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A New Beginning and New Focus

It's started. It's taken time and we've been waiting for it to begin. There has been as sense of anxiety and excitement whenever we've talked about it, but now that part of the waiting is over and the process has begun. We have taken the first steps towards adopting a child or, maybe, children. We're prepared for the intrusiveness of social workers asking questions about our life, values and relationships.

For our initial assessment meeting the social worker came and asked us about our past, “Tell me about your childhood?” “Was it a happy experience?” “What about support from your parents?” We've had to sign a statement asking questions about fertility treatment, mental health and criminal convictions.

There were questions about what sort of child we were looking for, how old? Would we consider siblings? What about children with disabilities? Questions which don't necessarily have answers which are neither definite or comfortable, which awake many of our hopes, anxieties and dreams.

It's a bold step. A step that will transform our lives. Change the routines and patterns of our behaviour. Move us out of our stable and secure tracks into the unknown. It is full of opportunities and possibilities.

Why are we doing it? Altruistically, it could make a huge difference to the child/children involved. We'll offer them a stable and secure home and family in which to grow up and develop. We would like to provide a loving, supportive and caring environment where a child can become a balanced and secure adult. More selfishly, it'll provide us with an opportunity to nurture and parent a child or children from an early age.

Over the next few months we plan to document our experiences, explain the adoption process and it's affect on us as we negotiate our way through it. We may even allow guest appearances from the beautiful BG and the impact it has on her.

To finish this entry we'll leave the last word to the delightful BG. When we discussed it after the social worker had left she announced “Right I'd better start looking for mi own place then – if we 'av a couple they'll be all over mi stuff!”

20.6.06 20:07

Last Waltz

The problem parents have slowed down so much that they have come to creative full stop. A gentle and elegant discontinuation. Why? Well a number of reasons really.

Brat girl has grown into a beautiful young woman, she's becoming independent and increasingly emotionally self-sufficient. There is less need for the problem parents to intervene in her once chaotic life.

She's spending less and less time around the familial home. Consequently she's not proving the wealth of material that she used to.

Crap dad started a new job earlier this year and this has demanded a great deal of energy and creativity.

The saga of 20six's move to a new platform, and the resulting exodus of many of their favourite bloggers, seems to have knocked the stuffing out of the problem parents enthusiasm for their blog. This along with a developing interest (or maybe obsession) with Flickr has meant that Underbrella and the 20six community have been... shall we say... ignored.

So where do we go from here?

The problem parents have decided tocease adding to this incarnation of Underbrella. We're going to play with the new platform before deciding what shape, content and focus Underbrella will have in the future. Hopefully this won't take long.

Can we therefore take the opportunity to say a big 'Thank You' to all the people who have read and contributed to this blog. It's been a pleasure recording our lives for you!

1.6.06 19:22

One Act Play

Brat girl has for months been saving up
to go on holiday with bob and his parents. A few weeks ago bob broke
his leg on a building site and has been told by his doctor that he
can't go on holiday because his leg is still in a cast and it's too
dangerous to fly.


Txt from brat girl: ?Hi dad, i mite b
stoppin at bobs 2nite n im goin away 4 the weekend i wl b ome on
monde mornin but im stoppin at bobs threw week. Luv u x?

Txt from crap dad to brat girl: ?Don't
u think u should have talked to us? Effectively we aren't going to
see from today for a week, if not more if u disappear for next
weekend too.?

Txt from brat girl to crap dad: ?Sorry
i ment t say but i 4got. Bob wil b on his own nxt week. Xxx?

Txt from crap dad to brat girl: ?Aaaah,
poor bob. U knew what u were going to do and decided not to tell us.
Forgot my arse!?

Txt from brat girl to crap dad: ?I
cud be in tenerif tom bobs mom is al packed n getting redi n me
and bob r sat ere watchin the bill?

Evil stepmother to crap dad, ?It was
obvious that she was going to take every opportunity to stay at bob's
whilst his parents were away. I just don't understand why she wasn't
honest with us and say something... Er, well... I suppose I do. She
knew we would put some conditions on it, like keeping in touch or
even coming home once in a while. It really frustrates me that its
always about her, she always has to get her own way, there's never
any consideration for anyone else. If she wants to do it she's going
to do it and sod what anyone else says.?

6.5.06 08:45

Was it all a dream?

The problem parents and brat girl had a
rare family night out yesterday. The evening began with a meal.

?It has to be Chinese or Thai?
insists brat girl, ?cos that's wot I've been lookin forward to all
day. I've been tellin everyone that's wot we'd be 'avin.?

