Tag Archive | emotions

Moving on up through the tears

There has been a distinct lack of post from me lately and it probably won’t come as a surprise to some of you the reasons for this, but it hasn’t stopped me beating myself up about it. Yes! I know it is not helpful to anyone, me being so hard on myself, but as ‘Blame Honey for everything’ seems to be a common theme at the moment. I guess if I can’t beat them, I might as well join them. This way maybe I won’t feel the painful sting left by the unending feeling of desperation and isolation.

Last weekend was a difficult weekend.

NO WAIT! Last weekend was a complete mess! Decisions were made that I have resisted for so long, and as I sank deeper into the dark pit of failed attempts at trying to therapeutically parent an angry and emotional, vulnerable teenager, relationships and emotional health crashed and burned along with it.

I guess you would say…… We hit rock bottom! (I certainly did anyway).

hittherocks

Calling the police on your child was never going to be an experience that I could or would relish. After Waxy’s early life experiences, he is understandably anxious (and angry) with the ‘boys and girls in blue’, and for a very long time I have used this knowledge as justification for not drawing a line in the sand sooner – Some would say I was being too soft and making excuse for his actions, and in some ways they were right and I wish it was as simple as that, but as many of you will know:

Nothing is ever simple when it comes to living on ‘Planet Adoption’.

So if in the past I have been a repeat offender and tried to manage the consequences and restitutions ‘in house’, which has almost certainly backfired, what was different about the weekend this time that prompted me to change my mind and report Waxy to the police for criminal damage?

Was it, just simply I reached the end of a very long and crumpled straw and felt I was left with no other option?

Was it because this time it wasn’t just myself or an inanimate object of some kind that was at risk of harm? He had lost control and Buzz, Beedog and Waxy himself were all at risk of serious harm.

Or, was it the fact that this time Waxy had lost so much control that he was displaying everything for the world (okay neighbourhood, which he would never usually do) to see, and I no longer felt safe in my own home?

I could hypothesise and dissect the ins and outs of the events of last weekend but it wouldn’t help anyone.

Nor would be having a VERY long rant about Post Adoption Support, or should I say the lack of it (5 minute phone call, 5 days after the incident happened and complete disinterest from PASW about the impact the weekend had on Buzzbee or myself – she just wanted to tell me how she had had a lovely long and pleasant chat with Waxy and he only did what he did because he felt I was being too strict – Hmmmm so wanting to treat my sons to a day out with Nando’s for supper is being too strict is it?).

Anyway, this weeks’ WASO theme is ‘Moving on up’ and I suppose through all my waffling, I am trying to come to some kind of rational conclusion as to the fact that I cannot change what has happened in the past, and while it WILL this time take me some time to bounce back, we have hit the bottom so there is only one way we can now go and I need to move on and move up (and not move out as I was ready to do Sunday).

How I am going to do this?

I really don’t know at the moment.

I guess for now, all I can do is wait out the storm and not beat myself up so much for events and choices that are not in my control, and pray that one day our family’s equilibrium will be once again be restored.

lifeisabike

Guilt free mummy time

*Stop the press*

I have managed to find myself in a position where I can write a complete post and upload it in time for this weeks’ #WASO link up – Okay maybe I should make a confession. The only reason I have a little time to myself is because I have had a toddler style tantrum over the fact the males in the hive seem to struggle lately with the basic concept of picking up after themselves, let alone helping out with minor household chores without spending double the length of time doing it because they are so busy attempting to annoy me so much that I take over the task myself (which I will admit is what usually happens in the end), however much to their dismay, their regular tactic backfired on them and mummy declared that she was going on strike and the 3 of them would have to fend for themselves.

Definitely not very therapeutic but miraculously the jobs were suddenly completed with little or no fuss and an hour later Bumble drew the shortest straw and carefully peeked around our bedroom door to waving the white flag.

I have been longing for just ‘5 minutes to myself’, so having a whole hour to myself was pure luxury (well it would if I hadn’t been so worked up about the males in the house).

