Tag Archive | loss

Tiger Feet

First of all. No! I am not about to break out into a song.

When Bumble returned from visiting his dad and brothers, bringing with him a dusty old pair of tiger feet slippers, which had belonged to my late mother-in-law. Nobody could have imagined these orange and black, fluffy fellows were going to bring about a complete emotional meltdown for Buzzbee that would reduce Bumble to tears also (Yes the tears were flowing for me too but there is nothing new there – if my boys are in pain, it breaks my heart).

Ok let me take a couple of steps back. When Bumble arrived home from work yesterday afternoon, he brought in with him from his car a pair of Tiger slippers which his dad had found while going through boxes of at home and they believed that had been Bumble’s mum’s at some point. Bumble and his dad thought that Buzzbee would like them for his dressing up box as he already owns a Tiger onesie – absolutely wonderful idea, I thought and Buzzbee was delighted with them.

Throughout the day Buzzbee had been….. Well, let us just say. I suggested to Bumble that it might be a good idea to meet up at lunchtime as my therapeutic mummy juice was rapidly running out. So when Buzzbee volunteered to read in the evening with his dad (NEVER happens) and did so while wearing his new “feet”, I couldn’t help but let my guard down and believe that his dark mood had lifted and bedtime would be relaxed and positive before our babysitter arrived.

Silly mummy!!!!

Once Buzz had finished reading with Bumble, the nervous, fizzy energy came out to play. He had done such a wonderful job but struggled with one word and he began to fall apart. He couldn’t tolerate any suggestion that he had done really well considering on how difficult he finds reading and all he could focus on was, the one word he struggled with.

Beedog picking up on his energy began to join in with his ‘bubbling’ and herself begun to get over-excited. In the process of the chaos and madness, Beedog tried to remove the Tiger feet from Buzzbee’s feet which Buzz was finding oddly funny, considering how close her teeth were to his toes. In an attempt to prevent the slippers getting damage or Buzz’s feet being chomped. I slipped the slipper off Buzz’s foot, with the intention of retrieving it from Beedog before putting it back on Buzzbee’s foot.

Oh dear. Bad mummy. Buzzbee suddenly feel completely apart and raced hysterically out of the room and into his bedroom in floods of tears, completely inconsolable.

What had I done that was so wrong? Why was he throwing a wobbly?

Although it took me a minute to realise it. It wasn’t that I had taken the slipper off his foot that upset him. It was that I had taken ‘Granny’s slipper’ off his foot and in doing so I had taken Granny from him again in his mind.

All the grief and loss that he had experienced over the years was suddenly coming crashing to the surface and he had become overwhelmed by it all but he couldn’t let me near – painful as it was to see him in such distress, I needed at the time to remember that he wasn’t trying to reject me. The pain was just too much for him to accept comfort.

In the meantime, Bumble was conspicuous in his absence (usually he is great at stepping in when Buzz is in this state). Again, I didn’t need to think too hard to know the reason why. Bumble was trying his hardest to hide his pain at the realisation of Buzzbee’s connection to the slippers.

Buzzbee needed Bumble and no matter how much Bumble denies it, at that point he needed Buzzbee too. The boys haven’t really seen Bumble cry when it comes to losing his mum (they saw him cry more when our old cat died). Bumble’s has been quite stoic when the boys have been around (Neither of them cope well with seeing myself or Bumble upset. It really upsets their equilibrium and over the years we have subconsciously reined ourselves in when they are present).

Last night was different. Bumble couldn’t hide from it and he knew that Buzzbee needed him at that point and needed to know that it was OK to miss his granny and that Bumble misses her too.

So what started out as an innocent pair of old slipper being brought home to be put into a dressing up box and have some fun with, actually turned into an important but emotional evening, where Bumble had a rare opportunity to be the one to give Buzzbee the support and emotional connection that he needed at that time and strengthen their attachment just that little bit more.

tigerfeet

Many of you will think I am completely crazy but I have long believed that our loved ones are always watching over us and send us what we need, when we need it.

And, boy did they both need it.

“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