Why? Why oh why indeed! 

Next Sunday I will be running (in the loosest sense) the London Marathon. People’s responses to this have been varied but have invariably been along the lines of:

Are you crazy?

Really? 

Rather you than me.

Why?

Now the last one is a question I have asked myself quite a few times during training and I have no doubt will pop into my mind quite frequently during the build up and actual race.

Why? Oh why indeed!

At this point I should add, whilst I have always been sporty I have never come close to being able to run or enjoying it. When competing at judo I used to have to run as part of the training and frankly it was always hideous. I can honestly say I hate running. So, why? Yes indeed, why? 

Since I saw the first London Marathon as a child I have always wanted to do it (that and swim the channel – watch this space 😂 although a minor issue with open water may put pay to this). I have spent the last seven years applying for a ballot space. Guess what? At the unfittest I have ever been I get a spot. We are talking extremely unfit, the last 6/7 years of the adoption process, 2 placements and associated difficulties having taken their toll on me, not to mention a few health issues.

My reaction when the “You’re In” magazine dropped through my door was something akin to this:

My 4 year old learnt a new phrase that day! 

Never the less, I am not one to walk away from a challenge. So here I find myself, one week out, not having been able to run for 5 weeks due to injury feeling sick at the mere mention of it. So I turn my thoughts to why in the hope it will help me in my time of need on Sunday.

All those years ago watching the Marathon on telly as a kid I think it was about the event, the carnival atmosphere and being a part of it (especially once I realised my dreams of making it to the Olympics to compete were perhaps a little ambitious). 

When I started my annual ballot place applications I think it was a case of applying because it’s something I have always wanted to do without too much thought. 

Now I realise it is about so much more. It is about showing my kids that however impossible something may seem (and trust me this fits that criteria) – if you break it up into small steps you may just surprise yourself and do it (here’s hoping!). It’s about raising the profile of the charities: 

It is also about reclaiming a bit of myself. Doing something for me (although a spa break would probably have been far more sensible). Once, a long time ago (pre kids) I was fit (a little overweight yes, but fit never the less). I had a career. Over the years stress, different priorities, new lifestyle (and a dash of laziness I am sure) I have piled on the pounds and my health has taken a hit. 

The last few years have been immensely tough but we have fought as a family to come through this. Things are better, still tough but better. We will continue as a family to face these challenges head on. It almost feels as if this is a water shed moment for me. A moving on from the the really dark times.  As time has gone on I have felt more myself, more in control. I know things will continue to be tough and no doubt there will be more dark times but right now I am feeling strong so I shall embrace it and fortify myself for whatever challenge is next (although hopefully post marathon please). 
It is also about raising money for these charities that have one way or another provided support to us as a family as well as many other families affected by FAS &/or adoption. 
If you would like to sponsor me then please text :

AUKH73 £? 

Or 

FASD73 £?

To 70070

When things get tough next Sunday I will think about these reasons and also that however tough it is, my amazing children (and many others) have been through something far tougher and will continue to have additional challenges as a result of their start in life – hopefully me running the marathon will help in some small way. 


Hopefully it won’t take me that long! 

What a difference a year makes (part 1)

I have found that annual events, such as holidays, birthdays or Christmas are great markers for reflecting back and (hopefully) recognising progress.

Last year in BB’s nursery Christmas play all I wanted to do was go and grab him, take him off stage and cuddle him. He really wasn’t happy and did not engage at all. A year on and following a difficult decision to keep him in nursery for another year, therefore entering full time school a year later than he should……it’s like watching a different child! (Incidentally, if I had this time again and would go up there and get him….I am sad that I didn’t have the conviction to do it).
A year ago, if any of the other kids from nursery saw him out and said hello he would look horrified and say nothing. He stood on stage clearly unhappy, looking at the floor and not joining in. He went to nursery without arguing and did what he was told.

A year on and he positively loved doing the Christmas Play (although he managed to fit a lot of yawns in)! He joined in with a smile on his face (we even heard him singing above the other kids a couple of times). When he came on stage he spotted us and shouted “Mummy, Daddy” and blew a kiss. It’s entirely possible that some water leaked from the corner of my eye. I even spotted him telling another kid what to do! 

