Life on the Frontline – week 23


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.

It’s just like a curse and it has adopters the length of the country cowering, fearfully. We all whisper behind our protective hands, whilst touching wood and cross everything when we uncomfortably part with a moment of success our family has experienced. I didn’t think, I didn’t whisper, touched no wood and left everything loose, not crossed in any way, as I proudly informed you all of Tall and Smalls achievements, last week.

Tuesday is Small’s full day in mainstream school and my husband I took advantage and organised a lunch out. As I contemplated the delicious sounding meal I had ordered, I checked my phone, habit. The number I had not wanted to see pinged up in notifications, school, Small’s school. A split second of contemplating leaving them to deal with it and I was ringing back.

An incident at lunch time had lead to him “not coping” and could I come and get him.

So one hastily eaten lunch later we collected a very calm and compliant Small from school. I had to question later, when speaking with the teacher, why it was necessary to take a calm and compliant boy home.

“Expectation, he was told he was going home and we therefore needed to follow through”

Whilst I agree to continuity in responding to Small as a priority, I couldn’t help feeling aggrieved for myself and him that this had needed to occur.

Wednesday started normal as anything but by elevenish I was collecting a foul mouthed, uncooperative boy from high school that clearly had destruction on his mind. He had paced and paced the corridors of school after a rough start. Hard as he tried to walk it out there was no removing the toxic inner him which had surfaced.

We cuddled on the sofa and watched The Voice on i-player, after he’d shouted then cried. It was a restorative afternoon. School informed me by phone of a three day internal exclusion to start on Monday, punishment for his intolerable behaviour.

I thought we’d done a good job of healing and supporting and no signs of trouble were revealed before school on Thursday.
9.10am – Deputy Head “you need to come and get him, we’ll have to exclude him”

So yet again I collected a jumpy young man from school. I was not quite so instantly therapeutic on this occasion, as my much needed afternoon hairdressers appointment slipped through my fingers. Grey streaks make me look interesting, right?

So moments of reflection have obviously been needed to answer the big question, WHY?
I know why. All that positivity from parents evening doesn’t fit for him. It’s like a jacket full of itching powder, he’s had to shake it off and ask the question “still like me now?”

Sadly the supportive school find reaching out to this abyss a leap too far. Blanket policy on behaviour in school does not tolerate a boy trying to find out who he can trust in the only way he knows how.

I suppose there is a positive; we get to start the week without an internal exclusion. No, instead we start with an integration meeting and a very scared boy having to start mending relationships. That’s after I’ve gotten Small to school.

“What time do you want to bring Tall in on Monday?” Asked the Deputy Head.
“Nine….ish” I answer, a little unsure what Monday may bring with two children reluctant to go to school.

In Other News

Tall has been doing his cross stitch again, at his own request, it’s amazing how calming they both find sewing.

Small has been doing incredibly well in school, despite his Tuesday hiccup, which was not really his fault.

I’m not sure if I’m sinking or swimming right now, maybe a little of both.

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