My older children, particularly middle daughter, have taken to walking to the farm shop, down the road, to buy small items (milk, eggs etc). I think this is great … not only do I get emergency supplies bought in when needed, but it is also good independence training. And because we live in a small village on a main road, there isn’t anywhere else they can go. We have the school for the surrounding seven villages, a church, a pub and the farm shop. There are the fruit fields in summer, where we can go and pick-your-own soft fruit, (or fish for trout, if we felt like it), but really, that’s it. No playgrounds, no pavements (trans: sidewalk), no buses, no post office.

Today, my eldest (coeliac) daughter decided to go to the farm shop with her friend, who was visiting for the day. It’s been a very hot day, and they wanted icecream. (The farm shop sells a variety of different flavour icecreams, as they do round here). For the first time, she decided that she could take one of her own gluten free cones, and ask to have it filled.

And she did it. Apparently the girl behind the counter (from the local town) was a bit surprised, and thought my daughter had taken the cone from the pile available for sale, but she managed to get through that and order icecream.

Such a small thing, and yet usually she relies on us to explain, and to ask, since she is quite shy …

Independence training – a wonderful thing.