When other kids say hello he replies and even gets in first sometimes. He tells me all the time he doesn’t want to go to nursery….hooray because he is telling me how he feels and not just doing as he is told. Yes it means he has arrived several times to nursery with pyjamas on this term but I would rather that than him doing what he is told because he is too scared or doesn’t now how to say otherwise. It’s even possible it’s a slightly delayed separation anxiety. My heart aches to think of how he must have felt a year ago, not safe enough or able to verbalise his feelings.

He will now engage in conversation about being adopted and his life before he came to us. We are unsure of his level of understanding but this is leaps and bounds on from a year ago when he would just shut down and refuse to acknowledge any of it.

So what has contributed to this change…..


Time – undoubtedly this has helped. Longer with us (2.5 years now) so perhaps starting to believe that we are here for the duration. Despite his best strops/meltdowns (up to 6 day of at least 45 mins and up to 1.5 hours) we are still here.

Theraplay – I can not speak highly enough of this. We had just under a year funded by ASF. There wasn’t a magic wand waved, it involved a lot of hard work and time…..but I now have an attachment to my son. I can say without a doubt that I love him. I now can’t comprehend how I didn’t when he first came home and again knowing that breaks my heart. 

Delaying School – not only has this allowed him to be more on a par with his peers (for the first time since birth) but this has also meant he has had longer at home with me which has helped with developing his attachment.

We don’t know what the future holds – but this beautiful brave little boy is pretty much on a par with his peers (all be it that his peers are a year younger than him). He still has meltdowns….but more like 6/8 a week rather than a day. For the first time since he was born (3 months early) I feel that he isn’t under pressure to catch up. Who knows whether he will thank us in years to come for delaying him a year or what the future holds….but for now I know without a doubt it was the right decision and we are now better placed to deal with whatever life throws at us.

My Ever Changing Bucket List! 

Bucket lists….what do I want to do before I die….I think this is something that can change throughout your life.  I am very much of the attitude, that if at all possible, if you want to do something then get in and do what you can to make it happen. 

When I was younger I wanted to compete in judo at the olympics. Whilst I was pretty good and got to a national level, at some point I realised this was perhaps out of my reach so settled for going to watch the London Olympics. 

Me when I was still nurturing the Olympic Dream! 

I wanted to go to University and was lucky enough to get the grades and experience Newcastle. Sadly, my Mum was diagnosed with cancer the summer before I went and died towards the end of my second year. University life didn’t live up to my dreams for obvious reasons.
I desperately wanted to travel. So I did….and I took the opportunity to have a whole host of new experiences…sky dive, bungee jump, climbing, scuba diving, snorkelling…the list goes on. I also saw some amazing places. I now think that this was more about trying to run away from my grief over the loss of my Mum some years before than a burning desire to see the world. Don’t get me wrong, I had amazing experiences and saw amazing places. I had a great time….but most importantly I learnt that you can’t run away from your problems. Same shit – different place….but lots ticked on the bucket list.
When I got back I pursued my career thinking this was what I wanted. I carried on trying to convince myself of this. I was fine on my own, didn’t need a boyfriend, after all I had my career and could go on holiday where I wanted, go out when I wanted, catch up with friends, tick more things of that bucket list. Then I met my husband. I faced up to my grief. I accepted it and stopped running. I let one of my wishes from childhood come back to the fore….to have children. The plan was a couple of biological kids and then to adopt (oh the naivety of it all). 

We got married (something on my bucket list that I never thought would happen, someone to share my life with, share interests and who loved me for me). Next we tried for kids, did IVF – if you had asked me then, having biological kids would have been on that bucket list. IVF was brutal. We realised that yes we wanted children, but they didn’t have to be biological. We wanted to be parents and actually perhaps we could be parents to some children who really needed reliable, predictable and loving parents. 

We adopted (twice). Bucket list ticked.

Now that we are living the dream (just a hint of sarcasm 😉) what of that bucket list? 

My main wish now is for our children to live a happy, healthy life and to be able to live independently when they are adults. Given GG’s diagnosis of FASD this is looking a little more challenging. Hopefully we can put the things in place, give her the strategies to be able to achieve this. I want to live long enough to see the kind of adults they grow into, meet their partners, children (if they want/have them). I want to be able to give them the tools to manage in this world that is full of twists and turns, that blind sides you at any given opportunity. I want to grow old with HH.

When the children are older we hope to be able to Foster – so we need to add a 4 bed house to the bucket list (anyone who wishes to sponsor this – get in touch!)

