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Weekly Adoption Shout Out #WASO Week 224

It’s #WASO time again!

How has your week been? Pleasant and calm, or challenging? We’d love if you could share your blog posts about how things are for you all?
We welcome blog posts from adoptees, adoptive parents, birth families, social workers, foster carers, therapists – in fact anyone connected in any way to adoption. So please do get involved if you can.
Here’s the linky, just fill in your details…



Top Secret Adopter

BABY 

Once again, we find ourselves surprised by developments. X has brought so many twist and turns into our lives but 10 years on we are still surprised by the influence of external events on our delicatw equilibrium.

News comes, mother has had a baby. We all pause and check our feelings. News of babies usually comes with excitement and congratulations. This comes with unanswerable question and unique feelings.

To make a long story short X finds out.

That’s where it starts to get difficult and where the difficult questions come from. There are no easy answers, no certainty or assurances. All the things that cause X to wobble and make the ground beneath X’s feet uncertain are laid out in front of her.

“You can adopt the baby!” she exclaims

Well, it’s not that simple is it? I’m not sure we can, it seems like we’re just coping and a baby wont turn ‘just coping’ into ‘easily coping’.

She’s angry. Irreconcilable loss mixed with blind optimism and sprinkled with a light dusting of trauma informed behaviour are a recipe for trouble. So, that’s what we get more trouble, tempers, tears, sadness and confusion. Anger is directed at us as she shouts, ‘why not?!’

We verbally walk through the challenges and the reasons, ‘we’re too old, we don’t have the room, it’s not our decision, Mother may keep the baby’ the list is exhaustive. X is having none of it dysregulation layered on top of heartbreak, it spills into all the corners of X’s life and consequently our lives. X can’t make sense of the dual feelings of excitement and loss.

This is complicated stuff, more complicated than I’m equipped for and in the middle of all that I’m managing my own feelings. This child feels emotionally connected to me, I feel like I should say yes, that I should throw our hat into the ring. I’m struggling with guilt, uncertainty, trying to figure out how it would work. The right answer is no but I’m struggling to say no, to this point I’ve always said yes but that’s how we got to here, good and bad.

I lay awake and wonder could we but the reality is I’m tired to the core, adoption, or some parts of it has eroded parts of me that will never be restored. There’s been magic too going back to nappies seems like too much, I’ll be in my 60’s when the baby reaches 18, no is the right answer.
On a routine social work visit we’re informed that mother has had a baby. The question is asked, why I’m not quite sure considering the fact we’re still having routine social work visits, would you consider taking the child.

Every fibre of my being says ‘yes’, my mouth says ‘no’.
@AdopterX

 

The Potato Group News

 

 

Bamboo Scaffolding: Part 2: What we did when we got there and the advantages and disadvantages of social media

We had arrived!. . .’Let’s freshen up and grab some food’. I rang D’s hotel room. I waited and waited and tried not to provoke a meltdown by ringing again . . .and said ‘Knock on my door when you are ready’ . . . .eventually he appeared. ‘Shall we find a restaurant nearby or eat in the hotel?’ . . .knowing D would choose the safety of the more familiar hotel. After eating ‘Do you want to crash or shall we have a walk and explore?’ – to my amazement he opted for a walk and we went two blocks to the beach.

Returning to the hotel we passed an Aussie bar with Sky Sports and I commented ‘You could go there for a drink sometime’. We arranged to download ‘Whats App’ so we could communicate while on hotel Wifi (D has me permanently blocked from his Facebook and Messenger) and so to bed. I arranged to message him in the morning. A social media positive. The next day I discovered D had been on an all-nighter. He met a Canadian in the lift and set off to the bars of Bangla Road with him . . . . .later going their separate ways, sitting on the beach for a while . . .and with no idea of the name or location of our hotel, he showed a moped taxi driver his room key, and was transported back safely in the early hours! – I was well impressed.

