Archive | May 2014

Our best day this week (2 weeks ago)

OK, so I am cheating a little bit with this weeks’  #WASO theme ‘Our best day this week’. 

I would have loved to have managed to come up with one wonderful moment this week to write about but good times have been in short supply due to one poorly Buzzbee, a stroppy Beeswax and miserable weather enabling a bad case of cabin fever for Buzz, Waxy and Myself.  Despite Bumble and my best efforts, every suggestion of entertainment or activity was greeted with ‘moans, groans or LOTS of stropping’. 

Rather than ‘wimp’ out of this weeks’ theme, it occured to me that a couple of weeks ago, while visiting my parents for dad’s birthday. I probably had one of the best days I have had with both boys in quite sometime and at the same time I managed to share the memory of a place that I have want to show the boys for several years and is very special to Bumble and I – The Landmark Trust Victorian Hill Fort where we had our wedding reception.

OK back to ‘our best day ever’.  Having boys I have quickly learnt to accept that there are many things I cannot control when it comes to the boys ‘natural interests’ in wars and armies,  Although I hate listening to the boys talking about different guns or pretending that sticks are guns or swords, or seeing them play acting army men, I have come to realise that the more I prevent them from playing these games, the more they become obsessed with the subject and then the play gets out of hand and it is teats before bedtime.
So when to my delight I learnt that the fort was finally having an open day and I could take the boys to explore the extensive collection of tunnels, ramparts and cannons, I was ‘over the moon’.
We then learnt that the open day would have a wide selection of living history exhibitors/reenactments – Bonus, not only can I share a special place with them but they boys could absorb themselves safely in one of their obsessions and at the same time I could fit in a little ‘home ed’ learning (Buzzbee and his camera were once again best friends).

As it was my dad’s birthday, my nephew and niece also joined us. Despite Beeswax and my nephew originally making a fuss about not wanting to go and convincing themselves they would be bored, all 3 boys were soon in their element (as was my niece). Each had their own personal interest and to the credit of the exhibitors – they gave each of them as much time as they wanted to ask questions, handle equipment and guns, or try on various uniforms.
Neither of my boys are very good at staying in one place for more than a few seconds and as a rule Bumble and I routinely have to ‘slow’ the boys down. Not on this day – if anything, it was the adults who were in too much of a hurry to move to the next thing, in their minds.

I knew taking the boys to a new place was a gamble and potentially could have gone very wrong, but in the absence of Bumble for support, I knew mum and dad would be equally as good at ‘tag teaming’ if or when I needed it. As it was the boys were so busy exploring the ramparts, tunnels and cannons that the only meltdown to be had came from my nephew who was getting hot and bothered in the gorgeous sunshine.

I know some of you reading this will think I am soppy but being able to show the boys the fort and have them asking questions about what cannons we used at our wedding or hearing them laughing at my dad’s tale about his sister forgetting to turn her car alarm off before the cannon was fired, brought a lump to my throat and left we with lots of warm, squishy mummy thoughts.
There were several moments in the day that I will treasure but if I had to pick one moment from the day, I think the best moment would have to be when an excited (slightly overstimulated) Buzzbee called loudly to a member of the crew, shortly after the cannon fire demonstration and said “That was kinda sick but my mummy and daddy fired that one on their wedding day and mummy did it in her wedding dress. Now that is cool, and she didn’t even get her dress dirty, unlike you” (one of the crew had a smudge on his cheek) – proof that sometimes they do listen when I am talking 😇

For the boys, I suspect the highlight of their day would have had to have been the 30 minute long ‘WW2’ skirmish between the British armed forces and German soldiers – they boys were mesmerised and squealed with delight at the end when one of the “soldiers” gave them some empty bullet shells as a keep sake.

Although at times it feels like every aspect of our family life is one constant battle, having days like this reminds me just how lucky I am to have both my boys in our lives.

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Loosing yourself

Last week I managed to loose myself and I LOVED IT!

So this week I am going to share it as part of the Adoption Social’s ‘Weekly adoption shout out’.

