Monday, 7 May 2012

Where has a week gone?

Gosh, I've suddenly realised a week has passed and I haven't blogged. That's a sign that reality bites, juggling a hectic work schedule with the needs of two young boys!

It's been another great week, the boys just seem to feel more and more settled as each day passes and overall we've had a lot of fun. Of course during the week we are now all settling down to the familiar routine of school and nursery. G isn't getting much time to himself, at the most about 2 hours, because of the way Charlie's nursery sessions are timed, not most conveniently when you also have to do a school run for Joe.

We had our first trip to A&E on Wednesday. Charlie fell from the top of a fireman's pole in the park on Tuesday evening. Poor old G had only popped to the park on the way back from school as a treat - he ended up carrying Charlie all the way home, also carrying his nursery bag and the shopping he had just done in Tesco. Alongside him, Joe was complaining that his book bag was too heavy. I think G had pretty much lost the will by the time they got home! I checked his foot out when I got home and was fairly satisfied it wasn't broken, but when he was still walking with a very pronounced limp on Wednesday morning, G decided to take him to the hospital to get it checked out. All was fine, but it was good to be sure.

Joe has seemed much happier going to school this week. He still can't tell you a single thing he did during his day, even if you ask him the second he leaves the school door, but he's not been clingy in the mornings. G went in and did a session with some other parents from year one on Tuesday morning, part of an emotional awareness course they are running which G will be doing along with Joe, and it was great for him to meet a few playground parents.

This weekend was bank holiday, and we've all really enjoyed having three full days together, and the boys have been really delightful.

Saturday we took Joe down to take part in the Children's Parade which traditionally sees 5000 children process through the streets in colourful costumes to mark the opening of the Brighton festival. Joe put on his parrot mask but was very clingy and reluctant when we got the parade start, so I ended up holding his hand all the way round and doing the parade too. Nanny and Uncle and Aunt came to watch along with a good family friend, and afterwards we all went out for fish and chips on the beach.

We tried to do a little bit of shopping in town afterwards, but soon aborted that mission - I have come to realise that I need to engineer ways to shop alone as it's not quite so much fun as a foursome!

Sunday morning we had a really lazy morning, not getting dressed until 11.30. Albeit in that time I did bake a cake with the boys and the boys drew pictures for all the relatives we were about to go and see. In this last couple of weeks Joe has suddenly shown an interest in writing and I was really pleased with his efforts this morning, writing some nice cards for his family. We had lots of laughter and giggles too - did a bit of kitchen dancing and then we finally got them washed and dressed and headed out for Aunty Nikki's house.

Sunday afternoon was our first family day out. We've been keeping meetings small and brief, but it's starting to feel like we can now dip our toes back in to normal life. For the year we were going through adoption approval, there were several moments that I envisaged when I thought about us being a family, and two of them happened today. The first was that we got to have a family day. All their uncles and aunts on G's side of the family were there, with cousins and nanny too of course. I wasn't sure how the boys would react but they loved it, and loved the attention from their cousins. It gave me and G a bit of a day off to be honest, and it was lovely! Their eldest cousin is a fireman, and this was their first meeting with him. In Joe's book, Ben is officially the coolest person he knows, just by virtue of the fact that he has such a cool job! And Ben didn't disappoint, taking the boys to the fire station to climb all over three fire engines, a fire boat and try on his helmet. The boys thought that was great, and we even managed to control Charlie from pressing any buttons - which is a fairly constant battle at the moment!

We spent the whole afternoon at Nikki's, leaving the boys to tire themselves out. We left about 7.20 and the boys both fell asleep in the car. Giving me the opportunity to realise the second of my pre children dreams of being a family, we carried them in from the car, barely waking them, undressed them and put them to bed. Charlie didn't say a word and was straight off, Joe was a bit more disorientated, so I cuddled him in bed until he dropped off. Magical.

Today was bank holiday Monday so of course it rained all day. No fear though, a very lazy morning, lots of playing and laughing and then G and I decided we needed to get them some new toys. We didn't buy them anything before they arrived as we didn't want it to all be about big gifts from us. We also weren't sure what we might be given as gifts and what they would be bringing with them. However we were reflecting on their rooms this week and decided that the stuff they brought with them was largely either broken, or far too young for them, and really not entertaining them at all. So, we headed off to Toys R Us and let them choose a present each. Joe of course chose a police car with lights and sirens. Charlie, who's greatest treat is to help out around the house, ended up with a Dyson vacuum, a broom, dust pan and brush and a kettle. And together they haven't stopped playing all afternoon.

In fact they were so keen to clean, and our cleaner is off this week, so at one point I resorted to my mum's old tactic and gave them a duster and set them off on the skirting boards.

We also had to do some history homework with Joe this afternoon - he needed to interview someone from the olden days, so he phoned Grandad!

In the last week or so, several people have commented to us both that a) they can't believe we've only had them for two months and b) that they can't imagine how hard it must be for us to go from nothing, to two fully formed, active little boys, and that we must be finding it a real struggle.

Well, yes, it's hard at times, we are exhausted and balancing everything can be tough, and of course there are moments when the boys wind us up or frustrate us, but actually, so far, this has been everything I have dreamt of for so long, and the boys are so loving and adorable, that even when you're feeling wound up by them, they give you a look or a smile that just melts your heart, and really that makes the whole thing a whole lot easier. I really am loving this new life we've got, and I can't imagine it any other way.

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