The last few weeks in all honesty have been more than a little difficult and relationships with Waxy and school have been pushed to our absolute limit and Bumble and I are finding ourselves raising concerns and exploring painful questions about our family’s future if the current situation doesn’t change and support from Post Adoption and ASF is not forthcoming very soon, and as a result I have struggled to find opportunities to indulge in any form of self-care for myself and in the rare moments when I have found some space and time, something has managed to derail it.

Okay that is not entirely true. Last September as a birthday present, Bumble gave me a gift voucher for a whole day 1:1 photography lesson with a local photography studio in a picturesque National Trust village. Recently I have finally managed to make use of the voucher spent an entire day focusing on something that I enjoy and being able to switch off from being mum for a few hours safe in the knowledge that the boys were safe at school/forest school and Bumble has organised his work day around their timetable.

I had for the first time in I do not know how long, spent a complete day without any ties to ‘planet adoption’ and it felt wonderful. For one day I wasn’t someone’s mum or wife and the only person I needed to focus on was myself (oh and the wonderful lady who was providing my 1:1 lesson).

I surprised myself during the lesson by realising how much I already seemed to know about getting the best out of my DSLR camera and I lost count of how many times I sat listening to the tutor explain this, that and the other and my mind drifted off thinking about random photos I have taken with my camera over the time, while listening to a little voice in my head saying “oh so that is what happened, I didn’t even realise I could do that”.   Apparently each time I did this, the tiniest of a ‘shy’ smile kept catching the tutor’s eye.   At the time I passed it off as being amused at being “jammy so and so” and blindly blundering into lucky shots but in truth, the reason was so much deeper and more personal – I am not sure I can really explain it very well without coming across as wet or self-absorbed but I supposed after the rejection I experience day in and day out with my boys and the negativity that is projected at me from every direction over the years, my self-confidence and self-esteem has been all but destroyed and I now struggle to ‘sit with’ or believe positivity or praise that is directed my way (see I told you it would sound wet) but on the day for some reason my guard was down and my confidence was receiving a much needed boost (even if it was just for a few hours).

While the morning was focused on theory and a little bit of practical practise in the studio with my camera making exciting discoveries about the true extent of what it can really do and how some of the functions in it can do a WHOLE lot more than I could ever have dreamt it could.

buttonI don’t mind admitting I let out a little squealing of excitement to discover that a button which I had believe was only a zoom feature for viewing photos already taken, can in fact be used to take incredibly clever photos (I am still working on perfecting the skill of creating a decent photo using it for now).

The afternoon was spent strolling around the village and visiting the Abbey putting what I had learnt during the morning into practise and discovering that my amazing telephoto lens which only ever comes out when I am taking photos of the boys at the beach or when we are visiting the safari parks, can in fact produces absolutely stunning close up photos that even I would be mistaken for believing were taken with a macro lens.

blooming lovely

During the day I managed to get a few lucky shots, some that I didn’t quite achieve the composition that I had hoped for, and some…. Well let’s not talk about these ones and then we have the photographs that are still haunting me days after they were taken of a sweet elderly couple who I was mesmerised with as they walked through the cloisters together. I couldn’t help wondering about their story. Who were they? How had they met? How long had they been together? What had brought them to the abbey that day? – Okay I know I am a nosey devil but there was something about these two that was pulling at my heart strings and evoking bittersweet memories of my dear depart grandparents and the love and unconditional devotion they had for each other for nearly 60 years. In all fairness when they would come for a visit they did insist on taking an afternoon drive over to this village for a cream tea and a stroll around the abbey, so I supposed the place already holds special memories for me and the sight of this couple reignited them for me. (I really hope they won’t mind me including them in this post)

cloister

Listen to me jabbering on! What I have neglected to say is…… while the course was wonderful and I got so much out of it physically and emotionally. It wouldn’t have mattered if I didn’t manage to take one single usable photograph because the biggest realisation of the day was not the fact that I can actually take some nice photographs.

LC

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Residents of the village including the most adorable puppy

 

It was the realisation that all this time, the answer to my self-care prayers has been under my nose all the time.   I have something that I can and already do uses as an excuse if I need 5 minutes to myself.