I spend almost every waking hour at moment feeling lost for answers/solutions to help Beeswax through his current difficulties and I am completely lost on how to get the professionals to listen and take our concerns for Buzzbee seriously – I hate that they always use Beeswax as the excuse for Buzz’s difficulties (mimicking, learnt behaviour). I have recently reread Buzz’s CPR in hope of some answers, and….. Well, I found them but that is another post.

Anyway, this post is not a rant about how frustrated I am. No it is about loosing myself both metaphorical and (ahem) literally for a few hours and taking the advantage of having 6 hours actually completely to myself with absolutely no interruptions.

Part me was tempted to take the opportunity to give the house a good going over and tidy but or glue myself to my laptop and continue trying to find solutions to the brick wall I am hitting all the time. But, the gorgeous sunshine and blue skies were calling me, and Beedog really needed a good walk. So I took myself (along with Beedog and my camera) off to one of our local estates to visit their beautiful gardens (I have lived here for more than 13 years and never visited it once).

Oh my goodness, how could I have missed this place for so long. It was breathtaking – the dynamic and vibrant colours of the foliage and flowers, and the heavenly aroma of the magnolia that wafted in the air (Beedog’s nose was in over drive with all the new smells).  It is rare that I have the opportunity to have a good play around with my camera but on this occasion and with such perfect surrounds, I think I got a little over enthusiastic and poor Bumble was made to endure ever image that evening – all 120 of them.

I could send hours writing about my day of freedom and describe every detail of Beedog and my adventure but I will leave some of the photos to tell that tale. What I feel is more important for this post is, using it as a reminder to myself that I need to find more opportunities for me to do something for myself and not feel guilty for forgetting about the day to day drudgery for a few hour so I can relax – and boy did I.

Oh! As for the getting lost literally – well, at the entrance they gave me a map of the Rhododendron trail around the estate so I could find my away around but lets just say I never found the same path TWICE (usually this would have had me in a complete flap but on that day, it really did not matter).

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“Hive” the musical

OK! This post should have actually have gone ‘live’ yesterday in time to link up to The Adoption Social’s #WASO. However my laptop had different ideas and decided to go on yet another sabbatical (this time it nearly took a permanent one – straight out the nearest window).

So rather than get myself in a flap over the fact that my computer is now joining the boys in their exploits to drive me around the bend, and because I enjoyed the fun I had with this post – not only in creating it but because the majority of the input (or maybe I should say ‘insight’) has come from the boys and their joy at teasing ‘Mummy’ about her ‘sad, sad, girl music on her phone.

I have decided to not allow my computer to beat me and post it anyway. Ok, so to the actual post!

Both boys are very aware that I write this blog and have begun to get ask on the alternative Friday’s what the next #WASO theme was to be.  I have to admit I was a little stumped at first what to write. Which is ironic when ‘MUSIC’ plays a big part in my day as a way of not only re-centring myself but often Buzzbee too. So it should have been easy for me. Nope I drew a blank!

That was until Saturday evening while the boys were in need of some ‘enforced chill time’ – or should that be mummy, nanny and granddad needed just 30 minutes without having to play referee to their latest ‘hot and bothered, bad tempered squabbling’.  As I had left both boys’ MP4’s home I foolishly gave them my phone to listen to some music in the Summer House.

Shortly after the boys retired to the summer house, Beeswax came up and asked if they were allowed to make a playlist of some of the songs on my phone. Which I agreed to – Oh boy, I am regretting it now.  Approximately 45 minutes later and after an awful lot of hysterical laughing, the boys brought my phone back in and announced that they have come up with the soundtrack to our own ‘Family Musical’ and had scribbled on a piece of paper their reasons for each song – they also pointed out that it was time I stopped ‘sitting on the fence’ and decided what style of music I like (I have a pretty eclectic collection of music.

There are more than 30 so I will just give you a sample of their soundtrack and try to add their explanation for their choices.

