Friday, 27 July 2012

Monkey Business

Today we had chores to do. The usual first day of a visit to Granny's, going to the supermarket, fixing a few bits around the house, dealing with Granny's hangover... Nothing out of the ordinary.

To be fair, Granny and I were up to the wee small hours catching up over a bottle or two of sauvignon blanc and we did go to bed a little later than expected. Mum decided to read my blog, after she told me that other people had told her that it really wasn't that good. I was a little bit put out, I have to admit, so I told her to judge it for herself. She read a few posts and was merrily laughing along, saying things like "I can so imagine TJ saying that' or 'exactly the same thing happened to me in Tesco' when she suddenly stopped and said, "You know you can be quite funny - I always thought you should write." I beamed with pride, my mother never says this kind of thing, well not to mine or my siblings faces anyway. Then she added, " It's about time you were successful at something." ... I'm not sure if my mother was Jewish in a previous life but she can certainly sound like Barbra Streisand when I replay her comments in my head, which would explain a lot! My mother then proceeded to tell me that someone on the daytime soap 'Doctors' had written a blog and it had ruined her life... Was I sure I was doing the right thing getting involved with social media?... Sigh...

Once Granny felt human again this morning we decide to take a trip to the local Tesco supermarket and with a second list from my 89year old Nan we certainly had our work cut out. But the children were duly dispatched to collect things, comics were bought and all was well. Once we had finished we headed off to my Nan with her shopping and birthday presents to hand. Nan was 89 yesterday and is still going amazingly strong. She recently told me to read 'These Foolish Things' (the book version of the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) although warned me to watch out for the gratuitous sex scenes. "Nan, " I said, "I always close my eyes when I get to those bits." She paused, "What a good idea," she said, "I wish I had thought of that." With my Nan you know every comment is loaded with sarcasm. But, like me, she loved the book and loathed the film... apologies to all you fans of the movie but the book is so much better. However, my point is that my Nan and I have always been on a similar wavelength, which is both reassuring and unsettling at the same time.

The children and I turned up at her door. "How lovely to see you all," she exclaimed, "Will you be staying long? Poirot is on soon." I hadn't seen her for a few months so it was nice to know that nothing had changed.

We duly gave her the birthday presents we had for her and invited her to dinner on Friday to watch the Olympic opening ceremony on the TV. "What will we be having?" she asked. "Toad in the hole." said my Mum. "I don't think I'll bother," said Nan, "I can be very unsociable where Yorkshire pudding is concerned." So we agreed to meet for Sunday lunch instead.

We then took the children to the monkey forest at Trenthan Gardens near Stoke. We had been here before very early in the kids' placement with us but they hadn't really been interested, I think there was just too much going on in their minds... 'who were these new people? Why did they keep saying they were our family? etc... It took nearly six months for the younger one to work out that 'Daddy and Papa' weren't actually our names. They had called all the adults in their lives, since coming into care, by their first names and why should we be any different. When they heard me calling Papa by his Christian name they actually thought I was talking to someone else and whenever they heard another child call for their Daddy they would ask me why that child wanted me....

This time it was lovely to see both children really engaged with the monkeys and wandering around the park without a care in the world and just accepting that I was Daddy and Granny was Granny. That sounds really simple but it is at times like these that I realise just how far they have come, they truly are beginning to accept that this is their family (not the monkeys that is but us) and that is a huge step for them both.

It was only marred by the fact that Papa has to work these few weeks and can't share these little moments with us, I think he would really notice a difference as well, but apparently he is at home dreaming of Darren Criss from Glee. As I keep saying to Papa, just because you are a 'follower' of Darren on Facebook, that doesn't make you his 'Friend' just another of his many social media stalkers. However, Papa has sworn me to secrecy as he is a little embarrassed by his Glee crush.

So who am I to tell anyone.....

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