I can lose myself in my photograph and refill my tank before it reaches empty. We live in a beautifully areas, adorned with rolling hills, woods, rivers and meadows so while If I am lucky my four-legged and 2 legged muses will oblige and not run for the hills at the sight of the camera (okay maybe not Buzzbee, he only needs to spot the camera in my hand and he is posing away), I still have plenty of opportunities to find an excuse to escape the trauma and destruction that often fills my days living on ‘planet adoption’, for a few short guilt free minutes or hours.

“How to train your dragon”

I have a feeling the universe is angry with me this week.

Another hand grenade has been thrown into ‘the hive’ but this time it has been directed straight at me and has knocked me clean off my feet.

kaboom

Can I get back up? I am not sure but that won’t stop me trying.

I don’t want to go into details at the moment. I honestly don’t think I have the strength. Maybe a little while down the line I will be able to do it but not until I can make sense of it myself.

And then add to an already stressful and distressing time, my blasted car breaking down on the afternoon that Buzzbee and I were planning to leave to go down to my parents’ caravan for a couple of days and prepare it for the people who would be renting it this weekend.

car

What do you get? A mummy who is not firing on all cylinders but still needs to therapeutically parent her youngest son.

In an attempt to put some distance between the mess and the chaos which has been caused by individuals who should by now know better but are STILL failing to ‘GET IT’, Buzzbee and I continued with our plan to go down to the caravan but for one night instead of two.

We were determined to continue with our plan to have some fun and chill out, and Buzzbee made sure we made the most of it and filled every micro moment with activities and chatter – I just followed his lead to the point of exhaustion (mine not his).

In an attempt to slow Buzz down in the evening, he suggested ‘camping out’ in the living area of the caravan (a choice of 3 bedrooms not good enough for him), and watch a movie together. Buzzbee chose ‘How to train your dragon’ but 30 minutes in crashed completely while still snuggled into my side *warm, fuzzy mummy gushing feelings*. I continued to watch the film (nothing better on the T.V and I certainly didn’t want to wake Buzz by moving him before he was completely asleep).

dragon training

Maybe it was the lack of sleep over the past few nights or simply because I had been so busy all day, I had not had time to worry about the hand grenade, but I began thinking about all the goings on at home and yes the tears began to flow but only for a short while. Something in the film caught my attention and tickled my funny bone without even knowing it.

I began thinking. Maybe I could make a ‘How to train an adoptive mummy dragon’ instruction manual for Beeswax’s school and all the so called professionals who don’t ‘get it’ and would rather blame the parents instead of looking at the impact of the trauma that their child has experienced.

It is a common joke in our home that Bumble married a dragon (my Chinese zodiac sign) and this is probably what had sparked my amusement. But – I wonder, what if someone was to write a manual?

Would it highlight some key pieces of advice to help the reader have a better understanding of how to get the best out of the ‘dragon’ they need to work with?

Maybe, it would look a little like this! *tongue in cheek*

“How to train your adoptive mummy dragon”

  1. If through lack of understanding, you greet a dragon with anger and spears, you should expect a frosty reception – or is that a fiery reception?
  2. Dragons often feel misjudged and condemned and respond out of fear – they find it hard to show you their true personalities and strengths
  3. You should follow a dragon rider’s example and greet her with kindness, understanding and dead fish (okay maybe chocolate would work better).
  4. You have to earn a dragon’s trust. They do not take kindly to Berk Vikings bad mouthing them to other Berks.
  5. Every dragon has a soft spot – her children. Have faith in her detailed understanding of her children.
  6. All dragons are different – treat them as individuals. If you work with you dragon closely you will soon learn how to get the best out of her.

Okay back in the real world again.  By now you will probably have guessed that Waxy’s school are again at the centre of my distress. At the moment I have 2 choices – continue to let them drag me down and push me over the edge. Or, find a glimmer of hope and amusement, and cling onto it for as long as it takes for me to regain my strength and resilience (or at least write this #WASO post).

Triumphs and Relief

The adoption social’s #WASO theme this week is “A Sense Of Relief”.

When I began to put this post together earlier in the week, my opening line was “What does it feel like to experience a sense of relief nowadays”?