On a more selfish note, I want to be able to go travelling with HH when the kids are older. With the kids and without. Share some of the worlds wonders with the people I love most in this world.

But right now, the only thing on my bucket list is more sleep!!! (Oh and possibly a size 10 figure whilst still being able to eat comfort food and drink – but I am a realist so I won’t bother writing this down).

A Positive Few Weeks….

It’s been a positive few weeks here….along with a few firsts….
GG went on her first Beavers sleepover and I am so so proud of her. When she first heard about it she said she wanted to go but she was also very anxious and insistent that I would have to go too (I wasn’t very keen on that option…suggested Daddy, but no had to be me). 


I decided to take the pressure off I told her I would pay for her to go and it was up to her and that she could change her mind whenever she wanted to and it would be fine. We then didn’t really talk about it much. When she did bring it up it was to say that she wants to go but only if I went….I chose to be very non committal on this! I also reassured her that it is normal to miss people, feel anxious when doing something new and that most of the other kids would be feeing the same too….but that you can’t always tell that they are feeling that way.

GG isn’t time aware which can be annoying but there are times when I use it to my advantage. So I was suitably vague whenever she asked when it was/how many sleeps etc. In the week before she went I took her to where they were staying with two of the leaders….they talked her through what would be happening. In the car on the way back she was able to bombard them with questions. This was great as saved me being bombarded with questions that I didn’t know the answer to and then being pestered with “yes but what do you think the answer is” knowing full well if the answer I think isn’t right then there will be trouble. I said I would let her have my sleeping bag, pj top and teddy (which were all doused with a healthy helping of my perfume)! 

So roll on Friday morning. GG wakes up and I let her know that tonight is the camp sleepover. She took it surprisingly calmly. I explained to her what was happening for the day and where the camp fitted in. Luckily she does a club on a Friday which meant that there wasn’t much spare time. I had her stuff all together ready to be packed when she got in so she knew what she had. Gave her some tea….and then into the car and off we went. It probably helped that I had got her a new hold-all, rain coat & wash bag.

When we arrived at camp after an oddly calm drive (apart from being told to slow down in the very countrified road because of the other bad drivers – when we visited the leaders wing mirror got clipped by someone driving a tad fast) I had barely put the hand brake on before she jumped out shouting bye Mum and ran over to join the people who were there. I made sure we arrived a little early so the madness could build up around her rather than arriving in the middle of it. 

Now I should fess up at this point that two of the leaders are the kids Great Great Aunt & Uncle who are really like an extra set of grandparents! They know about GG’s FASD, accept it and her as she is but equally I know they can’t treat her any differently to the other kids at Beavers – apart from catering to her additional needs where reasonable. However, let me assure you that success was by no means guaranteed. 

So I left a happy GG (and quietly asked if they had time if they could send me the odd text to let me know she as ok). It was bedtime that would be the challenge. I drove away with watery eyes (must have been the country air). I got a great picture message sent to me which I wish I could share. I think it is one of my all time favourites. No calls through the evening and i woke up very relieved in the morning. Although I should add that our local council obviously had word that our early riser was away and that we were anticipating a lie in. They sent workmen round to do road works just before 5am…..aaarrrrgggghhhhhh! 


I collected a very weary GG the next day who I could tell by looking at her had had an absolute ball. She was shattered and fell asleep in the car. I think she is still trying to catch up. It has definitely unsettled her a bit which I expected. Just trying to get her back onto an even keel – however I think I may be fighting a losing battle here…her birthday for which she is having a party, her class assembly and all the end of school year shenanigans are fast approaching.

To keep her out of trouble once she was back, in the interests of feminism and so I could get some jobs done GG helped me with some DIY! Apart from her worryingly obsessive interest in the hammer all went well……


My final word on Beavers…..I bloody love it. It’s suits GG to a ‘t’….very active and she can achieve which has a positive affect on her fragile self esteem. The more hands on approach of learning is perfect. 
BB is doing really well with Theraplay. We are really starting to see a difference. He is starting to let me in. He is so much more tactile with me and just seems happier in himself. Having said that he can still throw a mega strop and seems to be becoming more clingy….having done a term and a half of swim lessons where he has gone in the water with the teacher fine he is now refusing….and I mean REFUSING! He is also clinging on when I drop him at nursery which has also previously been fine. It feels a bit like how GG was at about 9 months….the bit where they realise that actually this is it, we love them and it’s forever (although I suspect with that little bit of niggling doubt remaining)…so they throw caution to the wind and check out our staying power. I suspect that BB is no longer worried about letting us know when he isn’t happy. His strops/meltdowns have a different feel about them….no longer the sheer fear mixed with anger of the first year or so but now more of a “I am cross as you won’t let me do what i want”…..the terrible two’s coming a few years late here.

