Chapter 32 – Meeting Grandma and Gramps
So today is the day we are finally going to start introducing the boy to the family following Gemma’s advice, this afternoon my Mum and stepdad are coming to meet the boy but to him they will be known as “Grandma and Gramps”. We have literally just woken up from another full night’s sleep but the boy is still dreaming away, so Rich has gone downstairs to make a drink for us both and I have decided not to move and have what is left of this potential sleep in. It is a big day for me, as being in the same room as my Mum and my son is a situation that I didn’t really think would happen so I am feeling all kinds of nerves. I remember all those emotional drunk nights where I would tell her I was never going to be able to give her grandchildren which did play on my mind a lot in my younger years, so today should be that extra bit special. The first week has gone really well and I Just don’t want anything messing it up, so I am slightly worried about the boy meeting new faces, as it might send the boy backwards in this attachment process but hopefully not. We have got ourselves in a really good routine which the boy is adapting to and he is coming more and more out of his shell as the days go by, I am probably also a tiny bit annoyed at having to now share him, as I have loved being home just us three as a family. At the same time, I cannot wait for my Mum to come over, have a cup of tea and meet our gorgeous boy and I really hope they both bond well together and have a relationship like I did with my Nanny. Rich comes back upstairs with his cup of tea along with a handful of digestives and my black Americano, which apparently you cannot dip anything into, at least that is his excuse for not sharing his biscuits. It is now 07:15 and still no sound from the boy and there I am zooming in on the monitor until I can see his little chest moving up and down, which had become a little obsession of mine while trying to reduce the amount of physical checks on him throughout the night. Rich then asks “How are you feeling about your parents coming round today?” so I just reply honestly with “I just feel worried they will not like him, he isn’t a little baby, so they might not take to him in the same way as my brother’s boys”. Rich replies swiftly and confidently with “Don’t be silly, they will love him simple as that” which made me feel a lot better and was very reassuring.
The monitor starts to make noises so finally the boy is awake and we can finally get the morning routine started, as much I do love that he sleeps in I do feel restless in the mornings knowing the craziness is about to begin and worry about being out of sync due to having an extra hours sleep. I’m sure most new parents must feel this pressure too, but I’m hoping it is just one of those unspoken things that really we all know happens. Anyways, we both go into his room and stand over the cot making lots of baby toddler noises at him before Rich picks him up and we all go down stairs together. Rich then asks “What time is your Mum coming over?” and I reply with “Early afternoon, after his morning nap” which I know for Rich is probably driving him crazy, as he is an exact time kind of guy and he is now no doubt panicking about when they will or will not turn up. We have plenty of time to prepare in terms of making sure he has had his nap and is in the best possible place behaviour wise, so no need for an exact minute of arrival on this occasion. Rich goes for a shower and I start the breakfast routine, which like always starts with porridge and fruit. The boy smashes through it like I was going to take it away from him and gives me a look as if to say “BLUEBERRIES, NOW” which does make me laugh, as it’s clearly part of his little personality developing with his big blue eyes like a Disney character. How could I ever not enjoy doing this every single day I do not know, but at the moment I still worry that he could be taken away from us, it’s like I don’t feel like it has really sunk in that he is ours forever and that he isn’t going to be our forever. Next up we have his water, which he is not a fan of as he knows that juice tastes so much better so this is a war we are not winning and I open another one of the pure baby juices that cost twice the amount of Ribena or any other sugar free cordial we could buy. He has definitely got us wrapped around his little finger already, but it is all good, today he can have whatever he wants as I am sure will be the case when all the Grandparents get involved anyway.