“Let it go” – Frozen. Other than fact that this is one of the most played and sung song in our family at the moment. The boys apparently love the freedom of the song and say it describes their impulsiveness (their words were ‘naughty, harmless mischief’)

“Everything is awesome” – LEGO Movie. In capital letters Waxy had written ‘TO DRIVE MUMMY CRAZY SINGING IT EVERY DAY AND ALL THE TIME’

“Chocolate (Choco Choco)” – Soul Control. Apparently they chose this song because it is ‘mummy’s answer to every problem’.  OK, revenge time! Buzzbee won’t be embarrassed but I have a feeling Beeswax would not want this publicised – Both boys not only know all the moves to the song but can’t help dancing to it when they hear the song.

“Roar” – Katy Perry. Ok this one I have to hold my hands up and admit to telling Buzzbee that I thought this song could have been written for mummy and her journey through adoption when it comes to dealing with professionals and attending meetings. I used to bite my tongue and now in meetings they will ‘hear me ROAR’ when I need to. In this sense if I were to have put together a soundtrack, this would have been one of the first I would have put in too.

“Troublemaker” – Olly Murs  feat. Flo Rida. Buzzbee believes that this is his and Beeswax’s theme song and can imagine people singing it to them both.

“Tell him” – Celine Dion/Barbara Streisand.  OMG, last week I wrote how the boys never miss a trick. Well, if I was ever in any doubt about this before, the boys couldn’t have given me a bigger wake up call. (I am going to write the next word for word) “Mummy you always cry when this song is played and it is always after we have been bad or when you are upset about Beeswax (me mum)pushing you away or worse! We don’t know why it makes you so sad but we think it must be in the collection”

“Wonderful tonight” – Eric Clapton. “We know this was the first soppy song you and daddy danced to at your wedding.  We can’t forget this because you two are soooo embarrassing when ever you hear this song and start smooching. You are even worse when it is your wedding anniversary. PLEASE stop! It is gross!”

“The fox” – Ylvis. This song apparently has to be in our collection as a memory of my response to it the first time I heard the song and their amusement at how ‘mummy got it so wrong’ – I may have misheard the line “what did the fox say” (I will leave it up to you to guess why I nearly banned the song from our house)

“Let’s get ready to rumble” – PJ & Duncan aka Ant & Dec.  Quite simply, they boys believe that this song would be perfect to be played while they are ‘tag teaming’ or ‘ganging up on mummy’ with their mania.

“Windmills of your mind” – Alison Moyet. This song was a funny choice for them really and there was very little written with this song.  However I think I can guess why they chose it – a couple of weeks before, during more than a ‘challenging’ weekend with the boys and as an attempt to keep myself regulated. I began singing it to myself while sitting at the bottom of our staircase (this is the only reason I can think they would have for choosing this song).

“And I am telling you, I’m not going” – Dream Girls.  OK the fact that the boys put this song on the list, had me in hysterics because it is a song I have used occasionally with Beeswax when I have needed to snap him out of his ‘tirade’ without anyone saying something they regret.  Usually it involves me standing at the bottom of the stairs with my mobile phone playing the song while I go over the top with the lip-synching and action. It always ends with Beeswax announcing with a wye smile that I am “the biggest dag on the planet” (RESULT).

“What makes your beautiful” – One Direction. OK this was a late entry by Bumble last night.  I am not sure his reasoning for wanting to add this song was really about it always reminding him of how he sees me differently to how I see myself. My guess it is more to do with the fact, he knew the boys would go berserk having a ‘One Direction’ song in the family soundtrack.

The aim of this post is to be light-hearted  and a lot of the rest of the songs are some of my most embarrassing guilty pleasures, so they are staying under lock and key.

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“My what big ears you have”

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No this is not going to be a #WASO post about childhood stories, or wolves trying to eat little girls who wear red cloaks (or this really cute Fenec Fox) .

Living with hypervigilant boys is a challenge a lot of the time – Ok living with my 2 is a challenge full stop, whether it is their hypervigilance or their 1001 other reasons to feel the need to battle us, or the need for us to provide them with the support even though they don’t want it.