So onto the last first….I have had an initial appointment with a hypnotherapist!! I ummed and ahhhed about whether to blog this….but decided I would in case there was anyone else interested in it out there. My aim is to be able to manage my stress/anxiety and what I now accept as secondary trauma better and alongside this hopefully address my emotional eating habits and consequently lose some weight! 

How did that first session go? Well, it was interesting. I talked with the therapist at some length about my past and how things are now. She made some very valid points that I agree with it….for example –

I need to be the anchor for my family. This requires me looking after myself. I need to be more detached when dealing with professionals about the children so I can be taken more seriously and manage my emotions more effectively.

We talked about guilt and how this is a very heavy emotion. How weighing on the scales every week at the slimming club I go to makes me feel. We talked about a few changes I could make to my lifestyle. 

We then did a progressive muscle relaxation which is the initial part of the actual hypnotherapy….as a bit of a taster. So that was that….next session is in two weeks time. The plan for this session is to address any with held feelings as these can be a hindrance to moving forward – can affect how are brain works. We also discussed self esteem…..how that can also impact on us. So much of what she said made sense to me….although I don’t think that I have explained it very well. 

I feel more positive since this initial appointment. I have made a couple of changes already….

Anyway, watch this space for the next instalment. 

This Week I…Thought I….Pre Adoption I….

This week I wrote a blog…..lost it and then had to write it again……here it is:

This blog ties in with his weeks WASO theme. I have started with some of the things I have done, followed it with what I thought life would be like and then what life was like pre adoption.  It’s a long one, I got carried away and there was so much more I could have written! 

This week I have done a 1000 piece jigsaw & adult colouring for stress relief. I thought exercise would be my main source of stress relieving….it certainly was pre adoption. 

 This week I have done 9 washes and hoovered 3 times. I thought there would be plenty of washing and perhaps hoovering once a week. Pre adoption I did 3 washes a week and hoovered maybe once a fortnight!

This week I have barely got to school on time. I thought my kids would mostly do as I ask and never realised how much they would struggle with transitions. In my imagination we would arrive nice and calmly and in plenty of time. Pre adoption I was always on time and generally arrived calm!

This week I have been shouted and sworn at by my kids. I never imagined I would get this at such a young age or that I would react as calmly and therapeutically as I do (mostly).

This week I have had to chase PAS SW again. I first asked for support last September. We had an initial assessment of need although I have only just two weeks ago seen a copy of that report. I asked for a further assessment in January. This was started at the end of March. Still haven’t seen a report and no application to ASF made. I can’t see us actually getting any support out of this within the year and then of course the results will be gradual. In the meantime we have to carry on which is affecting the health of us all. I thought if I asked for support I would get it. Pre adoption I had never had to ask for support.

This week I have met up with friends….none of which I knew before we adopted but who are a great support. Most of them are adopters themselves. I thought I would be catching up with existing friends and hoped I would have some new ones – probably parents of the kids my kids go to school with. In reality most of these parents – with a few notable exceptions don’t get it. Sadly some of my old friends don’t get it and have disappeared.Pre adoption most of my friends I met through work.

This week I have helped run a support group. I thought after a year I would be back at work. In reality our kids needs are too extensive for that and I don’t see this changing in the foreseeable future. I didn’t imagine that the only work I would be doing would be voluntary. Pre adoption I had a career! Enough said.

This week I have had to do the walk of shame at school pick up time. I imagined I would collect the kids and be regaled about their achievements at school that day. Pre adoption the “walk of shame” meant something completely different….and obviously I never did that one.

This week I have had to explain the impact of FASD on behaviour for the umpteenth time to teachers at the school. I thought professionals would be knowledgeable and trained in areas that will affect children’s learning – at the very least they would be open and eager to learn. Pre adoption I wouldn’t say boo to a goose where professionals were concerned.

This week I have continued trying to explain where Grandad has gone (he passed away a few weeks ago). This certainly wasn’t part of the plan…he was only 59. I can barely get my head around death let alone helping a 3 and 6 year old understand it. Pre adoption I only really had to worry about myself and HH handling these kinds of emotions.

