Sunday, 22 April 2012

Party time and feeding battles

G was still full of man flu today, so I've had another day of keeping the boys entertained to try and give G a bit of a rest. We've had a great day generally, the boys have been well behaved and fun to be with, with the exception of a couple of moments!

I took the boys to church this morning which isn't that easy on your own trying to explain why they need to be quiet. We went to Sunday school where we got to play games and make cut outs of our hands. After church the boys were playing in the play area and a group of boys were sat on top of the wendy house. Joe was trying to climb up to sit with them, and one of the boys who is in his class at school, was pushing him off and not letting him climb up. I was commenting to a friend of mine that was stood watching this with me, that it's very hard to know when to interact with them when it comes to their peer group. You so want them to be liked, but you can't force them into being something they are not, and you just have to stand back. This little boy seemed to be getting quite rough though, so I did go over and say that there was plenty of room for all of them. The little boy replied that he didn't want Joe on there because Joe had hit him at school on Wednesday. Joe of course denies this. It's a horrid situation. I do know that Joe can be a bit boisterous, and quieter children find that hard to deal with. You also want to turn around and say 'please be nice, you have no idea how much my little boy has suffered' but of course you can't! Joe found the situation quite upsetting.

I did some homework with Joe when we got back, and some drawing with Charlie. After lunch we did a bit more crafts and some lego and then I went and played cars with them for a while. I was reflecting last night, and realised that since my paternity leave finished, I've not made the time to go and sit and play - it's as much as you can do to keep up with the jobs, but I realised I've forgotten to just play, so I made a conscious decision to make sure I did so today.

Then I took them both of to a friend's 4th birthday party. The boys had a great time and both came home with Spiderman face painting.

Charlie is still hardly eating. Everyone keeps reassuring me that this is normal, but it's just so off because a week ago, he would eat anything you put in front of him. Having barely eaten anything at the party, we put a very small bowl of food in front of him this evening and he hardly touched that. Our tactic of giving him a time limit and then throwing it away doesn't seem to be having any affect, so tonight I tried just leaving him to finish whilst allowing Joe to go off and watch TV. This just had the effect of making him sob and no doubt hate me, whilst still not eating.

I think the thing I've found hardest about parenthood so far, is knowing what to make an issue out of and what to let go. I think discipline is important, no one wants an unruly child, and their foster care was so controlled that I didn't think that would be too much of a problem, but at the same time, there are days (perhaps like today when I've done two days pretty much on my own with them) that I do really hate reflecting on how often I've shown my frustration. I know I need to chill out a bit more and let stuff go, but I'm finding that hard to do. Of course this is all new to us both and we're working things out as we go. To be fair Joe is easier to deal with because he responds instantly if you tell him something, but Charlie is pushing boundaries far more. I look at him sometimes and I love him so much, he's so cute and so loving and a fascinating character, but other times I feel that I'm just nagging him all the time, and I don't think that can be very good for either of us - need to pick my battles a bit better I think! I guess part of this is the fact that we've gone from no children, to two children of four and five and that's a massive adjustment to make. Interestingly the constructive feedback we got at panel was that we needed to manage our own expectations and we have set high standards for ourselves. Jane, the boys social worker last week said similar. I think I'm starting to realise what they mean!

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