Our daily pattern became me arranging to message D at 8am or 11am depending on our jet lag and time confusion . . .usually getting a grunt, him missing breakfast, and me arranging to message him again at 1pm. He spent a lot of time in his room – time when I could explore. First mission – find the Muay Thai gym I had emailed, and book D some training. I found a derelict building! Trip Advisor showed a map of the derelict location but an address that Google Maps showed at the other end of town.

I soon discovered that in the steamy heat I should be less frugal, behave more like a traumatised teen, and spend money on taxis! Waking D at 1pm, I took him to a café for brunch and then by taxi to the gym to book a one-to-one for the following day. We explored a few shops before we wilted and taxied back to the hotel. D retreated to his room, I used the small pool and had a few hours me time.

My inclination would be to rush around and explore but the holiday had to meet my son’s needs first and foremost, his hotel room becoming a safe base. I became an armchair traveller, or in this case a hotel balcony traveller, trawling the local tourism on TripAdvisor knowing it was impossible for us to join any organized tours to offshore islands or wildlife sanctuaries as that would involve being ready at a set time and fitting in with the demands of a minibus full of strangers. Provocation and emotional regulation or lack of it.

Most evenings I messaged D at 7 or 8 to plan our evening meal and then had a long wait for him to knock on my door. As far as possible I avoided messaging again or knocking on his door as he finds that intensely provocative. I find it intensely provocative waiting patiently when I am starving . . .but the difference is that even after 20 years of adoptive parenting I can still emotionally regulate, helped by offloading a few ranting messages to my partner or my Potato peers, my social media lifeline. Now for the social media negatives. I soon realized my son was spending hours on Messenger group chat to his friends, much as he would at home.

He was angered to learn that a friend had had a confrontation with a bouncer, a passer-by had called the police, and his friend had been issued with an ASBO. He had had a burst water pipe in old outhouse plumbing as we set off. His friend who was ‘keeping an eye on’ his house and my partner were going to get this sorted. This friend was messaging him that my partner wanted to go into the house to turn off the stop tap – result RAGE, demands to fly home immediately and my worry that he would carry out his threat to trash his room. Would we see the inside of a Thai jail? I messaged my partner, was assured that he knew our son could not cope with him entering the house but the ‘friend’ would try and turn the stop tap off . . .crisis averted and we got to the pre-paid Muay Thai training session with my son in a calm enough state to manage training.

Muay Thai – my son has never let me watch him train at home. We shared a taxi to the gym and I said it was up to him, I could spend an hour at the beach or in the adjoining café . . . . .I think because he was anxious about the new environment he said I could come in, and could I video some of his training. By being crazy English people and booking a session in the midday heat, the gym was deserted apart from his one to one session. It was so positive to see D work hard and concentrate for an hour of hard physical training. I was able to take photos and videos. The trip was worth it for this first hour of training alone.

We fitted in two more sessions later in the week. Absorbing rubbish rants – It is a long time since D has chosen to spend social time with me. I see him daily to ferry him to and from supported work, to get shopping, or to appointments. It is even longer since he has sat down with me to eat a meal, so our shared evening meals were something special and mostly went well as long as I could absorb his ranted conversations without comment or challenge.

Rants described a seedier side of my home town, police, fights, how easy it is to get hold of a gun and a sort of parallel universe to the one I live in. Attempted burglary – some of the extra challenges of travelling with a traumatised young person are the direct effects of trauma, poor emotional regulation and extreme and unpredictable stress responses. Some, like the timing of the burst water pipe, are the extra bad-luck we seem to attract, and some like an attempted burglary because you have dodgy mates who know you are on holiday . . . .are because a traumatised young person is a magnet for ‘dodgy mates’.

