Saturday, 3 September 2011


Up at 6 am to pack car for car boot sale. Here is a woman looking cracking in a Betsy Jackson jacket I picked up in a thrift shop in Vancouver and have outgrown. She still didn't buy it, mind you. I also enjoyed the 'in-store' signage some girls put up nearby. 

This isn't the first bootie that X has done. We did one when she was about 18 months. It was one of the very first times I saw that she was bonded to me when she yelled at a lady to leave' her mummy' alone. The woman was badgering me to reduce something and I wasn't having it but I think X might have  thought I was upset. She shot out of the back seat of the car where she had been napping and shouted at the woman. It was the first time I saw what I believe to be an Irish feisty streak. I laughed to show X that it was all ok and the other people around the stall started laughing at a sales technique which involved shouting at people to go away. This time X learned some new sales tricks: she decided to give away balloons if anyone bought anything....anything at all. "Roll up ! Roll up!" she shouted. She also learned not to cry when other little children walk off with things she used to love. We made twenty two pounds profit for ten hours work. Not a good rate of pay but it wasn't a bad day.  X was tirelessly cheerful and endlessly patient and obeyed me very well. She earned herself a chocolate ice-cream at the cafe and a sticker on her tree of goodness. 

If only yesterday had been like that.  We had a disastrous tea party for X's ex- foster mother and her teenage son. X also had a playdate, which, in retrospect, was a mistake as X was over excited with her friend, and not interested in her older guests, which was a shame. The guests arrived late and the youngsters, hungry and tired, suddenly turned into monsters just before they arrived. I found it hard to control them as playmate can be a bit naughty and X followed his lead, snatching food from the table, rushing about, not listening when I told them to stop playing with the garden hose, bringing a worm to the table, yelling. I was embarrassed that the little ones didn't show up well.  I was also dealing with all the tea things and trying to make conversation so I was a bit stretched. In retrospect I should have stopped trying to entertain at the tea table and held things up to calm and gently discipline and calm but I mistakenly felt it was rude to interrupt the conversation. I don't know why, it isn't as if things haven't been chaotic at the foster family house, I should have been more confident. After the playmate wet himself ( four- so shouldn't be doing that) and I had to go off to sort a change of clothes. As I re-entered the room I overheard the foster mother's son commenting  that the children didn't have the respect of adults that he felt they should. He was being somewhat smugly pompous, I felt, but he's only young and it's just a phase, I'm sure. The foster mother was nodding earnestly, well eagerly, I felt. 

I was annoyed, defensive, wrong-footed. Mostly I just felt it was such a shame as X is so rarely naughty in company. Usually she's just shy. I really had wanted us all to have had a good little tea party. In my usual attempt to match up to some rediculous notion of what I think they might think was good parenting I had specially made sandwiches, homemade humous and crudites, and two types of home made cakes. What an idiot, who am I kidding - X was a feral child who shouted at adults in public at car boot sales after just a few months in my care! 

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