Friday, 28 June 2013

Poxy poxy pox


So I'm not quite feeling like a super mum at the moment.  Squiblet has The Pox and though she is chipper she is covered in spots and not sleeping too well....which means I have reached a new level of fatigue and am feeling like a real parent again instead of a parent from an advert for gravy powder or some such.

But first I will share a positive.  A massive shiny, sparkly gem of a memory.  Swimming on Tuesday and she swam under water like a little fish and came up with a massive grin on her face.  Her swimming teacher took her hands to help her swim with her woggle and said to me "see how I'm not even holding her?  She's doing it on her own!" I usually hold on for dear life for fear of her sinking like a stone and hating swimming (and me) for ever and ever!  So I need to man up and let the girl swim!  So exciting.  I've just bought her a float so we can keep on swimming even in the holidays when all her clubs and classes are cancelled. I love love love her swimming lessons now where I used to sort of dread them a bit!  So much fun...although we won't be able to go next week because of the dreaded pox :(

Being trapped at home is not much fun.  But I'm just so tired!  I still need to go and get blood tested that I'm not horribly anaemic...but there's no time!  When I'm tired like this everything just seems a whole lot less fun and I feel horribly on the edge of tears all the time!  And it's ridiculous because Mama has been off work the last 3 days as we had our Aunt visiting from America so I haven't really had to do much at all.  But I think it's the teacher thing that you keep going and going and then when you stop you crash and burn!  That and the middle of the night waking and 5.30 mornings!  Poof!  I really hate not being at my peak!

I've been campaigning our local council to improve our local park.  It's what Mama calls being a Pillock of the Community.  But we live in this fantastic affluent place and our park is just so rubbish!  The climbing frame is downright dangerous and there's one of those ride on horse things from the 1950s!  It's pretty bleak.  Anyway, I allowed myself to be patronised and condescended to..."the teenagers break only takes one..." until I pointed out that in fact all of the play equipment was still in the park and had clearly managed not to be destroyed by evil teenagers...even if they did graffiti on it a bit...with chalk (not exactly hard crime).  I think my message got through.  I'm aiming for a toddler climbing frame, fitness trail and teenager can but try!

I think I need to start taking a bit more time out from being a crazy full on parent.  I might have to arrange a night out with a friend or something.  The thing is, up until now I was feeling pretty tickety boo and it's just crept up on me.  It makes me feel somehow it means that I feel like I don't want to be a Mummy...which is just downright ridiculous but I can't help feeling it sometimes and feeling a bit like I wish I could just fly away and lie down in some sunshine on my own!  But I don't mean that...or do I?!  I would miss Mama and Squiblet so much if I didn't see them for a day, let alone a week, and it's completely unrealistic anyway.  But there we are.  Guilt.  Pile on the Mummy guilt!  It will (hopefully) all go away once I've actually slept for a whole night!

I guess the whole money thing is getting a bit scary too.  The running tap that was my pay cheque is now dripping ominously ready to stop soon and we need to stop spending and start scrimping!  I've been buying toys and things in the summer sales ready for Christmas which on some level seems sensible but on another level seems scary!  Eurgh.  I'm scared!  I'm scared because I want to go on holiday in September and I don't know if we should spend our savings!  I'm scared because I like buying things!  I'm scared because it's me who isn't earning and I feel bad about that.  I'm scared when I buy things.  It's all just a bit terrifying.  We had got so used to buying what we want when we want and we are both very clear...her preschool years are more important to us than buying things are...but equally I feel like I'm going a bit mad and could really use someone to cook for me while I lie in the sunshine!  Sorry.  I appreciate that this is a most middle class and ridiculous money whinge.  We aren't counting our pennies before we can eat and we aren't scared about how we will afford nappies...nothing like that so feel free to say "ffs...shut up woman" but I do like to be honest on my blog!  So this is me...being honest...and being a bit tired and a bit scared.

So take care everyone.  Things will be brighter as soon as I've slept properly, I'm sure!

Much love  xx

Thursday, 20 June 2013

"Cuddle Mummy in the Rain"

This is what Squiblet said this afternoon and we went outside and danced around under her new umbrella.  It was one of those memories that I want to pickle and preserve for ever and ever!  All we needed was music playing and I would have felt like I was in some sort of cheesy film!

This week's WASO is about friends and I thought instead of my usual reams of text I'd go for a more concise approach.  People said that once we had a child all our friends would change.  Rubbish.  Clearly our friends were all keepers.  We have lots of wonderful new friends.  A fantastic mixture of friends with all kinds of experiences and careers and knowledge which means that Squiblet is so lucky because when she gets older she will have all this advice and love and diversity all around her.  I feel very lucky to have such a massive cushion of people who so genuinely care about us this post is for you!

Thank you

I am your parent and they say I should not really be your friend
But you cheer me up when I'm sad, you listen and you love.
Thank you for being a friend.

I am your wife, your civil partner and have almost always been your friend
You listen, you cuddle, you're strong, you never judge, you are always.
Thank you for being a friend.

I am your friend and you have known me since I was a child
You travel for miles to see us, you offer your words and your care.
Thank you for being a friend.

I am your friend and we grew up and became adults together
You take your friendship duties seriously, you are practical and funny and you always listen.
Thank you for being a friend.

You are my family, your love and care made me who I am
You offer us time and rest and not too much advice, you listen and you don't judge.
Thank you for being a friend.

You are the people I met on this crazy old adoption journey
You understand, you are strong, you are funny and wise and you turn a crisis into a laugh.
Thank you for being a friend.