This week I went out out with HH and we both had a lovely time. I was realistic about our social life being affected….Pre adoption we could go out on a whim and with no real worries about logistics.

  
This week I have shown GG piccies on the Internet of a new place we are going to for a birthday party. I never thought we would have to do this level of planning to cope with new places and transitions nearly 5 years post placement. Pre adoption,if we were going to a new place, we would just go. Gosh life was simple.

This week I attended theraplay with BB and have been trying to incorporate theraplay games into our day to improve our attachment. Once I knew we were going to adopt I guessed I figured there may be some kind of therapy required. Pre adoption I would never have considered engaging in any kind of therapy…except maybe physio.

This week I took the kids to a forest school. Yeah….I guess I hoped we would do nice things like this…a tick in that box. Pre adoption….a forest….for a gig maybe.

This week I delayed coming home to avoid bedtime (sorry HH). I have sat by GG’s bed scratching her back, rubbing her feet whilst listening to an audible story with a soothing light changer on until she has gone to sleep. I never imagined that bedtime would be so challenging and triggering. I imagined after some settling….I would put the kids to bed…kiss them good night, tell them I love them and go down stairs to spend time with HH. Pre adoption….bedtimes, well I just cleaned my teeth, got pj’s on and went to sleep….oh if only I had appreciated that more at the time.

This week I have been counting the sleeps until I go away for a couple of nights with @lover_gin. I imagined I would still be able to catch up with friends who don’t live locally….gosh I was naive. Pre adoption I would often pop away over night to visit friends or have a romantic weekend away with HH.

This week I have planted strawberries and carrots with the kids. Yes…I thought we would do this…just maybe didn’t realise how tricky it might be. Another tick in the box.

  
This week I have comfort ate more times than I wish to count.I thought I would be able to keep my weight in control having changed my lifestyle around food to loose over 4 stone 2 years before adopting. Now I need to start from scratch. 
This week I have cooked quick easy meals for the kids and then quick meals with minimal effort once the kids are asleep for us.I imagined I would make meals from scratch – one healthy meal that we could all eat. Pre adoption I had time to cook nice healthy meals….on occasions I even managed 3 course meals.

This week I feel like I have been walking around picking up things after the kids pretty much all week. I thought with some training the kids would learn to tidy up after themselves…or at least would tidy when asked. Pre adoption – we both tidied up after ourselves.

This week I have refereed a ridiculous number of fights between GG and HH. I expected some sibling spats….but not as frequent as they are. I didn’t anticipate the sheer level of competitiveness between them. Pre adoption the only sibling fights were in my memory from my childhood. 

This week I have not felt very organised.  I imagined I would be super organised, bags packed night before, lists to follow, know where everything is and where the kids had to be at what time and plan everything out in advance….military precision.Pre adoption I was super organised….how I miss that version of me.

How our lives have changed. Yes life was easier pre adoption. We never in our wildest dreams imagined how challenging and stressful it would be. 

There are aspects of our pre adoption life I miss…just sometimes I would love to pop out with no planning, spend more quality time with HH, get more sleep! 

But I wouldn’t change my life. There are many moments that fill my heart with love, make me feel fuzzy and warm and make all the challenges worthwhile. Moments that I will treasure.

This week my daughter has told me that she loves me on her own initiative. 💕

This week the kids have shown great love for each other and been very caring towards each other. 💕

This week I have had individual time and lots of cuddles with both kids. 💕

This week I have heard the beautiful sound of my children laughing. 💕

This week I have been called into class to be shown the great work GG did and a cute video of BB being a monkey. 💕

This week GG went to a new place and took part in an activity that I thought would be too much for her with her sensory difficulties and enjoyed it. 💕

However hard things are for us I am certain it is harder for our kids. We have the mental capacity to understand what has happened, why and the associated behaviours.  

Everyday they feel me with love and pride…for their character, for their bravery. 

  

Too Long to tweet!! 

