Sunday, 7 April 2013

March 2013

March has largely been an uneventful month, the boys continue to make good progress and occasionally we reflect and realise that, even though we might sometimes feel like we're banging our heads against brick walls, we are actually able to do things now that we could not have done a few months ago, which is a reminder that we are indeed making steady progress.

One of the big changes is the fact that they will happily go off and play now. Their imaginative play was non existent 12 months ago, whereas now they make up all kinds of wonderful games and scenarios, and they will sometimes play just with each other for up to a couple of hours, with us only needing to break up squabbles every 15 minutes! That's a big change however as to start with they were completely dependent on us to be involved in all play activity. It does really help when you can send them off to play for a while and we can sit down and drink a coffee and read the news.

The month started with a visit from my sister and her family for the weekend. The boys love their cousins, and indeed 12 year old Jessica is revered as a demi god by Joe because of her near teenager status! It was also nice to cook a proper meal for the grown ups. Pre kids I would happily spend a day in the kitchen on a Saturday if we were having friends for dinner. Up until now I've felt pushed to order pizza's for guests, but I think I am getting back into the flow now, even though a day of cooking is now a distant dream!

The second weekend of March was my birthday. It also marked the 12 month anniversary of the day we started introductions. Last year's birthday didn't really exist and of course, meeting the boys was such a nerve wracking and emotional day. This year however, was really special, the boys were more excited than I was, they opened all my cards and presents for me, I had balloons and banners and it was a really lovely family moment. It was funny to reflect on how much had changed for them and for us in that 12 month period.

We spent the day with great friends, and then managed a babysitter in the evening to get out and have more fun with grown up friends. It felt like a very special birthday for very different reasons.

G and I have decided that once a month we are going to give each other a day off. A day where one of us will take complete responsibility for child care and the other can have a guilt free day to do what he pleases. G spends all week with his days focussed around what he can squeeze in between school runs, and whilst I get to go out and work all day during the week, that's not exactly time off either, so we've agreed that it would be healthy to have 'me' time once a month.

I had my first Saturday off, and I spent the whole day in town. I hadn't been shopping in a year, or at least certainly not the type of shopping that involves browsing, trying things on, stopping for coffee and eating a lunch with a newspaper to read. So I really savoured my 7 hours in town on my own! I also spent an hour of that in a travel agent, remortgaging the house in order to go away for a week in the school summer holidays. Geez, no one told me how much they inflate prices when you have to book around term times!

The following weekend, G had the Saturday off and whilst he enjoyed a day out with friends, I actually also really enjoyed a day on my own with the boys. We didn't do a huge amount, we bought new shoes for Joe, we went out for lunch, we made bread and baked a cake and went to the park. Okay, perhaps that was a lot, but it was nice, and made me think that the 'day off' principal could work well on both dates.

The next day was G's birthday and he also got spoilt by the kids. We had a big family lunch out with G's clan and the boys loved having everyone there. They are so very relaxed with our large family and all our friends. I often think how different life is for them now, and how well they take that in their stride.

We had a call from school this week to say that twice Joe has responded to a problem in the playground, by throwing a stone at the person that wasn't letting him play. We had a long chat with him about how we needs to handle these situations, and why throwing stones or lashing out is never a good idea. It was a reminder that for the first three and a half years of his life with his birth family, and then the next year with his sisters in foster care, really the only reactions he ever saw were violence. This ingrained response is going to take some work and modelling from us, and it's not going to happen overnight.

The last weekend of the month was Easter weekend. We spent Good Friday with G's mum and her friend visiting a fantastic park-farm for the day which the boys really loved. On Saturday we were up early to drive up to my parents for the weekend. Mum is great with the kids, she plays with them in the same way I remember her playing with me as a child, and I love to watch it. She also knows how to keep them entertained and out of mischief. Charlie really took to my dad this weekend too, following him around happily and taking in his jokes and magic tricks. It feels like we get a break when mum and dad are around, indeed we even fitted in a couple of hours out on our own, and that's great. On Easter Sunday we went to my uncle and aunts house as the boys had never met them. My cousins were all there.

We had been a bit apprehensive to be honest, only in as much as Charlie in particular can be a nightmare in new surroundings as he is truly the most inquisitive child I have ever met. When they are meeting someone for the first time, you really want them to behave and sometimes that can become a bit of a pressure cooker of our own anxiety and expectations, and thus we don't always end up enjoying ourselves. But actually we had a wonderful day, the boys were spoilt and well entertained and whilst being inquisitive, they behaved in a way that I was really very proud of.

No comments:

Post a Comment