At the moment I could write several posts on the challenges we are having with Beeswax and there are a few I could write about Buzzbee’s need for a detailed assessments of his needs/difficulties, over which we are seeing a different side to CAMHS – gone are the days of exceptional support and service, and ring in a time of ‘complete incompetence’; and don’t get me started on the length of time it is taking to get him an appointment for an OT assessment to investigate his sensory processing difficulties. And, there is most definitely a post floating around on my head about fighting to keep the ‘blocked care’ demon from my door.

But these posts will have to wait because as you may have guessed from the title of this post – my boys have very big ears (in the metaphorical sense of course).  Beeswax is the worst culprit for having a radar permanently scanning his environment for ‘information’, no matter if he is supposed to hear it or not, but Buzzbee comes a very close second.

Over the years I have kind of got used to the fact that no matter how much it irritates me (and boy does it), if the boys are within a 5 mile radius of adults having a conversation, they have to get involved (invitations not required in their minds), and  of course this means they end up hearing things they shouldn’t, or don’t catch the whole dialogue and so misinterpret what has been said and – well, let’s just say the story/conversation takes legs in a sometimes alarming fashion. You wouldn’t believe how sometimes by the end, the tale they will tell about the conversation is so far from what was discussed that it has now turned into an epic bestseller in all national bookshops (obviously I am joking about the final part but you get the idea).

It doesn’t help that, while Waxy appears to understand that there is light and shade in some conversations, Buzz takes everything very literally and don’t get me started on idioms – they have got me into trouble so many times over the years. A recent example of this was, while talking (OK sobbing) to another adopter on the phone after a particularly difficult few hours with Beeswax (I thought the boys were safely out of earshot playing on the Xbox). I told her about a recent conversation I had had with our PASW and her bizarre initial reaction to me telling her about Waxy’s escalating, unyielding behaviour/distress. The PASW’s first response had been to say “are you thinking of disrupting?” To which I replied (while somewhat taken aback) “Oh gosh No, after what we have been through to get the adoption order, Hell will freeze over before we disrupt the placement”.  Later that evening, during bedtime wind down – or should I say wind up as Beeswax had not only began ‘Round: who knows what’ of dysregulated mania, but he was taking Buzzbee along for the ride too, and then it happened! I said to Beeswax that he needed to stop always ‘disrupting’ bedtimes when he is home at the weekend or holidays.  Buzzbee perks up and says “Well, then I guess it is true – Hell has frozen over !”

We have a rule in our house that we do not have secrets and if we tell the boys a particular conversation is not for their ears, they are more than happy to remind us of this rule – Cheeky so-and-sos!

What do I have to do to have a private conversation in my own home – or anywhere else on the planet?

While the boys were still LAC we had an awful job trying to have catchups/meetings with SWs at our house, trying to make sure the boys didn’t hear anything that was said.

We tried:

  • Having meetings late at night so that we could make sure the boys were supposedly asleep in bed upstairs
  • We put the radio in the kitchen on quite high and shut the lounge door to muffle our voices (and of course talked as low as we could).
  • Bumble and I have gone into the garage or car to ‘debrief’ or ‘talk’.

There are plenty more examples of the lengths we have gone to try and prevent the boy’s ears flapping and it is not just Bumble and I who struggle with it.  Beeswax’s school have on many occasion been less than successful at preventing him from listening in on conversations and then having to repair the damage that has been done once he has ‘blabbed’, and my poor parents, well OK mostly my mum, who could talk the hind legs off a donkey (although not as much as my late mother-in-law).  The times she has “needed” to tell us things or generally have a good gossip and we have had to signal to her about ‘little big ears waggling’.

Sometimes it can be amusing when they are so far off the mark, but how do others manage their children’s need to be involved in every conversation or perception that “they have the right to know everything we are say about them”?

