Earlier this month, Little Prince had his second supervised contact meeting with his Birth Mum and youngest sibling. The meeting was held at the same venue as the last meeting, which helped Little Prince feel comfortable as he was familiar with the place and procedures. However, he wanted the meeting to be exactly the same as last time, and tried his best to push us all into our previous roles. He got more and more agitated as it became obvious this wasn't working, and his behaviour became wilder and wilder. It didn't help that in all the chaos of getting ready for this meeting that I'd forgotten to give him his ADHD medication. There was only one Social Worker present at this meeting so there was less opportunity for the Social Worker to help Birth Mother interact with Little Prince. I spent most of the meeting trying to keep Little Prince's behaviour within normal (ish!!) limits, which was impossible, but I had to keep trying to help him stay calm. It took all my reserves of patience to stay calm with Little Prince, and I tried my very best. I was very conscious that Birth Mum probably doesn't understand Little Prince's issues properly and he was coming over as a very badly behaved little lad. I have had to grow a thick skin and I am pretty good at ignoring people's reactions to Little Prince's "odd" or naughty seeming behaviours, but this was very different. This is Little Prince's Mum, and I want her to know that her/our son is growing up safely in our family and that he is a great little boy that she can be proud of. However, his behaviour wasn't showing this and I was very embarrassed to think that Birth Mum might assume we were raising him badly :-( Near the end of the meeting Little Prince started to complain about everything "My parents are always grumpy" "I never get anything/go anywhere/do anything" "Everybody picks on me" etc all things that children feel from time to time (whether they are true or not!). I don't know how Birth Mum took this litany of woes, whether she realised that all children do this, or whether she now thinks that Little Prince's life with us is as awful as he was making it out to be. I want her to know that Little Prince is (mostly!) a very happy little boy, who loves school and has lots of friends, who has lots of opportunities to do lots of fun things and has a bedroom overflowing with toys and books, and a large family who love him very, very much. Hopefully despite Little Prince's protests she still understands this...
Another reason I found the meeting very difficult was that I had been suffering with a worsening chest infection for a week or so by then. I was finding it so difficult to breath on the way home that I rang our GP from the car and got an emergency appointment with the Duty Doctor. He duly diagnosed a bad chest infection and prescribed some HUGE antibiotic tablets, seriously they were like horse tablets!! Although over the next few days I could feel a slight improvement I didn't feel I was improving enough, so when it became obvious that Princess Lollipop was coming down with a chest infection too (her breathing at night was all bubbly sounding, and at times it sounded like she was drowning!!) I booked her an appointment with our usual GP. The GP checked over Princess Lollipop and noticing the difficulty I was having breathing, checked me over too - we were both diagnosed with pneumonia! I was given an extra prescription for more HUGE antibiotics to take on top of the ones I was already taking, and Princess Lollipop was given antibiotic syrup too. She was supposed to have her 3 1/2 year injections that afternoon, but they were postponed until she feels better.
The double dose of antibiotics helped me to slowly start improving, much to Mr Messy's relief as he had been trying to work out how he would manage everything if both me and Princess Lollipop ended up in hospital (in separate wards!) as he did this time last year! The GP did say that I would probably feel "underpowered" for a couple of weeks after the infection was cleared, and I can now understand what he meant! My cough has more or less disappeared and my breathing is back to normal, but I am tiring very easily and I am finding it extremely difficult to keep up with the housework and amusing the Littlies while they are on their Summer hols. Mr Messy has been very understanding and has been letting me take it easy as much as he can, he has taken Little Prince to work with him for the past couple of days, as it is much easier to deal with one Littlie than both of them together!! Especially as Princess Lollipop is still not quite back to her normal self yet, and she is very tantrummy and whingy, and Little Prince just can't resist winding her up - leading to constant screaming and shouting from both of them!!
Luckily we are off to visit our friend's at their farm this weekend, where the atmosphere is always calm and welcoming. Both Littlies love the freedom of the huge garden and the chance to feed the pigs and chickens, and Little Prince loves the huge, noisy, crowded family meals (he calls them feasts) we eat there. There will be quite a few other adopters with children from Ethiopia there this weekend too, and I'm looking forward to seeing how the children have grown since I last saw them, and catching up with their parents once they are safely tucked up in bed in the evenings :-) Me and Princess Lollipop are staying in one of the spare rooms, and Mr Messy and Little Prince are camping, given the wet weather forecast for this weekend, I definitely think me and Princess Lollipop have made the right choice :-)