About halfway into the holiday my son knocked on my door at 4 am (10 pm UK time) in tears. Through social media he learned there had been an attempted break-in at his house, luckily foiled by a neighbour who had called the police. The door was damaged but the burglars had not gained entry. Again his immediate response was to demand his air-ticket to fly back NOW on a ticket that was non- transferable and THREATS to trash the hotel room or leap from his fifth floor balcony . . . .I have years of practice at absorbing these intensified emotions . . .but it felt a long and lonely night . . .preparing for the worst while hoping for the best. Would I end up in a Thai jail? . . .or how do you arrange to fly a body back? . . . . .my partner and a few Potato peers hung on in there with me as my online support.

The low points, two near meltdowns survived by the skin of our teeth. The high points, three fantastic one to one Muay Thai training sessions, one morning of sight-seeing in a private taxi to the Big Buddha and to a shooting range! More about D’s fascinating with weapons in Part 3.

Look out for Part 3 – How we avoided a Thai jail and . . .did we get home safely?

www.thepotatogroup.org.uk

Preparing our eldest

Today’s problem comes from Lynne, who wants advice from second time adopters.

We’re in the very early stages of thinking about adopting a sibling for our son.

He came home in 2009, age just 11 months, and although it’s not been an easy ride, things have settled somewhat in the last few years and we’re doing well as a family. He’s mentioned in passing a few times about life with a brother, and we’ve started to think that now might be the time to apply to adopt again. We always thought we’d want to adopt again, but making sure son number 1 was settled and ready was the most important thing.

I want to know from others who’ve adopted a second time how much preparation I should do with him? How soon? What resources have you used to help you? And what does the process involve for him? Will he be assessed by a social worker like we will?

Looking forward to your answers, and thanking you in advance.

Is it good to share?

We’re pleased to share this thoughtful guest post today from Charlotte, an adoptive mum of two…

I had an interesting conversation in the playground this morning which got me thinking…

Mum K: XXX has been really difficult recently. She’s a good girl, they play nicely, but when I leave the room she bickers with her sister.

Me: Oh my two are like that too. The entire summer was just the two of them bickering constantly.

Mum M: Really? I thought your two were really good. They seem so polite and kind and when I look at your Facebook all I see is lovely photos of you all looking happy and smiling.

Me: Oh no. K really hates T. The only reason I only share the good bits is because I don’t want to fill my timeline with negative stuff and I have other Facebook groups where I share the difficult stuff.

Mum K: I’m so glad I’m not the only one. When I look at Facebook all I see are lovely photos of families and happy children, but then I actually talk to other mums and find out that all children are like it, or at least, aren’t the angels that we perceive them to be. 

And so the conversation continued. We realised that our 5 year old daughters were all behaving similarly, and commiserated over the frustrations involved. We concluded that it’s good to talk and not just rely on the projected or perceived images.

That was a conversation between me and two mums of birth children. They both know my ‘status’ as an adoptive mum. What I found particularly interesting is that they’re right of course!
On Facebook, and online generally I share my good days to the world, and my bad days within my adoptive parents groups, and seemingly, most of my adoptive parent contacts do that too.

In some of my adoptive parent groups, you often see a status preceded by ‘I couldn’t share this on my own wall but…’ or ‘You saw the positive pics on my wall, but in reality….’.

On forums and on Twitter I tend to share the shittier days because I know I’m surrounded by people that get it and can give me support. And that’s what I tend to see too. I wouldn’t want to share the good days too often in those places because it might seem like bragging to those who are really struggling.

But from my conversation today, it’s clear that others – birth parents – have struggles with their children too. Of course they do. All children can be challenging at times.

I’ve always felt a little concerned about sharing the difficult days on my normal Facebook page.
– Will I come across as ungrateful, after all I have 2 beautiful children?
– Will I be judged?
– Will I look negative all the time?
– Do people really care about my struggles?
– Aren’t everyone else’s children perfect? Won’t mine look awful in comparison?
– Will it bring it home that I’m crap at being a mum?
– Is it fair on my kids to tell the world they’re being little toe-rags?

