This week’s theme for #WASO is ‘one year on’.
I have just read back over the post I wrote around about a year ago to see how things have changed. You can read that post here .
So, what has changed, 1 year on?
Well, although he is still negative, we don’t have the continuous moaning about ‘things’. He moans about life, but we don’t get so much of the ‘my socks are too sratchy, my bed is too high’, blah blah blah. So, still negative, but in a different way, and now I look back it is nowhere near as bad as it was. (not this week anyway!)
He still comes home for lunch twice a week and this will remain for sometime. The odd times due to work that he can’t come home for lunch definitely makes the week worse.
Generally though life is pretty much the same – the posts that I have just read for last February are as varied as for the last 6 weeks. Some good, some bad.
Since last February though lots of things have happened.
Boyo has lost 4 teeth – and got 4 new big ones to be very proud of. He has learnt to read. He has learnt to write stories. He can swim on his front & back, front crawl, breast stroke and loves to dive. (all with the finesse of an over eager 6yr old). He 75% of the time comes out of his bed in the morning to see me. Still robotic, but he does it. He has started Beavers and loves it. He has learnt to ice skate (slowly). He is a Year 1 boy and can tie his own tie. He has started to talk about adoption, small & infrequent chats but the doors are opening. He has started Theraplay.
So, quite alot has happened in the past year.
Something strange is going on round here, something quite unusual and unheard.
I’ve been hearing laughter. Not my laughter, not voices in my head, but laughter coming from Boyo. A sound that hasn’t been heard at home for longer than I can remember.
He laughs at school, he laughs with friends, but it’s sort of false and generally means he is highly anxious and that it is time for me to run and hide.
I don’t want to get excited at this point, as I think we have had 6 days of being relaxed and happy, and out of the past 1095 days of trauma, 6 days really isn’t many. But……………it is the first time that I can remember that we have had so many calm days in a row.
Of course, he hasn’t had a character transplant, and his anxieties are certainly still here. He is still chewing his fingers, scratching his face, moaning, being negative and all other things, but it is not continuous. He actually seems to be enjoying himself.
And what’s more, I have been enjoying him. As, however much I love him, I can assure you, I do not enjoy living in a fog of depression, anxiety and negativity. This week he has played beautifully, listened well, played board games with me (mainly Sorry!, a firm favourite of mine!) and the best bit of all……
As I have walked downstairs each evening after settling him to sleep, a little voice has called out
‘I love you Mummy, you are the best Mummy in the world’.
Now, I can assure you I am not the best Mummy in the world, and I am quite sure that it will be some time before he says it to my face but we are making progress.
I have no doubt that Theraplay has started to work, I have also started working more on ‘family time’. Emphasising the word ‘family’ in all that we do. Let’s go for a ‘family swim’, ‘Rabbit is our family pet’ etc etc.
So, laughter is coming back. Those of you who know me will know that laughter & humour has always been a huge part of me and of my family life. A life without humour to me is just plain strange. If there is humour to be seen, I will see it. And maybe, just maybe now Boyo will be able to share that humour with me. Perhaps, when I laugh instead of a glare, I’ll get a smile. Perhaps he’ll stop shouting ‘it’s not funny’ at the top of his voice, and laugh with me.
For the first time in a long time, I’m hopeful that there are giggles around the corner.
A day in the life of Boyo. (Bonzo seems to have been replaced by Boyo, not sure how that happened, but my last blog I typed it and didn’t even notice, so Boyo it is!)
Clearly, we have good days, bad days, ridiculously awful days and just normal days.
So, I’ll just do today. You can decide for yourself whether is is good or bad. Probably better than some, worse than others.
6.45 am – walk into (this already puts it in a ‘good day’ category, often he lies silently in bed) my room. ‘Mummy, I’m awake’ Stands rigidly next to me. I give him a kiss. He robotically walks to the loo then back to his room.
Now, I rarely go out, but last night was book club, which, can be renamed wine drinking club, so I was late to bed last night and not keen to be awake. Not a chance of having anymore sleep though as………
6.50 – 7.45 every 5 minutes ask a ridiculous question that he already knows the answer to (think Mummy, are banana skins yellow?) until I get out of bed.
7.45 – moan loudly that it’s not fair that Mummy is going to make a cup of tea.
8.00 – Come into my bed for a story (I am now back upstairs with my cup of tea). Interrupt the story after every sentence with the same question. ‘Can I have chocolate porridge for breakfast?’ (a Saturday special). I answered ‘yes’ the first time. He asked another 100 times.
8.15 Up, dressed & doing art, whilst I get breakfast. Only it takes some time to make a simple bowl of porridge as his ‘art’ is purposely chosen so that he needs help, but doesn’t want help, so calls me back (from 2 steps away) to ask for help and then moan that I am helping him.
8.30 Eat breakfast. Phew.
8.45 – take as long as is humanly possible to go to the loo & wash his hands & face. It is amazing how many distractions there are (not) in our downstairs loo.
9.00 – proudly wake the rabbit up, and give her her breakfast.
9.30 – get ready for bike club. All ready and off on his bike.
10-11 bike club.
I afterwards hear through several sources that he has been a right pain. Jumping off his bike, running away and rolling down the hills. Answering back………. I have just emailed his bike teacher with an apology and a proposed solution.
11.15 – burps in his friend’s face then starts sobbing when I remind him that we had talked about that. He knows his cuddly dogs are staying in my room till this stops. Strop, pedal, strop, pedal.
11.30-12. We have a long tearful talk about what is going on. I ask Boyo to write down how he was feeling this morning and how things could’ve gone better. After a long sob upstairs he came down and apologised. And I think he meant it.
12.30. Rest upstairs with books.
1.30 – my new resolution is to have more ‘family time’ with just us, and also with cousins, trying to get him to understand that we are a family for ever, and that he is loved no matter what. So, with this in mind we set off to collect Pop & Aunty and head to a local ‘fun pool’. This is the first time Boyo has been down flumes, round rapids etc and along with Pop had a great time.
4.15pm, on our way home. Hugely bad mood comes from nowhere. Pop has fallen asleep, for no (apparent) reason whatsoever Boyo starts moaning, grumbling and being generally negative. From happy & relaxed to ‘depressed’ in a nano-second. Witnessed by Aunty.
5pm – go to a shop to choose a pizza. Slightly cheers at this prospect.
5.15pm – gets himself ready for bed whilst I get dinner. Finishes a puzzle. Is generally chatty and fine. We put 2 stickers on his new ‘Boyo is great’ chart. 1 sticker on ‘I did great listening’ and 1 sticker on ‘I had a great time’. This is new today, and aiming to boost his self-esteem.
5.30 – Now a real treat in this household. Dinner whilst watching tv. In fact tv is a real treat, so a double whammy of a treat!
5.45 – the nice mood disappears when he starts putting a puzzle away. ‘Don’t worry about the puzzle Boyo, I’ll put it away when you are in bed’.
Waaaaaaaaaaaaa, I don’t want a story, you never read stories to me, you are so mean, I never do nice things…………
That will be the last time that I offer to tidy up for him!!
6.15 (lateish for Boyo) he is fast asleep and snoring.
It has been an emotionally tiring day for him. And a physically tiring day for him.
Me, I’m now drinking alcoholic blackcurrant stuff. Made by a fellow adopter. Funny that.
Yesterday all of Boyo’s class were at a party, but with my new resolution to avoid them for a while we set off to visit old friends.
What better way to let off steam, avoid a party, socialise and get wet.