Life on the Frontline – Week 5



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.

“In Crisis” is how Small’s education was described to me this week by the Educational Psychologist. The panicker inside me panicked, the depressive in me spiralled into a depressive mood and the flood gates opened, there have been a lot of tears. She didn’t reassure me in any way when she told me she has seen children like Small unable to integrate back into mainstream school, and she didn’t help me when she suggested that unless he could fit to the school’s needs, then he would not be able to remain in the school. “Permanent exclusion” is the deadly words that ring in my ears.

The self doubts have crept back in and I staretd to fear that my own parenting lacks the necessary conviction, that this is somehow my entire fault. I know, I know I’m being a drama queen but it is so easy to slip into this rut, for me anyway.

And then like an angel, sent to deliver me from my own persecutory hell, there appeared, a singular lovely, lady in the aisle of the supermarket.

Friday straight from School, Small and I visited the supermarket. He was in a very jovial and chatty mood, released from the pressure of school for the next two days, we were having fun collecting none essential things from the shelves. Popcorn, Halloween tat, a DVD, wine, it was a definite Friday night shopping trolley. Realising there was little of nutritional value amongst our items I sent Small off to retrieve fruit.

He reappeared with grapes and then, as we finalised our shopping I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned to find a lady, unknown to me, smiling widely at me.

“I would like you to know what a sensible and polite boy you have” she said. “I watched him very patiently allow someone go before him down an aisle and he waited to let other people pass by too.”
My heart fluttered with pride and his little face beamed too. I grabbed hold of him and squeezed him tight. “Well done my love, you make me very proud”.

There it was, the reminder to me, that I actually do a brilliant job parenting my children. That in many a social situation my children know exactly how to behave and interact with others. It called to mind all the wonderful comments that guest’s, at a family event we attended recently, made about my children.

“Aren’t they polite”

“They are playing so well with those other children”

“I hope we can see you all again soon”

Also over this weekend we have enjoyed a number of outings with Small and he has been a delight to be with. His wicked sense of humour has had us all laughing and his friendly nature has seen him engaging with other children and adults alike. He has even managed a long walk, in the autumn sunshine, without moaning, well not much.

Yes he can seem a little quirky at times and yes, he’s not always easy to coerce into everything we want to do but he is learning and improving all the time.

I know he has been far from easy to deal with in school and his behaviour has proved extremely difficult to manage. However, I can’t help feeling that it’s not what the school needs of him that should be considered here. It feels a lot like this little square pegged boy is being squeezed into a round hole. Instead shouldn’t Small’s needs be what people are trying to meet? Not the other way around.

I can now see, now I’ve dug myself out of that rut, that when many of his needs are being met, he feels safe, feels appreciated and feels liked/loved that he can behave in a very convivial way.
Although I am still fearful of those words “permanent exclusion” I’m starting to wonder if this school is not really the one for Small if they are not prepared to meet his needs.

In Other News

Tall and Small have got on very well this week, I love seeing them together, thick as thieves.

Tall’s high school experiences seems to be running more smoothly, but now I’ve said that be prepared for an almighty incident.

I’m struggling for other news, other than the news that I cried a lot this week and the cat was sick on our bedroom carpet. Things can only get better.

2 thoughts on “Life on the Frontline – Week 5

  1. Mumof3

    My heart goes out to you as a musician. Who is there with the ideas of poor parenting anxieties and depressive thinking. You are right we are doing a brilliant job.
    Education is a hard one, as an adoptive mum and a teacher I know what education for our children needs to look like but I also know how unusual it is to find a school with the understanding, resources and willingness to work with our children in the best ways for them.
    Teachers are rarely trained in this stuff and so however good they are, often they will be out of their depth. Heather Forbes ‘ book’ Help for Billy ‘ is superb and has been a superb resource for me as a mum and a teacher of children like mine.
    Hope you can either work with the current school or find one that is willing to work with you to make small’ s experience of education much more positive.

  2. Mumof3

    Sorry… First line should read

    My heart goes out to you as a mum who is there with the….

    Silly predictive text and failing to proof read x


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