Yesterday, while walking past a (much!) bigger house than ours, Big announced, “That’s a nice house for me to live in.” I replied with, “Do you mean when you’re a big girl like mummy?” She looked at me. “Because you’ll live with mummy and daddy until you’re a big enough girl to live by yourself.”
“Which mummy and daddy?”
As several million thoughts crashed through my head, I responded “me mummy and daddy” which granted does not make much sense and is far from being a grammatically correct sentence but was all I could mange at the time.
I wonder how long she will be with us before she doesn’t think that she’s going back to her birth family or on to another family? How many mornings will she wake up to us saying ‘Good morning’ and nights will she go to sleep with us saying ‘Good night’ before she feels that this is where she’s going to be?
Then I wonder if we’re not doing a very good job of talking about things with her. This week has brought about much more physical contact, just tiny wee touches here and there but these are huge for us and I think I see just a tiny shift to her being slightly more relaxed, there have been fleeting glimpses of real smiles, seconds of real laughter and moments of a leaning in or a pat as she goes past. So something is happening.
But after 11 months it feels that emotionally she is as closed off as when she came. And I don’t know if this is something we should be doing something about, something that we wait until she is ready, something that she’s going to need lots and lots of help with or something that is a combination of all of these and more.
After my parents had been up for a week, when we had said goodbye, Little burst into tears and said, “I don’t want Grannie and Grandad to go. I want them to come to my house.” She was able to voice this and was able to be comforted about it. Big’s way of dealing with it was to spend the rest of the day and the day after becoming more violent. We knew that she was feeling the same as Little and we put this into words for her but she didn’t feel safe enough to say it. Another rejection, more people leaving her life and she just couldn’t cope with it.
This is where understanding is tricky because actually, I can’t understand what it must be like to four years old and to be so fearful everyday. I can try my best to but to actually try to put it into words is hard for me and I’m nearly 34. It’s no wonder she has no words. I would be terrified of saying anything too. And actually writing that down makes me remember that actually what she needs from me is patience and reassurance and a promise that when she’s ready, we’ll be here for her. And we will.
The best bits this week –
Near our house there is a small plot of land that for some reason was not built on. It has a few tress and the floor is covered in moss and the girls love playing there. This week we took their scoot bikes and they must have gone down the wee hill about twenty times. Little had a massive crash but as soon as I got to her, she looked up at me beaming, ‘Again, again!’ They were awesome, feet up rolling down a hill. Very proud mummy and daddy!
We went to the park yesterday and both girls took turns to sit on our knees on the swings. There was a real giggle from Big and Little pretty much just laid down on us gazing at the sky. ‘We’re in the trees!’ she said.