Friday 30 January 2015

What is normal?

On the whole, we understand Missy's ups and downs.

We know what she will find funny, what delights her, the games she likes to play and we're not bad at shifting her mood (Daddy is very good at this).  A typical day will include laughter, fun, rudeness, NOOOOO!!, slamming doors, games, kindness, anger, doing my hair, screaming, shouting, singing, hugging, frustration. Quite often hitting is included.  A normal week is made up of these typical days, the school routine, one or two chats with teacher, the weekend with maybe an outing or a walk, a request to eat out, a strop if we say not this week.  It's our normal. We can cope with it (mostly).  The definition of normal is 'the usual, typical or expected state'.  Yes, we have a 'normal' life.

In adoption-world, our normal is probably other people's normal.  Talking to SWs, paperwork, hitting heads against brick walls, therapeutic parenting.  But in a parallel universe this isn't normal, is it?  I mean, it's surely not normal for a 7 year old to scream that she'll "hit you, punch you and kill you". It's not really normal for a child to hit their mum several times a week, is it?  

Teacher was quite shocked to hear that Missy had said these things. Oh, it's quite normal in our house, I said. Teacher asked if I was getting support.  No, not at the moment (not professional anyway, of course I get great support from other adopters).  We can cope ok, I said. She looked concerned.  Of course it's not normal for a securely attached 7 year old to behave like this, is it?   I've heard from two friends lately that their 7 and 8 year olds (securely attached birth children) really do act like this.  Now this isn't just a case of "oh all children do that", they too have concerns and we have talked about what we all do to turn the situation around and what might be the triggers.  But for a moment I felt 'normal', I was having a normal conversation about our children.

With Missy, there is, however, the added anxiety of what has happened to birth mum.  Every now and then she'll get teary and worried that BM is by herself with no-one to look after her.  I try to calm her worries and anxieties as much as I can but in truth I can't answer many of her questions about the current state of BM.

This morning, Missy asked to go on the computer and look at something they've been doing in school.  Of course I know that the internet is a minefield and it's normal for any parent to have concerns but as I cleaned my teeth it suddenly occurred to me, with greater significance than before, that now Missy knows how to use Google we need to watch her like a hawk.  One Google of BM name and there will be fireworks!  I don't think it will occur to her just yet to do that but it will come.  We need to be prepared.   It's just that one step on from any parent's normal anxiety about the dangers of the internet.

We always need to be prepared. What is coming up that might worry Missy?  Is something happening at school?   Have we prepared her that someone she doesn't know is coming round to our house later in the week?  Have we talked to her about where we are staying and what we are eating when we go away in half term?   Have I mentioned I'm going out next Tuesday evening and that Daddy will most definitely be here to look after her?

It's all part of our 'normal' life.

1 comment:

  1. Enjoy your night out. I'm off to ponder 'normal'.

    Thanks for your support with #WASO x


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