Archive | August 2014

#WASO “Last weekend we…..”

I really must stop making plans for nice weekends because sure enough, if I do, you can guarantee something or someone will make sure those plans do not happen and, if we are lucky, it is seen as a minor inconvenience/disappointment by all or some involved but more often than not, it ends in tears and tantrums (and yes sometimes those meltdowns are mine – I have been known to take it too personally).

Having said this, I don’t think I will ever learn!  No matter how many times it has gone wrong for us, I still continue to plan weekend activities that we can all do as a family.

I thought of starting this #WASO themed post off with the opening sentence “Last weekend we planned a relaxing few days in Devon at my parents’ caravan with the boys and Beedog. However the boys had a different plan and stress free relaxation for mum and dad was most definitely not part of their plan”, but to be fair to the boys, they have been struggling recently and they are triggering each other off left, right and centre simply by one or the other breathing, and despite having to come home early and more arguments and ‘upset/cross mummy’ moments than I really want to think about Last weekend we did have some wonderful moments and several moments of deep belly laughter (mostly at my expense, courtesy of Beedog and her spaniel instincts and highly sensitive snout).

Beeswax and Buzzbee are not the creatures in our family who are not very good with change. I don’t know if it is just part of Beedog’s natural personality, or whether being a young puppy when she joined our family, she has picked up on the boys’ anxieties – nethertheless, Beedog tends to take some time to settle in new environments and quite honestly she doesn’t like changes to her routine, but true to form for the boys, they bent over backwards to make sure that she felt safe and comfortable in the caravan (I think she travels with more transition items than either of the boys and she even has her own suitcase for her bits) – Bumble and I have come to the opinion that while they are fussing with her, they are able to take their time to acclimatise themselves to their environment without having to acknowledge their feelings of vulnerability. It works for them and it works for Beedog, so everyone is happy and ‘last weekend we probably would have thrown the towel in on day one if it hadn’t been for the soothing magic of our crazy hound’.

pupsleep

Ok, so I did say that despite the meltdowns and arguments we did manage to have a good time and I think on top of this, Beeswax may have learnt a valuable lesson.  If you don’t really want to do something that you feel is too scary, you shouldn’t try using your dad as a get out clause by saying “I will do it, if you do” – I am talking about being strapped to bungee cords and flung at great speed, high into the air (there was no way I was going to do it – I am not that crazy. I will gladly wear my cowards badge with honours).

jump

Buzzbee also found himself strapped to bungee cords but as he was too small (or in his words “I don’t have a death wish”), he opted for bouncing and somersaulting on the trampolines and then crashing about in the ‘water-walkers’ – Sadly as I like to think I am a responsible dog owner, I was unable to do any of these activities because I needed to look after Beedog (that is my story and I am sticking to it).

The holiday campsite has so much to offer the boys and the boys have made no secret of the fact that the swimming pool and slides is their favourite activity and while I can take or leave the swimming pool, I do like the fact that it is one of the few places the four of us can safely join in the same activity without it getting out of hand or one or the other fighting for control or supremacy – mind you playing ‘piggy in the middle’ in a swimming pool provides its own challenges – you have heard of the film ‘white men can’t jump’, well we have ‘Honey can’t out jump her 125cm son’ (not even in water).

peaceful

If all else fails. Go down to the beach

 

 

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Downtime in the hive

This weeks’ #WASO theme is ‘Downtime’ and I really must learn to write some of my posts earlier and then schedule them to be uploaded! That way when I find myself in yet another ‘refereeing, emotional/physical punch bag, bad cop’ situation where I know I am going to either find it difficult to find the time to sit down with my laptop and write or (and this is usually more the case) I am so mentally, physically and emotionally drained, that I find myself unable to even function let alone string a sentence or two together – this weekend is looking like it could potentially turn into one of them so I am getting my butt into gear quickly before any brown smelly stuff really starts to fly and my time patience and emotional willpower go right out the door.

I am half way there already and it is still early morning. So, I guess I am going to count this as my ‘downtime’ for now and pray that it last for as long as possible (Well, at least long enough for me to build up enough reserves to survive this weekend without a hideous showdown of some sort).

I have to be honest and say over the last few years, the word ‘downtime’ has become somewhat of a ‘poisoned chalice’ word for me (I know that sound so OTT).  On one hand, I have been routinely criticised for being too immersed in the boys’ lives and not relaxing or taking care of myself. But, then if I DARE to have a short break from doing the daily chores or being at everyone’s beck and call 24/7, I am crucified for that also.  I know it sounds self-pitying but I really can’t win no matter what I do.

However the rest of the household (even the pets) are much better and finding the time for some downtime and not feeling or being made to feel guilty about it (thankfully I have the photographic evidence to remind myself when the energy in the house is electric, that there are times when the boys are ‘still’, ‘calm’, ‘relaxed’ and not in need of being entertained every second of the day).

I can’t complain too much. My boys may struggle with entertaining themselves or having ‘downtime’ but on their good days they can manage it and sometimes that ‘downtime’ is even spent enjoying each other’s company.

Generally during these times you will find Beeswax with his nose stuck in a rather large book that he has probably read 5 or 6 times before, and Buzzbee will be creating some dramatic and fanciful re-enactment of the latest dinosaur battle, LEGO adventure or turned his bedroom into a miniature ‘Silverstone’ race course – I never get tired of hearing the sound of him merrily chirping away to his toys and himself.

