“I’m not finished yet mummy” says my 4 year old daughter for the third time within an hour. This girl really does not like being interrupted and everything must be completed before moving on.
“I’m not finished yet”
“I’m not finished yet”
“time for mummy to wash your hair”
“But, I’m not finished yet”
And so it goes on. Even when she has time out on the naughty step and I go to her to give her a hug and encourage her to apologise we still hear “But I’m not finished yet”.
Some parents might see it as cheek, or disobedience or plain bad behaviour. I see it as something we need to work on and help her with. She is 4. She is busy doing her own thing, playing her own game or watching something on a dvd. She is making sense of the world and learning new things. She is sorting out her thoughts and singing her own songs. So we show her patience, teach her using timers that prepare her for the change of activity, and encourage obedience. And we recognise the importance of what she is doing by leaving her line of toys untouched and respecting her space. And she comes to join us for dinner or bath time or gets her coat for going out. And she enjoys it. She is learning to consider others, that sometimes we have to do things in other peoples time frames rather than ours and that there is times when playing needs to stop. Meanwhile I am learning patience, respect and gentleness in my approach. I may be her parent but she can teach me so much too.
“I’m calling to enquire about my sons education. We are still waiting on the results of your recent review regarding his school placement.”
“I’m sorry. We are not finished yet”
Ouch. If I thought my daughter was teaching me patience I really had no idea how much patience I would need in dealing with the local authority! My son has severe and complex needs. He is unable to attend mainstream schooling so we are left with no option but to go through the education system for placing such children in our local authority. It is proving to be a very long and tedious process. His report was first submitted in late November last year. The people responsible for making decisions (the forum) didn’t meet until April. The placement given wasn’t suitable. So we appealed. With just 7 weeks left before term finishes they still haven’t finished the appeal process. Should we be unhappy with the placement allocated after appeal we can either take the council to tribunal or opt for a late deferral. We also filed a placing request for the school of our choice. The council has two months to get back to us on this. Our school saga is definitely not finished yet.
We applied for a co-ordinated support plan for Isaac. This is a legal document recognising all his needs formally and outlining how these needs will be met and by who. It is updated regularly. We had our initial meeting this last week and all of the professionals attending agreed unanimously for this process to start. This should make a difference to the level of care my baby boy receives. He is finally going to be assessed for occupational therapy and physiotherapy. Wherever he attends school, wether this year or next, we can have a peace that legally his needs will have to be met at any cost.
We are still fighting for respite. Naomi has her school deferment finally in writing but we are still fighting to get her speech and language support for her selective mutism and anxiety. We are still waiting on her formal diagnosis. The fight for all that these children require to support them is not finished yet..
“God, thank you for the miracles you are doing in these children. Thank you for all you are teaching me through them. Thank you for the lives being touched by our story…”
“My precious child, I’m not finished yet…..”
“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion…” Phil 1:6
Whatever trial you are facing, whatever difficulties you face today, remember God isn’t finished working yet. And there are so many wonderful things ahead.