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De-tangle this one with me...

(15 Posts)
RatherBeIndoors Sun 11-Dec-16 20:13:36

LO (5) is very interested in life story at the moment, full of questions and doing lots of processing - naturally the info I share is limited for age-suitability, but is still true, so contains some sadness about LO not being kept safe or healthy. LO has one soft toy that FCs passed on as being from BM. It's only recently that LO has shown any interest in it, but they have wanted to play with it and role-play some early life stuff with it lately. I see all of that as healthy.

Now, LO has not been able to think of anything they want for Christmas (they tend not to ask for stuff) but suddenly the one and only thing they've asked for is a soft toy "the same as BM gave me but from you". And I don't know what to do for the best. My gut says not to give a copy because I don't want to "over-write" her life experiences...but do I give a similar object, or is it better to try and explain why not? We do a lot of babyhood regression after advice to increase this, and it really helps LO so I can see why she might want to re-frame the babyhood gift too. Thoughts about how best to handle it?

tldr Sun 11-Dec-16 21:58:55

Is LO 5 already? How did that happen?! <time flies>

Right. That sounds to me like she's playing with toy because toy has caught her imagination and that it being from BM is either a complete red herring or is actually a negative and she's playing with toy even although it didn't come from you.

So for Xmas I would get her the best soft toy in the whole world ever, but not a copy. So if she likes how it feels find one that feels similar if you can, or if she likes that it's a cat, get a different cat. (Mine only likes floppy dogs. Stiff dogs and floppy cats don't get a look in.)

And then on Xmas don't make any connections between the two and see what she does.

Big Tldr never used to ask for things either. This year she would like a car...

RatherBeIndoors Sun 11-Dec-16 22:06:11

I know! I asked for a re-count but 5 is right apparently

I think I'll get something incredibly soft, as you say trying to keep the "feel" right and see what happens. As it turns out, her other presents from me are not very cuddly so probably a good idea to listen to her need for that.

Loving that big TLDR wants a car. Any particular sort?!

tldr Sun 11-Dec-16 22:10:28

A pink one. That goes by itself. I'm guessing she means like one of those pretend BMWs or something. So we risk a tiny bit of disappointment on Christmas morning. grin

RatherBeIndoors Sun 11-Dec-16 22:20:49

Ah. Good luck with that. I'd like a silver BMW if you're buying grin

OlennasWimple Sun 11-Dec-16 23:58:07

I agree with tldr's wise words

catsnickedallmypens Mon 12-Dec-16 16:02:19

Sounds to me like your lo likes the toy but not the fact that it's from BM. I'd buy her one just the same if that's what she's specifically requested. Then if she doesn't want the original one to play with I'd put it away somewhere in case she wants it back later.

I don't think it would be 'over-writing' her life experiences. It doesn't change anything.

Hels20 Mon 12-Dec-16 20:18:52

I agree with Cats - at least that is what I do. My AC says he came out of my tummy - - I always correct him but say I wish he had. Why shouldn't you buy the same toy? ( am sure someone will come along to tell me why I am wrong!)

Italiangreyhound Mon 12-Dec-16 23:01:34

I agree with TLDR.

IMVHO the same is too confusing.

I'd give her choice, choose it yourself LO or a surprise?

Maybe go to Build a Bear (assuming it is not Build a Bear).

You are unlikely to get a carbon copy, unless it is a very generic or very famous bear and it sounds like she is trying to 're-write her own history, which cannot be done. She can write her future with you.

I'd suggest the oldvear goes in a nice cupboard for hibernation if thus is what LO wants.

RatherBeIndoors Mon 12-Dec-16 23:20:27

Thanks all, it's been really helpful to read these while trying to think it through. "Almost" the same is what I'm going to go for I think, same colour and texture but not identical brand. Good idea about build-a-bear, I might have a look and see if they still do that thing where you can record your own message...

tldr Mon 12-Dec-16 23:39:14

Bearing in mind I'm making it up (like most of us I guess...), my thinking around 'not a copy' was two-fold:
1) Getting copies of anything is hard/impossible
2) If LOs desires have been misinterpreted, she might get upset if she thinks Rather is trying to replace BM toy with new toy. A similar toy can either replace or co-exist depending on what it looks like is called for.

greengoose Wed 14-Dec-16 21:58:26

Just a thought... (I'm assuming here she still has this first toy). I used to work in a Therapeutic Community, and this sort of thing came up all the time.
If I were you I'd think about what the toy means to her. Does it symbolise her as a baby, or her birth mum, or something more complicated? Is replacing the toy about the phantasy of you being her birth mum? Or looking after the 'baby her'?
Maybe it would be good to make the toy she has more special, perhaps make it some clothes, a bed, a sling? Sew up or put bandages on any hurts? Would looking after this part of her past be a good thing? Maybe this would be really healing, allowing regression while accepting the part of her that is 'from her birth mum'?
Of course, this might be way off mark, never having met you or your daughter!
As for buying a new toy, perhaps it could be 'friends' with the other teddy, or acknowledge it anyway somehow? I don't think what you do will be 'wrong' in any case, you are obviously very thoughtful and empathic. Good luck!

slkk Thu 15-Dec-16 07:18:30

We did the message record thing at build a bear. You also kiss a heart to be sewn in. Wasn't too expensive if you avoid the branded Disney toys. I think we paid £16.

RatherBeIndoors Thu 15-Dec-16 09:31:05

greengoose interesting perspective, thank you. LO role plays a lot of taking extra care of that bear, verbalising "because X didn't do this for me, I'm going to do it for you" so I might see if she wants us to do a bit of first aid together on the original bear. We've been making a picture timeline together to show all the people involved in her early life (it's in her life story book but a friend suggested a timeline might make more sense to LO at the moment). I am absolutely clear about not 'replacing', or denying the reality of her early years. I try to empathise instead about the fact that she feels sad (and so do I) that I wasn't there when she was a baby. There's definitely a bit of blaming me for not being there to protect her then too sad. I think the new teddy might come to live with us because it's extra-good at cuddles and it heard that there were people here who needed him, and then I'll watch what happens...

greengoose Fri 16-Dec-16 11:33:01

Sounds spot on! It's great she plays so well and is so open about her feelings, so much trust! I'm sure what you are doing is really helping, and it's great you have such a powerful transitional toy to include in your play work!

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