Wednesday, 9 February 2011
Saturday 5th February (day 293): The wisdom of Margot...
Between having to move three times and the cold he's had, Robbie hasn't been to his football training this year so far. Because he was still coughing last night, Glen and I decided not to set his alarm for it and if he woke up in time for it we'd take him, if he didn't then he obviously needed the sleep. He didn't get up until 9.45 (football's at 10), so we all had a lie-in. As soon as he came through our door, he headed direct towards me and gave me a big hug. We do this thing where I hug him with my eyes closed and I pretend that I think I'm hugging a teddy bear, and he did that to me this morning, saying I was his teddy bear. I think he knew he'd overstepped the mark yesterday and was seeking to make some repair, which you have to give him credit for. I whispered "I love you" and he did the same.
After a few minutes of playing in bed Glen got him in the shower and we all had breakfast. After that I suggested he should try writing what will be his new surname and he did so despite not being keen on writing. We praised him for him efforts.
While we got ready, Robbie played with his toys on his own for a while. I had an email from a fellow adopter who sent me the summary report from Adoption Today on the Adoption UK conference where Margot Sunderland gave a speech on therapeutic parenting. It was perfectly timed and almost as if she'd been addressing me. She talked about how traumatised children transfer a lot of their experiences, so basically the new parent is hated for what the birth parent did. She recommends not taking it personally and empathising. I loved the bit where she says that even the parents of well-attached children only get it right about a third of the time. It gave me hope and helped me put a lot of Robbie's recent behaviours into perspective.
We'd arranged to go on a shopping trip to find a new shirt and trousers for Robbie to wear in court (all his nice clothes were damp and stayed behind in our house to be sorted) with Jonathan and his son Connor. In the car on the way there, Connor told Robbie all about his own day in court: how the judge wasn't scary at all, let him sit on his chair, and even gave him a teddy bear. Robbie didn't say much, but I could see he was reassured by this.
We spent the afternoon shopping (alas didn't find a court outfit) and then came back. After saying goodbye to Jonathan and Connor, we all sat at the kitchen table. I told Glen what Connor had said and this served as the perfect excuse to talk a bit more with Robbie about his court day and reassure him some more. I reminded Robbie that he can ask anything anytime. We also said we must get thank you cards for the social workers as we may not see them again. We then gave Robbie a special present we’d got while we were shopping. It was a kid’s dinner set. Glen and I saw it in a shop last year before we had Robbie and were very tempted to buy it, but we told ourselves we mustn’t just in case something went wrong. The next time we went to the shop, they didn’t have the set. I recently managed to track one down and get it delivered to a nearby shop, where I sneaked out to get it today. As we told Robbie this story he seemed really touched by it, and he absolutely loves his new dinner set.
Glen went to get a takeaway and Robbie and I watched TV and set the table (using his new plate, of course!). When Glen got back we ate in front of the TV as a treat. Robbie dragged his feet a bit when it came to bedtime, but we got there and, after congratulating him on a really good day, we kissed him goodnight.
It was lovely to get a break and remember what a nice day was like!