We understand that this is all part of our boy’s hypervigilance and need to keep themselves safe, but I would love just one time to pick up the telephone when it rings and not have the person on the other end of the phone feel the need to say “is it safe to talk?”, or be able to talk with someone without having to stop every 2 seconds to ‘reassure’ one of them that I haven’t forgotten they are there, or ‘remind’ them that were having an adult conversation and it is not one that either of them should be trying to listen in on.

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How can you be discrete when it appears that in ours and others home – walls really do have ears and extremely large ones at that!

I will leave this post with Buzzbee’s favourite joke while living with his foster carer.

Why do elephants have big ears?

Because Noddy won’t pay the ransom!

The Weekly Adoption Shout Out

 

Things we do – learn a new skill

The Things We Do
OK so living with Beeswax is pretty horrible at the moment. I don’t know if it is driven by his hormones or leakage from suppressing his greif. I am certain his trauma is exsabeting the current situation and as I mentioned in my recent #waso post. I have been less than therapeutic at times..

While not wanting to harp on his misdemouners (aggression) this week, it has inspired a ‘things we do’ post.

The pictures speak for themselves but has made me think.  Neither I or my sister have ever been helpless women when it comes to DIY – I suppose this comes from my parents only have daughters. Our dad taught us what he thought we would need to know. For my sister these skills have not been nessecary but it would be fair to say 90% of the repairs in ‘the hive’ are done by me.

However more recently – and maybe because I am getting a little fed up of ‘patching up’ the house after one or others latest “outburst”, I have begun trying to teach Beeswax how to repair the walls himself (the doors well I have no choice but to leave them unless they become dangerous).  I can’t say I am having much success so far but hopefully eventually we will see results of some kind. At the least by the time they are old enough to have their own house they will have at least a basic knowledge/toolkit of DIY skills. But, *whispering* secretly I just hope by making them help repair damage they will be so bored of it they will eventually stop putting holes in windows, doors and walls. And, will think twice about trashing bookcases and chest of drawers – I can dream.

Can’t I?

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Hopes for a future

 

The Weekly Adoption Shout Out

In the last couple of weeks I have struggled to get my head together and post anything.  Not because I haven’t written anything – there are several incomplete posts floating around in my folder waiting to be polished and published.

So what’s the problem? Have I just become lax and indecisive? Or, has life on ‘planet adoption’ sapped all the mental, emotional and physical energy out of me to the point where I can’t remember which end is ‘up’?

Well, I am definitely not firing on all cylinders at the moment (Viral infection, grief, living with a teenager).  To be honest I don’t believe anyone in the ‘Hive’ is on top form currently – each one of us with our own individual needs and ‘issues’ (I don’t really like that word, but it is how Buzzbee describes it and I can’t quite find a more appropriate word to describe it without going into a long list of ‘woes’ and sounding negative and self-pitying).

This weeks’ The Adoption Social’s #WASO theme is ‘when I grow up….’ , and as usual I begin thinking about writing a post with a clear idea of what I am going to say, but I am rapidly learning that no matter how good my intentions are for writing a thought provoking or amusing post, they always end up going in a completely different direction but somehow still fitting in with the current theme –this week is no different and in fact it ties in with the theme much more than my original ‘train of thought’ for this post.

Waxy has now been back at school for 2 weeks and to say the Easter holidays were stressful with him at home would be an understatement.  I don’t know if it is simply because he has turned 13 and has developed a skewed idea of how a teenager is supposed to behave and respond to adults (and his little brother) or if it is because the hormones are flying but he is emotionally unprepared or unable to cope as well as some of his peers with the changes.

There could be a thousand reasons for his current ‘pain in the backside’ demeanour and remaining therapeutic with him is certainly a challenge at the moment – especially for Bumble who is not only trying to manage his own grief but also the endless attempts by the ‘juvenile silverback’ to gain control over him.

Anyway I am waffling.  No matter how difficult Beeswax is being at the moment and how difficult he is making it for me to be around him or have a civil conversation with him that doesn’t involve him graphically describing what I should do to myself both physically and well, more explicitly (I will have to leave it up to your imagination what I mean by this) – there is a vulnerability about him that I haven’t seen for some time and it pulls at my heart strings. I find myself torn in two on one hand I am ‘hopping mad’ with him and on the other I am filled with empathy for him (this still intrigues  some of my family. They often wonder how I can do it – be completely incensed by his behaviour but remain filled with empathy for him at the same time)

My usual answer is “Answers on a postcard! I would love to know myself”.