You are the friend round the corner who meets up for cups of tea and a chat
You listen and play and say all the right things and keep me updated on gossip.
Thank you for being a friend.

You are the people who came when I was finding my way and learning how to be a Mummy
The people who brought flowers and told me I was doing a good job when I felt like I wasn't.
Thank you for being a friend.

You are the caring social worker who has offered us advice and felt like a friend
It's not your job to be a friend but thank you.
Thank you for feeling like a friend.

Thank you

Sorry if that was cheesy!  I've not dipped my toe into any sort of poetry since I was at school.  It feels quite nice to be able to shape words again instead of just rambling on.

Love to everyone. x

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Warm fuzzy glows and "how to respond to that...?!"


I'll start with the warm fuzzy glows.  Even just thinking back to last weekend makes me feel all cosy and warm like I've just downed a mug of hot chocolate (but slightly less bloating).  I can't quite remember if I've ever blogged about the New Family Social AGM back in 2011 where our adoption journey really started.  We were both 27 at the time, and biding our time.  What we saw there were confident, gorgeous (in an emotional sense) happy families and we felt all amorous and warm and fuzzy.  We were filled with the confidence that we could do this thing!  Our relationship was strong, we had just moved to an area where we felt like we could bring up a happy family and the warm fuzzy glow was all we needed to get us going...and here we are!

So we have wanted to start a more local to us branch of NFS but have been a bit short on members...until now!  On Saturday 6 couples (one + child) all met up at our local zoo.  We picnicked in the sunshine and the warm fuzzy feelings came flooding back!  There's something really nice about just feeling normal.  Something really settling about there being people down the road who are the same kind of normal that we are.  I could see that us being there with our little girl was having the same kind of positive effect on the couples there who were going through the approval process and hoped that it would be boosting their confidence in the same way the NFS folk boosted ours.  It's great to think that when Squiblet gets a bit older she will be able to tap into this fantastic group of people.  And they really are!  Such a wonderful mix of ethnicities, careers and life experience.  It makes me feel great to think that these people are part of our local support, a bit like our own NCT, but without the middle class filters.  It was great!  And we are hoping to book up regular meetings so it will be really cool to see everyone's adoption journeys coming along and watch their families grow.  Does that sound patronising?!  Probably.  I don't mean it to be!

So...the "how do I respond to that?!" part of my post.  Living in the middle class bubble that we do, Squiblet's name is more unusual than it might be elsewhere.  We, however, think it's awesome.  It's quite an American popstar name (a bit like Brandy or Candi!), all the teenage girls I teach thought it was very cool and it was chosen by her birth father, so we kept it.  It suits her, it's short and funky and bubbly.  We like it!  But all the time I get "what an unusual name!" "that's such a pretty name" which is middle class code for "that's weird, why isn't she called Cassie or Florence or do realise where you live don't you?!" A few times I've told the truth...but I feel a bit uncomfortable about that.  A bit like if someone says "what a nice green bathroom you have" (code for..."eurgh, what a hideous green bathroom you have") and you say "yes, it was here when we moved in"...making an excuse for it.  I don't want her name to be a green bathroom!  In this metaphor, I like green bathrooms...I'm getting carried away here.  Anyway, I have discussed the issue with my friends and the ever wise Mama bear and we have decided to go with "yes, we think it suits her".  End of.  It's her truth to tell, after all.  I've told enough people that she is adopted that they aren't wondering why some random has suddenly rocked up at the local toddler group with a 2 year old.  I think it's time I stopped!  People also often ask "why did her mother give her up?"  To me it's quite alarming that people still commonly have this conception of there being hundreds of relinquished babies...don't they read the news?  But what do I say to that one.  Usually something like "she was taken into care because her birth family couldn't care for her".  This is usually sufficiently vague that people don't probe further.  What do they want?  Messy details?  I don't go around asking people if they pooed when they gave birth or if they had to have stitches do I?  There are some messy details best kept private...surely!  And the last "how do I respond to that?" is the "wow, weren't you guys lucky to get her and not....[a hideous dysfunctional damaged child?]".  I mean, really?!  What do I say to that?!  I say "yes!  She's wonderful, and isn't she doing well!"  End.  I know what people mean.  Sort of.  We are lucky.  She is wonderful and clever and kind and funny and fits us perfectly.  We are so lucky.  It's the "and not..." part that I don't like.  Like somehow children from the care system are damaged and scary and you wouldn't want one in your house.  It's the way it implies that she was some sort of pot luck commodity when in reality she's a person, albeit a small one, but a living, growing person and it just seems a bit callous to talk about her like that.  Somehow it makes me feel like if she doesn't behave well people will think "ooh, I bet they regret bringing that into their house" in a way that people just don't think about birth children.  None of the above make me angry; I'm generally pretty placid and none of it is malicious.  Indeed, I think much of it is people thinking they are being kind, or just making conversation. But I do spend a lot of time analysing my own responses to these things, as I know it's something I'll have to talk to Squiblet about when she gets older, so that she has the confidence to answer these strange and vacuous questions without compulsive truth telling (like her mother!) or lies (which would make her past seem like a dirty secret).

We've had Squiblet for 1/5 of her life now.  In cake terms, that's a massive piece!  Hurrah.

And hurrah for the launch of The Adoption Social...and well done to the team behind it who have been working hard for ages for all our benefit.

Enjoy the weekend everyone...and happy Father's Day!  [Squiblet has merrily made three cards for her grandads]