son attempts another blow out!
0 comment Sunday, June 1, 2014 |
I have been an exceptionally good mother today. Very present and loving, and forgiving of all the little irritations that children give rise to. I would like to feel this affectionate towards them every day, but That's not usually how it is. Usually I am very conscious of what loving gestures I give to my children and when, keeping an audit as I go through the day to ensure that they are getting enough loving. But today, loving gestures just gushed forth without me having to make any effort at all.
The reason for this opening of the heart is I think because last night Husband and I had a lovely night out amongst non-trauma inducing adults at The Kitchen Garden Cafe in Kings Heath, celebrating my good friend's **th birthday. The sun shone (unfortunately into good friend's eyes for the first hour!) and we sat looking out onto the garden, soaking up the ambiance and consuming good wholesome belly-filling food for a fair few hours. The relief of being amongst interesting people, who didn't once offer to show me the scratch on their leg or use a whiny voice to tell me that someone had just called them a poo poo head, has obviously done me an immense amount of good.
While we were out experiencing normal, my mum and dad came and spent the evening with the kids. I had briefed my parents well on possible son behavior at bedtime and they dealt with him triumphantly. I am a proud daughter today.
It was the same story: son was absolutely fine all evening and then bedtime came and he just flipped. First sign of trouble was when son told mum that he wouldn't clean his teeth unless she told him off! Mum was like, 'erm, I don't really want to tell you off,' and so son replied that he wouldn't clean his teeth then!
Thereafter followed the 'I'm not going to bed' defiant behaviour. They seemed to have been goodnaturedly strict, with my dad finally saying to him, 'Look, if you don't want to sleep, you have your books, you have your toys, but you're staying in your room!' When son came out of his room yet again, my mum apparently said 'OK, but I'm going to go and watch TV' and after he'd been ignored for a while, no more was heard. Which is pretty much how husband and I deal with things.
Make no mistake, we do not shove our son into a pitch black room, shut his door tight and expect to hear no more. Both children have bedside lamps and are trusted to read or play until they are tired, at which time they can turn out their own lights (though we do check they are not on late on a school night). My son has a CD player in his room and can play some of the relaxation CDs made especially for children, and sometimes if something unsettling has happened, I'll lie in his room with him until he's asleep. We have a good, structured night time routine, that really winds them down and includes a fifteen minute 'practice separation', whilst husband and I 'get them drinks' before bringing them up for a final goodnight. And this is a small house! We're never very far away!
It took a lot of trial and error but our nighttime routine has worked well for about a year now, and usually there is no trouble, not even when we have sitters.
But, clearly, son thought after his little blow-out at my parents-in-law he'd test out my mum and dad. The bedtime defiance is something he's brought with him from his birth home; when we met his elder half-sister the first question she asked was 'Does x still hate to got to bed at night?' No doubt nighttime at his birth home did bring some terrors, poor little boy, but not anymore. I do feel it is an adoptive parents duty to move children on from old dysfunctional behaviours, even if those behaviours are sadly understandable considering their experiences in their old life.
Daughter, for the record, behaved impeccably again last night and both my mum and dad were full of praise for her. She can be good company and pleasant to be around sometimes and I should allow myself to start trusting that.
Anyway, I've put them both to bed with hugs and kisses tonight, and so let's hope they both stay there!
addendum15 minutes after my final goodnight, during which I very clearly say that there is no school tomorrow and so read or play until you are ready to go to sleep, my son pops his head out of the door and says he 'can't sleep'. I repeat the advice from where I sit, put the TV on mute and listen to hear what happens. Can't hear a damn thing because of this stoopid tinnitus and so I go check on him. He's sitting up in bed reading and I ask him if he's OK and he tells me when he's had a nightmare. The thing is, he does have nightmares, but he hasn't been asleep yet and so quite obviously hasn't yet had a nightmare. I tell him no one is making him go to sleep, just to read until he's sleepy and then give sleep a go. We'll see.
addendum twoTwenty minutes later, out again. Says he can't sleep. I ask him what he can do about that (apart from trying to make it my problem), but he doesn't know. I ask him what he could listen to. He says his CD. Got there in the end.
addendum three7.30am he woke me up knocking on his sister's door and calling her name. I go and see. Daughter is still fast asleep. I suggest he waits until 8am, and he starts crying saying he hates his bedroom and doesn't want to stay in there alone. There's a bee in there, he says. There's no bee, I say, because if there was you would hear it buzzing. Then I suggest he goes downstairs and has breakfast and watches TV if he doesn't want to stay in his room, but that everyone else in the family was going to carry on sleeping for a bit. He didn't seem very happy about it, but he did just that.

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