This weeks’ #WASO theme is “A Day in The Life” so I thought it might be a good time to dip into my diary archive and randomly selected an entry to post this week which was written after a blow up with Beeswax one afternoon, whilst still recovering from an incident the night before.
(Buzzbee aged 4 and Beeswax aged 9)
I am writing this part to try and put it to paper in the hope I can stop shaking and crying. Please forgive the typos and incoherent ramblings that may occur during this part.
After my parent/teacher meeting with Beeswax’s teacher this afternoon, I needed to nip into town to collect my new glasses. Buzzbee told Beeswax that we had hired a DVD to watch when we got back home and that I had said they could have their tea in the lounge while they were watching the film (so far, so good!).
Shortly after we drove away from the school Beeswax struck out at Buzzbee, claiming he did it because Buzz was deliberately annoying him.
What Buzzbee was doing was asking Beeswax to guess what the film was and when he failed to get a response from Waxy, he kept repeating the question over and over in the hope of a response from his big brother. Now, granted it was getting annoying but he didn’t deserve that. Not under any circumstances!
I stopped the car promptly and took him out of the car to calm him down. I then got the spare car seat from the boot of the car and put it and Buzzbee in the front seat.
Waxy once again went completely crazy and started to kick the wing of the car (on the side he had already dented previously, thankfully). Once he had calmed down I got him back into the car and went into my usual spiel about it not being acceptable to hurt his brother etc, etc. (Ok not really the best time but I felt I need to address this quickly).
As I drove off again, we had barely driven any distance, when he took a plastic bottle from the back seat where he was sitting and leaned over the back of Buzzbee’s seat and whacked him across the head with the bottle. Obviously Buzzbee started to scream and cry so I pulled up again in a less than suitable place on the main road (so I was popular with other car drivers) but I felt that I couldn’t move on until I had calmed Buzzbee down again and made sure that Beeswax was moved to the opposite side of the car for safety reasons (Ok and because I didn’t want him taking another pop at his little brother.
Beeswax went into a torrent of verbal abuse and completely disconnected from his actions. I told him that he would now not be able to watch the DVD this evening as he had continued to hurt his brother. Obviously he was not impressed but when reminded that if he did not ‘wind his neck in’ he would be jeopardising his chances of playing in the football matches this weekend he soon simmered back down for a short while. Well, just long enough for me to get into town and pick up my glasses and get back to the car. On the journey home he continued to play up and kept trying to kick his feet at me through the middle of the seats (I have never been so pleased to have the arm rests in the middle even if them falling down on occasions made it more difficult to change gears).
When we got home I told him that he needed to go upstairs and play/read while I got their tea ready (I didn’t really think it was a good idea for both boys to be downstairs together while I am not able to completely supervise them). It was not a surprise to me that Waxy was less than impressed with this idea and he proceeded to tell me that he wouldn’t unless he was allowed to watch the DVD. I told him that I understand that it probably felt that I didn’t care about him or his feelings but what he did to his brother was not OK and he would not be watching the DVD, but I was happy to help him choose something else that he and I or he and Bumble could do with him. I also told him that if he wanted to discuss it with me, that was fine, but I would not be changing my mind and of course while we are debating it, I won’t be able to get their food made. He continued to repeat himself and his voice slowly got louder and louder until he was screaming at me. I kept repeating that I would not be able to start tea until he goes upstairs.
Initially after 10 minutes he gave up and went upstairs or so I thought!. The next thing I know the washing basket has come flying down the stairs narrowly missing Buzzbee.
Heaven knows how, because my heart was beating so fast that I could barely hear myself think, but I said that I needed him to come downstairs and pick up the basket and all its contents and take it back upstairs with him before I was prepared to continue with tea.
He then started to repeat that he would but only when I say he could watch the DVD. When I told him that I would not be doing anything of the sort, he told me that he wouldn’t be doing anything to help me out if I wasn’t going to let him have what he wanted. I told him that I was not asking him to help me. He had thrown it down so I simply expected him to return it to where it belonged. Well, he got verbally aggressive again and I stuck with it, but then he decided to up the ante and really I should have had the common sense to remove myself, but it wasn’t safe for me to do so. I was concerned what he would do if I left him. I kept myself as calm as possible and tried not to react to the negative emotions, but I paid the price for that. The main being slapped across the face twice. While I was talking to him I maintained eye contact with him and he told me to stop looking at him. I told him that I would always give him eye contact when we were talking, so he slapped the left side of my face. Instead of removing myself I simply turned to him and said ‘I wonder where you learnt to hit someone like that. Did you see your dad hitting your mum or your uncle slapping your gran?’ I obviously hit a nerve because he then slapped me across the face again but this time the right hand side. Why the hell didn’t I keep my mouth shout? (His other behaviours included trying to kick me in the face and stomach but I deflected him, he spat at me 4 times and then kicked me in the leg) (All within a couple of minutes).