But actually, after today, I think all it’s done for me is isolate me from some people who could be understanding and supportive. And it’s isolated them by making them feel that it’s only their children that have problems sometimes.
In addition, it explains their reactions in the past to comments I’ve made about particular challenges and behaviours. I’ve presented such a good picture of my family that on those odd occasions where I’ve talked about the bad days they’ve been seen as recoverable minor one-offs rather than the pretty major, violent difficulties that they are.

So what now? Well, I’ll continue to post about the great days, and I’ll continue to seek support from my adopter-only groups, but perhaps I won’t feel quite so bad about sharing the disastrous days occasionally.
What about you? Do you manage to share a balanced view of your life? Do you keep it all in or are you open?

Anna Writes: My adoption minefield

PhontoAs an adopted person there are any number of scenarios that create an awkward pause, a flushed face and a detour around answers- strangely this doesn’t seem to have lessened with age, but I think it’s a little bit easier to see the mines coming in the road in front of me. The most obvious moments come with meetings with medical professionals, and indeed anyone with an air of authority who requires some family history.

“any family history of X….?”

” I don’t know, I’m adopted”

“oh”

and so it goes, countless times, from a hygienist visit to a massage, from a gym membership application form to an osteopath, the same old questions. The same silence with a hint of pity before we all move on. I wonder what happens for the other in the silence? For me, I see the same big blank space where information could be, the facts that get taken for granted as often as the air we breathe.

“How much did you weigh when you were born?”

“…..”

“Whose eyes do you have?”

“…..”

“Where did you get that lovely curly hair?”

you get the picture….So, even if I don’t consciously think about being adopted every day, there are plenty of reminders.

Here are a few other mines I’ve negotiated over the years…..

  1. Biology, urgh, biology, you know the lessons about year 8 or 9 when we start talking about genes? seeing who can roll their tongue or working out how eye colour happens. Horrible. In the end I used to ask to be excused because the talk of who’d got what from where just drilled me into the ground with shame, shame that I didn’t know, couldn’t join in and generally all round felt like a freak…..Biology- the place where we are supposed to have common ground!
  2. Ante Natal appointments, I’ve done a few of these, I’m very fortunate, but I’ve not been so keen on the focus on history, because of the lack of mine, I had more blood tests, more probings and more curious looks than I can count and sometimes it’s been tiresome.
  3. As the children have got bigger, they come back from school with lots of wonderful homework, but by far the most challenging has been the family tree- which family? …we decided on both and had to start sellotaping bits of paper on, because of course, adoption doesn’t just affect me as an individual but each of my children- because they are also the product of the same genes and the same complex history. The teachers were nonplussed.
  4. donating blood or other parts- near impossible- I dearly wanted to donate eggs when I was younger but was informed I couldn’t without a full medical backstory. Sometimes I don’t get the rules.
  5. watching ‘Who do you think you are’. Just no.
  6. trips to the ED
  7. Children’s questions- often awkward, often unanswerable
  8. Facebook…Facebook is difficult for me on a number of levels (and is clearly a huge problem in adoption generally) it is one of the only ways for me to maintain any contact with my birth family due to geography, but sometimes it feels like self harm- seeing all the interaction between my BM and my half siblings, whilst I watch from the sidelines. I have removed myself more than once, but if I want any contact, it’s pretty much the only way.
  9. No knowledge of my birth father, other than a name. Big hole.
  10. people ‘joking’ – “I wish I was adopted” No, you really don’t. Not if you understood what it means. Not if you understood the ripples that continue to spread, year after year, even when life is ok.Not if you felt the void or touched even the edges of the loss. You really don’t.

As a youngster I found it hard to brush some of these off, some situations stung much more than was necessary, but now I’m older with a bit of a thicker skin I can see questions for what they are- just that- not an attempt to humiliate or belittle, just people doing their job.

Some of my mines will always be there, I just don’t have answers to some of the questions and maybe never will, and thats kind of alright.

