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Showing posts from December, 2015

Preparing for Christmas

It's lovely in my house at the moment. We've got decorations up, strings of cards over the mantlepiece to remind us the wider world still exists and hasn't forgotten us, and a massive and ever-growing pile of presents under the tree. Fairy has returned from a couple of days with her dad, and Tickle has been glued to her side ever since. At the moment they are packing bags to go on a pretend holiday, and it's making my tummy go all funny listening to them - Fairy is being the perfect big sister, supporting Tickle in the game and enjoying herself completely, and Tickle is following her round lapping up her every word. Just now T sounded a bit unsure of something, so I called out to let me know if he wanted help, and Fairy comes straight back with "He's got help Mummy!"

As for me, I'm snuggling up listening to my children play, having sent Husband out for some last minute shopping, and I thought I'd take a few minutes to write about our preparations …

Looking back...

It's that reflective time of year, so, encouraged by the fabulous Adoption Social and their weekly link up, I'm taking a moment to look back at how far we've come.

Christmas has been a particularly emotional time of year for me over the last few years - I lost my beloved Granny in 2012, who was the lynchpin of our family Christmas, and it hasn't felt the same since. 2013 was the year of the maybe-baby, who was confirmed to be a definitely-not-baby on Christmas Day itself, with surgery to look forward to on the 27th. In 2014, after nine months of the adoption approval process (which had its ups and downs) it all hit me like a ton of bricks on Boxing Day, when I spent most of the day in bed crying.

So (understandably, perhaps) it was with no small amount of trepidation that I started preparing for Christmas this year. In some ways, there's even more pressure on us this year than any other, as it's Tickle's first year with us. Barely a day goes past without so…

All the small things

As with most things in life, with adoption you spend a lot of time preparing for the big things, only for the small things to creep up on you and remind you that you don't actually know everything after all. Here are some of the small things I have noticed about my son in the 26 days I have known him:

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Husband and I have had to repeatedly reinforce that (1) it is ok for Tickle to cry if he hurts himself, and (2) he does not have to apologise afterwards. The foster carers had made quite a bit of progress with this, but yesterday on the walk to school Tickle tripped over (like, total face-plant) and instead of automatically bursting in to tears he went rigid and started shaking silently, as if he was trying his utmost to hold himself together. He had so much tension throughout all his body; it was quite scary. I scooped him up in a big hug, stroked his back and said "It's ok to cry" in his ear and it was like a sudden release - he absolutely howled.

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He doesn'…

Flexibility

I'm having to slightly rethink the strategy from my last post. I'm ok with that. Flexibility is the key word, learning from your mistakes. (Yeah. Lots of that.) I still think that the main purpose of Tickle's mad moments is attention seeking, but his behaviour is starting to escalate and I'm not comfortable with the things that (under the previous version of my strategy) I was accepting without reacting. No hitting as such this evening, but I did have a variety of things thrown at me, books torn up, clothes pulled, screaming right in my face, hair pulling, spitting, things stuffed inside my clothes etc.

Part of me is wondering whether there is a little part of Tickle which is trying to work out how far he can go before I snap and yell at him. Or perhaps how far he can go before I decide I don't love him after all and send him away. Or how far before I throw something back at him. That is what he's used to, after all.
I was having a lot of difficulty getting thr…

Birthdays, anxiety, and lots of shouting

It's been four days since I didn't quite finish my last post, and once again I've snuck away for a slice of me time, trying to line up my feelings enough to type them in to the tiny keyboard on my phone while Husband entertains Tickle and Fairy at soft play. (Or they entertain him, one of the two.)

Tickle has been with us for nine days now, and today is his sixth birthday. We tried to keep things quite low key, but naturally there was a little pile of presents for him when he came downstairs, as well as a lovingly-Mummy-crafted (if slightly wonky) Thomas the Tank cake. Tickle has been looking forward to his birthday for the last week, and even shouted "I'm excited!" as he came down the stairs, so I wasn't quite prepared for the total lack of reaction as he looked at his cake, presents, and balloons. I don't know what sort of birthdays he's had in the past, but he clearly didn't know what to make of it all. First he sniffed the cake, and had a …

Has it only been a week..?!

I have stolen a few moments to myself, curled up on the sofa whilst Husband, Fairy, and Tickle play in the garden, joyfully buffeted by the wind of 'Storm Desmond' which is about to ravish us all. (I do hope they manage to finish their game of Giant Jenga first.)

It's been five days since we picked Tickle up from his foster carers for the final time and brought him home to stay. I'm struggling to put in to words how I feel about this - lots of cliches like "It's been the longest week of my life" are trying to wriggle their way on to the keyboard, and I really don't want to go there. It is a strange combination though, of *knowing* it's only been a few days, and *feeling* like life has changed so dramatically that time must have somehow warped itself and the last five days have actually taken a month.

There's been a temptation to carefully record every second of the last week, write down everything that Tickle says and does, so that we don'…