Ask the Kids #13

boy-1298788_1280Our only daughter, (8 y.o.) took this questionnaire very seriously and replied in full and long sentences on my recorder, so I’ve cut her replies down just for informative purposes.
I asked her about myself and her daddy (who wasn’t present) and it’s obvious from her replies who is disciplining and teaching more; and who is more mucking about. ☺ Also I think because he was not around, her answers about him were more cheeky.

About mummy
1.What is something I always say to you? -You want me start listening to you.
2. What colour are my eyes? -Greyish / bluish
3. What makes me happy? -Me, making you laugh, when I tickling you.
4. What makes me sad? -Me, when I am not listening to you.
5. What is my hair like? -Long, silky.
6. How do I make you laugh? -Saying random things or exclamations in foreign language. (She means when I pronounce English words incorrectly /make them up or swear in a foreign language.)
7. What do you think I was like as a child? -Playful and also helpful. (See, it`s working! She believes it!)
8. How old am I? – 47
9. How tall am I? –like 2 feet tall…? (No idea what is it and where it come from. We use cm and m system at home and I am sure I am much taller)
10.What is my favourite thing to do? -To help me to learn staff from school.
11. What do I do when you’re not around? -Clean house. (Great! She doesn`t know about TV!)
12. What am I really good at? -Doing things, which I don`t know how to do and teaching me that.
13. What is something I’m not good at? -Sometimes you not good at walking in my room when its messy and you stepping on my little toys.
14. What do I do for a job? -Work from home as a business woman.
15. What is my favourite food? -Salmon and oysters. (Right about salmon, wrong about oysters. Probably, she meant I love to eat food, which daddy and her would never eat)
16. What do you enjoy doing with me? -Playing.

About daddy
1. What is something I always say to you? -Copying my words
2. What colour are my eyes? -Blue
3. What makes me happy? -When I let you kiss, squeeze and hug me
4. What makes me sad? – When I hurt you
5. What is my hair like? -Short, greasy and grey
6. How do I make you laugh? -When you start laughing yourself
7. What do you think I was like as a child? -Very playful with your sisters
8. How old am I? –at the moment you are 57
9. How tall am I? –3 feet tall (wrong, he is taller but right about he is taller than me)
10.What is my favourite thing to do? -Tip me around and shake me
11. What do I do when you’re not around? -Work at your office
12. What am I really good at? -Picking me up and put on your shoulders
13. What is something I’m not good at? -At stopping on time when I told you to stop
14. What do I do for a job? -Working in business
15. What is my favourite food?- Fish and chips
16. What do you enjoy doing with me? –Playing and being silly

Ask the Kids #12

boy-1298788_1280

As part of National Adoption Week we asked for contributions in the form of a list of questions and answers supplied by our children on the subject of us – their parents.

Having received quite a few sets of these answers, some parents have chosen to omit certain questions in order to keep the responses within safe boundaries; and others have run with every single one of them and each and every contribution has been so gratefully received.

If you’d like to contribute, please feel free to play around with the format and customise it to suit your own family and forward your answers to me.

1 what is something I always say to you? I don’t know
2 What colour are my eyes? pink ( worrying …)
3 What makes me happy? watching something
4 What makes me sad? hitting ( true !)
5 What is my hair like? black
6 How do I make you laugh? watch something again ( hmmmm there is a theme …) or tickle me
7 What do you think  was like as a child? don’t know
8 How tall am I? this big
9 What do I do when you’re not around? work
10What is my favourite thing to do? play
12 What is something I’m good at? gymnastics ( what ?!!!!! )
13 What is something I’m not good at not handstands ( again what ?!!! )
14 What do I do for a job? work
15 What’s my favourite food? goulash ....( never ever had this …!!!)
16 What do you enjoy doing with me? going to school on my bike

Ask the Kids #11

boy-1298788_1280

As part of National Adoption Week we asked for contributions in the form of a list of questions and answers supplied by our children on the subject of us – their parents.

Having received quite a few sets of these answers, some parents have chosen to omit certain questions in order to keep the responses within safe boundaries; and others have run with every single one of them and each and every contribution has been so gratefully received.

If you’d like to contribute, please feel free to play around with the format and customise it to suit your own family and forward your answers to me.

1. What is something I always say to you? Oh, not this again. Guess what… I love you. (Clearly bored already…)

2. What colour are my eyes? Greeny pooper colour. (I hope not)

3. What makes me happy? The moon coz you want to watch sparkly dresses all day and night. (I think this is a reference to Strictly Come Dancing which I’m a bit partial to).

4. What makes me sad? The sun coz you can’t watch sparkly dresses. (I’m not completely obsessed with Strictly…)

5. What is my hair like? pointy. (True)

6. How do I make you laugh? By going pffff (points one hand in the air and the other at the floor making a pfff noise) (Don’t remember ever doing this.)

