She is settling well, napping well and sleeping well and enjoying all the things we have been doing together. We have been for lots of walks and she enjoys narrating everything she sees and saying "more!" Even if it is a bike or a dog..."more!" "Erm...mummy can't make the dog come back, pickle, sorry...bye bye dog, that's right!" We spend a lot of time standing and looking at things, leaves and sticks and trees and clouds. She loves that (...more!). The special boots with squeakers in the heels, combined with lots of standing up activities (easel, sand tray, fun pod) means that she is gaining confidence in standing and walking. She doesn't want to bottom shuffle any more and would prefer to walk everywhere with me and Mama holding her hands. We are happy to oblige as she is gaining in confidence.
Meal times have been going well, yesterday she toddlered us and refused to eat and we just tactically ignored and then she ate the whole thing (result!) but then she refused her bath so I had to sponge her while she cried (not so great). In one way it seems good that she is pushing boundaries as she is just being a normal toddler, but in another way we wonder if there is more to it. We went to a soft play centre today and she was quite overwhelmed and clingy. It was so apparent how much she lacks confidence compared to the other children who were tearing about all over the place and causing havoc. Partly because she can't walk but partly because she lacks the confidence to embrace new experiences. I think this lack of confidence is a bit due to her move, but a lot due to her experiencing quite an indoor life with her foster carer.
I've been a bit weepy in the mornings. After bath time yesterday I cried quite a lot. I just wasn't sure what to do! And it's ridiculous because we spend the whole day playing and having a jolly old time (even if it's just doing the hoovering) and I let a ten minute bath time tantrum make me cry. But I'm tired and I'm adjusting and I'm very scared about when I'm on my own with her and there's no one there to cuddle me and reassure me that I'm doing the right thing.
She is happy to take comfort from me now though and the way she cuddles up is really lovely. Today the doorbell rang just as she had gone down for her nap and she cried. All it took was a quick hug and some shushing and cooing and reassurance and she went back down again. That makes me feel like she is probably attaching well. Sometimes I cry for her, I think "wow, you are just 20 months old, and all this stuff has happened to you and how can you still be so wonderful" sometimes I cry because I think "our life was so complicated and now I'm tired and weeping and what if I do it all wrong" and sometimes I cry because I think "how will I cope when Mama goes back go work?" and sometimes I cry and I don't know why. But don't misunderstand me...most of the time I am laughing and happy and full of beans! I've just been a bit weepy of a morning lately and my friends and partner and mum have been helping to prop me up and keep me jolly! I don't think squiblet really notices.
She mentioned her foster carer's names in the car today. Just said them in the same way that sometimes she says "cow!" Because she has just thought about a cow. I said something like "yes, they were very nice people and now you live with Mama and Mummy, your new family".
It's odd though because most of her clothes are the ones she had in foster care and lots of her toys came from her birth family. She doesn't know, and clearly it's good for her to have familiar things around but a part of me feels like I'll be glad when she grows and we don't have these constant reminders everywhere. It's strange that's should feel that because I didn't think I would. We have put the picture of her and her half brother and sister up in her room along with some photo albums from the foster carers and I fully intend that they will stay there, along with her life story book, because I understand how important it is, but I didn't realise I would find it hard. When she's in the dungarees and boots we bought her somehow she feels more like our daughter, and more awesome than ever which is just totally stupid but it's the way I feel and I want to blog honestly.
I suspect I have been rambling. It's nap time which is why I have time to ramble! I aim to have a rest every day during nap time. It's so tempting to do chores but I am trying to do those when she is awake so I have time to recharge my batteries. She was very amused by the hoovering the other day!
So that's us! We are doing well. The social workers are pleased, we are pleased. We are having great fun with her. She is quite hilarious! One of her favourite things to do is point to a mole on my chest and say "mole!" And then she will point it out to anyone who will care to listen. She also points at people in shops and says "man!" Often when they are in fact a lady. The other thing she does is pull an incredibly funny face and she often does it at the dinner table. We are trying to be good mummies and teach her good table manners but it's impossible not to laugh! I laughed a lot the other day when she saw me putting my makeup on and said "colouring!" I said, "yes, mummy is colouring in her face!"
She makes us laugh a lot! An awful lot! And we love her to bits, although I still feel like I will love her more the more I know and understand her. We feel so lucky to be parents to such a vibrant and bright little person! There we are...I sound like a real Mummy! Already thinking my little darling is the best! And I have juice stains on my jeans and a tomato stain on my jumper so I'm really getting there!