Hurrah! We made it through the school holidays relatively unscathed. Missy went back to school yesterday and whilst she was a little unhappy in the middle of the night, on arrival at the playground she settled back in straight away and was happy to see her chums. I was happy to go home to some peace and quiet.
On the whole the holidays were fine if not a little exhausting on the attention front. Missy seemed to enjoy all the activities we did and only had a handful of small tantrums. She is going through a stage at the moment though where if she gets upset or frustrated she will cry that she's missing her 'old mummy' or that she doesn't want to live here anymore. When she's calmed down from her tantrum she usually says that she didn't mean what she said. However, it's still something I shall mention at the review with the Theraplay therapist in a few weeks time. Control is still something Missy wants. Several years of being in control is not going to be changed by a few months living with us.
Having spent all this time with Missy, I've learnt a few more ways to calm the situation and not let my anxiety levels rise too much. Partly I ignore her. Not completely. I do take notice of her issue, what's troubling her, how she is reacting, but I've learnt that sometimes letting her work out her issue and regulate herself whilst I explain that I'll be, for example, downstairs or in the kitchen when she is ready for a cuddle, is the way to go. I don't get into a debate or argument with her, I make my point and then shut up eg whyyyy do I have to clean my teeth - first time I'll say 'to keep them healthy' but the next time I'll just be quiet - she usually goes and cleans her teeth or does whatever she's supposed to then. There are some things I won't tolerate though if she carries on, such as rudeness, hitting or chatback. Saying that, she hasn't hit much recently, maybe 2 or 3 times in the last 6 weeks and they were out of frustration. On the whole she is a different girl from the girl who arrived 10 months ago - still bloody exhausting and demanding attention - but so many of our initial issues have gone or reduced considerably. I've no idea if we're doing the right parenting, the correct therapeutic parenting, the PC way of parenting but I think on the whole we're doing an ok job.
I even printed out the Adoption Order paperwork! I've started to fill it in but currently it's sat on the desk. We're not quite there yet. Daddy expressed some wobbles the other day and something is holding me back but I don't know what. But at least we're considering the paperwork and that's a positive move.
Right, I'm off to make the most of the glorious sunshine and the peace and quiet for an hour before the school run.