Reasons to be Cheerful?

I'm linking up with his week's #WASO topic of Reason's to be Cheerful because I thought it would be nice to look at some positives at a time in my life that is about as intense as anyone could imagine.

I'm struggling to start writing my positives because Ian Dury is now running through my mind. I love Ian Dury, he was the most amazing music creator and I was lucky to see him perform in Hyde Park supporting Paul Weller just prior to his death, but I could not stand, in fact I actually recoil from his song "Reasons to be Cheerful Part 3". Because it reminds me of my childhood abuser. He used to sing that song trying to be funny when I was a child. As I'm typing this my stomach is churning with sick, nervous knots and I'm starting to feel my face and hands start to tingle because I appear to be holding my breath. It never ceases to amaze me how physical my emotional reaction to him and that song can be. My memory is flashing full of images of that person in his blue dressing gown and I'm feeling physically sick at the image. Why am I sharing that? Well because it can highlight to adoptive parents just how infinite a reaction to an abusive situation can be. I've overcome much with counselling and time but there are some elements of my childhood that will never leave my physical and emotional memory and all it takes is a little innocent and seemingly positive trigger to bring it all flooding back. So if you're wondering why your child has suddenly disappeared into a fog and haze of emotional reaction and you can't reach them remember this and understand that it can be something as simple and innocent as a nice smell or funny song that can take a memory back into a dark and scary place. 

I'm going to plough on with this post because my counselling has supported me enough to be able to self regulate again after a trigger and as I deep breathe I can remind myself that what happened to me was a very long time ago. More of my life has been living in a safe environment than was ever in that situation.  I can be cheerful because I left those people behind a long time ago although the reside of "what if" sneaks in fairly regularly. Yes they sneak into my thoughts but they can no longer hurt me. I am safe. That is a massive reason to be cheerful. Safety cannot be rated highly enough. It's a fundamental human requirement for healthy development yet so many of our children did not receive that basic gift when they were in-utero or born into this world and the impact of that will probably blindside them at times through out their lives.

I'm now trying to refocus on what is going on in my bedroom where I'm currently writing in bed to
see my two little reasons to be cheerful. They are both playing with IPads and wearing cuter dressing gowns than that blue one that is threatening to sneak back into my vision. Katie is watching yet another Shopkins video on YouTube and mentally perfecting her American accent for when she records her own little videos. Shopkins are her current obsession, along with the Little Pet Shop and Squinkie toys that litter all the rooms in our house. Pip is watching a snail, I think, fall from the sky as watches Agnus and Cheryl.  Both love their iPads in the morning with a drink of milk and a "niknik" (Pip's word for the little picnics I make them in the morning). Their smiles and their love fill me with joy at unexpected moments each day. A spontaneous cuddle from Pip as he sprints over to me and wraps his little arms around my legs or a moment of peace as I stroke Katie's hair and she presses her head against my hand in acceptance of the moment of tenderness. Pip has just toddled over to feel my glass of "Jooooose" and tell me it is "colt" (cold) and ask for me to put "bear" onto his iPad (Little Charley Bear). He threw his arms up into the air and cheered "yeah" as I put an episode on for him. What better reasons to be cheerful could you ask for?  Keep it simple and you can't go wrong.

I'm delighted that currently both my children are going to bed nicely. I can't believe what we've been through on that front over the last year. I will never take an uneventful bedtime for granted again. I think I was losing my mind there for a wee while. I consumed a serious amount of alcohol and probably rearranged the shape of my backside for life after all those hours sat on the landing outside Katie's bedroom. At least there was a chair in Pip's room when TCM and I sat our vigils with him when he transferred from his cot into his big boy bed. The knock on impact of more sleep is that Katie is regulating her emotions a lot better nowadays. Tantrums are (mostly) shorter lived and she seems happier in herself at home, more relaxed and happier. 

Our house build is moving along in the right direction. There's a long way to go but it's taking shape and it was exciting ordering our new amazing kitchen recently. I think we might be able to make some of the obscene amount of cash the build has cost back by selling tickets to see the show kitchen when we move back home! I need to get back home. It's a massive daily need. I miss the security of my home. We've endured a lot of difficulty in this rented house that I cannot call home. We will move home before the house is finished I think just so we can try and resettle ourselves. The thought of getting home is a reason to be cheerful as is the wonderful builders we have who are creating our dream. We are blessed with our own Bob the Builder whose vision of the finished house is helping us feel secure in his Hagrid sized hands.

Katie has just snuggled up into my arm, her head laying against my shoulder. What bigger reason to be cheerful could you ask for? I have stopped writing to stroke her face and delight at the trust she has in me. Our relationship is complicated at times but the love we have between us is enormous. Pip, of course, has sensed some love in the room and my attention shifting to Katie and has ensured my attention is transferred back to him by stealing my glass of "joooose". He's very good at holding an open glass but there is a nervousness on my part as he holds it as I brace myself for what might happen next. Family life. The joy lies in those simple moments. Listening to Katie and Pip singing "That's How You Get The Girl" (or "Girl" as Pip calls it) by Taylor Swift. We love TS in our house and in the car. She doesn't ever go far from the CD player. Hearing Pip sing along in the car is a daily joy as is hearing his speech developing. 

This video isn't Taylor singing the song as she is yet to release a video (come on Taylor!!). 
But this is a lovely cover of it by Lauren Bonnell.

I have friends who bring joy into my life. I speak to my dear friend Mrs VanderCave daily and I think I can thank her for keeping me sane over the past 2 years particularly. We joked last night that if all else failed we would book beds next to each other in The Priory.  Other friends kept me sane on Facebook on those long hours sat outside Katie's bedroom. Seeing a little message from one special friend from The A Team ping up saying "Are you on the landing?" raised a smile through a very challenging period. Another local friend is quietly there in my life. She makes no fanfare about things and her presence is gentle and soothing. Our outings with the boys brighten up my life considerably these days and she has become a dear friend whom I love spending time with. Other friends have been in my life for many years and are there as a calming influence. Our long history offsetting the loss of the dream of my own birth family.  I have many reasons to be cheerful.

My stomach is still slightly knotted and I'm still feeling lightheaded but the feeling is starting to diminish as focusing on my writing and a little love and normality helps me re-regulate. Pip is now distracting me by (yet again) trying to understand where the Christmas lights have gone. "Blooooo ligh back Mama?" he asks me with deep intensity, his big blue eyes looking confused.  He desperately wants them back. We've kept some up on the patio doors to appease him a little but he doesn't understand why they've gone and asks every single day. I told him they'd be back again next Christmas and he punched the air and cheered.  11 months is a long time for a toddler to wait though, poor thing. I'm hoping the Easter Bunny might help move the situation along a bit. Watching the love developing between the children is a true blessing. Katie can be incredibly sweet with Pip and he utterly adores his sister. He's now kissing Katie and I in turn, sitting between us after launching himself over us excitedly as he heard the theme music to Lego Juniors that Katie plays.

What more do I need to be cheerful? I am truly blessed. 

I added this video after posting because this is what I was dancing to with the children straight afterwards
 and it was joyous!


  1. Big hugs lovely - I know things are pretty intense at the moment, but I'm amazed at your ability to always look forward and look at the positives, as you have in this post.

    Thanks for linking up to #WASO and for sharing your reasons to be cheerful xx


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