7. What do you think I was like as a child? I’m looking at the stars.. Stop distracting me. I’m trying to see the moon and the stars. (More boredom I think)

8. How old am I? 88. (Not true)

9. How tall am I? As tall as that lamp. I mean as tall as a house. (Somewhere in between)

10.What is my favourite thing to do? Playing cookalooloo with me. (Again, no recollection of what this is)

11. What do I do when you’re not around? Going to golf and watching golf. (Somewhat true)

12. What am I really good at? Golf and reading. (Hopefully true)

13. What is something I’m not good at? Looking after me. (I think – and hope this is a joke as it was said between loud guffaws)

14. What do I do for a job? Do work. (Yep)

15. What is my favorite food? Mustard. (Absolutely not true)

16. What do you enjoy doing with me? I’ll show you… (picks up a picture she has made) Drawing with me. (True)

Aged 4 1/2

Ask the Kids #10

boy-1298788_1280

As part of National Adoption Week we asked for contributions in the form of a list of questions and answers supplied by our children on the subject of us – their parents.

Having received quite a few sets of these answers, some parents have chosen to omit certain questions in order to keep the responses within safe boundaries; and others have run with every single one of them and each and every contribution has been so gratefully received.

If you’d like to contribute, please feel free to play around with the format and customise it to suit your own family and forward your answers to me.

Q1 something I always say to you
Don’t know
Q2 my eye colour
Brown (right)
Q5 what’s my hair like?
Blondie(right)
Q7what do you think I was like as a child?
Like me
Q8 my age
85(wrong)!!!! I’m 50
Q14
My job?
Work with people who have poorly brains(right)
Q15
Favourite food?
Pie and gravy (wrong)

7 years

Ask the Kids #8

boy-1298788_1280As part of National Adoption Week we asked for contributions in the form of a list of questions and answers supplied by our children on the subject of us – their parents.

Having received quite a few sets of these answers, some parents have chosen to omit certain questions in order to keep the responses within safe boundaries; and others have run with every single one of them and each and every contribution has been so gratefully received.

If you’d like to contribute, please feel free to play around with the format and customise it to suit your own family and forward your answers to me.

1. What is something I always say to you? I love you – correct
2. What colour are my eyes? Green – correct
3. What makes me happy? When I say I love you & when you see your friends – this one makes me sad as she always says I want to spend time with my friends not her!!!
4. What makes me sad? When I shout & when I miss Nana & Papa & when you don’t see me – correct
5. What is my hair like? Bobbly- crazy – correct!
6. How do I make you laugh? Tickle me – correct
7. What do you think I was like as a child? Crazy – she was shocked when I said quiet and shy!
8. How old am I? 45 -correct
9. How tall am I? 4 meters or 10 meters long – ha ha!
10.What is my favourite thing to do? See me – correct
11. What do I do when you’re not around? Clean up & see my friends – clean up yes , I’ve seen friends twice since school stared but interesting!
12. What am I really good at? Looking after me – I wish!!
13. What is something I’m not good at? Juggling – I am actually not bad!!!
14. What do I do for a job? Help people to be good if they have been bad. Interesting I am a programme manager working regionally to develop addiction programmes for those in custody!
15. What is my favorite food? Thai soup – I do love it!!!
16. What do you enjoy doing with me? Playing cards

Ask the Kids #7

boy-1298788_1280As part of National Adoption Week we asked for contributions in the form of a list of questions and answers supplied by our children on the subject of us – their parents.

Having received quite a few sets of these answers, some parents have chosen to omit certain questions in order to keep the responses within safe boundaries; and others have run with every single one of them and each and every contribution has been so gratefully received.

If you’d like to contribute, please feel free to play around with the format and customise it to suit your own family and forward your answers to me.

Son number 1 
1. What is something I always say to you?
I love you
2. What colour are my eyes?
Blue (correct)
3. What makes me happy?
When we do nice things as a family.
4. What makes me sad?
If me and my brother are fighting and when somebody dies like your sister.
5. What is my hair like?
Greyish and very short. (True)
6. How do I make you laugh?
By doing silly things
7. What do you think I was like as a child?
Really well behaved and you always listened to your parents.
8. How old am I?
54 (correct)
9. How tall am I?
Tall (1.75m)
10.What is my favourite thing to do?
Say funny things because it makes us laugh
11. What do I do when you’re not around?
Eat ice cream and watch TV with the dog and sometimes work (sadly all true).
12. What am I really good at?
Designing properties
13. What is something I’m not good at?
You always tell us that you are good at everything. ( I do and the brainwashing seems to be working)
14. What do I do for a job?
Design properties (true)
15. What is my favorite food?
Sushi (true)
16. What do you enjoy doing with me?
Playing Chess .

