Thursday, 24 October 2013

Forget the future #WASO

It’s a cliché to say ‘I just want us all to be happy’.  Will it happen? I don’t know.

The future is such an unknown, as it is for all families – no-one knows what will happen. I’ve kind of stopped thinking or worrying about the long-term future so much.

Tomorrow is unknown, next week is unknown, to be honest, I don’t even know what’s going to
happen in half an hour when Mini walks through the door after school, I can't begin to think about a year's time, or beyond that.
Live in the moment, that’s what I think we need to do more of. We need to read Mini more – now, not think about his actions and body language retrospectively. After all, things are easier with hindsight. We need to have fun and be spontaneous with our children now. We need to respond to their needs and wants (even if they don’t know what they are) now – not in a minute, or later.

We need to make memories with them now, so that they can carry those memories of good times into the future.

I still have worries of course I do, and immediately the worries are around Mini’s education and schooling. They’re around how he feels about school, and how making him go to school makes him feel about us. I hope education in the long-term changes for him, and he begins to accept, if not enjoy it. And I'll still plan - planning means we don't dither about what we're doing, we can just get on and enjoy it, knowing the details are sorted, and yes I'm already planning the next few months.

But for the long term future…can we be happy? I hope so.





Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Cutting it

Recently I spoke about facing my fear - of the hairdresser.

What I forget to mention was Mini's fear of hair cutting too, and it's only this afternoon's antics that have reminded me! You see, when Mini came to us, he had relatively long hair for a little one. We cut it quite soon into his placement here into quite a short style, and it stayed pretty much that way until the end of reception year at school! And when I say 'we' cut it, I mean me and occasionally the NC - I cut the NC's hair too, with my trusty clippers.

Over the years it's become harder and harder for Mini to have us cut his hair. He absolutely will not let his father do it these days. To begin with the noise was an issue, however a spot of CBeebies was enough to distract, but over time he's given other reasons for avoiding a trim...he's scared we'll clip his ears off, he doesn't like the cape he has to wear, the chair is too hard, it hurts, he's got something else to do first, and almost always the itchiness (of the little bits of hair that irritate his neck).
We've tried all sorts to help him with this fear, often it's been easier to just drop it and try again another day - we really do have to pick our battles, even though doing this has often attracted comments about his messy, unruly, long, girly hair. We even had an unkind comment where someone asked me which of my children was my daughter, because from the back his hair was so long it was hard to tell.

It came to a head (boom boom!) at the end of reception year at school, when we'd had so many battles I agreed that Mini could grow his hair over the summer as long as he let us cut it in September. When September came around his longer style really suited him and so we let him keep it a bit longer...and a bit longer. Then it got too long (and not just by my standards, but it was irritating Mini - in his eyes particularly), but long hair is beyond my capabilities with the clippers, and really a proper scissor cut was needed. After about 6 weeks, 2 attempts resulting in meltdowns, and a bit of good old fashioned bribery we got him to a proper barbers, and the hair was trimmed.

I can't remember exactly what prompted the full on clip again, or whether it was just before or just after the return to school this year, but Mini requested a proper short-haired 'do' again and so I returned to clipping duty. Whatever it was, it was that long ago that over the last ten days or so, it's been in need of another trim. Too long to spike up for school, so long that daily bed-head occurred.

So after warning Mini this morning - a particularly unruly bed-head day- that today was clipping day, we returned home after school and I fetched the torturous tool! Cue one full-on, screaming, body flinging, weeing at will, tearful meltdown.
Ah yes, that was the reason we avoided hair cuts!

But, I'm pleased with myself and pleased with Mini because it's only taken an hour to calm him, talk to him, cut his hair, calm him again, bathe him, dress him and hug him :-) Yes a whole hour, but that's about an hour shorter than previous battles...which often resulted in us giving up anyway! And he looks bloody gorgeous now I can see his whole face properly again!
So well done Mini, and thank you for letting me calm you, hug you and tidy you up!

Yes it was a battle, but it was also an achievement, so I'm linking up with MemoryBox on The Adoption Social.

Sunday, 13 October 2013


Severance - The Culture and Narratives of Modern Adoption, An exhibition of artworks by adoptees, adopters and those involved in adoption.

Have you heard about it? Where have you been? This exhibition, running for just a few days (so make sure you don't miss it), is curated by The Open Nest, a post adoption support charity. It's full of artworks by adoptees, adopters and those involved in adoption and is a must if you're in London between 6-10th November.

Here's the show your support.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Britmums Carnival time on The Boy's Behaviour

I'm really pleased to let you know that I'm hosting a Britmums Carnival here on The Boy's Behaviour in a few weeks time.