Ok so how do my ramblings fit with this weeks’ theme?

Really, it comes down to an insane and rather pointless conversation between Waxy and myself last night about supper, which reached a point where he inadvertently allowed me a rare opportunity to look through the window into his inner world and let ‘slip’ what he thought his future would hold for him.

W: “I had fish fingers at school for lunch. I am not having f**king fish for tea tonight!”

H: “First of all. Thank you for letting me know what you don’t want but the food is already in the oven cooking and I will not be making anything else, but if you choose to not eat it then that is your decision. Secondly, if you had thought to ask me ‘what we were having for supper’ rather than going ‘off on one’, I would have told you that it was your favourite – chicken and leak plait”

W: “Well, you should have opened your big fat gob and told me. I shouldn’t have to ask. Do your job properly woman”

H: “Wow you are angry with me tonight.  Have I done something to upset you in the 3 hours since I collected you from school that I don’t remember?”

W: “You drive me nuts just by breathing.  I wish you would just shut up.  God, I will get more peace when I am in prison.  Actually at least then I will get 3 square meals a day that haven’t been ruined by you”

H: Again I am not sure what I have supposedly done to upset you but I am curious. Why do you think you are going to prison?  Unless you know something I don’t, I don’t believe you have done anything that warrants incarceration? Heck, you have never even been in trouble with the police as far as your dad and I are aware!”

W: “It’ll happen eventually! My parents (birth parents) were screw ups and it is obvious I will end up being one too”

H: “But, they have never been to prison as far as I am aware. It is really hard for me to hear you say this. I can’t imagine how hard it must be for you if you truly believe that this is what your future holds”  “You know your dad and I believe that you will do great things when you are older and so do your school if the report I read this week is anything to go on.  I really wonder what has happened for you to feel like this. Or, have you always believed this and only now feel you can trust me enough to tell me how you really feel about yourself”

Very quickly the conversation turned back into a torrent of verbal abuse about my parenting and his general opinion of me as a ‘good for nothing women who is such a ‘saddo’ that the dog is her only friend’ (I got too close. He can’t cope with me ‘connecting’ with him).

I have to be honest I was not prepared for his ‘bombshell’ and I found myself trying to ‘make it better’ and wanting to take his pain away. Maybe I am just very over sensitive at the moment but I shed more than a few tears after hearing him talk like this – I am pretty sure he thinks the tears are for his cruel words and not because he has just told me how hopeless he believes his future life will be.

When I started thinking about this post, I thought I would be writing about how when I was growing up I had dreams of being a famous wedding dress designer or a radiographer. Or, I would be writing about how Buzzbee’s ambition in life is to not only be a world renowned palaeontologist but he will discover a new prehistoric creature and name it after his big brother.

I certainly didn’t imagine while I was growing up that one day I would be stilling at the top of our staircase, listening to my extremely bright and articulate, eldest son telling me that he believes by the time he reaches adulthood, he will have ‘screwed up his life’ and will be in prison.

By now I should have learnt that just when you think you know what is going on in your child’s head or believe that they are confiding in you more – they do a complete 180 on you.

Life on ‘planet adoption’ is always different and often full of surprises but there is one thing it is never – BORING

Oh, I nearly forgot.  I now know why he was in such a foul mood with me.  During the week I had to bring him home for a doctors appointment – quite reasonable really and it was not during school hours.  It transpires that he had been on ‘the cool list’ and was supposed to be going to the cinema with some others on his unit but he had also forgotten to hand his report card in (they all have one everyday) and that day he had had his best scores in weeks, but because he didn’t hand it in those points didn’t count and so he did not get enough points to be on ‘the cool list’ for the coming week.

So there you have it.  It was all my fault!

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