Son number 2

1. What is something I always say to you?
I love you
2. What colour are my eyes?
Blue (correct)
3. What makes me happy?
Me being good
4. What makes me sad?
Me Not being behaved
5. What is my hair like?
You’re bald ?!?!
6. How do I make you laugh?
By telling me jokes
7. What do you think I was like as a child
Naughty
sigh
8. How old am I?
57 ( 54)
9. How tall am I?
1.6m (1.75)
10.What is my favourite thing to to do?
Playing Jinga (random and incorrect)
11. What do I do when you’re not around?
Just work
12. What am I really good at?
You’re really good at building
13. What is something I’m not good at?
Piano (true)
14. What do I do for a job?
Build (correct)
15. What is my favorite food?
Sushi (correct)
16. What do you enjoy doing with me?
Going to the cinema and swimming

Ask the Kids #6

boy-1298788_1280

As part of National Adoption Week we asked for contributions in the form of a list of questions and answers supplied by our children on the subject of us – their parents.

Having received quite a few sets of these answers, some parents have chosen to omit certain questions in order to keep the responses within safe boundaries; and others have run with every single one of them and each and every contribution has been so gratefully received.

If you’d like to contribute, please feel free to play around with the format and customise it to suit your own family and forward your answers to me.

1. What is something I always say to you? I love you

2. What colour are my eyes? blue

3. What makes me happy? being my mum

4. What makes me sad? when I say mean stuff

5. What is my hair like? lovely

6. How do I make you laugh?

7. What do you think I was like as a child? being good

8. How old am I?

9. How tall am I? Long

10.What is my favourite thing to do? kiss me

11. What do I do when you’re not around? read and do meetings and phone calls and stuff

12. What am I really good at? you’re really good at kissing me goodnight

13. What is something I’m not good at? hugging me enough

14. What do I do for a job? be a great mummy

15. What is my favorite food? pizza (i ask is that my favorite food or your favourite food, she whispers… just pretend)

16. What do you enjoy doing with me? playing sylvanians (and when she answered this question for herself she said Special Time)

Ask the Kids #5

boy-1298788_1280

As part of National Adoption Week we asked for contributions in the form of a list of questions and answers supplied by our children on the subject of us – their parents.

Having received quite a few sets of these answers, some parents have chosen to omit certain questions in order to keep the responses within safe boundaries; and others have run with every single one of them and each and every contribution has been so gratefully received.

If you’d like to contribute, please feel free to play around with the format and customise it to suit your own family and forward your answers to me.

Here’s our fourth set of answers.

1. What is something I always say to you?

Wash your hands

2. What colour are my eyes?

Blue

3. What makes me happy?

When you cuddle me

4. What makes me sad?

When I don’t get dressed

5. What is my hair like?

Brown

6. How do I make you laugh?

Jokes

7. What do yu think I was like as a child?

Happy

8. How old am I?

46

9. How tall am I?

Bout taller than the cat but not taller than the house
10. What is my favourite thing to do?

Cooking

11. What do I do when you’re not around?

Wait to pick me up from school

12. What am I really good at?

Cooking

13. What is something I’m not good at?

Not good at sweeping up leaves

14. What do I do for a living?

Talking to me, cuddling me

15. What is my favourite food?

Avocado

16.What do you enjoy doing with me?

Making pizza together

Aged 5

Ask the Kids #4

boy-1298788_1280

As part of National Adoption Week we asked for contributions in the form of a list of questions and answers supplied by our children on the subject of us – their parents.

Having received quite a few sets of these answers, some parents have chosen to omit certain questions in order to keep the responses within safe boundaries; and others have run with every single one of them and each and every contribution has been so gratefully received.

If you’d like to contribute, please feel free to play around with the format and customise it to suit your own family and forward your answers to me.

Here’s our next set of answers

1. What is something I always say to you?

I love you
2. What colour are my eyes?
Brown
3. What makes me happy?
When I do nice things with you
4. What makes me sad?
When I cry and then that makes you sad
5. What is my hair like?
Nice and pretty
6. How do I make you laugh?
When you cuddle me and tickle me
7. What do you think I was like as a child?
Good
8. How old am I?
I don’t know mama
9. How tall am I?
Lots bigger than me
10.What is my favourite thing to do?
Hug me
11. What do I do when you’re not around?
Work
12. What am I really good at?
Playing with me
13. What is something I’m not good at?
Not playing with me
14. What do I do for a job?
Work, a special doctor isn’t it?
15. What is my favorite food?
Um, I don’t know
16. What do you enjoy doing with me?
Hugging you, lying on you

Aged 4.