I was feeling pretty jaded after yet another difficult weekend and I was definitely in a ‘Negative Nelly’ headspace and feeling pretty hopeless that things were ever going to change.

Cue: stepping away from writing anymore to said post before I could write something that wasn’t going to send my reading heading for the nearest cliffs like the Lemmings in a computer game I used to play, a long, LONG time ago – and no I am not going to say exactly how long. That would give up my age and as they say ‘you are as young as the husband you feel’. Oh wait that doesn’t work Bumble is 9 years older than me and I don’t want to add extra years on myself. Do I?

lemmings

As the week has drawn out, I am pleased to say that ‘sense of relief’ has washed over the household several times this week, and the majority are Buzzbee related. Although the positive feedback from this has already begun to send ripples of hopeful and positive energy through the household and which I hope will manage to hang around for at least a tiny bit of time once Waxy gets home from school and both boys are home together for the weekend – we can live in hope.

So, what are these fleeting moments of ‘a sense of relief’? What has had me doing a little dance around the lounge this week?

First of all, and really this is a bittersweet side to our first ‘sense of relief’ this week because while finally PAS have got back to us about our request for assessment of our ASF needs and responding to my cries of despair over Waxy’s latest antic, there is a big change that has been slapped onto it.  The time has come for Shamrock (our long term PASW) to hand our file onto a stranger (Ok I should say a new PASW who will take us through our assessment without the shadows of the past always getting in the way). Trusting a new professional will be difficult (especially for me) but knowing that rather than having to constantly be chasing Shamrock because her workload had become so big that our ‘issues’ were small fry compared to others and we were no longer feeling supported by her, we now have a Sydney and so far she seems lovely and is keen to help put things back on track – *deep sigh of relief*

Secondly during the Easter holidays, I visited our GP and spoke to her about our concerns about Buzzbee. I barely begun trying to explain some of the “quirks and anxieties” we are witnessing, before she had heard enough and recommended referring him back to the community paediatrician as these were difficulties that had been flagged up to her before while he was still at school and from her records she could see that CAMHS had in fact not followed the recommendations by the CP for a detailed assessment to be untaken by them in reference to the complex behaviour that his school were reporting – as some of you will know. He was badly let down by CAMHS and treated appallingly.  So our GP sent off a referral but warned us that the paediatrician was in extremely high demand and the waiting list could be anything from 8 – 12 months before we are seen (not ideal but at least she was taking our concerns seriously).

Well, yesterday our wonderful postman delivered a letter which had me skipping for joy. The letter contained an appointment date for Buzzbee to be seen by the community paediatrician who originally did both his and Waxy’s LAC medical and who also sat on our adoption, fostering and matching panel. And even more exciting is the appointment is for 12 weeks’ time (it will take us that long to fill in the mountain of questionnaires that came in the envelope with the appointment letter) – she says as she exhales deeply.

And that leave me with 2 other reasons to feel relieved this week. One, although I am happy that things are moving on and I know will be a welcome relief for my mum and our family, is also tinged with sadness.  After waiting several months, the estate agent who is handling the sale of my nan and granddad’s home, many just have found a buyer for the house and very soon the home where all the family pets are buried and where all the grandchildren, my mum and her sister grew up will no long be part of our family.  But on the flipside, mum will finally be able sign with relief and finalise the distribution of nan and granddad’s estate.

Ok so I have saved the best for last.  Last night Buzzbee successfully managed to overcome his anxiety and join a new evening club, and what’s more, the mammoth self-esteem boost that he has received doing it is even this afternoon still flooding through the house – OK it took Bumble and I, 2 hours last night to bring him back down off the ‘ceiling of success’ and just listening to the excitement in his voice and watching my supercharged, happy little bee, buzzing brought several soppy tears to my eyes – it would be hard for anyone to understand how HUGE his achievement was last night but just in case you want to get a sense of his giddiness here is the link to his own #WASO blog post about it.

While Bumble may have been at work all day, he couldn’t avoid noticing the fog of anxiety and fear that was drowning the hive when he walked through the door and although neither of us wanted to admit that we could see the possibility of it all going south if Buzzbee gets there and really cannot cope.

