Ahhhhh …

29 04 2010

The mostly functional family have had their first ‘holiday’ with both of the girls.  It was short and very very sweet.

It had been organised by one of the lovely aunties, and was very much a ‘family affair’, arranged for 80+ year old Grandad P.  At the beginning of the week various grown up grandchildren joined him and a couple of lovely aunties at a great big cottage that had been rented in the ‘country’, and on wednesday another lovely aunty and the mostly functional family joined them (the other big grandkids having gone by then!).

Grandad left the day the mostly functionals arrived after having a lovely family walk, as he had his country dancing to go to that night. The girls spent two days walking and feeding the chickens attached to the cottage and having three aunties, one uncle and two parents see to their every play, food, comfort and miscellaneous need.  They had a lovely time.

On the last day the mostly functional parents were treated to a walk in the country, together .. on their own .. with NO kids

aahhhhh …

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Cleaning Up

20 04 2010

Txt from Grumpy Mum to Crap Dad

“5 mins to go to the loo, clean teeth and get dressed. 45 mins to clean all the washing up liquid off the carpet in the living room.  What on earth made me think it was OK to leave LML playing in the kitchen sink?”





here’s looking at you

18 04 2010

The two and the three year old gaze into each others eyes, laughing, clearly communicating. The eyes, the smiles, the shapes of the faces are so similar you’d call them the same. GM looks on with a familiar sense of wonder, enjoyment and sheer thankfulness.

GM is watching her youngest daughter enjoying the company of the boy who is not her son but is her daughters brother.

The boys are the unforeseen delight of adopting the girls, an extension to the family that is deeply enjoyable.

……..

The extended family get together is lovely, spent at an urban farm and ‘country manor’.  The kids run and run in the wide open spaces (to the point of almost vanishing for LML – still no elastic then), they bounce off of each other, collide and embrace and shove and laugh.  Today’s get together was a special one as GM had invited the families of the half siblings, but neither family had responded, which was fine.  “Our four had a lovely time” as the boys mum, HH, put it.

There were the ‘magic’ moments ..

♥ Three year old DH putting his arms around GM’s neck, saying her name and giving her a cuddle

♥ Lolly leaning against, sitting on and laying on HH throughout the day

♥ GM pushing both the boys across the grass on the push chair, much to their delight

♥ JH and LML playing ‘you can’t catch me’, and LML actually chasing her brother for a few seconds

♥ CD spinning child after child around, as they clamour for their next turn

The only negative was seeing LML’s social isolation, and ‘difference’ so clearly.  Her lack of ‘elastic’ that means that she will just go; how she ‘cranks things up’ so that her brothers become harder to manage; how she plays so much on her own even when her beloved older brother is available and willing.

The girls have a lovely time, and the boys object to having to part from them.  The Mostly Functional Parents are both warmed immeasurably and quietly saddened by the day.





Crunch Biscuits

10 04 2010

LML and GM do quite a lot of baking together.  Here is what they made this morning .. probably their favourite biscuit recipe.

The recipe comes from a Women’s Institute book from the early 1950’s which was given to GM by her father.  She remembers using the book when she was a child, with her dad and she really likes the feeling of continuity she get’s when she bakes with LML.

Ingredients:

6 oz flour (plain)

5 oz sugar

3 oz Quaker oats

1 tsp baking powder

4 oz margarine / butter

1 good tbl sp golden syrup

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda dissolved in 2 tbl sp hot water

Method:

1.Mix all the dry ingredients together, (except the bicarbonate of soda which should be dissolved in the water).

2.Melt marg/butter and syrup in a pan (GM tends to get it half melted and then turn off the heat – this way it isn’t too hot when it’s mixed with the dry ingredient, and little LML fingers are spared the heat)

3.Mix all the ingredients together to form a dough

4.Make dough into balls (about walnut sized) and place on a baking sheet, giving plenty of space for them to spread

5.Bake for aprox 15 minutes at gas mark 3

Makes about 30 (we tend to fill two baking sheets) biscuits (which will last all week, but only if you can stop eating them!)

(We sometimes add sultanas or glace cherries, but haven’t tried chocolate chips)





“you look horrified ..”

