I will start by apologising to the regular readers of this blog. I am not as humorous and I don’t swear half as much as Tina does. I will however, give it a go.
Well it has happened, Joseph’s first sleep over at a friend’s house. My eldest Harry is 5 months younger than Joseph and Sam is 6, so they have all grown up together, although we don’t see each other as much as we’d like. Tina and I met 12 years ago when I started working with her, and then she started dragging me along to the same gym. A lot has changed since then; I no longer work in the same office, or go to the gym. I think the fact our kids are close in age has helped us stay friends. As well as the fact Tina is hilarious obviously.
I can report that Joseph settled in to his new surroundings for the night really well. We have a piano in the hallway at the moment (don’t ask) so he was straight on there tinkering away. He did some exploring upstairs and found some toys he wanted to play with. My two started fighting at one point, causing me to raise my voice. My ‘mummy voice’ as I like to call it. Joseph found this very funny and started mocking me, which made us all laugh. Nothing like a 9 year old to make you realise you are being a little dramatic.
All in all I think Joseph enjoyed his time with us. We didn’t do anything exciting, just had the music on and had a little dance, a favourite pastime in our house. Gangnam Style is a particular favourite of Joseph’s.
They were all found laid on the bed on their iPads at one point. Lucky kids I know! My boys made me hold a cushion so they could punch it and Joseph asked for a turn. He was a lot gentler than my two, which was appreciated. Finally, we played in the garden until it started raining.
There was some coaxing as both boys wanted Joseph to stay in their room. Joseph had the choice and finally opted to sleep in Sam’s room. A good sensible choice.
Throughout, Joseph was so polite and loving. He kept coming up to me, kissing me on my shoulder, and liked to sit next to me or near me, as well as asking to play on things that my boys were playing with. I can honestly see a huge improvement in Joseph’s interactions with us. He wanted to engage with us and involve us in whatever had his interest at that time.
I am not naive to think that it’s going to be plain sailing for Joseph and I am sure there will be difficult times to come as Joseph reaches his teenage years and Tina continues to fight for the best for him. But right now Joseph is definitely holding his own. He can take instructions and verbalise what he would like. Surely all we ever want as parents, is for our kids to be happy, and be the best that they can be? In which case Joseph is smashing it.
Finally, I am sure you want to know what time The Sleep Thief woke us all up. Well at 6am I heard Sam taking Joseph downstairs. I could have stayed in bed to be fair and left them to it, but I got up to be social.
As soon as he saw me he said “Good Morning, can I have a hug?”
A perfect start to the day.
Everyone needs a Joseph in their life. Can’t wait for the next sleep over 💙💙💙.
Guest Post by Leanne Lewis.
Leanne’s blog follows my recent post on Facebook here which talked about how Joseph had never had a sleepover.
I’m quite open about my love for the friends and family who have supported me when I have needed it most. Last weekend I received a message from one that just blew me away and melted my stoney old heart.
She had told me that she’d been thinking for a while about inviting Joseph over for a sleepover and especially since I had wrote about him staging his own. She’d even given it thought about whether he would prefer his own room or to share with her boys. Told me not to worry about broken sleep and that it’s just for one night and it’s the holidays.
And if this isn’t just brilliant in it’s own right, this amazing woman juggles her own two children with a full time job (working shifts), respite foster-caring whilst recently completing a qualification so that she can have the job she dreamt of.
None of my friends have it easy, maybe that’s why we are all friends but this is what makes them a little bit more special.
btw…this is not a guilt trip for friends (or strangers) to now take Joseph off my hands for sleepovers. Although he is still available for evenings, weekends and Bar Mitzvah’s!
To ALL of my friends and family…I fucking love you! (haven’t swore for a while so getting that one in!)
Thank you Leanne, I feel privileged that you choose to be part of our lives xx