0 comment Friday, May 30, 2014 |
We've just come back from our self-catering holiday at our usual English sea-side town. It is the fourth time we've taken the kids now and they still love it. Thank goodness.
Holidays are not what they were for me and husband now we have the kids. There's not an awful lot of relaxing for me and he, not much lounging around, reading, or lazy lunches. But! They can still be fun. We enjoy taking them kite flying, kicking a ball around, going down the beach and skimming stones across the sea. There was one beautiful evening when we sat together on the steps leading onto to the beach, eating ice cream, watching the boats sail on the calm sea, and I realised that this was what being a family was all about.
The first time we took the kids on holiday to this place, they were vile. Hate to say that about them, but they were. They were very oppositional, quick to tantrum, and cried a lot. I remember on the first morning saying excitedly to my daughter that we were going for a wander into town to show them around, and her shouting at me I'M NOT GOING UNLESS YOU BUY ME AN ICE CREAM!
Not the stuff of my pre-adoption dreams. I spent every day saying to myself 'they're like this because they're stressed... they're like this because they're stressed... they are like this because they are stressed...' to try and help deal with them sympathetically. I think we managed two, maybe three nights there that first time and considered it a success purely on the grounds that we dealt with their behaviours well.
It's one of the toughest things you have to cope with as an adopter; doing wonderful things for the kids, like taking them on a lovely holiday, and having them spit their trauma at you. Life would be so much easier if they could just say and think:
'Oh adoptive parents, thank you so much for taking me on holiday to a great place and giving me a great time. You're really making up for all the horrible stuff that happened to me before I came to you.'
But they don't.
They are better now, though. Going on holiday doesn't freak them out anymore. They know where we are going and they look forward to it. They even got on well this time with their grandparents, who popped down to join us for a couple of days, when in the past they have gone moody when they've turned up. It was noticeable however that - around grandparents - daughter reverted to her old controlling ways, being quite manipulative and demanding with them. She's obviously learnt boundaries with me and her dad because she doesn't try it on half so much with us anymore!
And That's mostly what we saw during this holiday. A marked difference between how they were and how they are now. Gone were the constant efforts to control everything or ruin things. They were good company on and off, relaxed and funny to be with as children can be. Daughter rarely shed a tear and son only tantrummed at bedtime. Every bedtime, mind, but at least we weren't fighting tantrums all day. I didn't shout or lose my temper the whole holiday - how many other mums get to say that?
Other than son's nocturnal emotional purge, the other remaining problem was the usual nonsense chatter. I don't honestly think we've seen any improvement in this in the 22 months they've been with us. More than once I announced that I was taking no more questions for the next hour, but they just bombard me with nonsense statements and useless pieces of information instead. It does my head in and I'm mindful that we have nearly five weeks of holiday left.