This morning we have just been playing with his toys on the floor, trying to make him laugh and smile and just being silly with him. Rich is a complete natural with him and he is the only one who has managed to get him to laugh regularly. I think I am more of the safety officer, making sure in all the craziness that the boy doesn’t hurt himself and Rich for that matter, as he does get carried away sometimes too. Right on time the boy starts to yawn and rub his eyes, so I tell Rich I am going to make him a bottle and try and put him down, so he has a good old nap before my Mum comes around. I am now a bottle making wizard and have perfected my timings to make sure the bottle is just right, to which he guzzles the entire bottle and falls asleep in the process, which is really a win win situation. I carry him up to his room and gently place him in his cot and slowly back up out of the room. Success, now its time to find the cutest outfit and get it ironed and have a shower myself. Rich just tells me to get in the shower and he will sort out the boy’s stuff, so I have left the outfit choice in his more than capable hands, “iron my stuff while you’re at it then” I joke but am clearly deadly serious about it and I think Rich understood. This was the fastest shower I have ever had really, as my mind is just racing with thoughts about the boy meeting my Mum and I am starting to actually feel so worried about it, adoption is so complex and we have been on all the workshops and courses so know what to expect but this just feels completely different. If you don’t know much about adoption and the reasons behind it and the alternative ways you sometimes need to parent due to their additional needs, then it is hard to understand and that is what scared me the most. I don’t want my Mum to feel I am doing things wrong, when it may be specifically something that we need to consider differently, to maybe how my Mum would have done it with me. I cannot explain why but it just feels like the pressure is on, like I need to impress my own Mum which I know deep down I don’t. The good news is that Rich has laid out my clothes on the bed and has put the boy in a similar outfit, so we are matching as much as we could be which makes me smile and relaxes me slightly. Dressed and ready for the afternoon I give the house a once over so it doesn’t look like we haven’t been able to manage the housework alongside parenting. The boy is still sleeping so with our social worker preparation skills we are able to make the house look somewhat like a show home in just twenty minutes, “what are you doing Lew its your lot coming around not Gemma” laughing to himself but I reply with a serious and clearly anxious “I just want things to go so well, like we do know what we are doing” and with perfect timing as always, the boy starts to make noises over the monitor. Then the panic sets in “I’’ll text my Mum and you go get him up and dress and don’t forget to change his nappy” and within less than ten seconds, my Mum had replied saying they have left. I think I know where I get my patience of lack of it from, as she was clearly sitting with her phone staring at it, waiting for the text to come through and was no doubt in the car already with her seatbelt on.
It seems to be only a couple of minutes later that they pull onto the driveway, thinking to myself how did they get here so fast, Rich shouts from upstairs “I bet they’ve been sat in the car around the corner, waiting for us to text”. I have never felt so excited and scared at the same time, the boy is looking at me as if to say “what is wrong with you”. The doorbell goes and the boy is straight away heading towards the front door, so I pick him up and open the door like he is greeting them in himself. “Hello Grandma and Gramps” I say, while the boy is waving his arms in quite an awkward way and just blankly staring at them both, as they smile from ear to ear at his every move. We head into the kitchen and put the boy on the floor with his toys and just say to my Mum to just sit on the floor with him and see what he does, let him approach you if you can as that will be the best way. Both my Mum and Stepdad sit on the floor waving and saying “hello” a hundred times and asking him “what have you got there” with every toy he picks up. I do have a laugh to myself as this is what me and Rich were probably like on the introduction week but a hundred times worse. Rich makes the teas and coffees and prepares a plate of the good biscuits and says “oh we have three kids playing on the floor now do we” as he brings them in. The boy does seem a little nervous with the new faces and I am thinking “Is this to soon for him” but he lets out a giggle and smiles at my Mum as throws a soft toy in the air and pretending it has hit her on the head he laughs some more. My heart just burst inside, as I watch them all paying together and he starts to get his confidence and approaches my mum more and more, his new Grandma. I can just tell by her face that she was happy to finally meet him. That’s it, all the toys were all over the place and he was now bringing them both toys and knocking over the block towers over and over again, completely loving every minute of the attention. A deep breath of relief as like always I have overthought the situation so much, when they are just so happy to be playing with him like all Grandparents do with their grandchildren.
Before we knew it, it was time for the boy’s lunch and the boy had spent a good hour playing non stop with them both. As today is the first visit, we had already planned for them to go before his lunch as to not overwhelm him, so it is time to say goodbye. Kisses all around for the boy and an extra long cuddle from Grandma, who looked so happy she had finally got to meet him. Rich put the boy into his highchair and starts to prepare his lunch while I walk my Mum and Stepdad to the door, waving nonstop to him as they go. Outside, I ask my Mum “so what do you think about him?” and she just goes straight in for a big Mum and Son hug and said in my ear “my Grandson is amazing; I just love him so much already”. I waved them off and come back inside to the boy looking a little confused as I am now on my own. Rich gives me a big hug and says “I told you it would all be fine babe” which felt like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders, but I was so worried about it all and felt like it did actually go really well so I replied “I could tell they love him…” bursting into happy tears before I could finish what I was going to say and then quickly pulling myself together, so the boy didn’t think I am upset, as these are the happiest tears of pride, knowing I have introduced my Son to my Mum and they hit it off, a day that I know deep down she hoped would always happen one day but never really knew if it would.