What is it like – introductions with siblings?

This is a wonderful story told to me by Ros, I asked her to put it down in writing and it hasn’t lost any of it’s humour, charm or wonderfulness!

*Names and some details have been changed to protect the identities of the people in this story, all other details are factually correct at the time of writing. 

Don’t forget to pack a sense of humour!

Day 8 of the introductions and we were prepared for our first outing with our boys, a day out from the Foster mum’s house, taking the boys back for bed time. How hard could this be, right?  We were so excited!  Introductions had been going so well we set off with an air of confidence, we were prepared, we were new parents, we’d planned the day like a military operation!  This would be a success!

So……….we bundled our boys, (siblings aged 2 and 3), into our brand new car seats and set off with huge smiles on our faces. Our new family in the car for the first time.  My husband and I grinned at each other constantly, even through the 12th rendition of Old Macdonald on the CD player.  Look how prepared we were, the kids loved our choice of in-car entertainment!

Our journey to the nearest city, for a day out, was around 45 minutes and as we navigated our way into the multi-storey carpark, our eldest son very quietly asked for a cuddle, (he was just 3 years old). At this moment it felt like we’d cracked it!  We were bonding!  But this feeling didn’t last long.  As I reached my hand back to comfort him in his seat, stroke his leg and tell him we’d be out of the car in a second, I realised he was being sick!  Not a dribble that could be wiped up easily but projectile vomiting that was bouncing off every surface it hit!

Now, I don’t know if it is the fact that I haven’t dealt with baby sick or the fact that I’m particularly weak stomached, but the sound and smell of sick and I’m right there with them throwing up myself! So I’m retching as I’m comforting eldest through his sickness, desperately snapping at husband to park the car and trying to stick my head out of the passenger window all at the same time!

As soon as we parked – I managed to hold my breath, pick eldest out of the car and stand rubbing his back and comforting him until he had finished being sick, while hubby tried to clean the car! Two packs of baby wipes later, (see, I told you we were prepared) and he had stripped the car seat and wiped down all surfaces as best as he could! Our eldest now proudly announcing that he feels a lot better!  That morning, as we’d smugly packed our nappy bag for the day’s adventure, we had not seen the need for spare clothes!  (We really were clueless!  Even now, 3 years on, we always pack spare clothes)!

So……….we’re in a city we don’t know, we have our eldest child stripped and wrapped snugly in hubby’s fleece, (now also covered in sick) and we are on a speedy mission to get new clothes! So, I’m carrying our eldest and hubby is carrying our youngest and we’re rushing down the stairs of the carpark to the street below.  Halfway down the stairs hubby starts laughing uncontrollably, he has to stop, he can’t see for tears and I keep asking him what the matter is.  Eventually he just looks at me lifts up his arm, whereby I see nappy explosion dripping from his shirt!

There we are, two children and two adults all completely covered in poo and sick heading in to the shopping centre! This has to be parenting at its best!  The very first clothes shop we stumble upon had everything we needed, (thankfully at a reasonable price) and as soon as we ran into the shop the assistant must have realised the gravity of the situation and she ushered us, as a family, into the changing rooms and closed it off to others.  (Not that anyone else would have wanted to join us due to the smell)!  We ran around the shop grabbing articles of clothing, (and a bigger bag), frantically guessing at clothes that would fit our boys!

20 mins later we had smelly clothes tied up in nappy bags, (in our new bag), new clothes to wear and several more outfits as spares. Our eldest, by now feeling much better, was running around hiding in the clothes rails and announcing he’s hungry!

Only 8 days after we met the boys for the first time, we weren’t fully aware of foods they liked! But we did know they loved chicken nuggets!  So McDonalds (other fast food restaurants are available), here we come! Google maps helped us and just half an hour later we were in the restaurant as a family enjoying our idyllic day out!

Youngest had only had a single nugget when we realised a further nappy explosion had just occurred! Being a man of the 21st century, hubby grabbed the nappy bag and bravely carried our smelly but smiley youngest off to the gents to change him.   20 minutes went by and they hadn’t reappeared.  Now, I know we were new to parenting but in 8 days we really had got pretty good at nappies so I was starting to wonder, why the holdup?!

When they reappeared hubby looked a little fraught! “What have you been up to”? I asked.  “They don’t have baby changing in men’s toilets” he replied.  Of course, not something I’d ever considered.  “That, and all of the remaining baby wipes were left in the clothes shop”!  He added in a pained voice.

I looked at him aghast! “How did you managed to change him”? I asked. “Well, I balanced him on the sink unit and did the best I could to clean him up with toilet roll”.  “Well it’s a good job you’ve got long arms to reach into the cubicle”.  Was all I could offer before rolling around on the slightly sticky bench seat, laughing at the image.  Youngest happily laughed and clapped, eating his nuggets, none the wiser for his experience and eldest, colour returned to his cheeks, was playing with his happy meal toy!

The next two hours was all we’d dared to imagine with our boys. We played in the park, made up silly games and laughed a lot.  It was then that we saw a well known toy store!  What a great idea we thought, we can all walk around the toy shop, looking at toys and getting ideas for upcoming Christmas presents.

At this stage both boys loved dinosaurs. Any type of dinosaurs.  So when we first went into the shop we found ourselves in the dinosaur isle, brightly coloured dinosaurs, realistic dinosaurs, and importantly dinosaurs that made roaring noises!  We had great fun running up and down the aisle pressing all the buttons before we went two  aisles down to look at bikes.

We were just trying bikes for size with our eldest when I turned round to ask our youngest which colour he liked. Every parent’s worst nightmare…………….youngest wasn’t there!  It had only been seconds!  I shrieked at husband and he tore off down the aisle in search of our youngest.  I grabbed the hand of our eldest and set off in the opposite direction.  The fear and upset I can still feel today recounting the story!  At opposite ends of each aisle my husband and I are shouting to one another, “Have you found him yet”?  “What colour clothes is he in again”? Hubby is now in such a panic he’s shouting at the checkout women to help, “We’ve lost our child”!   They in turn shout at the security guard at the door to lock them and not allow anyone out of the store.  The panic was blinding!

I stood still to pick up eldest so I could move more quickly and took a deep breath! If you were 2 years old, in a toy shop and obsessed with dinosaurs where would you go?  I ran to the dinosaur aisle and yes – there he was.  Pushing all of the buttons on the roaring dinosaurs.  I called his name and he just grinned and said, “This one roars Mummy”!  Completely oblivious to the mayhem going on around him!

In embarrassment we told the staff we’d found him and that they could re-open the store. We slunk back to the car talking about how great the roaring dinosaurs were!

That night after we drove home from the foster mum’s, (with the windows open), we laughed until our stomachs hurt! The whole day had been a journey into the unknown, we’d had challenges, got through them and importantly had kept our sense of humour!   In just a week’s time we would become the full time care givers, then hopefully parents to these two, amazing, little boys and though we still smelt faintly of sick, we couldn’t have been happier or more excited.