I’ve never been one for having a drink in the house. When I drink it’s on a night out with the girls. I could never understand when someone would say “oh I can’t wait for a glass of wine tonight” and it would be a Wednesday and they were just sitting in the house. But now being the proud owner of a two year old I get it, people who drink at home, I get it. And it’s why I don’t have wine in my fridge very often, because it would get drunk. By half 7 every night. If I thought a one year old was hard work I was wrong, because two year old Rae is making one year old Rae look like a walk in the park.
Never underestimate how clever a two year old is. They might not talk as well as us but they certainly understand everything you say to them and know exactly how to play you. In Toy Story the toys only talk when the humans leave the room, and I reckon two year olds are the same with adults. As soon as an adult is out of earshot I can imagine they have full conversations with each other. “Alright mate, how was last night? Did our plan work?” “Too right it did, I completely refused to get out of the bath and she ended up promising me 2 extra stories before bed” “Ha well played! I refused to get dressed this morning and she ended up giving me chocolate at 7:30am just to persuade me to put my clothes on, worked a treat, you should try it” and so on. Bribery is massive in my household. I literally have to bribe her with anything I can just to get her to get undressed or dressed. She never wants to take her pyjamas off (the same pyjamas she didn’t want to put on the previous night), she never wants to get dressed (into the same clothes she’ll refuse to take off later that day), she doesn’t want to go in the bath, and then refuses to get out, she screams at me when I try and take her nappy off yet will not let me put a new one on. One day this week, when I picked her up from nursery, she decided she didn’t want to sit in her car seat so performed the back-arch trick whilst laughing at me trying to manoeuvre her in. I put one leg in the car to give me more leverage, at which point she wrapped her legs around my leg like a monkey round a tree and clung on, refusing to let go and laughing her head off. Eventually I got her strapped in and drove home. She then refused to get out of the car seat. “Bye Rae, Mummy’s going in the house!” Her response? “OK bye! Bye! Bye!” whilst smiling and waving at me. Once in the house she had her biggest tantrum to date. Crying, screaming, stamping her feet and calling me mean (which she has learnt from my 7 year old niece) She wouldn’t even take her coat and shoes off. I ended up facetiming my mum and dad “Mum! Dad! Will you tell her to get undressed!” It took half an hour to get her in to her pyjamas, and she completely missed having a bath that night. Tonight on our way home she asked for my bottle of water, which she then proceeded to spray all over the back of my car. However she did have a bath and get in to her pyjamas with minimal fuss so thankfully the tantrums aren’t a nightly occurrence. (Just 6 out of 7 nights a week).
Rae has just been through her 8th ear infection, not that they seem to bother her much. The only indication that she has it is that she wakes up crying at night which is very out of character for her, so as soon as that happens I get her straight down the doctors, but in the day you wouldn’t know there was anything wrong with her. They said they won’t refer her because they’re not affecting her hearing or causing any other problems and she’ll grow out of it. I’m also two weeks in to a cold that I can’t shift and I’ve been feeling rough but still going to work. I’ve been back to work 6 months now and have been getting pretty stressed with my work load but I had a meeting booked to discuss this on Tuesday this week, which had already been cancelled twice. Then Tuesday morning I got an email to say it had been cancelled again. I called my team leader to ask why and ended up crying down the phone to her, although sobbed is more accurate. I kept saying “I’m sorry, I don’t know why I’m crying”. She told me to stop getting so stressed and that it was just a job. She said she knew I’d been ill and ordered me to take the rest of the day off sick and do nothing but rest. I didn’t need to be told twice. I’m not very good at admitting when I need a break. I feel like people will judge me and think that I’m not coping, when I am coping, I’m just human and need a time out every now and again.
Another thing that’s been stressing me out is the yearly report I’m supposed to write to the birth parents. It was agreed I would write a progress report every September, which I was legally obligated to do in September 2014 as Rae was still a ward of the court. Now she’s legally mine it’s up to me if I want to write it, which I was fully prepared to do at first. For their part, the birth parents are allowed to send a birthday and Christmas card each year, with a letter in each. Rae has had two birthdays with me and one Christmas and they’ve sent nothing, yet have been calling the social workers and after adoption team asking where their progress report is. I’ve had a letter from the after adoption team, and a missed call and text from the social worker. I called her back but she didn’t answer, and as yet hasn’t called me back. I’m not going to keep ringing her but I know when I do speak to her I’ll probably crack and agree to write a letter, because I’ve been brought up to be the better person. But why should I write when they can’t be bothered to? Part of me wants to write the most basic of reports that could be about any two year old, and part of me wants to boast about how great Rae is and how happy and funny she is, how she loves making pretend cups of tea, how she has to have her dummy and ted and a cuddle if she hurts herself, how she makes me laugh every day of my life, how she’s so independent and confident, how she makes everyone in the doctors waiting room laugh just by being her usual, cheeky self, how she tries to put her own socks on herself and gets frustrated when it won’t happen. I could go on and on. Regardless of what I write though they’ll never have the luxury of watching this amazing little human grow up. That’s my privilege.