Thursday, March 30, 2006

This is me when I was 17, holding my friends baby girl. I haven't changed much, just got a bit fatter!

This will turn into a rant so back away slowly now.

We are good parents and quite strict with the kids, but we have absolutely no idea how to deal with a child as messed up as Ryan.

This week has been one 'family meeting' or 'talking to' after another and he just doesn't care(like most boys his age). He is negative, destructive, sneaky and a liar. He has basically learnt all his Mums worst character traits in the 11 years he was with her, and it's going to take a whole lot of work to undo that. He's quite psychologically damaged and he is seeing a counselors about his problems.

'Talking to' number 1 was because a neighbor stopped me in the supermarket and said she's told Ryan off outside for having a 'disgusting mouth'. He was basically swearing, and I was annoyed because the woman who stopped me is the biggest scumbag in our block. She swears like a sailor and smoked drugs all through her pregnancies. I do not need to be judged by someone like that, thank you very much! We are taking 10p off his money for each swear word we hear muttered, and if we get any more complaints he loses a weeks worth. It seems to be working(he's only lost 10p this week).
'Talking to' number 2 was because both the boys never pick up after themselves around the house and I've snapped. I've gone on strike and we are punishing them by taking away 10p of their pocket money for each item dumped.
Then this morning we think Ryan took a £1 coin without asking. We haven't said anything because we can't be 100% sure, but we hate lying and cheating and stealing in this house and he will get a smacked backside if he has. We are going to set him up over the next few weeks and see if he takes anymore. His Football will be stopped if we see he has.

Finally he brought a letter home today saying his behaviour in French class is unacceptable(his whole class got the letter, but that's no excuse), and that he talks too much and never listens. We are running out of ideas of how to punish him. We are sitting him down for a chat but don't know what path to take.
We've told him a hundred times that if his behaviour and school reports degenerate his Mum will have grounds in court to have him back with her and back to her religion. Poor Pete is going to have to stand up in court and defend our parenting because Ryan can't be bothered to behave. At his Mums he was so restricted that he couldn't breathe without permission, but here we are open and discuss things. Basically he sees this as a free ride and is now taking the mick. He just doesn't get it.

We do lots of positive reinforcement and me and Ryan have a good relationship(we've just been making rice crispy cakes together YUM!). I just don't want him turning into a thug, he can do so much better.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Sorry it's been so long, it's been a busy week.

I took a coach on a day trip out with my work on Friday to Camden Lock Market. I took my Mum with me and we had fun buying lots of crafty bits. I spent the money I made from my new business venture (handmade cards). One of the men got lost and made us 30 minutes late leaving London, some of the ladies on the coach were fuming at him.

Mothers day was a nightmare! I don't make a big fuss over Mothers Day anyway, but Taylors school encourage the kids to make a fuss. He'd planned this big special day for me. He was going to make me breakfast and lunch, and had even made a menu. Bless him, he was so excited. Anyway, 5am Sunday morning he started throwing up and he did nothing but puke and sleep all day. I felt more gutted for him than me as he was really looking forward to looking after me. My Mum came over for a Sunday Roast, which was cool as she always washes up for me. I hate washing up after cooking a roast. Taylor has been off school today too, but should be ok to go in tomorrow.

Both Pete and Ryan's football teams won their games on Sunday, for a change, so that was cool. I'm taking Isobel to a play centre tomorrow as she missed toddler group today, then we have a friend coming over for tea. I haven't seen my friend Laura since August really, when we all went to the V music festival, so it'll be nice to catch up.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

I can't wait for the summer! This photo is of Pete and the boys this summer, just before Ryan moved in with us. I used to come here as a kid with my Dad. It's called The Splash, and it's a little fast flowing river over a road, in a village called Nounsley. We took a picnic and had a paddle, it's lovely on a hot day.

Poor Ryan is getting grief from his Mum, and from some people at school. Both issues seem to be taking forever to resolve, and we just want to be left alone.

Ryan had another row with his Mum on the phone on Sunday as she's refusing to sign residency over to us, even though he's too scared to visit her without us having legal custody first. He's scared she's going to run off with him. She thinks we are putting ideas in his head, we think he's old enough at twelve to make his own mind up and have never influenced him. Does his Mum think we would really choose to spend our wedding money on a solicitor unless he was really desperate for our help.
He's been getting bullied since he started his senior school in November. We've been trying our best to deal with it, but these kids won't take the hint. Ryan is a strong athletic boy, so when they start a fight he finishes it. Physical strength isn't the problem. Ryan is emotionally weak and broken because of his Mum, and these kids treat him like a doormat. They can see he is vulnerable. We won't give up until they either leave him alone, or get expelled. Yesterday he was chased through the school by 50 kids who are older than him(the bullies big brother and friends), so we kept him home today and met with the head tonight. I've been round the Mum's house tonight for a chat too, she seemed like a nice lady. I hope this will be it now as we've figured out that it's actually a girl causing all thses problems. She says 'Jump' and the boys in the class all say 'How high'. Her parents and teachers think she's an angel, but I actually watched an MSN conversation where they were planning who they would target next. We told the head and he went mad! Her parents are in for a shock tomorrow when she gets told off.

