I have to hand it to our eldest, she certainly is taking us on a rollercoaster. This week has seen me going from lying on the floor in tears wondering if I can actually do this, to her saying very quietly, ‘I want to stay here.’
This is the first time that she has voiced anything to do with this. This is pretty much the first time she has acknowledged that there was a before. I was very good, I didn’t respond in an over the top way otherwise I knew that she would take it back. But it was a huge moment for us. Big has always been more trusting of her dad. She is just waiting for me to abandon her too and she has spent a year refusing to get close to me so the fact that she said this to me was amazing.
I’m writing this off the back of three good days. Not three easy days but three good ones. Big asked to go and see the squirrels. She has never asked to go anywhere or do anything before. She asks what is happening and what is coming next and who is coming and what day it is and what time it is but she has never asked if she can go somewhere. So we went. And it was lovely. The squirrels obliged and we saw two. We had an ice cream in the sun and we played in the park. Both the girls had a go on the zip slide with me which was lovely. As it was time to come home, I gave Big the usual message to let her know that we would be leaving soon. She finds this hard and we had tears and refusals but we dealt with it.
Getting to the car, I picked her up and whispered, ‘I’ve had a lovely day.’ She looked at me. I said, ‘I know you felt sad but we dealt with it together.’ She threw her arms round me and said, ‘I love my mummy.’ Again, I couldn’t overreact to this. But it was another huge moment. She has only said it once before and she took it back almost straight away. (We were swimming. ‘I love you.’ Panic. ‘I love the water.’)
I’ve struggled recently to have the empathy I know I need to have to parent our children well. After a year of having someone reject me constantly and (subconsciously) manipulate me into feeling how she wants me to feel, I’ve found it hard. But these three days have shown me that what we’re doing is having an impact and she is beginning to feel settled here. We’ve a long way to go but we’re beginning to get to wherever it is we’re going.
And if we have another good day tomorrow, I’ve said that my husband and I can get a takeaway. It’ll be the last one for a while so we might as well make it for a good reason. (And if we don’t have a good day we can have one anyway because of the last three days!)
The Best Bits
This week Big asked if she could have a go on the pedal bike. Both girls scoot round on their scoot bikes but it’s a big step to move up to pedals and a lot could have gone wrong. It didn’t go brilliantly but she was willing to have another go which was good to see.
In our local forest, they’ve built a wee play bit with a tunnel, wobbly bridge, net tunnel and some balance beams. They’ve also created a wee climbing wall and Little was up it like a mountain goat. She had a huge smile on her face when she got to the top and shouted, ‘look at me, I doned it!’