12 blogs #10 Christmas Day 2017

I am sitting in the quiet of the kitchen in candlelight listening to the whirl of the dish washer. It’s peaceful after all the hullabaloo of the day. Cold sprouts, roast potatoes and the turkey are still on the table.

My six year old son went to sleep asking if he could pull a cracker tomorrow with our 82 year old neighbour. “Mummy I’ll let her have the present inside as she’s so old”.

He spent much of Christmas singing the same carol over and over again (jingle bells with the bit about Uncle Billy losing his ……, eating as many mince pies as he could find and then ripping open presents like he was being timed for the olympics. This year it was filled with “thank you Mummy and Daddy – wow I love this!”.

These comments wouldn’t have seemed possible this time last year. It has been like two years in one. My son has gone from a frightened hyper vigilant five year old kicking, swearing, hitting and screaming to a calmer more playful six year old. Last year he couldn’t attend the last few days at school as he couldn’t cope. He was running around the corridors wildly and I had to piggy back him out of a school sports cupboard back home. It was a relief to have him out of an environment which he clearly wasn’t coping in but I wondered how this year would pan out.

His behaviour had been triggered by events for sure – the change of the timetable with the nativity rehearsals and his LSA being off sick plus countless different people then replacing her. He felt neither safe nor secure . He had an EHCP which stated he must have consistent care but it wasn’t happening.

This year his LSA has not been away for even a day’s sick leave and the difference is huge. Our son now runs into school happily. He has gone from 10 mins in the classroom to 4 hours a day. We’ve had every treatment in the book from AIT (Audio Integrative Therapy) to Cranial osteopathy and Primitive Reflex work (INPP). We’ve also had therapeutic parenting sessions. We have begged, borrowed and stolen the therapies getting discounts where we can and using the Adoption Support Fund. Without them I don’t think we could have survived.

Things can change and Christmas is a natural hiatus in which to realise the change. He still can’t eat a meal without getting up five or six times and is like a mosquito buzzing from thing to thing but a happier mosquito. I still end up in tears every couple of weeks with the exhaustion of it all but even that is changing.

We all had melt downs on Christmas Eve but the big day has been a success – a lunch with just the three of us, presents under a tree, card games, log fires roaring around the house and ‘Arthur Christmas’ on a big screen We promised ourselves that if we felt stressed to say “nevermind” reach for a glass of vino and put another log on the fire.

I actually read a poem by Wendy Cope out loud at breakfast. No one was really listening but it meant a lot to me.

Advertisements

12 Blogs #3 Woof.

It was our sons first Christmas in their new school.

They had only been with us for 3 months and as new parents we were so excited to be attending the school nativity.

They were both on stage and the oldest even had a line – well actually a word.

Looking back at those early days of placement one of the strongest memories is just how emotional it all was, it was a bit overwhelming in many ways and it seemed that even the slightest thing could result in an unexpected tear or two. Any conversation about our wondrous new sons – especially when discussing their past – would make us choke up and god forbid sitting down to watch a slushy Hollywood movie or TV programme, no matter how obvious or manipulative we could see they were – they would inevitably became a vehicle to let out all our emotions and would have us in floods of tears every time.

Regardless of that, we (maybe foolishly) had not anticipated shedding a tear at the school nativity.

Just what resulted in this public display of emotion?

It was of course the moment our son stood to say his one line – no, his one word.

Sweet you may think and maybe even not that unexpected, however maybe a little more surprising when I tell you that as he was playing a dog (don’t ask how that fits into the nativity, we are still trying to work it out 5 years later), all he had to do was bark!

‘Woof’ he said – and the tears flowed.