That leaves just Bumble and the pets.  Well, the cats and Beedog are easy – being overindulged, much loved pets who get to sleep and stretch out and snore wherever and whenever, they please (yes the cats have been known to snore too – although Beedog’s snoring could wake the dead, it is so loud) – now that is my idea of the perfect ‘downtime’.

I believe I have mentioned this before but for Bumble there is only one true way that he fits in ‘downtime’ for himself and that is spending, lots and lots of time with his mistress – his online roleplaying games.  It drives me nuts and I have often suggested that when he is playing on it or conversing with his other teammates that I would probably get more of a conversation out of him if I were an avatar in his game. But, if that is what he needs to keep himself sane, then who am I to complain – Oh wait! I know! I am his roleplaying widow of a wife (only kidding, I knew what I was getting into WAY before we were married and in an odd way it is one of the things I love about him and why he is great with the boys – he is still a kid at heart).

Ok so to say I never manage any downtime would be a huge exaggeration (it just feels like that when I am in the thick of the latest drama between the boys or heaven forbid, well-meaning professionals).  I would have to say the type of downtime I get the most out of is taking my trusty camera with me, and clicking (I can’t think of a better description than that) while the boys are racing around at the adventure playground or while I am taking Beedog (sometimes the boys too) out for a long walk and she is bounding through the fields and hedges. I can’t think of anything that helps calm my mind more than this, other than if someone offered me the chance to be stranded on a deserted island with a bronzed Adonis to wait on me hand and foot, and serve me pancakes and chocolates as and when the fancy took me. Oh and the island had only one rule “RELAXING IS MANITORY” – I can dream.

downtime

*this post was actually written Friday morning and it has taken until now to upload it*

Friendships, Firsts and Bro Caves

When it comes to friendships, Buzzbee is often quite hesitant to get close enough to other children to make ‘real’ friends.  He will make acquaintances and sometimes call a child, that he may play with once or twice, a friend, but he has not allowed himself to get close to anyone since his BFF left school while they were still in reception – he has been open about saying that he can’t make friends because they will always leave him and if he doesn’t make them, then he can’t be sad when they go.

However there is one little boy who is an exception to Buzzbee’s rule – Pickle! (Buzzbee’s partner in crime at adoption camps and more recently fellow home-edder).

doubletroubleboys

How can I describe their friendship? I think the best words are Unconditional and Accepting. If I were to describe them when they are together, I would have to say they are like: Manic Duracell Bunnies, who are guaranteed to have a huge fall out when they reach fever pitch or get over-competitive, but are best of friends again within a few minutes (I have to be honest their arguments tend to amuse me. They sound like an old married couple. It is SO funny). 

While I was thinking about writing this #WASO post I decided to ask Buzzbee why he thought his friendship with Pickle was ‘safer’ than other friendships with children.  His response was “Pickle is the greatest friend because he is REALLY funny (well sometimes). He is amazing and smart. He can be quite weird (in a funny way) and is really imaginative, like me, and loves to play spy games, tag, and hide and seek. He really likes Star Wars and Lego, like me. But most of all, he likes me for me and I like him for him, he doesn’t try to change me. He tries to control me (and I try to control him) but he doesn’t ever try to change me”.

As well as trying to develop meaningful relationships with their peers, both Waxy and Buzz are continuing to experience ‘firsts’ and this week it was Buzzbee’s turn when he got to have his first sleepover with a friend (in this case, Pickle) in Nanny and Grandad’s new caravan at a Haven campsite (in terms of the caravan it was a first for all of us, as mum and dad have only just brought it), and what an experience it was for them (and Pickle’s mum and I).

caravan

They ‘persuaded’ (or should that be ‘hounded’ us) into submission over sharing a bedroom and okay bedtime was REALLY late but they weren’t really causing any trouble. They were just chatting away to each other, looking out of the window ‘watching for a storm’, reading books and telling stories, and they did eventually go to sleep at 10.45pm. And a 5am wakeup call was probably not what any of us were banking on, but again the boys were simply making every second together count and enjoying each other’s company.

Both Buzzbee and Beeswax had their first experience of bodyboarding in the sea down at the beach and Pickle got to experience a first of his own – waterwalking. And, after a minor blip, he and Buzzbee took full advantage of the opportunity to bump into each other without hurting each other (I really think this fantastic activity should be included in the boys’ post adoption support plan for at least once a week and daily during school holidays).

SPLASH

All three boys took full advantage of all the swimming pools and slides, and somehow Pickle and Buzzbee even managed to draw Beeswax into their imaginative, aquatic games and adventures (Waxy claimed he was only doing it to stop them bothering him, but secretly I think he enjoyed letting loose).  

I could go on forever about their antics or the ins and outs of their relationship and our theories on why it is so successful, but really in the scheme of things the ‘whys and wherefores’ are not important, what is important is that, while Buzzbee  and Pickle’s friendship continues to grow, I have to believe that there is hope that Buzzbee will gradually find the confidence to overcome his fear of loss and rejection, and reach out the hand of friendship to other children and allow himself to accept their friendship as wholly as he has with Pickle.

best time

This entry was posted on August 3, 2014. 4 Comments