The problem parents pick a south asian
restaurant they have been to many times, but never with brat girl.
After much dithering brat girl and evil stepmother each have one of
the soups and crap dad has a tofu dish with rice.

?Oooh ? this is hot? says brat
girl ?eeerg ? the noodles look like jellyfish? comes out a few
slurps later, ?I like it though? she says reassuringly.

20 minutes later brat girl admits
defeat and confesses that she can eat no more ? it's just got too
many odd flavours and she's become so snivelly with the spices that
she has rubbed the foundation off her nose. She does manage to have
a go at the remainder of the problem parents food and the family
leave replete and ready for the gig that is the whole point of the
evening out.

Brat girl has steadily been getting
more and more excited as the evening has progressed.

?You'll have to chill a bit?
advises evil stepmother laughingly as they approach the club ?it is
an adult club you know, you're supposed to be 18!?

?But I'm so excited? gushes the
girl ?I'm going to see Terri Walker. I don't care that none of mi
friends have eva 'erd of 'er. She great!?

They arrive in good time, and after an
initial hesitation when the show begins, she is soon dancing in the
middle of the crowd next to her dad.

Ms Walker is signing copies of her new
CD at the end of the gig, so brat girl queues up for a copy and even
has a picture taken, on her mobile phone, of her with the star.

On the bus on the way home evil
stepmother asks for marks out of 10 for the evening.

?7 out of 10? he says after a
moment of pondering where Terri comes between The Clash at Victoria
Park (10 out of 10) and Prince at Sheffield Arena (a generous 5 out
of 10).

?Are ya mad?? exclaims brat girl
... ?It were at least 10 outta 10!?

27.4.06 19:00


?I'd like to talk to you about how
you disappear on a Thursday or Friday and don't come back till
Sunday. I'm not happy about you never seeing you on a weekend?
says crap dad gently as brat girl is packing her bag for the weekend.

practically bellows.

continues before he can respond.







At this point evil stepmother
inadvisedly jokes ?that's easy ? dance for joy!?

Brat girl pounces ?THERE YOU SEE!?
she roars as she flounces out of the room.

22.4.06 08:48

Used and abused

Crap dad arrives home on Friday evening
from work to find brat girl's paints and canvas', left from the
previous evening, all over the living room floor.

Txt from crap dad to brat girl: ?I
presume you're coming back this evening to put away your painting

Txt from brat girl to crap dad: ?Erm
no. I'm at bob's.?

Txt from crap dad to brat girl: ?I'm
tempted to put it all in the bin. I don't see why I should tidy up
after you've been off all day.?

Txt from brat girl to crap dad:?Ive
been at aunties all day workin so i aint bin in al day. I got up got
redi did wot my mom tld me n went to auntie's?

Txt from crap dad to brat girl: ?The
I've been at aunties all day doesn't work. I've been at work too. For
once take some responsibility.?

8.4.06 11:03

Throw Away Society

Monday 3.45pm

?Hello dad. Sorry for phoning you at
work but I'm of to casualty. I tripped over earlier and I've hurt mi
wrist. It's all swollen and really hurts? explains brat girl.

?Do you want me to come with you??
asks crap dad.

?No, you're all right. I'm going wi
so-an-so. I just thought I'd phone ya and tell ya what I'm doin' just
in case it takes a while. I wouldn't want ya t' be worried.?
explains brat girl

?OK, keep me informed about what's
happening.? says crap dad.

?I will. Bye? ends brat girl

Monday 5.00pm

Txt from crap dad to brat girl, ?How's
the wrist??

Monday 6.30pm

Txt from crap dad to brat girl, ?Where
r u? R u still at the hospital? Contact us as soon as u can, please.
Hope you're ok. Love dad xxx?

Monday 7.15pm

?Hello dad, I've just left the
hospital and am on mi way to college to pick up mi stuff. The doctor
says I've sprained mi wrist and torn some of the ligaments. I'll be
back 'ome in about an hour.?

Monday 8.00pm

?Hi, I'm back. Do we have any
bandages?? asks brat girl even before she's closed the front door.

?Eh? What did you say my love?
enquires evil stepmother ?Why don't you come in here rather than
speaking to us from the hall.?

Brat girl enters the living room with
her arm in a sling

?Do we have any bandages? Repeats
brat girl with a slight tone of exasperation in her voice.

?Haven't you just been to the
hospital? If they thought it needed bandaging then they would have
put one on?? states evil stepmother.

?They did.?

?Where is it it then?? asks crap
dad rather puzzled.

?Er, it got it wet so I threw it

4.4.06 07:29

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