As happy and carefree as life ever gets for Bonzo. Not sure if he will remember the exhiliration he felt rolling down the hill, or the effort required to climb back up!
Bonzo = food = Bonzo = food……
Never has such a spindly child had the capacity to eat so much.Bonzo will eat anything and everything, including at the moment, the insides of his own cheeks and anything random he finds on the floor.
Now whilst I realise that this is probably better than the opposite problem which many adopted children have of not eating anything, it does have his own problems.
Firstly – he eats every meal like it is his first and last. We invariably eat together, but if I nip back to the kitchen to get something, it is quite likely his plate will be half empty before I am back (and I do not live in a mansion, we are talking 10 steps return journey).
Meals & snacks are security for Bonzo. If we go somewhere for the day, I always take snacks and a lunch for him, even if we are eating in a cafe, as then he knows we have food with us. The first thing I have to do on arrival somewhere is point out where cafes, snack bars etc are and reassure him food is available (although I rarely buy it, he knows it is there). Bonzo has never voiced his concerns about not having food, it is as ever me piecing bits of a very random jigsaw together.
The more anxious he gets, the more he will eat. If he is at a party (high anxiety) he will stand by the table eating until I physically remove him. Probably screaming for more.
It has it’s funny(ish) side too – he often proudly shows me that he got a sticker for ‘eating all my lunch’ at school. He probably eats all his lunch (and any scraps on the floor) before anyone else has sat down. Yesterday at a picnic with his cousins, he had finished his 4 savoury ‘bites’ before I had given them to Pickle & Pop. Now, perhaps I should serve them first, but then we would have instant meltdown as Bonzo would panic he was being left out.
Where all this food goes is anyones guess. There is not an oz (or gram) of fat on him, you can count his ribs from afar and he is below average height for his age. I suspect his nervous energy burns it off. And if talking burns up calories, then that is the answer!
However, out of all Bonzo’s quirks, this is a minor one. Food is easy to provide, we can sometimes (not always) laugh about it, and most of what he eats is healthy, so I don’t need to worry, but…………… for those that can’t imagine what a 5yr old can eat – here is a meal out a few weeks ago. Every last mouthful was eaten – plus nibbles and ‘after dessert sweets’.
Treasured memories, lots and lots to choose from but one that stands out the most is a very clear memory from our early days together.
I had taken Bonzo to a local park (park is understatement, large area of land owned by the Queen), for us both to get some fresh air and to reduce my increasing cabin fever.
At first Bonzo (who I don’t think had ever been in a big open green space before) held my hand, then he tentatively let go. Then he ran. To the leaves. Then he picked up the leaves and started throwing them, again and again and again.
A really normal activity for most 2 year olds. But a magical moment for Bonzo.
A few weeks ago I blogged about Bonzo and his general regression. (see here).
After a continuing couple of weeks of extremes – extremely cross, extremely emotional, extremely extreme, on Saturday, mid bike race he started to lose control of his emotion. Although not especially what I wanted it is good, as I know it is the start of him blurting out what has been going on in his mind. ( I am pretty sure it is also what gave him the power to speed to a great 6th position in his under 8s bike race!). And if he has to start screaming at me, then I guess a large outside area with lots of noisy boys is as good a place as any!
So, as predicted, and expected, though not wanted (by me), it has been the worry about going into school on his own that has caused all this.
Walking into the classroom without me has been enough of a challenge for him for us to return to meltdown city.
After bike club, and once Bonzo had calmed enough we talked about what was going on. I ‘wondered’ if going into school without me was too much. ‘yes’ he sobbed, ‘I can’t do it anymore’. Ok. Time to take action. Again.
With a ‘hello, it’s me again’ grin on my face & holding Bonzo’s hand I walked him into school on Monday morning and spoke quietly with Mrs Black. She sent me to see Mrs D who as ever, was courteous, caring (patted me on my shoulder and asked how I was!) and asked me to hang on a few minutes whilst she did the register and she would come for a chat. What she probably wanted to say was ‘oh for heaven’s sake, now what’.
So, we chatted, I explained more, she said how tricky it was for her to think of ways to help him when she just has a reasonably settled, but anxious and hyper little boy in school. I appreciate this is difficult, and she again, showed full support and said that ‘this by no way means that we don’t believe you, we will do anything we can to help him’. Great.
Once again, Mrs D agreed to my suggestions and had some of her own. As of Tuesday, I have been taking Bonzo into school through the office and directly in to the classroom, 2 minutes before they open the door to let the masses in. Each day either Mrs D or Mrs Black have come and taken him from me, with a cheery ‘Morning Bonzo’ and a hand to hold. I sneak back out the way I arrived, and then the others pour in.
I have also upped my presence in the school in general. Volunteering to do any jobs that are asked. That way Bonzo can see me floating around. This week has been sorting out a PTA cupboard, being CRBd (for the umpteenth time) and manning the bookstall.
All has combined to make for a happier week. Bonzo’s shoulders have returned to the normal position, he has enjoyed rehearsing for his assembly, and is happily reading lots at home to get ‘stamps’ on his school bookmark. All good, normal stuff.
Not sure I would ever describe our family life as normal. But for now it is our normal – and that will do nicely.
A photographic glimpse of our early days as a family.
All taken in the first few months.
Our first moments alone together.
Exploring the local woods.
Puddle jumping fun.
A first trip to soft play.
Getting to grips with Duplo.
Plane spotting at a local airport.