Sunday, 8 July 2012

Week 17

Tomorrow will be four months since we met the boys. Each anniversary is a moment to pause and reflect. It's fair to say life has changed beyond all recognition. We've had much to get our heads around and we are learning to cope without the very laid back style of weekends we had become accustomed too over the 12 child-free years we spent together. We're also learning how to fit in to the school set, I sometimes still feel like a bit of an impostor, like we're playing at this. But at the same time, we can't imagine life without the boys, they are our family and there's not been a moment where that hasn't felt for real.

We started the week with two very tired boys after our busy weekend last weekend, and all that brought with it.

On Tuesday evening we had a parents open evening for Charlie's new school, which meant Nanny came to babysit, and it was the first time that we haven't put the boys to bed ourselves.

Wednesday morning, Joe had a melt down at the school gate. He just wouldn't go in, he clung to G's leg and got really very upset. There was no calming him, so in the end G took him in to school and sat with him in the sensory room until he stopped crying. Later that day when G went to do the afternoon school run, he was called in to be told that there had been an incident at lunchtime, where Joe had bitten a little boy. The school assured us it had been dealt with, but we decided we needed to talk about it, so that he knew that what goes on at school, does get reported to us.

After bath time, I sat with Joe quietly on our own, and asked him why he had been so upset at the school gate. He couldn't really answer me. He told me there was nothing worrying him, but he said school was boring. I suggested maybe it was hard, which he said it was. They stepped up his 121 teaching the day before, and I am sure that's no coincidence! I then asked him about the biting. I was very calm, I told him I wasn't in trouble, but I asked him what happened. He told me the other little boy wouldn't play with him and he wanted to play football. Joe has a tendency to like the person that has the ball/car/spade etc that he most wants to play with! We talked about feelings, and how he would feel if someone that he didn't want to play with, bit him. He agreed he would feel sad. I talked through how he could have perhaps handled the situation differently. It was actually a nice conversation, I was pleased with our openness. But at the end of the conversation, I said that whilst I wasn't telling him off this time, if it happens again, at which point he interrupted and said 'Will you send me away?' My heart nearly broke, it's  a stark reminder that even though 99% of the time, things are going really well and you wouldn't know that they hadn't been with us for years, underneath, there is clearly still some anxiety.

The rest of the week passed without incident, and on Thursday and Friday morning Joe went running through the school gates without a care in the world!

This weekend saw more football training for Joe on Saturday morning. It's working well that it's giving the boys time apart from one another, and 121 time with G or me. After lunch we headed to the school for the summer fayre and circus. Circus' are not as good as I remember them, but the boys were enthralled!

Saturday evening bought a much needed adult night out. It's our first proper night out with friends in four months, and I had spent all week getting excited about it! We are certainly starting to appreciate things that we would previously have taken for granted, like a night with friends, a quiet coffee, a walk home in peace and quiet!!

Today we had a lazy morning around the house and then headed to Aunty Nikki and Uncle Ian's to see their new kitten! The boys love Aunty Nikki and really enjoyed being entertained by their older cousins. We also came back laden with toys which their cousin had sorted out for them from his now retired collection.

One of the things we've noticed as the boys explore their new found freedom with us, is that they lack some of the social understanding that some of their peers already seem to have developed, like taking it turns and following rules. They also don't seem to understand when we're actually cross with them, and they continue ignoring instructions unaware that we are getting angry. This is having an impact at home for both of us in terms of managing our tempers, but also for Joe, it's affecting him at school, and he needs to understand that when he's told something, he has to listen. So we've started to introduce tough choices, such as 'If you play with the tap and spray water everywhere, you will come out of the bath without any time to play, but if you stop, you can have an extra five minutes of play time, it's your choice." Then when they continue to spray water, we are just delivering on the threatened consequence without negation, calmly explaining, 'this was your choice, you chose to continue messing around even though I told you what would happen if you did'

This has resulted in two little boys going to bed crying tonight, as following instructions seems even harder when they are tired! It's really tough, I sometimes worry we are being too strict, but at the same time, it feels like we need to make them understanding the basic rules of engagement if they are going to stand any chance at properly settling down at school. Properly makes you feel like a bad person though!!

1 comment:

  1. It really is tough. You feel like you are bullying them being hard etc. We had a visit from the NHS family support that our borough assigns when adopting. She stated that you need to do this because no one else as done it. It is not in their wiring or ever been shown to them. If you are consistent the chidlren will get it and it will become less needed as tehy would have learnt.

    Our first tackle was teaching our little one to stop eating when full up. Then it was naming how she is feeling or how someone else is feeling - reccommend Todd Parrs 'The Feeling Book' for starters.

    It really is hard when friends and family are around as tehy feel they can chip in with don't be too hard on them. Don't feel bad if you are being fair, consistent and boundaried.