Ask the Kids #3

boy-1298788_1280So I thought I’d try the questions WAF suggested for National Adoption Week on my five year old son. I felt a little uneasy with the questions, as some could be seen as loaded. It is like asking children with long antennae what other people think; they are bound to have a view. I was just worried he may be searching for what he thought I might like to hear, rather than what he thinks. What I really want for my son is for him learn to check in with himself and to trust himself and his feelings, what ever they may be. I wondered which route these questions would led us down.

What happened next I didn’t expect.

The first question was lost in conversation.

To the second, ‘What is the colour of my eyes?’, he answered ‘Blue. … Mine are brown.’ We looked into each others eyes as if to check, and smiled. ‘Yep.’

The next two questions about what makes me happy and sad, I thought potentially loaded, for the same reasons as already mentioned. So, I breathed in and asked

‘What makes me happy? Or what do you think makes me happy?’

‘Me.’ (We both laughed.) ‘Yup. You certainly do.’

‘What do you think makes me sad.’ Another loaded question, potentially.

‘Martin.’ 

‘… You’re right. … yes….’ He went straight to where it hurt.

At this point my son turned the tables on me and started to ask a host of questions. We never did finish the questions. This was an important pressing subject and we are still discussing it. Days later. It has taken many twists and turns since the other day at the lunch table.

Martin is a childhood, or youthhood friend of mine, who died after a short and aggressive illness. I didn’t make it back to say goodbye in person. He died only a week ago. And I cried. No, I sobbed. In front of my son, after reading a particularly beautiful tribute to him.

Why did he make you cry, mummy? Because he died?’

‘Yes, it makes me sad that Martin died.’

Why did he die?’

‘Because he got very ill.’

‘But didn’t he go to hospital to get better? Couldn’t the doctors fix him?’

‘He did go to hospital. A lot… But the doctors couldn’t fix him. He died of a very rare illness.’

We talked and talked and talked. He asked and asked and asked. About death, about all of Martin’s family and how they might feel now that he is no longer there. He was particularly sad to learn that his mum and dad were still alive. ‘They must feel very sad that Martin died.’ ‘Yes darling. I am sure they miss him very much.’

He asked what sort of a person Martin was. There a literally hundreds of wonderful stories about him I could pick from, so that part was easy. He was a silly and very very funny person, so it did good remembering. It also did good also to tell my son about some things from my youth.

And then…

We talked some more about death. About us parents. Especially daddy. And when he might die. And my son told me we are all going to die. But not for a long long time. That we would go to the sun to get energy and come back to earth to give it to the doctors so they can give it to their old patients. ‘The morning that daddy turns 100 he is going to hospital so they can fix him.’

We sometimes talk about death. I know he knows loss. And so talking about death and other difficult things is a part of our lives. It is more a matter of how than if.

When I cried, I could have answered ‘Oh, sweetheart, it’s nothing. Mummy just got something in her eye…’ But we would both know that wasn’t true. In effect I would have been lying. Straight to his face. Over time I might even teach him to lie to himself, and negate his feelings.

If there is one thing I wish for my son it is for him to be true to his own self. And that he can hear and express his inner voice as freely and respectfully as possible.

He reminds me daily that it is possible, necessary even, to speak of difficult subjects. Such as death and loss. Two very intertwined issues.

In his little body he knows what loss is. There is no shielding him from it. It has happened. More than once. Losing everything he knew overnight. Not talking about loss and death is like pretending it didn’t happen to him. It’s like not discussing the fact that he is not our flesh and blood, even if he is our son. Discussion on the other hand feels like acknowledgning that life is complicated. And for him more than most. It is certainly not all children that you can have these discussions with.

We are often told to shield our children from bad news and feelings. Our society are so quick with the fixes. ‘Have you tried …? It works a treat.’ Anything from insomnia to broken cups or relationships. Sometimes it sits better with me just to let the bad and uncomfortable feeling be. Not to quash it in fixing. Acknowledge it. Squarely. Show that we can contain it. Especially as parents. Modelling what we do with those feelings. Because none of us are shielded, and the kids watch our every step anyway.

My son has recently been voicing a lot of things about his own history. For the first time he has initiated talks about this birth mum, and to me more significantly, used her name. He has long remained silent or refused to speak of his background. Well that has all changed over the past month or so.

Very sweetly when I mentioned to him that a friend of his was adopted too, he asked if she too had lived with his own fostermum? He was very excited about this prospect of sharing history. Clearly, she is the place all adopted kids go to before they land with their adoptive families.

So the discussion around Martin, and death and loss are continuning. Several times every day. Now they have morphed in to musings and pondering about being adopted. I feel for the first time that my son is verbalising something very deep and painful in him. Like a prism he is looking, thinking, wondering, pondering and feeling around it.

Asking so directly what made me, his mum, sad, somehow opened lines of communication about what makes him sad. I feel he knows from the strength of my own feelings that I would understand his strength of feeling, or at the very least contain difficult issues and feelings, such as grief which of course is at the very heart of this.