Social Media – Argh!

Things have been ticking along okay here.  Widgelet tantrums are at an all-time low (Hurrah!) and subtle preparations for Christmas have begun.

One thing that has started to be “Interesting” is that Widgelet has started noticing that sometimes we don’t do things that other parents do – like put his picture all over social media – and questions are being asked.  Thankfully I’ve been able to deal with this quite well so far, but other factors do not make my life easy.  Other parents, for example.

Widgelet recently went to a birthday party and had a lovely time.  Lots of photos got taken and lots of people immediately posted them all onto various sites before I’d even had the opportunity to open my mouth.  When I asked them if they could take down photos containing Widgelet, some reacted as though I’d just asked for their first-born to be handed over for ritual sacrifice.  How dare I ask them to remove a photo containing their darling child?  What gives me the right to dictate what they can and can’t post?  And anyway, of course no harm could come to Widgelet over it!  I’m talking cobblers!

I’m not sure how many other parties Widgelet will be going to now and that makes me sad.

More subtle and yet potentially even more dangerous are things like competitions.  As homework Widgelet brought home a colouring sheet from a well-known toy manufacturer.  The homework was to colour in the sheet, answer the questions and then the school would send them all off as part of a competition.  All good so far, the prize looked really great and Widgelet was really excited that he might win and took loads of care over his colouring.  Then I read the small print stating that by Widgelet entering the competition, I was giving permission for his name and photo to be used in any and all publicity and marketing material for the company, both in print and online.

SHIT.

I could have cried for him.  There was my little guy, working so hard on this picture because he wanted to do a good job so he stood a chance of winning and there was no way I could let the school enter the thing.  He was really proud of the end result and I felt awful when I had to quietly pull his teacher aside and ask her not to send it.  Mind you, she felt pretty awful too as she hadn’t realised either.  I doubt he would have come any near to winning, but it’s not the point.  It wasn’t a risk I could take.

However, I am bloody cross with the people who run these competitions.  Why didn’t I have the option to say “No Publicity” on behalf of my child?  If I won the lottery I could do that, so why can’t I if my child wins a major toy competition?  Why should he have to miss out because I can’t opt him out?

Mind you, it seems such a given thing that parents are going to post everything about their children online that some companies are leaving common sense in reception when they go to work of a morning.  Something that left me flabbergasted a while back was an online competition from a well-known shoe company running a Back to School campaign.  The competition prize looked very appealing so I looked into what you had to do to enter but I nearly spat my tea when I found out because I couldn’t quite believe what I was seeing…

They were asking parents to upload photos of their children (With their names) in their school uniform to their Facebook page.  The prize was free school shoes for a year and as a result the amount of photos posted was HUGE.   Just stop and think for a moment and ask yourself this question –

“Would you hand out your child’s name, photo and school details to complete strangers in the street?”

No, of course you wouldn’t and yet here nobody batted an eyelid about sharing that very same information with a whole world of strangers.  What were these parents thinking?  What the hell was the company thinking when they came up with the idea?????

I emailed the company and asked them.  If I ever receive a reply I shall let you know.

Disney Has A LOT To Answer For!

We’ve had Matching Panel.  It was a resounding “Yes”.  We’ve had Introductions (That’ll be another post for another day).  We now have a blue Widgelet.

I’m not complaining because we haven’t had a saccharine Disney ending, because anyone who’s been through the process knows that it just doesn’t happen.  I’m complaining because Disney has given our boy unrealistic expectations about how often he’s going to get his own way and, I kid you not, when he gets the hump with us (Which feels like about 50 times a day) he flounces out of the room and theatrically throws himself either on a chair or on his bed and makes sobbing noises.  He doesn’t actually cry, but he does do an amazing impersonation of the Little Mermaid weeping.

Thanks to Disney, we have a princess in training.  He isn’t happy unless he can swoosh a princess dress or two.  Personally I have no problem with that, but due to the Disney influence it has to be pink (Bleurgh) and comes with singing (Eep).  If I can persuade him that purple is a decent alternative (I’m thinking Sofia the First…If I have to) then I’ll class that as a victory.

Thanks however, to old Disney, M’Laddo has a rather old-fashioned view on life and the roles he has assigned us all.  Daddy and I are always the mean parents who won’t let him do as he pleases (I’m thinking of recording him shouting “You’re SO MEAN!” and having it as a ringtone) and he is the hard-done-by child who must try to escape our wicked clutches and fight against us at every turn.  None of which has been helped by the fact that he’s been allowed to have his own way and run riot previously.  I’m knackered and thoroughly fed up at the moment, but it will get better.  After all this is a Whole New World…

…Although at the moment…

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P.S.  Did I mention that for the most part I f***king hate Disney anyway?

A Roller Coaster

It’s really the only way I can describe the last couple of months.  I haven’t posted here because I have had barely time to catch my breath.

The profile we saw at the end of my last post?  We are due at Matching Panel in just a few weeks for them.  We have been swept up in a whirl of visits and organizing and suddenly finding ourselves wading through things like the school admissions system to try and get an idea of what we need to do when LO arrives (I’ve been looking at so many different policies for this, that and the other that I’m tying myself up in legalese).

The reality of the situation is slowly sinking in, although it’s going to feel surreal for a while yet.  We are linked.  We are hopefully going to be matched soon.

WE ARE GOING TO BE PARENTS.

Oh heck, does that mean we have to be grown-ups now?!?!

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Oh Blimey!

The last few weeks since Panel have passed in a bit of a blur of profiles, reports, building flat pack furniture and celebrations (including one of those “landmark” birthdays for Yours Truly).  Our feet haven’t really touched the ground yet.

It doesn’t feel real yet.  We’re approved adopters.  Us.  Eep!

We were given a report to read last night and the child’s social worker is apparently very keen on us.  Could this be the one?  Already?

We Did It!

Our approval panel was yesterday and, although it certainly wasn’t plain sailing, we’ve been approved!

At the moment I think it is safe to say we are still a bit dazed by it all.  I’m still trying to work out how I managed to get my limbs to function enough to get me in and out of the room.  Nothing to do with having Fibromyalgia, I was shaking so badly with nerves it was embarrassing.

We have some recommendations that we have to take into account, but nothing hideous, just some reading they would like us to do and a recommended age range.  But that’s it.

We’re approved.

WOOHOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jumping for Joy

One Week to Go

Our Approval Panel is a week today and I think it’s safe to say that the nerves are setting in.  The less we’re trying to worry about it, the more we’re failing miserably.

The arrival of new seed catalogues has at least meant that I can try to take my mind off things by drawing up plans for the allotment plots for this year.  I’m including a tentative plan for an area dedicated to flowers and vegetables that are easy for a child to grow.  Pumpkins and sunflowers are a good choice, strawberries are usually a hit (although we have a lot of strawberries elsewhere on the plot, so I might pass on those) and anything that grows quickly.  I could really go to town on it all, but let’s get one hurdle out of the way first…

…Let’s get approved…

…Hopefully next week…

…Eep!

Life, Adoption and Allotmenting