Last Monday morning Hayley rang me at 9.05 to remind me that we had a ten-minute appointment with Oliver's teacher at 9.10.
In the words of Hugh Grant, "Bugger".
Fortunately I hadn't left for work and was there in 5 minutes flat.
Here are the salient points of our ten minute chat.
Oliver will talk to anyone. Other kids, teachers, secretarial staff, whoever... he will talk to any of them without hesitation. That was great to hear.
Oliver loves books. He will get a book, sit down and read it, oblivious to the world around him, absorbed in its pages. She even showed us a picture of him sitting in the middle of a thoroughfare reading a huge book. The rest of the nursery just had to circumnavigate him.
She said that once he is interested in an activity he becomes totally absorbed. I asked whether this was also true of doing things like puzzles and writing that he is reluctant to do at home. She said he is not absorbed in activities he is asked to do but still does them. I also asked whether he acts out aggressive behaviour, as sometimes at home he becomes quite angry and animated (without ever becoming violent) when he can't get his own way (in stark contrast to the boisterous but sensitive and gentle little boy we usually see). She said no. At most he might pull a face. So it seems that behaviour is reserved for home, which in a way is reassuring as it suggests some sort of social awareness. Maybe. Anyway that seems to have got better recently (touch wood).
She also commented that he has made a very good friendship with another boy there who also happens to be the son of a colleague of mine. Currently they don't see each other much outside of nursery so we're going to try to put that right.
Finally I mentioned that Oliver still seems to have some hearing problems and asked whether she had noticed anything. She had. Sometimes he clearly hasn't heard what she is saying to him even though she is stiing next to him and he otherwise seemed to be paying attention. So that's something we will check out again with the doctors.
It was a very short visit, our first since he started last September, and I wish there could be more, perhaps one a term. But it was reassuring and worthwhile for what we learned.