But there will always be people who say hurtful things, sometimes intentionally and whatever the story of an adoption, it should never, ever be taken lightly. It doesn’t cost anything to be sensitive and to consider what other people might be carrying across their own minefields.

Let’s all tread carefully.

Anna.W

A sense of relief

As you probably know, we don’t usually post at the weekends, but we’ve had a special request from someone who wishes to write anonymously, but wants to link up to The Weekly Adoption Shout Out #WASO.

Things with my kids – challenges I mean, go up and down. But for the most part, they’ve been OK recently.
Things with my husband, well, now that’s a different story.

We’ve been happily married for a number of years, and we rarely argue, but that means that 100_2010when we do, it’s quite explosive because it’s the result of pent up feelings and emotions. All those little niggles get stored up, neatly deposited in a special box, waiting for the right moment to grow and change into ugly, spiteful, wretched negatives, ready to spew forth with vitriol.

That happened recently. And in front of our children I’m ashamed to say. Over something minor, but it turned into a huge horrid display, hours passing by with me and the children wondering if he was going to leave – which is what he’d promised.

No amount of pitiful begging from the children could make him agree to stay.
No amount of pitiful begging from me could make him agree to stay.
Almost a whole day was spent with us wondering (and not in a therapeutic Dan Hughes kinda way) whilst he made up his mind.

He stayed in the end. I’m not really sure why. I tried to talk to him, but he’s very much a closed book is my husband. He is difficult to read, even by me. He has difficulty verbalising his feelings – in fact, he’d say he doesn’t have any strong feelings about anything. That’s hard for me to live with, and hard for me to say, because now I’ve acknowledged it haven’t I?

Whenever we do argue, it always begins over one of the children, or our parenting, or his parenting, or how his work affects the children…always connected to the children. He says he’s a crap dad, that he can never parent them properly. He thinks he’s incapable of being therapeutic, and yes, I can see it’s hard for him because he lacks empathy. But, however he parents, the children love him and so do I. (And whether he says or shows it, I do know that he loves us all too).

When he said he was staying, it should have felt like a sense of relief.
He said he was staying, but it felt like there should have been a little bit more to the sentence. “This time” – that’s what’s missing, and that’s what has played on my mind ever since. What about “next time”?.

How do you find support?

Support.

Sometimes we need help and we don’t know where to get it from.
I suppose the main support sources are family and friends, but there’s also post adoption support, school, school nurses, therapists, counsellors and other health professionals.

These days, I find help from all those sources difficult though. We’ve gone too far along our journey to find many who’ve experienced what we have and as a result I find little comfort in speaking to those who understand the theory, but lack the real experiences, lack the raw emotion of parenting a traumatised child.

I have a few, very close, amazing friends and they are great for letting me sound off, whinge, cry, rant, celebrate and boast, but even with the amazing personal support they give me, they can’t empathise and truly understand what my family lives through. They are fantastic at letting my children just be children though, and I so appreciate that even with all they know (and they know A LOT), they don’t judge my children or pity them for their pasts.

My family simply don’t see much of the violence or challenges. My children are charm personified in front of their grandparents, and turn into gremlins the moment the front door closes. As much as they believe me, and do their best to support me, they simply cannot see the same children and as such don’t really know how to help.

IMG_20141127_153835I’m aware of this…isolation that I’m putting myself into. Don’t get me wrong – I have normal relationships with other mums, we go out for coffee, we talk about the day to day stuff about school uniforms, dieting, the weather, good books, homework and the star of the week. We have family friends that we occasionally manage a day trip with, but again, we talk about work, the car, what the kids watch on TV, how well they’re eating…normal parent stuff.

 

But I don’t talk about the real things that affect me and my family.
That gets compartmentalised and discussed only with other adoptive parents that live the same kind of life that I do. After all, how many people really understand trauma? Or really get neglect? My normal mum friends don’t – one joked the other day about the circle of neglect she was buying for her baby (an inflatable baby nest), it took a lot for me to bite my tongue and not tell her about REAL neglect…the kind my daughter endured.

