Knots and Biscuits
It has been yet another early wake up call. Pip has been waking at around 4:30am-5am most mornings since going into his Big Boy Bed. I think he must move into a lighter part of his sleep cycle and whereas once he might have fallen back to sleep whilst still in the cot, now he has the freedom to get out of bed he's stumbling into our bed.
It wasn't Pip who woke up early today. Well not initially. Initially it was Katie but if Katie is awake then the whole planet has to be awake.
I suspect Katie woke up early because we had an awful bedtime last night.
I was supposed to be going to my Reiki healing group. It's an early evening start, 6:30pm, so I had organised the children to have early baths and Pip was due to go to bed early. Katie was having a treat and was allowed to go back downstairs after her bath. That all seems sensible doesn't it? Well it did until a very tired and not very well Pip decided he didn't want to go to sleep. That's OK to a point. I sat in with him until he was slowing down and TCM was around and about with Katie. He came up to relieve me so that I could get ready, albeit a little later than scheduled but still workable. I got ready and went downstairs to see a snuggly Katie under the blanket watching a film.
Katie has been stealing sweets and biscuits etc for quite some time, I don't have a problem with children having sweets and biscuits in moderation and would happily let her have a biscuit or two each day but the problem is that more than 2 biscuits will make her totally and utterly hyper so we've had to put a serious embargo on sugar products after 5pm. Katie when she is hyper is unmanageable so she was on a pinky promise that she would simply sit and watch the film. A pinky promise is a big deal in our house. It is something that WILL happen. So I went to kiss her goodbye and caught my breath as I smelled chocolate. I then saw the tale-tale smear of brown around her mouth.
"What are you eating Katie?" I asked.
She sort of triumphantly pulled back the blanket to reveal the two large bars of dark chocolate I had bought for baking earlier yesterday. Thankfully she'd been nibbling from one only and also thankfully it was very dark chocolate so she hadn't eaten too much and wasn't too sugary. She knew though that being caught stealing would mean certain bed.
"Right then it's time for bed Katie" I said. I also added for the first time that I was very disappointed by her choice because we had trusted her and she had let us down after pinky promising that she would watch the film and not go into the kitchen. I don't often say things like that to be honest but I'm so fed up with it. All the other sweet things were on high, locked away, so we take precautions. Katie will do things like take all the Frubes from the fridge and eat all of them. You can tell because suddenly she will lose the plot and start running around like a crazy puppy,giggling madly like a person possessed and will not do anything she is asked. She is literally off her face. We can't bring any sweets into the house without them being stolen and wrappers found under the cushions or behind the TV. I am mindful of the reasons why because I was an unhappy child and I used to steal biscuits to numb the pain - see how this blog post started? Nothing much has changed for me except I don't have to steal them anymore. I'm not sure that Katie is numbing pain though. I think Katie is doing something because she wants the chocolate or sweets and her impulse control currently is at an all time low.
Me insisting on bedtime led Katie to have the mother of all tantrums which of cause set Pip off as well. I won't let an argument go out of fear of waking another child in the house because I feel that leads to an air of facilitation when the other child will know that they can get away with things because the parents are fearful of waking up the other child. Katie went to bed and I got changed out of my Reiki clothes (I don't have specific Reiki clothes but I had changed to go out) and went to sit in with Pip until he fell asleep. I was so cross because I've not made it to Reiki in a while due of Pip's new sleeping arrangements and the impact on the rest of the house (as you can see from this post TCM can't simply sit with Pip whilst he goes to sleep and let Katie watch TV or do anything on her own because she will most definitely utilise that time to do something she isn't allowed to do) and I really need the time-out for myself. We can't put a stair-gate on Pip's door because the frame isn't wide enough in our temporary house.
I gave Katie a goodnight cuddle, after she had stomped downstairs to remind TCM that he had promised I would give her a kiss and a cuddle (I had thought she was asleep at that point in my defence). I told her that I loved her very much but that there are rules that we all follow and that she would be getting no sweets for the next week as a result of her stealing again. Whilst I am sympathetic to the emotions she is having she really needs to learn that stealing is not acceptable. I am hopeful that this is just another childhood phase that she will grow out of and we will continue to work on whatever emotions are underlying. As I said previously I really don't think Katie is stealing to feed emotions per say, I think she is stealing the sweets because she likes them and she feels that she doesn't have to do a single thing that we have asked her to do. Having said that I feel we really need some guidance on all this so I hope our referral to Post Adoption Support is actually helpful. I'm not holding my breath though.
I did the ironing instead.
So predictably Katie woke up at 5:25am with a voice as loud as a fog-horn. I tried to shhhh her into our bed for a cuddle but she was wriggling and chatting and fidgeting instantly. I lay there and counted about 2 minutes until I heard a familiar voice yell out from the other bedroom...
Pip was awake too. We, stupidly, attempted to bring them both in for a cuddle. Pip will do this happily and generally does most mornings but Katie was poking him and prodding him and singing and generally refusing to be quiet when asked. Eventually TCM put her back in her room amidst screams and shouts but any hope of snoozing was past. I felt the familiar knot tighten up in my stomach and thought how fed up I am of our house being The Katie Show. I'm just exhausted currently and my reserves are gone so I got up to make drinks and wash up last night's dishes which I was too exhausted to do after the ironing last night and thought I would make myself a cuppa and have a few biccies and a little writing time to calm myself down.
So here I sit. A bag of knots, feeling tearful and overwhelmed by everything going on in my life currently and dunking my biscuits (well actually they've all gone now but I'm sticking with my metaphor) and wondering what the hell to do about it all.