So DS has been exhibiting some interesting behaviour of late. By interesting I mean awful. DH and I have noticed a steady decline since before Christmas and now we are dealing with daily battles that include:
- deciding that he no longer needs to have a wash 'because he's 6'
- stating that he only had chicken and pizza today so his teeth don't need brushing
- creating arguments over the slightest upset (such as the colour of his underwear)
- becoming irrationally angry when challenged on his behaviour
- making dramatic statements in relation to everday events (I tried to sleep in mum but couldn't and that is why I don't want another child to live with us)
And on it goes....
As my friend and I share stories about our 6 year old boys with knowing nods in the direction of 'testosterone surges' (I read a book on it once...), I can't help but be worried that this is about more than just hormones.
I feel I need to reiterate at this point that DH and I have not brought up Fostering and Adoption with him for some time as we felt it was an issue that he needed to choose the pace about. He has brought it up a couple of times and we've talked about it. Are we wrong about this though? Do we need to just take control? A friend recently suggested that I was being ridiculous for allowing DS a say in the matter of adding to our family via A or F and that if I had just had a baby, he wouldn't have been given the choice and would have just had to get used to it. I put her attitude down to her being childless but did she have a point? My instinct tells me that I know my boy and how my family works and lets face it, in all liklihood any child we welcome into our home will have additional needs; having a genetic baby grow for 40 weeks while DS is involved in that gradual process is completely different.
And frankly it makes me cross that people to whom babies come easily never have to give it all such lengthy consideration. I always (probably mistakenly) imagine it goes something like, 'will we have another baby darling?', 'yes, we could do. When?', 'Will we say now?', 'Errr, oh go on then', 'great, I'll bob my request for mat leave in tomorrow'...Don't get me started on the various articles I've read recently by smug multi-mothers on the perils of having just one child. I try to remaim positive but lately it's getting me down. I would give anything to have those hassle filled mornings sorting out my 17 children. And there I go again, sounding ungrateful for the one that I have. Please know that I am not ungrateful - just frustrated.
DS is a lot like me - he comes across all mouthy and confident because he's terrified of channeling his inner-peach but he can't escape from his anxieties and it appears to be manifesting itself in the form of angry outburts and interrupted sleep. Heck, DH and I are confused so it's presumably fully expected that DS will be too and I wasn't unprepared for that. Well, I didn't think I was...
I just feel really crap. And in turn that makes me re-angry about everything (yes I am aware that that's not a word but humour me). I want to scream that it's all so hard! Why us? Why is this still not sorted out? Why do I have to jump through f****** hoops to get the one thing that so many other people just get? With no hassle! In the normal way! I'm exhausted by the whole process and it hasn't even begun. I'm utterly terrified that I'll ruin DS's life with my selfish pursuit of a bigger family and utterly heartbroken that he will never know the joy and irritation of siblings. He pointed out that any children he will have might not have cousins or aunts and uncles and wouldn't that be sad? Yes it would. And I'm sorry. I wish I could change it for him but I can't. And it kills me.
Last week I spoke to a National Charity about Fostering and the lovely lady is waiting for me to email with a date for them to come out, meet us, and talk to us about becoming approved foster parents. I don't feel that I can send that email. I think I need to spend some time sorting out DS's feelings. I want him to be happy. I want to do the right thing. I want, most of all, to not be in the position where I can't just relax about the whole thing, safe in the knowledge that the decisions me made were the right ones.
P.S The **MELTDOWN WARNING** should probably have been inserted at the beginning of this post....