Saturday, 17 April 2010
Our week in Somerset
Waif's engineering course started on Tuesday at 11am and was scheduled to finish at a similar time on the Friday. She phoned me on the Thursday morning to ask if I could pick her up that day as she was exhausted. Whilst I don't approve of bailing out of commitments half way through, this seemed like a good idea on all sorts of levels - it gave me a chance to ensure she ate on the Thursday night, and we were in any case driving nearly past her course venue on our way to Somerset so, trivially, it saved me a 5 hour round drive on the Friday. This in turn meant that Waif was able to spend all day Friday at Longleat with her cousins.
Waif said she had had a good time on her course but that they had kept the children up very late (to keep them out of trouble, no doubt); they had not returned from bowling until 11.30pm and were due at breakfast the next morning at 7.30am. The next night was DVD night and again it went on late and had no opt out to go to bed. She looked thinner to both my husband and me when we picked her up after the 48 hours so I suspect she had not eaten much. which would magnify the tiring effect of not enough sleep.
Waif had been roomed next to 2 girls from her old school. To be friendly, I guess, but Waif told me that one of the girls was a bully. I suspect there is stuff about her old school that she still hasn't told me....it is since she left that she has gradually begun to get better. Still, she survived.
Somerset was wonderful - the sun shone for the whole time and the weather was warm on our first 3 days there. We visited 3 National Trust properties, went on a family walk, went to Longleat for the day, played over competitive board games well into the nights and the girls went on two horse rides. Waif consistently won both Cluedo (where she is methodical at recording all information and permutations) and Pictionary (where she is quick and clear in drawing). That was nice for her although possibly not as good for her friend who is a lovely girl but not as quick or confident.
On the last night, we lit the log fire. Older Daughter claimed it was only the third time in her life she had seen a real fire. Ooops, we are very London parents where log and coal fires are illegal.
Confession time: H and I messed up big time. When the psych suggested that Waif keep a food diary over the hols, Waif had the ab dabs saying that she didn't want her friend and relatives to know. I said that we would keep it private and do it in our bedroom. I am not sure I fully made this clear to H.
On the first breakfast in Somerset, feeling relaxed and amongst friends, H started quizzing Waif on her food intake and writing in her food diary in front of everyone.
Waif was mortified and ran away in tears. She took a long time to recover. I am not sure whether or not it was helpful for me to point out to her that others only had to look at her to know that she had an eating disorder and that it would be no surprise to any of them. I decided it was a subtle(ish) way of making it plain to her that she does not look good so thin (she doesn't) and that other people point at her and are shocked by her appearance in the same way that she was shocked by another over thin girl in the waiting room at The Maudsley. Poor thing, though, we also apologised a lot.......we messed up utterly on that front.
On one beautiful morning, H and I decided to walk Cheddar Gorge.
This involved 3 steep climbs and over 3 hours of walking. Waif and friend were game to come, OD and her friend was to stay home to revise. That was fine by us but we said Waif had to eat extra for breakfast. She refused and so didn't come......there was a bit of a stand off as H wanted her to eat a waffle (185 calories in one go) in addition to her usual breakfast and Waif said she didn't like waffles. I would have compromised at this point and said that she could choose what she wanted as long as it had at least as many calories as the waffle. H doesn't compromise. Perhaps this is where he is showing tougher love than I can. Actually, having done it, I realise that the walk would have been too far for her so it worked out well in the end that she stayed home and played in the gardens.
Her grandparents, who were staying with us for the second half of the holiday went out for the day as H and I were not to be around. Sigh, I did say to them that the girls would be home (a kind of hint that they could spend some time together) and my mother-in-law took it the wrong way and simply replied "oh, but they are fineo n their own, aren't they?" which of course they were. I gave the 4 girls (my daughters and their 2 friends) £80 to go to the beautiful country pub opposite (The Crown and Victoria Inn)
and have lunch in the garden so actually I suspect they had a great adult free morning and lunchtime. OD reported that Waif had eaten cottage pie.
Our next appointment at The Maudsley is on Monday afternoon. I am hopeful that Waif has put on a little weight over the last 2 1/2 weeks although pretty sure that she has not put on as much as 1kg a week. I am, guessing she will come in at 41.5kg. I will be content with that increase, and delighted with more.
Meanwhile, my brother in law (who stayed with us for the weekend) told me about an incident that occurred a year ago. He said that I had served the children supper (including my niece) and said that it was a dish that my children always liked - my home made lasagne. He said that when I briefly left the room, Waif scraped all of hers into the bin whilst looking him defiantly in the eyes. He didn't mention it to me at the time as he was confused by the whole incident. Hmmm.......Waif can be naughty.