Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Yesterday, today and forever.

  So school is out. We've got 6 weeks of together time. Himself will be working of course except on Fridays when I work, so it will be mostly the three of us. I've been (mostly) looking forward to it. I find I get 'in touch' with the boys so much more in the holidays. On school days, even when they are at home, we are so busy busy that it is hard to be just us, and to relax together. We've been a bit OD'd on school recently, between us Himself and I had 6 meetings at school the other week, a lot of them to deal with small boy issues, and we get tired of it. Our boys are not a good fit in the school system, and it makes for problems.
The other good thing about the holidays (the biggy!) is no more school runs for 6 weeks. Yay!!! We can make our own timetable. And we are. 

Today so far: 
Lazing in Mum's bed with DS's - 1 hour.
Lazy breakfast - if Pup wants ham on toast for breakfast, so what?
Slobbing in front of the TV. Pup will do his PEP breathing exercises in a minute (when I chase him.)

Plans for the rest of the day:
Fill the paddling pool
Get very wet. Scream and run around a lot.
Do  whatever we feel like. Probably not a lot, as it is forecast to be the hottest day of the year. Wait for news of the royal baby.

Six weeks is forever when you are six or nine.
The rest of the holiday may be a little more disciplined than today, but this is the first 'real' holiday day, so we do whatever we like. However for the rest of the hols we've got a list of 'to do's' on our kitchen whiteboard at last two feet long. It includes bowling, picnics, visits to the river, setting up our new table tennis set, museums,  zoos, legoland, visits to grandmas and other friends,  the sea sied (sic - from Tigs), cleaning the house (mum). There is no way we will manage half of it. We are also doing a couple of trips away. I think that forever may pass very quickly.

Oh and I forgot...

We all went to 'History Live'. Run by English heritage it is a history re-enactors dream. There is  a massive field full of tents, some with displays, some with activities (some of us enjoyed the crossbow firing) Some with people from all periods in British history doing demos, making crafts or just lolling around.

There are big events including battle re-enactments (not too much gore), tournaments, a victorian showman. There was a merry go- round. Shops selling expensive desireable items. Medieval maidens queueing for burgers. Roman soldiers chatting to Victorian showmen.  A divebombing Spitfire. Himself and I both enjoy history and would love Pup and Tigs to catch the bug. They certainly seemed to get into it.

Monday, 8 July 2013

What's in a name?

One particular feature of adopted children; they don't usually come with the names you would have chosen for them.

In the case of my boys, one had a first name I quite like, and might have picked as a second name. The other had a first name I don't actively dislike but I would not have chosen. Both had second names and one of those I utterly detested.

We were advised from the begining that it was a bad idea to change their 'user' names. I get the point: they have enough changes going on around them already, to get used to a new name would be hopelessly confusing for them. Also a name is part of your identity, even toddlers (as mine were) need to keep a sense of their own 'self'. So we kept their user names. Anyway their names fitted - they were them. Changing those names would have felt like abuse, like trying to make them be someone they weren't. I have spoken to a mother that changed her childs name, for something very similar. Now that does make sense. Changing the spelling might have been sensible too - to make the boys less traceable by birth family for example. But we liked the spellings, so we stuck.

BUT names mean a lot to me. One very important part of having children for me was chosing appropriate names with meanings that fitted. So it was painful for me to accept their preexisting names. I had spent years dreaming about what I'd call my kids, now I was not just robbed of giving birth to them but of naming them too.

We compromised. We decided to give them a second name each from us, and we lost that perfectly awful name we couldn't stand. The new names had to work well with their first names and our surname too, so we had a lot of thinking to do. To me at least they had to be meaningful as well. They are, I feel they both express how we felt about the boys, and I hope that when they understand what their second names mean they will feel how loved and welcomed they were. 

Pup already choses to use his second name sometimes, although we don't encourage it, we don't discourage it either. It gives me a secret little boost to hear him call himself by the name we chose. But we've told him that he cannot change his name formally at least until he starts senior school. Then... we will have to think.

It is interesting that both have said at different times that they don't want their names abbreviated. I think that they both have a very strong sense of self. It seems funny to me that we rarely use nicknames for them. I come from a family where nicknames were always used. In contrast Himself's parents never abbreviated his name or his brothers'. He and I use abbreviations for each other. We do use endearments for the boys, 'sweetheart' is the commonest, although Pup rebels at that sometimes. We also have private names for them that we use behind their backs. But don't tell them that!

Monday, 1 July 2013

Not everyone will agree

Tigs: "Daddy, my hero my superhero!"  

  Pup: "Tigs, he's everybody's superhero!"

Whatever anyone else thinks of Himself, I think it's just nice that our boys appreciate their Dad!  And I tend to agree with them. He's a great Dad and will always go the extra mile for his boys.

Pup in action
Tigs in action