Bucket loads of Stress
Life is never simple with adopted children. At the moment Girl is coping pretty well with everything and Boy is not. Weekends are still fraught and from the moment we woke up on Saturday morning this weekend Boy has been grumpy, mean, spiteful, uncooperative and stubborn. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that though he loves his older sister he also feels threatened by her or not actually by her but having to share the attention he gets throughout the week. It’s something he will learn to cope with as he grows older, it’s so hard for any two year old to share attention (adopted or not) but still pretty exhausting for mummy and daddy.
Life has been interesting with Girl in that she has been quite a different child recently. She has returned to school with no real difficulties, she is not particularly enjoying it, grumbles about having to go, gets upset with the playground politics and we have had some slightly difficult behaviour but she does seem to be trying very hard to control her impulses and share her anxieties which is just brilliant. We have learned the signals, we know the usual triggers and I think we deal with and understand the behaviours pretty well now.
However, today we have had contact with Girl’s older sisters, it’s the first we have had for a while and the behaviour this afternoon after a relatively calm weekend has been manic. We had a few warning signs of anxiety before going to bed and after her bedtime story she told me ‘My tummy feels funny and wants to do something but I don’t know what’. Earlier in the year this would have been a surefire start to some pretty horrendous bedtime behaviour, she wouldn’t have accepted me telling her that if she goes to sleep she will feel better, she would have fought me. This surely signals a step forward but on past record I also know that it takes a couple of days for Girl to process how she feels about contact and ‘fight it out’. It will be interesting to see how it plays out this week. I am hoping that it is not the straw that breaks the camels back. She is stressed with school, we know that but as I said she is coping but any extra stress could tip her over the edge and that’s the problem, stress is going to come by the bucket load in the next few months.
We do have more contact lined up at the weekend. Girl’s Grandad’s chemotherapy is not providing any quality of life and he is very poorly, his days are sadly numbered so we will be coping with that extra stress on top of normal every day life. The every day life that includes a trip abroad with a boy who we have realised does not like holidays and then the countdown to Christmas begins. (Yes, that in itself is stressful to Girl). So we are going to have to be very, very resilient and forward thinking in the coming months.