The Adoption Social provides the links I need. It’s even managed to find me a couple of people in my local area and we’ve connected via email, and hope to meet up. But I need more. I need more people to get in touch with, and I want better local support. All my local adopters groups have been running for years – the people that go have teenagers and know each other of old, and, I don’t fit. I’ve never been one for cliques. So where now? Where do you get your support from? Am I too needy? Am I expecting too much? I never meant to rant about my lack of support, but I’d love to know how others manage…

So where do you get support from? We hope that here on The Adoption Social we can put you in touch with other adopters, tweeters and bloggers who you can chat with but is that enough?
If you want to write about an issue that you feel strongly about, then please do send your posts into theadoptionsocial@gmail.com

Thanks Dad

Early last year we met our second child for the first time. Just one week earlier my dad walked out on my mum after 33 years marriage for another person. I was totally unprepared for the impact this would have on me and my wider family and more importantly, my growing but delicate immediate family.

 

At the age of 4 I lost my best friend (6), my mums younger sister to leukaemia, her death was never explained to me. Relatives sobbed around me but no one told me why, unwittingly misguided in their attempts to protect me. Therefore I have a deep seated belief system that people leave, people leaving is very bad and no relationship is certain – except those I had with my parents and sisters. I have avoided loss at all costs ever since. It comes in many forms such as being unable to listen to radio competitions as I cannot bear to hear peoples pain when they lose, moving right through to the extreme of shutting down and resisting the urge of walking away when people are dying. I am not proud of this and I have only fully begun to understand the impact of my first and subsequent losses.

It took until the events of this year to understand why I am able to avoid loss in its many guises yet be able to safely hold my first sons ultimate, most painful loss with strength, gentleness and a lot of thought. My counsellor eloquently pointed out that ‘there’s no bloody way you’re going to let what happened to you, happen to your children’ (she’s great I love her!).

“Both my sons have been well and truly rejected by their birth parents and this last year has given me a rare and valuable insight into how traumatic and deep that wound really goes – and for the first time ever, I’m scared of it.”

As an adult brought up in a consistently loving, stable family, I have never felt such loss, such rejection and abandonment when my dad left. It has torn away all my carefully built up layers of protection that surrounded any feelings of loss and exposed it to cold harsh air. It is painful and I have swung from anger and depression through to manic laughter and back again. Its going to be a long journey back to see what my new wider family will look like and our subsequent relationships, but what my dads leaving has also done has highlighted to me my sons losses. Both my sons have been well and truly rejected by their birth parents and this last year has given me a rare and valuable insight into how traumatic and deep that wound really goes – and for the first time ever, I’m scared of it. I had the good fortune of getting 33 years of my parents together, wanting me, wanting their lives together before it all crashed around us taking down part of my identity, my belief system, my self esteem, my ability to stay present and even my support network in the process. On days when it overwhelms me, I wonder, how will I get my two beautiful boys through this pain especially on those days with my eldest when I can already see it.

Dads ill-timed leaving meant that my attachment to my second son is slow and sometimes painful, his loss is exposed right alongside mine and I have had to dig more deeply than I ever thought I could to survive the past 9 months. I’ve been trying to bond with my son and therapeutically parent my oldest, alongside dealing with a suicidal mother, shut down sisters and a newly absent father. It has shaken my belief in my ability to hold my children losses for them, which I’m sure others submerged in the adoption world will agree, is a vulnerable state to be in.

We are told adoption is all about loss but I’m not sure I fully  appreciated what that really meant until I was emotionally exposed and open to it.”

