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Giving up the battle

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This morning we gave up the battle. And it felt great. 
Mornings have been a massive battle for control, and last night we decided we just weren't going to do that any more. When we thought about it, *really* thought about it, we realised that all the 'rules' we had been trying to enforce were actually totally arbitrary. You can't go downstairs until six o'clock - why not? What difference would it actually make? 
So Tickle woke at 5am, and Husband got him a drink and snack, and said he could play. We snoozed. Then Tickle wanted the iPad to watch CBeebies, so we gave it to him. We snoozed. Then he wanted to go downstairs and play, so we let him. We snoozed. He sounded like he was getting a bit silly, so we called down and reminded him he'd have to come up if he was going to be silly. He calmed down. We snoozed. Husband had a shower. 
Tickle started asking for breakfast around ten past six, by which time Husband was nearly finished, so he was happy to wait for five …

Monday Morning

Today didn't start off very well. I should say I'm feeling much better now; I dyed my hair pink and green and that always helps. But yes. Most days don't start off very well at the moment.

I'm not entirely sure why I'm writing this. I think on some level I just want to put it out there. I want people to know what it's like. Maybe someone who will read this who has a child like mine in their class. Maybe Fairy's teacher will read it. But I need to get it out.

We didn't manage to get Fairy to school until ten past nine this morning, and as we rounded the corner there was a group of people chatting; a couple of parents from school, the lady that lives opposite me and the guy she goes dog walking with. We're a friendly village, so naturally they started teasing me as Fairy and I walked past. "What time do you call this?!" "Didn't fancy getting out of bed this morning?!" It was totally reasonable, friendly banter from people I see…

An amazing thing

An amazing thing just happened. 
Tickle and Fairy have had a nice afternoon playing together (mostly - only one incidence of hitting..!) and then she decided to read him a story before bedtime. 
Next thing I know she runs out of his room crying; it turns out she had asked to borrow one of his books and he'd not only said no, but pretty much shouted it in her face, repeatedly. Bit of a blow when she's been sharing her toys and playing with him all afternoon, poor thing.
I go in to talk to Tickle, who is pretty agitated, saying "My house, my room, my books, I said no!" over and over. He's obviously not ready to share anything, and I tell him that's ok. 
I also tell him that Fairy is upset, not really because of the sharing, but because of the way he refused, shouted at her etc. We have to go over it quite a lot, with various examples of times when Fairy has shared her toys and how it made Tickle feel, times when someone had shouted and how it made Tickle feel, etc …

Blending families: Fairy's story

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Fairy was only five or six when we started the adoption process. We did what we could to prepare her, as you do, and being the beautiful, empathetic child that she is, she really got it. She instinctively understood about her future brother being worried, about having to teach him that we are kind, that we would look after him. That it would take a while for him to settle in. Throughout the process, both Husband and I, and various Social Workers periodically used to ask her if she had any questions, but she only ever had the one:
"How long will it take for us to get to know each other?"
She knew it was a question that couldn't be answered, obviously, but regardless, that was the thing she most wanted to know, and she held it clutched to her chest like a talisman. 
Fast-forward nearly four years, and she and I were chatting about this in the car, part way through our half term break. To me it feels like something has slightly shifted this week, like she is starting to find h…

All children do that, part 2

Here's a good example of the adopted children vs biological children thing. Today Tickle came home with a note in his book saying he'd hit another child. 
Not out of the ordinary, you might think. Boys will be boys? Biological children do that too!
Tickle hit the child in the face with a whiteboard.
The reason Tickle hit the child, so he tells me, is because Tickle wanted him to talk, and he wasn't talking. 
The child is non-verbal, epileptic, and in a wheelchair. 
It's *really* hard to continually be kind and loving towards a child who's behaviour disgusts you. Sometimes, I can see past the behaviour to the child underneath, but in situations like this when it's done in anger, where he doesn't feel particularly threatened, he just wants his own way... I know underneath it all the issues are still there, the root of it all is the same, but... it's hard. 

His anger exhausts me.



--- Click here for my original post on biological vs adopted children.

Fairy, Tickle, and the Monster

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Fairy and I went for a walk to the park this evening. This is my feet, on the swing. We've decided it's going to be our evening ritual; Tickle goes to bed and we go out for a walk, a bit of fresh air, and to get the step count up on our Fitbits (Fairy has managed to snaffle Gran's old one and is now obsessively tracking everything).

As we were walking I asked how she was feeling about things at home at the moment..

"I decided something yesterday." she says. "I've had enough of the Monster."

"OK."

 [For those who don't know, the Monster is the name we have given to Tickle's Trauma.]

"But the quickest way to get rid of the Monster would also get rid of Tickle, and I don't want to do that."

We walked some more. We played at the park. I went on the zip wire, which she thought was hilarious. We walked home the long way; it was about quarter to nine and she brought the subject up again.

"I have had enough of the Monst…

Support: Why I want you to watch Three Girls

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Over the last three nights there's been a drama on BBC1 called 'Three Girls'.



Three Girls tells the story of three of the children involved in the Rochdale paedophile grooming investigation. I wasn't sure whether to watch it, initially. Considering what we're going through at the moment it was quite possible it would set me off crying for a week, or in to deep depression. In the end though I did; I'm not entirely sure why, but mostly I think because it's important to face things head on. The girls were brave enough to tell their stories, and they deserve to be listened to.

I'm glad I watched it. I want you to watch it too. I want all my friends to watch it.

It's taken me a good hour mulling it over to work out why that is. At first I thought perhaps I wanted people to see what it was like to have a different life. If I'm really honest, I'm pretty jealous of most of my friends at the moment. I see my Facebook newsfeed full of everyday problem…