I have decided to put this in a blog rather than a tweet as would be too long! I am after any suggestions about how to deal with this situation…

I have just come home having been out meaning that my husband has had to do both childrens bedtimes. While he did youngest, GG was left downstairs watching the telly. Normally worst outcome from this is her helping herself to snacks. If she is with them she will upset BB and bedtime will become (more) carnage. Once youngest done, husband then comes down and settles GG. When I came in there was a bit of mess where GG had been amusing herself whilst BB’s bedtime was done. I tidied that and then noticed this:

  

Permenant marker on the carpet!!! Now our carpets are petty tired anyway and think I can probably improve it. But also feel that is not the point. She is currently in what I call “minx mode”….take your eyes off her and anything could happen. This is largely due to 4 day bank holiday, back to school for 4 days before school holidays. Additionally last two weeks have been very out of routine at school, various events, strangers in and cover teacher!!!! 

As with many children with FASD she has no impulse control and struggles to get consequences. She also has great difficulty regulating herself. When she wakes up tomorrow it is likely she will greet me with a “Mummy, you need to see this, you are not going to like it. Sorry.” Either way when we discuss it she will know it was wrong to do but unlikely to know why she did it. 

So in the vein of therapeutic parenting where do I go from here, firstly in respect of what she has done and secondly in preventing this kind of situation happening again (as I have to go out occasionally 😉

My thoughts at the moment….possibly helping me clean it up and/or tidying the play room with me. My initial instinct was no pocket money this week and/or some other kind of consequence but this doesn’t really sit with therapeutic parenting. Equally I don’t feel it is something that can just be ignored!!!!

In respect of the future I can only really think that she has to play in her room while BB’s bedtime is done. There is a risk of her unsettling/winding BB up by keep going in. We could put the stair gate on…but in reality she can pretty much get through that now. Perhaps a reward for staying in her room when BB’s bedtime is done….perhaps helps with some of his bedtime (danger is her winding BB up or it getting too hyper) then leaves Daddy to finish it off and plays in her room…..you can see I am thinking aloud here.

Just to clarify, marker pens, scissors etc are stored away but wherever they are she eventually finds them….and I have had some genius hiding places. Also ultimately we can not hide everything!

Anyway….over to you guys. Suggestions please! And thank you in anticipation of your ideas 😀

Survival of the Fittest

I have often thought that adopting can be likened to different running races. When you first start you are a bit tentative, perhaps like a middle distance race as you research and decide whether it is right for you. Once you make the decision you want to sprint but tend to get slowed down by the system.  You finally get to panel for approval and things start to wind up for matching (or maybe not these days!). You are so close but not quiet there.  Matching panel finally arrives and you can see the finish line. All if a sudden it’s a sprint to the finish , aka placement day.

  

Except you very quickly discover that whilst you are over the finish line you have unwittingly gone over the start line at the same time and are straight into another race. This race is a marathon. Never ending, monotonous. If you are lucky you get the odd runners high thrown in when great things happen, little chunks of light. For some people it may become one of those mega endurance races through the Sahara desert or similar. Perhaps a mud run/obstacle race…nice bit of running interspersed with obstacles and/0r mud. 

  
There are people there cheering you along. Sometimes if you are lucky there is someone helpful to get you over the wall or under the barbed wire. Ultimately it is just you (possibly a partner) who has to work out the route. You can read books about techniques, train with others, but when it comes down to it, only you (& your partner) know what goes on. 

  
Hopefully at some point you reach the end of the race (although I now realise there is never an end) and are rewarded with and get some down time to recover while your children venture out into the big wide world! 

I now realise it is more than a race.  It is about survival of the fittest. Adopting will test every aspect of your being.  Just when you feel you are on the ropes, something else gets thrown at you and from somewhere deep down inside you find a smidgin more that you didn’t know was there. 

We have had a lot thrown at us this last couple of years. We keep finding strength from within we never knew we had. I am fairly certain that not all adopters would have made it through our experiences of the last 18months. We have and we are still standing together as a family. We know more will be thrown at us but we will keep on keeping on. It is the minimum that our kids deserve.

I always considered myself impatient and not very tolerant….I am now rethinking this! The empathic parenting fairy even visited this week. Don’t get me wrong, she has visited before but doesn’t always hang about long enough or she sees it through but leaves me feeling rubbish afterwards. This time was different. I don’t normally big myself up but I rocked the empathic parenting thing….and in the face of total ridiculousness from BB….I even managed to keep GG calm through what was a massive trigger for her.  I was able to release my emotions afterwards and not keep them bottled up. It was like all the planets were aligned.
I shall savour this moment. I will remember that it is possible….just not all the time!  I will look back on it when I am on the ropes and use it to come back out fighting.