I needed to stay between him and Buzzbee because Buzz was refusing to stay in the lounge as requested and, as I was alone with the boys, I was stuck. I should have tried to get Beeswax up to his room before, but I know that usually ends in a tussle which is not healthy for either of us, so like a pathetic wimp I stood there until he finally melted down into a tearful heap. After giving him a hug (very rare for him to allow me to do that) I told him I needed him to go up to his room for a while and I would let him know when his tea was ready.
By now it was almost 6pm and Bumble arrived home just as I was giving both boys bowls of soup (all I could rustle up to give them with such a short time before Buzz’s bedtime rapidly approaching).
Buzzbee tried to tell Bumble what had happened and Bumble told him that ‘mummy’ would tell him later. I just sat on the stairs with my head in my hands trying not to burst into tears. I couldn’t talk. I could feel myself trembling and my heart was trying to rip its way out of my chest. To boot my face is really burning, thankfully I took my glasses off earlier. Bumble took me into the larder (my war bunker) and asked me what was happening but all I could do was shed a few tears. I wanted to cry for England but the control freak in me wouldn’t allow me to completely let myself go. I told him very briefly what had happened, but I will let him read this after I have written it because I can’t repeat it again.
To add to my list of failures this evening Buzzbee has quite understandably been a pain in the proverbial to get to bed and I ended up after the umpteenth time of him coming out of his room playing silly buggers, shouting at him to get into his bed. He didn’t deserve that, it is not his fault that I am feeling so uptight. I will have to make it up to him tomorrow.
When will I learn to keep my big mouth shut? Why didn’t I just let him have what he wanted? Why didn’t I just get out of his way when he started? Why do I always stay with him when he is in this state? Anyone would think I enjoy getting hurt or verbally abused, the amount of times I have allowed it to happen!
Back to this morning, well the morning was very calm and relaxing really. Buzzbee seemed to want to just ‘be’, this morning and watch his Land Before Time DVD’s while playing quietly with his dinosaurs. He had had a bit of a restless night so my guess was that he was a little tired and that this was all he had the energy for. Saying that though he was still very keen to let me know every now and then what he was doing, but didn’t actually want me to join in. Because he was doing this, it gave me a chance to get a couple small jobs done myself that I had been putting off before taking him to collect Petal (Daffodill is sick so a friend of ours kindly offered to take him to a nearby soft play zone while I go to see Jemima).
Buzzbee likes Petal because she is very hands on when you go to play zones with her (she says it is her only chance to behave like a kid and I know what she means sometimes) but he was a little hesitant at first and needed reassurance that I would be back for him. Then he dashed off to find the biggest slide he could (charming!).
I cannot deny that I was feeling a little teary before reaching CAMHS and I am not completely sure why, maybe it was the release from last night’s behaviour or a little bit of guilt at messing Buzzbee around. Anyway I had just enough time to compose myself again before Jemima arrived (I have had plenty of practise now).
During the session we talked about what has been happening since the last meeting and I told her about the trials and tribulations of the boys and my trip with friends to an arboretum. I can’t deny that it was mildly amusing seeing the look on Jemima’s face when I mentioned who we were with [two adopted boys that she also works with, who have similar issues to Waxy and Buzz]. Priceless, absolutely priceless!
We then talked about where we go with Beeswax and how long we would give it (as I have written so many times before, something has to change in terms of his aggression and difficulty to accept our attempts at parenting him). She also told me that she had shown the videos in supervision. Throughout the session she kept telling me that I was doing really well, all considering and that her supervision officer was impressed by how I handle myself.
I honestly tried to accept the compliments but I find it really hard to hear that when I know I am still constantly stuffing up. Take today for example.
Reading back over this diary entry, there is a pang of sadness for me. In that first year of placement I made so many mistakes and I like to think I have learnt from them, but at the same time there is so much written in there about difficult situations that arise between the boys, which is as intense and real now as it was then. In many ways our family has travelled so far, but there is also a feeling that nothing has changed and that each time issues arise we are simple putting a sticking plaster over the wound in a hope that everything will heal swiftly and leave barely a visible scar.