A carnival you say? What's that? Well don't get too excited - you don't need to be shaking it down the high street, nor will you be crowned Carnival Queen! It's virtual, but in spirit it's a bit like the real thing - a time to get together and socialise, and if you want to dress up in sequins and feathers then I won't judge you - promise!

The Britmums Carnival is a collection of blog posts all written in the last month, all shared in one post. Bloggers take turns to host the Carnival which takes place every other week. It's a fun way to show off your latest blog post and find new great blogs to follow too.

I get to choose a theme (woo-hoo!) and given that the Carnival will be here on 5th November, it seemed fitting to choose 'After Dark'.

So whatever your interpretation - night-time explosions of the pyrotechnic variety, ghosties and ghouls, beautiful sunset pictures, insomniac children or those evening classes you've always wanted to take, please send me your links no later than 1st November to

I'll see you there... x

Monday, 7 October 2013

Caching and Conkers

Autumn is my favourite season - the changing colours of the trees, and that beautiful red of Virginia creeper that turns so quickly, the cooler days and excuses for hot chocolate after school. I look forward to Pumpkin Spice Lattes, fluffy slippers, open fires, wearing scarves and getting my lovely boots out.

Mini and Dollop enjoy it too – they look forward to jumping in leaves, buying new woolly hats, thinking about their Hallowe’en costumes, and going for long walks to find geocaches.

Yes, we’re a geocaching family. Have you heard of it? No? Well, there’s more information here but basically it's an outside treasure hunt with containers (caches) hidden in all sorts of places. You use a GPS unit/app on your phone to find the caches - some you just write in, then log online, others have small swaps in. I like it because it gives me a destination - something to head for when I'm out walking and I enjoy solving some of the puzzle caches, the kids love it because they sometimes get new treasures and they enjoy poking around in all sorts of places to find a cache, and the NC loves it because it's outdoorsy and geeky all at the same time! We've got the NC's family converted too - even his Uncle and Aunt in Australia are very much into it now.
As a newbie you can just look for caches, but when you get into it, you can hide your own too and between us we own several now, even Mini has his own special one hidden!


So, last weekend with many things in mind – hiding a new geocache, finding another, checking out dog walking facilities, bug hunting and just getting out, we went for a walk around our favourite local woods.

The kids were armed with their bug hunting kit, the NC was armed with his geocache ready to hide, I had my trusty camera and a stash of Barny Bears for cute, filling sustenance.

With the cooling weather we had trouble finding many bugs…just a few spiders and a large number of woodlice but the kids were thrilled to find something much better…



And after the thrill of the conkers came tree climbing! In fact, we had a really positive moment with Mini. After climbing a tree - the biggest he’d ever managed - he didn’t panic (like normal) but asked for help and then trusted the NC to get him down safely. Yay Mini! This is a really big thing for us as a family and was a big confidence boost for Mini.

So on with our walk and it was time for a break (and a Barny bear). Whilst Daddy carried on looking for that other cache, Mini and Dollop ate their Barny’s. I may have snuck one too. To be honest, they’re the perfect size for me and the children…

Then back home with our haul of conkers. The kids are already asking when we can go again and I know Mini's looking forward to a bit more tree climbing!

"This post is an entry for BritMums ‘Little Adventures Challenge’ in partnership with Barny, the bear-shaped snack providing a little discovery in every bite. Find out more about Barny here"

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Facing fears

This week I have had to face one of my fears.
After doing some serious diy colour work on my hair, it finally went a little bit wrong when it came to stripping it all out and going back to natural.
So here I am in a swirly chair writing whilst waiting for orange strain to neutralise my green ash coloured hair.
My fear stems from a bad experience about 13 years ago with hair extensions...and since then I've avoided the swirly chairs, big mirrors, bright lighting and cheery scissor wielding people!
As I've gotten older, I've become more fearful and I wonder if that would have happened anyway, or whether having children has something to do with it? I have some (possibly irrational) fears and as I sit here and write I realise that infact, I have quite a lot of things that I'm fearful and scared of - needles, cats, spiders, scary movies, hairdressers, wasps and water come to mind.
When you become a parent you have to hide some of your fears. I can't tell you how horrible I've found taking my children for their vaccinations, but it's something that has to be done. And the number of times I've tried to calm Mini who panics with wasps, when in fact inside I want to scream and run away too!
However I do think that having fears has helped me identify with some of my children's fears. I can empathise with them. I can help them through difficult moments. And it's working because with our growing and improving attachments, Mini is gradually starting to believe in us, and do what we say when he's struck down scared. That belief in what we're saying is proof that things are getting better.
What do you think? Have you become more fearful as you've gotten older? And even worse since having your children? Or am I just totally irrational?