Monday 10 November 2014

Words from the back seat

Missy talks A LOT, particularly when we're in the car.  Mostly it's asking me questions, pointing out things, remembering quite random things we've done singing A LOT, but every now and then she'll come out with something more serious, more poignant.  I wonder if it's because she has a captive audience but doesn't have to make eye contact?

A few days ago, on the way home from the shops, she was talking about this, that and the other, making up words to songs when she said suddenly:  "I don't hate old Susan*, well I do hate her for not looking after me but I sort of hate her half but also I do love her half too.  I love you more though because you look after me and keep me safe.  Is that ok?"

Well, I wasn't exactly prepared for such deep thinking as I drove up to the large roundabout, a large lorry getting a little to close for comfort, trying to keep us both safe.

"Of course it's ok".  I said.  Doh! That's not what I meant.

I didn't know what I meant really.  Of course it's ok that she loves me. Is it ok that she has these feelings towards her birth mum? These are her feelings and it's not for me to say how she should feel but I certainly don't want her to hate anyone, not least her birth mum.  She probably doesn't really understand the true meanings of hate and love yet anyway.  I formulated a few guiding words in my head, but by then Missy was several subjects ahead and her favourite single came on the radio to which she was singing along happily.  Well, I say singing - she doesn't always get the words right which can be quite amusing.  Anyway, by then the moment had gone. I was too slow. I mentally kicked myself.  As I was driving I couldn't really kick myself properly.

Back home when we were drawing together I casually reminded her of some artwork we'd done at Theraplay about emotions. She wasn't interested.  She was far more interested in the work in hand, but, interestingly, not telling me how to do my own piece as she would have done a year ago.

Do your children talk to you from the back seat?   Do they catch you unawares?  Do you revisit the subject later or wait for them to bring it up again?

*birth mum but obviously name has been changed.


  1. Katie's favourite time for big conversations is on a busy shopping centre and she's caught me out many times. I think you answered her question and reassured her. It sounds like she wanted reassurance that her feelings were ok and you gave her what she needed. She clearly needed no more than that at that time. Hate is an uncomfortable word and feeling but I feel that is an emotion we will all need to sit with an contain for our children. It is ok for her to feel angry with BM and that is possibly what she means by hate. Having been through hell with my parents though I would say I went through hatred before reaching acceptance so try not to fear hatred. It's a strong feeling but it's a fluid feeling that can move onto acceptance with the right help.

    1. Thanks for your comment Gem and I'm relieved you think I reassured her. It's still a huge learning curve, even after two years. Yes, you're right, angry is probably what she meant.

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  3. I recently heard from the back seat my boys (6 and 8, with us for 3 months)saying : "We once travelled in a police car because our mum was "doing" sex". I didn't know what to do or say.
    Thanks for sharing your story, I've just read it all from the very beginning.


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