So on returning from the club after sitting in a room, watching our nervous snapping turtle morphing into energetic songbird, strutting his stuff carefree and nervously trying to interact with the other children and accepting the help of the ladies running the group. Bumble and I had no choice but to let out a huge sigh of relief – Buzzbee had taken a big leap and we were all now basking in his euphoric glow of excitement and sense of achievement.

small triumphs

Taking Care of Feelings

This week in the Hive we have seen some monumentally big steps forward for Buzzbee and, even if they are only one offs or extremely rare occurrences, they are still achievements we can celebrate; and while we are talking about celebrating successes……This time last weekend ‘The Open Nest’ #takingcare conference had drawn to a close, and after a brief few hours several delegates had returned back to the very same hotel for a little dancing, chatting and, oh yes, a sneaky glass of wine (or equivalent alcoholic beverages) or two. Although I was sober as a judge, I will confess to being possibly one of the last to retire to my bed at a very respectable 3.30am….. I must add York is as magnificent in the early hours of the morning as it is in the daytime.

Ok a little about the conference……. I won’t go into it too much because there has been so many wonderful posts written for this and last weeks’ #WASO, which have already done a wonderful job of describing the day far better than I probably ever could have, but before I get onto the real reason for this post, I will do my best to describe briefly the highlights of the day – OK maybe the wrong words to use as every speaker and delegate who attended made the day a truly memorable and profound day.

After a brief welcome and short introduction about ‘The Open Nest’ charity from Amanda Boorman, we were then showed a short documentary about her life with her beautiful adopted daughter, Jazz. Before the conference had begun I had joked that it was the first conference that I had attended that, not only provided water and mints on the tables, but packs of tissues. By the end of the film there was hardly a dry eye in the room and well….the reasons for the tissues on the table had become very clear. I felt humbled to being given the opportunity to share such a personal journey with everyone, and the standing ovation at the end of the film was most definitely deserved.

I didn’t envy the speaker who had to follow this and Blogger/Adoptive parent/Social Worker Al Coates (Misadventures of an adoptive dad) admitted this himself, but he needn’t have worried. His wit and candour was a winning combination and I could have listened to him all day.

He was then followed by Fran Proctor (adoptee and mother) and with the help of Sally Donovan and a beautifully constructed Q&A format, she spoke about a teenager making a heart-breaking discovery of harrowing details about her birth family, how this impacted on her, and how she has now rebuilt her life – that id not to say that she hasn’t been left with emotional scars or has ‘locked her past away in a filing cabinet, never to be looked at again’ but I was in awe of her and her bravery in sharing her story.

It was then time for Sally Donovan herself to speak and, as with other times I have had the pleasure of hearing her speak, I was refreshed by the humour and candour of her first class presentation of practical self-care tips that she uses herself, followed by advice on how to speak with schools and navigate the minefield that is the education system – although I have a feeling I will still struggle with one of her tips…saying No has never been my strong point!

We were then treated to 2 more wonderful back to back presentations from first of all ‘We are family’ – a parent led support group, that has been set up in the London area by adoptive parents, who saw a need and filled the void (I think that was right but I am a little dozy when it comes to locations, so if I have this wrong I apologise now). This was then followed by a brain storming (Open Space) session facilitated by an actress/adoptive mum on topics that were of importance or interest to delegates – a long list was compiled which I believe Sally has taken away and intends to circulate at a later point.

That brings me to the lovely ladies, Vicki and Sarah, who are responsible for The Adoption Social and their vast knowledge of social media and how they met and came up with the idea for The Weekly Adoption Shout Out and later The Adoption Social site. There is a lot I could learn from these amazing ladies (as I could from many other adopters and Tweeties), and I don’t just mean when it comes to social media.

I tried to keep it brief – honestly I did!

Now back to the motivation behind this post – Buzzbee and his bravery this week.

I am sure that I have mentioned before that Buzzbee (and Beeswax for that fact) will go out of his way to make sure that he doesn’t allow people to know how he is really feeling – there is always leakage which, unless you have the empathy skills of a rock, you can pick up on the emotional cues that something is awry with him.  So with this in mind, it makes this weeks’ events just that little bit more exciting – OK maybe that is just Bumble and I, but as I am sure other adoptive parents know, things that many parents would take for granted and let go by unnoticed are events that we will treasure as micro samples of our children beginning to love and trust us without fear.

