If I could give you one gift it would be to see yourself through my eyes and then you would see how special you really are.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

A side trip to Waterstones

Last week after visiting the bank to open up child 4 a bank account he escaped my hand and disappeared into Waterstones, after those terrifying moments that any parent has because their child has gone missing - you know the fast shallow breathing, the palpitations in your heart, your eyes darting left, right, up, down, all around, the sweat gathering in your hair line and then all the creases of your body. I noticed that a narrow white wooden door between two bookshelves was open just a jar, nervously, praying quietly I opened it and there he was, grinning from ear to ear hiding at the back of the bloody window display!!! Once he was out and I had him in a much firmer grip I attempted to lift him into the buggy, admonishing him quite quietly because the store was busy, he then did the stiff as a board routine - those of you who have ever attempted to place a ralicrient child into a buggy, car seat or high chair will recognise this defence mechanism, there is no way to force their stiff bodies into a sitting position and strap them in, even with your knee in their chest! So we spent the next 15 minutes of him on the floor between my feet screaming that he was not going to get into his buggy and that I was a meanie whilst I pretended that he wasn't anything to do with me.

It took 15 minutes or 900 seconds before he decided to take charge and climb in the buggy himself, as if nothing had happened - it was a very long 900 seconds I can tell you............

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Anger management

Many adopted children struggle with anger, can you blame them they do not know stability,  supportive parents or unconditional love. Our child 4 struggles with anger, I have been reading Margot Sunderlands  The Science of Parenting and about the two types of tantrums children have, the distressed type of tantrum and the Little Nero type. Our little mans tend to be the distressed type and I am not sure if that is easier or not.

We have decided to try and pre-empt issues for the future so have asked his nursery for support. We now have a SenCo (special educational needs co-ordinator) coming in next month to assess him and then we along with the staff will put a plan in place to support him. The nursery staff are trying to see if they can find the triggers for his rages, so that they can help avoid them. At home we have systems in place for the times he loses his temper. At home he tends to be prone to tantrums when he is tired or hungry and he is often angrier when one of his siblings won't play with him. He reacts with violence I guess, hair pulling, biting, pinching and punching. He chases after them not willing to just let it go, he wants a fight and that makes it difficult. I have learnt to keep a close watch, close supervision of him after 4.30pm when they are all home. I try to use distraction where I can but sometimes I have to use the buggy. The buggy is my containment strategy when things are at there worst, he can be secured but still with me whilst I finish off dinner. It's not my preferred strategy but sometimes necessary. Bubbles and play doh are much better.

It's not all bad, most of the time life just ticks along. We are a family and dealing with all the issues that family life brings. Most days are good even fantastic but sometimes I watch our child 4 and I see the damage his early beginnings have done and I hope that we can give him what he needs to recover. But I guess all I can do is ensure we take all the support we are offered or that we can ask for and just enjoy a day at a time.........

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Dance in the rain and jump in puddles

Yesterday was our first sign of winter on its way, it was dark in the morning and even as it began to get light, the light was muted and drab and the rain hammered on the roof.

When we got to school to drop child 3 off, the sun broke through warming us. As the children filed into school they all gasped, calling out and pointing behind where we stood, as we turned we saw the  sky lit up with a beautiful rainbow.  A rainbow soon to disappear as the sun looked as if she were to stay.

At school pick up the rain once again made an appearance, starting slow but steadily becoming heavier and heavier. The little ones awaiting the older siblings including our child 4 ran out into the rain, standing with their tongues out or mouths open wide catching the raindrops. As more rain fell puddles began to appear, much to the children's delight and they all rushed off jumping and splashing in them, oblivious to how wet they were getting.

I stood wondering, when did we lose the joy the little ones exhibited so exuberantly. When did we stop catching the raindrops on our tongues, gasping in delight at the sight of a rainbow or just enjoying the moment of jumping in puddles? Whenever it was we should perhaps wipe a tear.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers

"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers." Anne of Green Gables

I've pretty much given up indoor activities for now, child 4 just wants to be outside. Every morning when his Dad puts the dog on his lead ready to take him out for his early walk, he collects his wellies and two tennis balls and stands expectantly by the front door. On the occasional wet day that Dad tries to sneak out without him tears and tantrums are sure to follow. I love this 20 minutes of peace, where I can sort the older 3 out, readying them for their school day - ensuring that child 1 actually eats some breakfast (teenage girls), child 2 has done his teeth not just looked at the toothbrush and child 3 is getting dressed not playing on her ipod.

We tend to walk child 3 to school, well I walk,the two youngest children scooter down and if child 4 isn't going to nursery we head back home for a drink, a spot of cake making and a quick tidy, hoover or hanging the washing on the line and then it is out again, we head out to the farm to visit the cows, the sheep, the horses and the tractors. It's fantastic up there at the moment there are two calves waiting to say hello in the barn and the tractors are always busy doing something, cutting back the hedgerows, harvesting some corn or preparing the fields for next years planting. The lane that takes us through the farm is edged with blackberry bushes laden with succulent berries waiting to be picked, if I remember a box we bring them home to make an apple and blackberry pie. The fields are so English, a patchwork of green that dips and lifts as far as the eye can see. Sometimes we head up in to the woods, exploring the undergrowth, hunting for monsters, owls and deer. More blackberries tempt us as do the occasional late wild raspberries. Weird and wonderful mushrooms encourage the hunt for fairies and other magical creatures. Of course there is the Secret Garden, a magical place that seems as if only we are the visitors. I let child 4 lead the way, he loves finding secret paths and steps that lead to adventures involving the climbing of trees, the wondering a of what animal lives in which hole, badgers, rabbits, foxes and moles are all present and the collecting of conkers and pine cones. I seem to always have a nature treasure or two in my pockets.

We rarely see other people, occasionally the farmer or a dog walker but that is it. It's just the two of us. Sometimes we wander quietly and we listen to the breeze whispering through the branches of trees whose leaves are now few and the ones left are hues of red, gold and amber. The leaves crunch under our feet reminding us to kick and jump in them.  Birds chatter incessantly above, occasionally we will hear the cry of a peregrine falcon or buzzard. If we are really quiet we can hear the crickets chirruping in the long grasses.

October is such a magical time, the end of summer a lead up to winter and the end of another year. Soon we will be lighting the fire, hunting out winter coats, scarves and gloves and thinking about Christmas. Just now though we only need our wellies and occasionally a sweater, the sun is still warm through the middle of the day and as the leaves change, and nature readies herself for the cold months to come we have so much to explore and there is nothing better than revisiting some of my favourite places through the eyes of a three year old.