Joe had an extra long cuddle tonight, it's really very cute. Also, it's time for a glass of wine, but that's not the primary reason it's my new favourite time of day.
We had a low key day at home today. I actually got out on my own to do an hour at the gym this morning, which was lovely. All those pregnancy pounds to shed.....
At 9.30 we had a social worker visit, a chance to review how things are going. Good news is, she's delighted - she actually commented that in a week she already thinks Charlie has grown, and his speech has improved, she said they were both shining and looking great. Must be the new clothes! Whilst she was with us, Joe tripped and fell outside and cut his gum. He was really upset and there was an alarming amount of blood, which as I immediately scooped him up, was soon coating my fresh white polo shirt. I was quite glad he had done it whilst the social worker was there, as goodness knows what she would have thought if I had answered the door with a screaming son and a blood soaked shirt.
The boys had a great set of foster parents, but as I've previously mentioned, they were quite restricted, and they really seem to be thriving on a bit more fun and freedom. For example, they used to have one room of the house as a playroom, and they weren't allowed out of there with toys or to run around. And they only went in the kitchen to eat, there was no other time spent in there. So they are now running through the house and garden, and 'helping us' in the kitchen at every given opportunity. I think this is really helping their confidence and development already, as well as being great for bonding. They want to help with everything, and I guess there's a reason kids toys are often miniatures of adult household items. So now we have help hanging out the washing and preparing food, sweeping floors and wiping down. We had washing on the line today and I heard Charlie say to Joe, 'Just got to see it's dry....'
We talked to the social worker about Joe's inappropriate shows of affection. He met our neighbour for the first time yesterday as were leaving the house and he hugged her and told he loved her. Nice as that is, it's not appropriate and we were a little concerned that he could get in to danger with such a free trust of strangers. The social worker confirmed that this is a little boy that is longing for attention and affection and to please adults, and this is all part of this. So now we have to do some work on stranger danger, and perhaps talk about appropriateness. We also have to ensure that Papa and I are the only two to give hugs and she's suggested that we don't have visitors to the house for the next couple of months, he really needs to know where home is and that it's just us as a family that are now responsible for him. That's going to be tough, but apparently all the evidence suggests that if we do this focus now, we'll have a much better time of it in the future. She said we can meet other people, but we need to do that away from home for now.
Both boys have started to ask us to do things that they don't really need us to do for them, like carrying them, help with dressing, feeding etc. We've read that this isn't uncommon with looked after children who perhaps didn't get such great personal care in their early years, and as they start to bond with their forever family, you have to almost regress and indulge them in the stuff that they should have had from you as younger children. So we're playing along with it for now. Charlie in particular is really craving this attention today.
I took the boys out on my own to the local high street and to Tesco this afternoon. It's G's birthday on Sunday, so I thought we would buy some bits. It wasn't too bad, I had to have some stern words about looking, not touching, and found myself sounding like my own mother 'You look with your eyes, not your hands....' Tesco was fun, and a short shot of valium later and I was absolutely fine. The boys have no concept of a surprise or a secret. We talked all the way about good secrets and that it's Papa's birthday in two sleeps so this was our secret mission, and that we mustn't tell him. So as we got home they went running in and shouted 'Papa, we've got a secret surprise for you, it's a birthday cake in the shape of a racing car.'
No mention of birth family or foster carers today, and save the usual 'he's not sharing' arguments, they've both been incredibly cute and loving today.
I cannot believe it's only two weeks today since we first met them, it feels like so much longer, and I'm amazed at the strength of my love for them already.
I've been reflecting on a few of the things I've learnt, or changes made to my life in the last couple of weeks:
- 9pm is now a late night
- The question 'why' can really get on your nerves
- The question 'why' seems to follow no logic - 'Daddy, can I have a bath now' 'Yes Charlie' 'Daddy, why we having bath now' followed after the bath by, 'Daddy, why we had a bath?'
- I now go no where without tissues, wet wipes, botty wipes and clean pants (for the kids, not G)
- My lovely new bathroom is now awash with plastic toys and all kinds of lotions and potions never before purchased.
- All of my pockets are filled with someone else's snotty tissues
- The amount of snot produced is inversely proportional to the size of the person.
- The amount of money spent on a toy is inversely proportional to the amount of fun/use
- Little people can make a lot of noise
- It's fun to run - everywhere
- Cat's hate young children - has anyone seen our two cats this week, because I sure as hell haven't
- Stickers have some kind of mystical charm and power not understood by adults
- Tea and coffee are no longer to be drunk warm
- The children may forget to tell you they need to go the toilet and that may result in accidents, but if you've sat down for your partner for a quiet 10 minutes, you can guarantee they will want to be taken
- 'In the night garden' is disturbingly weird, and should not be confused with an acid trip
- Kids take a ridiculously long amount of time to eat anything healthy
- My watch/phone/sunglasses are way more interesting than any toys
- I do sound like my own mother/father
- If a child wants to ask a really big or important question, they will wait until you're driving
- Some words are really tough to try and explain, no matter how good your grasp of the english language
- That you can be incredibly exasperated, frustrated, tired and irritable, and then you see how cute you little one is, and your heart melts and everything is okay.....