This week has seen Big needing a huge amount of care from both myself and my husband. It seems that she has been held for most of the day and this left Little to ponder, ‘Me time now?’.
Now, clearly, I am not the first person in the world to have adopted two children, (though by the way I whinge it might sound like it). Some people have more (some people have 6!) but sometimes I feel at a loss as to what to do with ‘the other one’ during moments (hours) of reassuring and helping the one who needs it.
We have been given great advice by the psychologist about how to help calm Big and what to do in different situations but even the psychologist herself said, “I don’t know what you do with the little one at this point.’ This has left me feeling increasingly isolated and vulnerable as I am just not confident taking them places by myself for fear of what I do do with the little one.
I’m also in a situation where I have a wonderful relationship with one of my children and a developing one with the other. And I never feel able to share how lovely it is with Little as everyone immediately criticises me for not doing enough with Big.
I’m not sure what else we can do. We have all our meals together except one tea on a weekend. She’s in our bed from the moment she wakes up. They help me make breakfast and lunch. There is never any independent play, I’m always with them. We have dedicated time with each of them. We do familiar things. When things are not going to be familiar we plan it well. We get in the bath with them. When I pick Big up from nursery, I make sure that Little is not in my arms, that all my focus is on Big. Everything they do, one or both of us is with them.
But Big is not ready to trust us, especially me.
So everyday we try to balance the two of them to ensure that they are both getting what they need and everyday it feels like we don’t get it right. Big is scared and untrusting and Little is left feeling that she needs more. We are just about able to manage at home. Little has special toys that come out when I need to help Big, she has a tent for a safe space, she has play dough that she loves and can access but at the end of the day, she’s two. Sometimes she just needs a grown up. (As she’s charmingly started referring to us as.)
But other people are doing this and doing it well. I wonder if there are things that I could learn to help me do it better, ways that I could help both my children? Ideas would be most welcome.
The Best Bits
Big and I went down the street to do the shopping. She was lovely and asked the man in the post office if she could post her letter, something she’s never done before.
Little and I went swimming this week. She was awesome. She spent most of the time lying on her back with her cheek pressed against mine. A wonderful 30 minutes.