I really don't want to move schools because a: it's the best school here, and b: why should I move him? They should be punished, not us. I just want him to be a normal boy.

Monday, March 13, 2006

View this video montage created at One True Media

This is a video of Isobel taken yesterday.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Ryan with his 'Man of the Match' trophy: Posted by Picasa
Taylor and Pete on New Years Eve: Posted by Picasa
Isobel having one of her good hair days: Posted by Picasa

Not cut out for this working lark...

I'm sitting here falling asleep at 7.30pm on a Friday night. Sad. I've been working fulltime this week as my boss is on holiday, and I'm exhausted! I'm not used to this. Although the kids wear me out when I'm at home, this is too much. To be fair, Pete looks more knackered than me as he's been home with the kids all week. I don't know who got the worse deal.

I'm going to tell you about my children.
Ryan is twelve years old and he's had a very tough time. He grew up living with his real Mum and stepdad. They're Jehovah's Witnesses, and quite frankly have been emotionally(and more recently physically) abusing him. I could moan about them forever, but lets just say he is a very guilt ridden, angry and damaged boy. He came to live here in October last year because they'd started hitting him and we stepped in. Since coming here he's joined a football team(he wasn't allowed 'normal' friends before so wasn't given much contact with other children), started senior school(which he hates!), and has started to relax and behave like a happy normal boy. It's lovely to see. We've still got a lot of work to do, he needs to see counselors, plus we are taking his Mum to court to get supervised access. He is too scared to visit her alone, but he misses his half sister. It's been a tough few months, but worth it if he gets a chance at life.

Taylor is seven and is a sensitive and funny little boy. I can't even begin to describe him, he's magical. His personality lights up the room, you'd have to meet him to understand. He loves to draw, play football and cricket, and is Star Wars mad. He writes me little notes telling me how much he loves me(without me having to ask him!). He is great at acting, and loves being on stage. He's had the main parts in two plays since he started school and learns his lines really easily. I really need to get him into a drama club. He's helping us grow a vegetable patch, and is lovingly growing some tomato seedlings at he moment.

Isobel is 22 months old, and she talks non stop. She can ask for things now and answers questions. She calls her brothers Tator and Ryoo, and is always shouting orders at them. She is really getting into books(or 'doots' as she calls them), but has no respect for them and peels the covers off and chews them. Isobel is obsessed with music and gets hysterical if we don't turn the 'dances' on when asked to. She also has the funkiest dance moves I've ever seen on a toddler, she's a proper little raver(she takes after her Mum!). When she gets tired she just kisses everyone in the room(even total strangers), says 'Bye, wuv you' and takes herself off upstairs. She has a fiery temper and is a bit of a diva. If she doesn't get her own way she headbutts the wall for sympathy. She's a proper girly girl too and loves her shoes and having her hair done. She looks like Shirley Temple on a good day, and Worzel Gummidge on a bad one.

I can't wait to see what all three of them are going to grow into and do with their lives.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

First post

Hello, I guess this is my first post in my blog.

My name is Claire, but everyone calls me Laney. I'm 25 and live with my partner Pete. We have a very crazy and mixed up family. We have Ryan, age 12, Pete's son from a previous relationship(he moved in here in October 05). Then we have Taylor, age 7, my son from a previous relationship. Then finally, the glue that binds us all together is Isobel, age 22 months. We lead a very busy and fun life, although I'm sure it'll be boring on paper, so I thought it would be cool to record some memories.
I work two days a week for my local government in Admin. I actually help to run an activity centre for the retired, and it's the coolest job in the world. I chat, laugh and organise trips out all day, you have to be a real people person to do this job and I do run out of patience sometimes. I get all expenses paid trips to museums, galleries, theatres, exhibitions and plain old days out. It's great fun. The children stay at home with their Dad while I'm at work as he also works part time for the county government. He works the days that I'm at home, as an area manager. He used to work 60 hours a week in retail management, but we decided last year to tighten our belts so he could spend more time with the children. They aren't young for long and we felt he was missing out. I can't wait for the summer, as we've never had weekends together as a family before. It should be fun!