Sometimes I wish life were like a school biology experiment. Instead of ten woodlice in one ‘control’ petri dish residing on a soggy bit of kitchen roll in their little world all constant and unchanged compared to their 10 friends on very similar petri dish who’d have had all sorts of changeables thrown at them, there would be two sets of me, Evie and Isla going through two similar but two very different lives. In one petri dish of a life the three of us would be all constant and unchanged and living in London and Colin would be there. On the other petri dish we’d have had all the spanners life has thrown at us since the death of Col. Hopefully on this second petri dish we’d be surviving and rebuilding as we are here and now but it would make it easier to pinpoint how we’ve been altered because we could look at the other Evie, Isla and Nicola and see what might have been and compare and contrast. The conclusion would be so simple. Any differences between those two petri dishes could be put down to his loss and the whole fallout from that terrible fact.
Life though, is not a biology experiment and there is no control at all for me to compare and contrast and write a neat conclusion in my science book. In fact right now there is very little control at all in my world. Nope. The control pendulum has swung right out of my hands into those of a small and fiercesome being. That being is Evie. Perhaps she would always have been the child that would have a meltdown if her clothes were not at the right temperature. Yes that is ‘the right temperature’. That’s if she does indeed choose to wear something at all, which is a feat in itself, because I cannot enter into the discussion of what she wears without complete meltdown so now as well as being the oddest choice of outfit it now has to reside outside for five to 10 minutes to get it to the perfect ‘putting on’ degree of celsius. Maybe she would always have veered towards OCD and not allow anyone but herself to touch the plate her food is to go on. Maybe I wouldn’t have to dry my hands again and again and show her before I touch her or anything she might touch. Maybe her and I would not have to do a special up and down the stair steps dance to get to her bedroom of an evening (we have to start from the lowest step again if either of us puts a foot wrong) or she’d be quite happy with her duvet not being completely flat and I mean completely flat (it’s a precision exercise) and she wouldn’t have to check every cushion in the vicinity for its thickness before settling for the perfect one to hold her head above her pillows because she can’t touch her head on them directly. Maybe. But I have no comparison. Has Colin’s death started her on a path to create these safe little rituals so that she has a sense of control over her life when she feels out of control? You see Evie has reached a crossroads in her wee world and she’s not coping very well with it. At 22 months her whole world changed. Her daddy died and I ran from London and headed for Edinburgh. Since then she has found consistency and reassurance here at home and at her nursery. But at four that wee world is wobbling slightly because some of her friends, including her best friend, are starting school and leaving her behind. She’s always been an uptight wee thing but this is off the scale, in a week and a half our world has come to be ruled by these anxieties she’s experiencing and the rituals she’s creating on a daily basis as some sort of coping mechanism. A child psychologist acquaintance pointed out that it is most likely fear of loss. That she may think that saying goodbye to her friends from nursery means losing them forever because that is her experience, complete finality. But perhaps Evie would always have been like this and I need to stop pointing the finger at the spectre of death in our lives as an excuse for her and I and how we cope with each other? I don’t know but my hands are up right now…I need some help. And so does my wee girl. Thank God I have an appointment lined up with Richmond’s Hope…anyone got any other ideas???