Back and forth

Glen and I took three days off parenting while our friends Jonathan and Stuart looked after Robbie and went away to Sweden, where we enjoyed some sightseeing and just catching up with each other. It was lovely to reconnect and have some “us” time. Having said that, we both missed Robbie a lot and everywhere we went we kept thinking of things we’d love to be sharing with him.

After three days, Glen went back to the UK and I stayed in Sweden for work until Saturday. Once again I really enjoyed being a professional and not a therapeutic parent for a few days. In the meantime, Glen and Robbie went to the New Family Social camping event. Robbie had a whale of a time with all the other kids and enjoying total freedom from scheduled activities for four days. I joined them on Sunday when I got back to the UK. When I saw Robbie, he was playing with other kids and he just about acknowledged my presence with a quick hello. I asked for a kiss since I hadn’t seen him for a week, and he reluctantly came over to give me a quick kiss before rushing away again. We spent the afternoon and evening catching up with friends and had dinner before getting ready to go home. Since we had two cars, Glen and I arranged for Robbie to come back home in my car. Robbie refused to, and wouldn’t explain why. I felt very rejected but told him it was fine if he wanted to go home in Glen’s car. Robbie changed his mind, but I told him by then it was too late and he should think before he speaks. Robbie got very angry and tried to hit me with a pillow. I drove off and left Glen to it.

Yesterday Robbie found it hard to adapt to being home again. After all the freedom and being surrounded by kids, he was bored being “alone” with us again. He watched TV for hours, and when we said he’d been watching it for too long and he should find something else to do, he got angry again. Soon he was kicking me in the back, whacking me and slapping me in the head. It was the same as when I got back from Spain a few weeks ago: all my relaxation and rest went out of the window and the stress of being a parent to a traumatised child came rushing back. I found an excuse to leave the house because I couldn’t cope with it.

Glen spoke to Robbie and things calmed down. When I returned he apologised, but he was still claiming that he cannot and won’t play on his own with any of his toys. After his bedtime Robbie got up and told Glen he couldn’t stop thinking about his birth parents. He also told Glen that he’s worried he’ll turn out like them. He feels so guilty about hitting me. He said he doesn’t know how to stop.

This morning he was fine again. We played in bed and had a brief chat about last night. I told him that we have to work hard at getting on and reminded him that’s why we go to see Adam at the adoption therapy centre. He didn’t particularly engage with me (he was covering his ears), but he heard me. Glen is off on a work trip for the next three days, so I hope we can get along without him.