I’m not sure how it has happened but ANOTHER month has passed and it’s time to sit back and reflect on all the best bits.
As ever we have been busy: new work projects, ongoing home projects, school, preschool, beginnings of school transition, parties, playdates etc.
A big project for me was finally delivering my Early Communication Workshop which I had been working on for some time. I wrote all about it in This week I… ran my first communication workshop for adopters..
Little Bear’s school place was confirmed in mid-April and his pre-school key worker wasted no time in beginning the transition process for us – she had a meeting arranged with his school by the end of the day on which we received the confirmation! I am so grateful that she is so proactive and that we have such an effective working relationship. If only I could bottle her and keep her with him for the next few years of school…
This month we had the said meeting at school. I think it went quite well, though the teacher did seem a bit rushed. I’m a little unsure. However, Little Bear’s current keyworker did a good job of sharing information about him in an honest but positive way. She was very keen on the teacher coming to meet Little Bear as soon as possible and invited her to the preschool to spend some time with him and to get to know him. She has subsequently done that and it went pretty well. When I explained to Little Bear that his new teacher was coming to meet him, he said he wouldn’t show her around his pre-school and he wouldn’t play with her! Thankfully, this was all talk and he was friendly towards her on the occasion.
Little Bear will take part in the same visits as the other new children in July but he will also get a Social Story and photographs to look at over the summer. And his new teacher is going to visit him again soon.
At the transition meeting I found out that there will be 15 children in the class and 4 of them are adopted!! I find this quite an amazing and unlikely statistic but what a brilliant way of making adoption seem “normal”.
In other news, my brother has been home for the month, after 6 months overseas. Although Little Bear had met him and spent quite a bit of time with him before he went away, I think he was confused when he returned and muddled him up with one of our friends. The familiarity was still there though and both boys have been very happy to have him back. We have had some lovely family time – a day exploring and building log bridges in the forest; a trip to the park with high jinks on the rope swing (mostly Grizzly!); football and trampoline fun in the garden. I even managed a civilised day out with my parents and bro for a bit of shopping and lunch while the boys were at school. (I am certainly enjoying getting a whole day of freedom each week and very much making the most of it! There is only so much shopping and lunching you can do without feeling a teensy bit guilty though so this week I spent my day gardening and doing house jobs. So sensible!).
Sadly my brother and his girlfriend are off on their travels again next week but they are toying with the idea of coming back permanently and might settle not too far away… Fingers crossed.
I used another of my Wednesdays to spend some time with Grizzly’s Gran. She’s 85 but young at heart and it’s always lovely to have some quality time with her. She shares my love of writing, shopping and colour so there is always a lot to chat about. She is quite naughty too and the subject of Simon Cowell’s bottom did feature!
Little Bear and I have continued to enjoy our Mummy Days and I have noticed that I have got much braver about where I will take him on my own. In the early days I would need to psych myself up sometimes, depending on where we were going and how many things could possibly go wrong. However, his behaviour is much more consistent now and I think I’m more relaxed about managing his challenges in public. Yes, he will be noisy and he might be verbally rude but to some extent that’s par for the course. It doesn’t embarrass me generally as I know he’s trying his best and I feel that others need to accept him as he is. It does bother me if he hits out at other children but thankfully that is quite a rare occurrence.
We have tried out our local ice-cream farm and been for more adventures in the woods. I wrote about one of our mummy days in A Friday with Little Bear
I haven’t included this before but sometimes a little snippet of an event or a moment stays in my mind, as though I have photographed it. There isn’t really a story to accompany it, it is just an image that creates an emotion or a memory that I want to cherish. Here are my May snapshots:
- Little Bear laying on his back on the pavement while the puppy he just met licks his tummy and Little Bear giggles fit to burst
- Little Bear lying on the grass in a big pile of pink blossom and he’s got bits of it stuck to his curls
- Big Bear running across the hall after his assembly, encircling Little Bear in his arms and the two of them spinning around cuddling each other
Operation house improvements:
We have been busy gearing up for phase 2 of our house project. I talked about creating a playroom in April at Adoption: The Bear Facts. The next step is to create an open plan family room which will incorporate the kitchen, a dining space and a living space. As well as getting fed up of mess, we have begun to regret the choice of a pale coloured living room carpet and non-wipe-able sofas! It’s impossible to keep them looking nice with two boys and two cats so it’s time for them to go. The new plan involves wooden floor and leather sofas. I’m thinking practical but beautiful.
The new plan also involves knocking down a wall and building a new wall. It involves workmen being on site for approx. 3 weeks. The original thought had been to wait until September as the level of disruption would probably be easier to manage with both boys at school full time. However, we had been thinking and planning for so long that we just wanted to get going. Plus neither of us is too good at waiting in general, we both end up feeling like we’re wasting time and life is already short enough. So true to form we are just going for it.
At the moment we are in the halfway house of having sold some furniture we didn’t need any more and having packed some things away for safe keeping. The living room is looking a little crazy as a result.
Today we had a window replaced with a French door which looks fab and will mean that we can finally take food directly outside from the new family room without having to trek through the utility room or through the playroom. Little Bear was VERY interested in what the guy was up to and kept saying “Man, what’s that?” and pointing at his tools. When he didn’t get a response he just said “Oi MAN!” as loud as he could. I had to explain several times not to touch specific things. Little Bear would then say “we no touch that” whilst pointing at it and yes, touching it with his finger. In the end I had to try to keep him upstairs but every time he heard any sort of noise he was jumping up and trying to see out of the window. I think I have an idea of how stressful those 3 weeks are going to be! I’ll tell you all about it in June’s round-up.