Sleep Over
0 comment Friday, April 4, 2014 |
So, my two stopped overnight at their grandparents for the first time on Saturday night. Husband and I tried to offer handy advice on how to deal with their behaviours, but it seemed clear that my parents-in-law would not get what we were talking about until they experienced it for themselves.
At one point they told us that if the children cried they would bring them straight back home to us, no matter what time of night it was. Husband and I were a little perplexed. Why did they think they might cry? Well, because they might miss us of course!
We tried to explain then that if the children's anxiety went up then daughter would get very controlling and exasperatingly silly, and that son would get defiant and tantrum, but that they almost certainly wouldn't cry. No matter! If they did cry then they would bring them right back home. OK, they won't, but OK.
And they didn't. Our kids don't really cry. They wail, or tantrum, or scream, but crying is one of the finer more honest emotions that is not yet within their emotional grasp.
Daughter it would seem - if what we have been told is true - handled the experience in a mature manner. I am extremely pleased about this as she is at the age that she wants to go to friend's sleepovers and I'd really like to let her go to the next one.
Son however, not so good. For the hour after bedtime it would seem that my parents-in-law lost control of him. Stories have reached my ears of him barricading himself in the bathroom, running up and down the stairs, and having to be physically restrained because they thought he was going to hurt himself. Mother-in-Law said he was behaving perfectly normally, then it was like a switch had been flicked and he just went manic. Husband and I have, of course, experienced this ourselves many times. Before she saw it herself, I think mother-in-law would probably just have said it was normal excitement and that 'all children do that'. But to see son when he goes manic is scary and distressing and now mother-in-law knows that for herself.
I am told that he calmed down after 9pm when he spoke to me on the phone. Mother-in-law says the calming affect was instant and after that he settled down in her bed with her (father-in-law relegated to the spare room), was read to, and was asleep by 10pm. As an adoptive mother, to learn that whilst your son was away from you he asked to call you, and that speaking to you had a calming affect, well, it is very good news. It shows signs of a positive attachment and is the best news I have had in an age. I was a little bit alarmed at taking that call from son at that time of night, as it had no introduction from either grandparent and I didn't know what had gone on, but we did have a lovely little chat and it was actually pleasing to speak to him.
Had a little chat that night to daughter too, who heard son talking to me on the phone and wanted a chat too. I sincerely hope that she really did want to speak to me, and that it wasn't just about having the same as her brother. I know she misses her old mum. I'd like to think that I could be missed by her too.
Anyway, not all good, but good enough. Next time the children do a sleep over, we'll do things differently. But at least it seems there will be a next one.

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