ended up helping and (you know where this is heading don't you?) I managed to put the tooth halfway into the tiny little envelope before it pinged up into the air.....never to be seen again (despite lots of frantic searching at the main gateway to the school at school rush hour time).  We wrote a letter to the Toofth Fairy explaining this turn of events and she kindly still delivered Katie's cash with a little note to say that she had in fact found the tooth.

We have some new developments for Katie at school as a result of conversations and events at the end of her Reception Year.  She has started doing a programme called "Sydney" which is aimed at children who are struggling more with their letters and reading.  Interestingly Katie isn't really struggling with her letters very much and her number comprehension took a big jump over the summer holidays, probably in part to me and TCM thinking more about bringing numbers into our daily lives.  She is resistant to doing her reading after school though stating that she "has done guided reading already today Mummy" and we are still trying to find a rhythm to the week's reading and homework requirements alongside activities such as swimming; dancing and gymnastics.  Tired children after school do not good homework companions make.  Add Pip to the mix. He is crawling and trying to toddle everywhere and unpack anything and everything he can get his little hands on and it's hard to sit down and read quietly together.  We're making slow progress though. It's definitely a work in progress but we're getting better at it.

The other thing that she has started at school is something called "Ginger Bear" and it is a one-to-one programme aimed at emotional literacy.  This is the result of a conversation I had with the Deputy Head regarding my concerns for Katie's emotional regression when Pip arrived.  This issue is still ongoing with Katie no longer using the word "I" and referring to herself as "Katie" all the time.  We're trying to go along with it all and let things ride as much as possible but I'm hoping that Ginger will help with some of the emotional issues (including the mahooosive meltdowns) and generally recognising other people's emotions as well.

A recent comment here on the blog set me thinking about some of the issues I have with Katie's behaviour and my expectations and I realised that, whilst I don't parent in the aggressive way that I was parented, I do have high expectations of Katie's behaviour that are similar to those expected of me as a child and are maybe unrealistic in the current climate so I've done a lot of soul searching and revisiting my childhood and realised that this is something I need to pull back on.  It's hard to remember that Katie is emotionally around 3 years old at the moment when she is tall for her age and seems very confident but I am adjusting my expectations and trying to let a lot more slide.  I won't pretend I'm finding that easy though.  I'm turning my back a lot!

One event that has (so far) surprised me is the new addition of Ed, our little Somali
kitten.  Ed is the most laid back little thing you ever did see and actually likes to lay on laps much to Katie's (and my) delight!  this should hopefully alleviate the issue we've had with Katie chasing Willow around the house for a huggle.  If Ed is happy to sit and cuddle we might be onto a winner.  He sat beautifully with Katie last night and Katie sat still.  Really still.  I don't remember the last time I saw her sat that still.

Might Ed turn out to be a blessing in disguise I wonder?

Watch this space!