I have hope that it will inform me, make me a better parent, strengthen my resolve and keep me going when times are black however, I have a tiny insight into how they may feel and with that has brought a lot of fear. We are told adoption is all about loss but I’m not sure I fully  appreciated what that really meant until I was emotionally exposed and open to it. I do know, that like my children, I am a survivor and once some time has passed, I’ll be using this experience, this unwanted life lesson and I’ll be a better bloody parent because of it, so thanks Dad, my sons will benefit from your life altering decision and for that, I am grateful.

Very many thanks to our anonymous blogger this week for sharing her story. If you have a post that you would like us to publish, please do email us at theadoptionsocial@gmail.com

Life on the Frontline – week 11

lotf

 

A weekly blog from a family made by adoption, warmed by the laughter, broken by the sadness, held together by love with a big dollop of hope, oh, and often soaked in mummy tears.

This week Small had a friend over for tea. Of course with everything seeming to go so well with him, at the moment, I made the mistake of thinking that this would be fun.

Small has obviously been missing his friends whilst he’s not been in his mainstream school and I have organised for the occasional friend to come for tea. These meetings have always gone pretty well, the friends Small has chosen have been laid back, accepting of Small and happy to play along with him.  Not so this week.

We collected the friend on our way home from school and arrived home to a grumpy and unhappy Tall. Having spent all day in internal exclusion he had not enjoyed his day in school and seemed determined to let us all know. Cue a tantrum over something I can’t recall, with threats being made to me, over behaviour I could expect, if I didn’t give in to his request. Words were exchanged.

“Well, maybe you shouldn’t swear at teachers if you don’t want to be excluded”

“I’ll trash my bedroom”

I’ve had a bad day”

“join the club”

Small’s friend stood with his jaw wide, unable to believe the audacity of my son, and later asks “did he really say that to you?”

First rule of having friends over, no family fights whilst you have visitors, broken.

So you know that time is of the essence for me at the moment, finding time between having a child at home, being in school with child, driving child to and from other school, meetings, phone calls about one or other of children, finding time to do the everyday things that need doing  can be tough. Like shopping.

Small and friend had requested that friend to tea staple, chicken nuggets, and usually there is always said food in the freeze, however not this time.

So having settled Small and friend down to play the Wii, I took the grumpy one to the supermarket with me. Don’t worry the husband was also at home.

Half an hour later I come through the door to husband shouting down the stairs,

“You really need to sort him out”

Whilst out Small had threatened to stab his friend, reassuring him “there are plenty of knives in this house”

Friend is hiding out in the kitchen, whilst a seething very stressed Small is pacing his bedroom.  Friend would like to go home, understandably and is a little upset. I however can’t find his mum’s phone number and am also trying to calm Small and get to the bottom of what happen.

It seems there was a control issue, over playing a certain game. Friend is oldest of three boys and I think might be used to bossing his brothers about. Small obviously will NOT be bossed and when also told that his selection is “stupid”, full on survival mode has been activated in Small.

I manage to placate both and they agree to have another go, it doesn’t go completely smoothly but we get through to mum collecting without any stabbings. I then need to explain to mum what has happened.

I look for a flicker, something in her eyes, which will tell me what she is thinking, as I relay her how my son threatened hers. I reassure her that he really would never do such a thing and smile hoping to make a connection. It wasn’t there, she leaves with her son and I have no idea how she’s taken it.

Once gone Small deteriorates into one of the biggest meltdowns we’ve ever experienced with him. I spend the next hour racing between the front and back door as he tries to escape. I’m spat at, kicked, thumbed and called an array of colourful names.

The whole experience is exhausting and when everything is finally over a couple of hours later and I fall into bed, I sob uncontrollably at the unfairness of it all.

 In Other News

Without the whole friend for Tea incident Small manages to still have an extremely good week in school, and we are looking to increase his time in mainstream by half an hour next week.

Small however did complain at the weekend that he’s really fed up with having to behave all the time.

Tall has managed to miss some pretty big pieces of homework he needs to do. He is sometimes out of mainstream classrooms so blames this fact on not knowing, but I’m on to it and he has got a lot to do next week to catch up, wish me luck.