7 04 2010

this is what Big Sis says as GM sits on the edge of the sofa, hand over mouth, feeling sick.

She takes the statement as an opening, “I feel horrified” she starts and tries to gather her thoughts.

“You’ve just described a ‘brilliant night out’ which you had on the proceeds of the property you stole from this house.”

Big Sis denies this, stammering something about a friend paying for her to go out, and starts to go into detail.

GM interrupts, “You just don’t get it Big Sis” and the conversation ends.





just one more thing…

7 04 2010

As CD talks to the Homeless Officer who has phoned, GM looks over his shoulder at his notes whilst she comforts the poorly Lolly.

Drinking Problem” she reads, and nods her head.  No surprises there, as Big Sis had already talked to them about that.

CD makes affirmative noises down the phone as GM walks away, talking to Lolly who has calmed down a little and seems ready to be put down again.

GM hears a sigh and looks across the room at CD. As he talks to the Homeless Officer about how his daughter has alienated all her friends and that as far as he knows she really has no-where to stay tonight CD shakes his head.  GM walks across the room to look at the next note that he has written.

Pregnant?” is what she reads, and she feels her stomach flip.  She echos CD’s sigh, and rubs her temples.

_______________________________

Later Big Sis sits in their living room and CD tries to go through big Sis’s options with her. Big Sis has been given advice by the Local Authority homelessness team, but has been told that currently she is not in priority need, so they will not provide temporary or emergency accommodation.

The Mostly Functional Parents have agreed that they will pay for Bed & Breakfast accommodation for Big Sis for a couple of nights whilst she tries to secure something that is longer term.

“What about the question of whether you are pregnant?” asks GM, “Is that a real possibility, or were you just hoping it would help with the homeless assessment?”

Big Sis glances at GM and shrugs “I could be” she says, “I might be”.  GM waits for her to say more but she doesn’t.

“If you are we need to find out, as you’ll have a right to temporary accommodation straight away,” says GM.  Big Sis is looking at the TV, and GM cannot fathom what she might be thinking.  “Big Sis” she says, “If you are pregnant, you don’t have to decide what to do about that right away you know. You wouldn’t have to keep it just because you get somewhere to live, but if you are pregnant you will have a window of stability and probably some support and advice about that and the drinking …” she petered out, not getting much of anything from Big Sis.





Good friday, uneasy Saturday and exhausted Sunday

5 04 2010

Worn out, that’s how Crap Dad feels. A virus which has the symptoms of a sore throat, headache, congestion and tiredness hasn’t helped. But it’s the constant, incessant, relentless, interminable, unceasing and unremitting struggle with LML that has him feeling down. There are moments every day where her beauty, humour and exuberance shine brightly but these are generally interspersed with hours of challenging behaviour. This can range from the now mundane physical attacks on Lolly, the ever shifting attention which makes it impossible to complete a task, the lightening quick. octopus like, grabbing of objects, which make her being in the kitchen both stressful and scary and then there is the need for constant supervision without which she soon descends into behaviour or activities which end in destruction or a mess. All of which means that doing anything else other than focussing on LML whilst she is awake is almost impossible. It’s wearing and hard work, especially when you’ve been hit in the face for the umpteenth time that day!

Of course, all of this is done with the most endearing and beautiful smile. She is both delightful and disagreeable, kind and constantly infuriating, charming and challenging. She is our daughter.

When the problem parents sat down with their social worker and discussed the potential match, when they initially met the paediatrician to discuss the issues LML may face in the future, when they talked to the foster carers about LML nothing could have prepared them for where they are now. That’s not a bad thing, that’s just they way it is. Lately, a constant phrase that has been running through Crap Dad’s head is, “it ain’t where you’re from, it’s where you at”. When the problem parents made the decision to adopt they new that any child placed with them would, in all likeliness, have significant issues that they would have to work through. Developmental delay, learning difficulties, attachment disorder and behavioural issues are now what we are working with.

LML is going to need all our love and energy to achieve her full potential, she is our daughter and Crap Dad loves her with all his heart. He knows that tomorrow is another day and that he’ll feel different than he does now. He knows he needs to look after himself, so that he has the energy and enthusiasm to parent in the manner he wants to. He knows that he loves LML and that she is our daughter.








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