I won’t leave you in suspense anymore with my constant waffling. I have probably confused you all by now by starting with talking about the conference when I have openly said this post is really about Buzz and his successes, but quite honestly, the conference and my absence for the weekend is the catalyst to a sequence of events that have unfolded throughout this week.

For the last year Buzzbee has been practically with me 24/7 because of us needing to home educate him, so I would be lying if I said I wasn’t very anxious about how he would cope with a whole weekend without me, and during the week leading up to me going away, Buzzbee showed signs of regression and needed ‘mummy’ to be even closer than usual (and trust me he keeps me close most of the time anyway).   So his first achievement is not only did he manage to be away from me for so long but he allowed himself to enjoy himself as well and this is huge for him.  At this point I will mention that I think Bumble felt that he had climbed his own personal mountain by not only looking after the boys all weekend on his own, but also taking them away to my parents’ caravan for the weekend and surviving a Halloween Party in the company of my sister without me being there to act as referee – their relationship is a whole other story and one I might share sometime.

More than 48 hours after I left my three favourite men (Sorry Dad and the entire male cast of Strictly Come Dancing, that weekend my heart belonged to Bumble and my boys), I was greeted by Buzzbee leaping out of his dad’s car and leaping into my arms for the biggest hug he has ever given me, saying “I have really missed you and your hugs mummy”  (lump in throat moment), Beeswax in his unique teenage way greeted me with a ‘Welcome Home’ grunt but hey at least he acknowledged me, that is progress in itself.

If this had been the only progress I had seen this week I would have been happy but there is more…….

The day after the conference I needed to attend a meeting at Beeswax’s school with the Community Police Officer, members of staff and, although at first he had no idea it was happening, Beeswax was to join us too. For now I won’t say any more about this meeting, but because of this meeting I needed childcare for Buzzbee. Thankfully a wonderful adopter agreed to look after him for a few hours and, because her son attends Waxy’s school and he has spent time with me visiting her over the past few months, he feels relatively comfortable with her and agreed to go with her and her youngest son to a nearby indoor skate park. This is progress just on its own, as he has been very reluctant to go anywhere near a skate park after an accident more than a year ago, but to add on top of that spending the morning after I had returned once again away from me and in the words of our friend “being wonderful, despite being in an unfamiliar noisy environment”, so really I should count this as 2 reasons to celebrate.

But most definitely Buzzbee’s biggest step forward this week comes back to his reluctance in the past to trust people with his feelings and know what is going on in his head and heart.  Beeswax’s school week has been a short one this week and half-term started on Wednesday and in true sibling trauma bond fashion, Buzzbee’s excitement and anxiety about his big brothers’ return was being played out in many different ways and scenarios as the day drew closer – not helped by the fact that he was also trying to fight off a nasty cold and, on the day of Waxy’s return, a fever too. But no-one ever expected what played out over the next 24 hours would ever happen.

After the events that had played out at school at the beginning of the week, Beeswax had not had his best week at school, and this meant he did not come home in the best of moods and although I am sure it was not his intention to blank his little brother, Buzzbee interpreted his grunting and distance as rejection, which would usually result in a full blown meltdown ensuing either from Buzz or Waxy.

Later in the evening – bedtime to be exact, Buzz presented Bumble and I with 3 emotions cards which had Sad, Sleepy and Scared written on them, and which he has steadfastly refused to use for the entire 3 years we have had them, he then asked if he could have some paper and colouring pencils (volunteering to do some writing unaided – can you hear my squeals of delight from here).emotioncard
Anyway, without an explanation about why he needed the paper and pencils, he retired to his bedroom, only to return 30 minutes later with 2 pictures for Beeswax and telling Bumble that he wanted to tell Waxy how he felt that the love between them was broken and while Waxy’s heart was still whole, he enjoyed being mean to Buzz so Buzz’s heart was broken and he was sad that his big brother didn’t love him anymore. I don’t know about anyone else, but my eyes are welling up just as much now as when Buzzbee was explaining the picture.  He then presented Beeswax with one more picture of them hugging and simply told him that he wants his big brother to be like this with him again “like the old days”.  Sadly although Waxy did a wonderful job of making the right noises to appease Buzz, I don’t think he really understood what Buzz was trying to say – in the empathy and emotional acceptance department, Buzzbee has definitely overtaken his big brother.

DearWaxy

So while there may be some who read this and say “what is she talking about, Buzzbee is just growing up”, to Bumble and I these tiny (OK mammoth) steps are something that deserves to be celebrated!

 

 

The Weekly Adoption Shout Out

“On Monday I Lost My Rabbit”

Please forgive me.  I thought this week I would do something different for my #WASO post and ask a friend of ours from Bumble’s musical theatre/amateur dramatics group to write something for me about a book she has written and that has been welcomed into our therapeutic reading toolbox.

Why?  Well, quite simply, I didn’t feel I could do justice to explaining the inspiration behind the book.

So I guess this week I have a guest writer.  (Disclaimer: I am not being paid for promoting this book.  I just ‘paying it forward’ and doing someone a good turn).

Although it is aimed at much younger children, it is written with some of our children’s needs in mind.

Social stories are used almost on a daily basis in our home and In Buzzbee’s words “I am like the boy in the book, except his bedroom is tidier”. Buzzbee absolutely loves the book and it has promoted several detailed conversations around loss and emotions (which as many of you know is a big thing in ‘The Hive’ at the moment with the loss of GrannyBee and Great NannyBee).

 

LostrabbitcoverFlat

    “On Monday I Lost My Rabbit”

Having had a fun filled career in teaching for more years than I care to remember, I decided to write the book that had been popping in and out of my head for almost as many years.

Whilst teaching in a variety of schools with pupils with profound and multiple learning impairments, pupils with severe learning impairments, pupils on the autism spectrum as well as pupils with physical, visual and hearing impairments and pupils who had behaviour modification programmes, I often wished there were more reading resources for some of these pupils.

A number of pupils found reading individual words difficult and they often took time to understand a small number of key words. Many stories were made with paper and pen using the words they knew and it was always great fun and a way of building confidence. However, I couldn’t help but long for some published stories not for my sake but for the pupils. At the end of the day they knew we were making books and some of them knew that other children were reading “proper” books.

So here it is……..

“On Monday I Lost My Rabbit” is the story of loss and the joy of finding what was lost, in this case, four well-loved toys. It can be read as simply as this. It can also be a gentle way to open up talks about feelings around loss. This can be loss of anything. The toy is just the representative of what you wish it to be. Depending on your child and your circumstances you could use the story to chat about finding joy even if you don’t find what was lost.

The story has a strong educational basis and can be linked to many areas of the Early Years Foundation Stages. The book has been created to include primary colours, four toy box toys and simple repetitive language. The illustrations encourage visual development as you try to find the lost toys.

Literacy – Reading – The book contains 16 of the first 100 high frequency words children learn to read 4 of the second 100 high frequency and 4 from the third. There are 8 additional words plus the 7 days of the week.

Mathematics – Time is used in the story in the form of the days of the week which makes a great starting point for understanding the past, present and future. The calendar has the numbers 1-7 on with the corresponding day which can open up conversations on numbers and counting.

It can also be used as a starting point for many expressive arts and design, hide and seek like the toys and of course many songs with rabbits, bears, dragons and ducks.

I have tried where possible to make the story accessible to all and I hope it can be used to encourage the use of signing and symbol systems ie Makaton/British Sign Language. The high frequency words in the story lend themselves to being signed.

The beautiful illustrations take the child along for the wonderful adventure and I hope that as well as the educational basis, readers will also enjoy the book as a lovely story of hope.

The young child loses four of his toys on separate days of the week. I wonder where he eventually finds them? I won’t tell you as you might want to discover for yourself……….

You can purchase the book from some bookshops, the internet and my website www.victoriastory.com

So here it is…..” On Monday I lost my rabbit”……..I wonder what happened on Tuesday?

rabbit book

 

The Weekly Adoption Shout Out