Wednesday, July 09, 2008

I Think...

Tariku reads my blog. That's the only reason I can think of that he's done a 180 and has been an absolute gem (for the most part) these last couple of days. This must be love.

I was thinking the other day how completely aware of EVERYTHING I am with him. Today he and Trysten were playing house (they included Dailah and she was doing her best at channeling her inner mom by screaming, "No TT!" and No 2T!" Don't know where she gets that from) and I just sat back and watched and listened. Tariku was the daddy and Trysten was the son. Here is a quick recap of the story.

Tariku a.k.a. Daddy who sounds a lot like mommy: "No, brother, in time-out. I say no talking. You talk? Then in time out. No cookie. Brother talk, brother no cookie. What do you say, brother?"

Trysten a.k.a Brother who sounds a lot like an Ethiopian boy learning English: "I sorry, daddy."

Tariku a.k.a Daddy who makes same facial expressions as mommy: "Give me a kiss. What do you say?"

Brother: "I love you."

Daddy: "Good, go play."

2 seconds later...

Daddy (slight exaggeration if you want my personal opinion): "NO, BROTHER! IN TIME OUT NOW!"

And on and on it went. I thought it both sad and hilarious that he considers me the-lady-who-puts-me-in-time-out-every-2-seconds. It leads me to what goes through my head all the time.

How's attachment going? Tariku is doing remarkably well. Though if I'm being honest with myself I know we're not there yet. He plays at attachment really well. He likes snuggling, hugging and kissing. BUT, he'll go to pretty much anyone with his love. He's a loving dude in general. He likes coming to me when he's hurt but he'll also go to any of our extended family if they're around. He tells me he loves me randomly and I find him looking at me with those huge adoring eyes for no particular reasons. There are definitely signs he's getting there, but I know he's not there yet.

Just today I was wondering if I'm actually not further along in my attachment to him. In his short 3 years of life he's had 3 caregivers now. All 3 of them have treated him like family, and it could be argued I'm probably the least favorable to him at this point as the above reenactment suggests. I've truly loved him since November 12th of last year. It has only grown since then and every day it gets easier to call him my son and to laugh at his hilarity and give sporadic kisses. It's kind of heart breaking for me to realize he could just be playing nice because he thinks this is temporary too and one day he'll kick this lady with insufficient cooking skills and more than sufficient time out spots. I don't know, just hard for me.

It's hard to do the attachment thing for me. It's hard to force that stuff for me. I'm a touchy feely kinda gal so the hugging and kissing and snuggling, that's a no brainer for me. But the "time ins" and "re dos" and all of that stuff are just...too...foreign to me. I'm used to giving a time out, putting a load in the laundry, adding a few ingredients to the pot, getting reconicilliation kisses and hugs, folding a few clothes and adding last ingredients to the pot. I have been truly tested in this adoption with my inability to focus on doing one thing (i.e. getting my older child to attach to me) at a time. Anyone else struggle with this? I admit my mind strays too quickly to the, "It's not like he's going to be 16 and unattached, I can just parent him like the other 2 and it'll come." That's me, that's the way I think.

But that's not necessarily true. I really have to get better at this. But just like I commented before, as if mother guilt is not enough, we throw on attaching. Phew. One of my good friends just birthed a baby, cute little girl. I was in the hospital holding her and my friend's mom says, "Throw out the guilt, Becky." Because Becky was starting to sound a bit guilty about putting the baby in the hospital nursery to catch up on some much needed zzzzzzs following 4 hours of pushing. If only it were that easy, right?

I think in my case this guilt is pushing me to try on this whole attachment deal and see how it fits. Sometimes guilt is a good motivator. Sometimes, like tonight, it's why I'm thankful I have a bottle of wine and internet. What kind of night is it for you?


Crazy mom said...

I can so relate to your post! I, too, feel like Marcus is "on the way to attaching" but not totally there yet. Just yesterday as he was having a snack he told me he wanted to go back to Ethiopia. Hmm. That doesn't sound too attached to us here...he did say that we should come with him, so I guess that's good.

I look at it this way, he and I, we need to have time for our relationship to really deepen. I love him. He feels like my son. But I just don't know him really well yet. I think he loves us too, but just doesn't know us really well yet. I wonder what his bio parents were like - I am SURE they were much more patient and loving than me. I probably baffle the poor child :)

I guess we're all just learning as we go...


coffeybunny said...

Oh boy, I can so relate. My hubby said recently, "I just want to be able to treat her normally, this attachment stuff is getting old". We also have a cuddly, kissy, lovey one who needs correction. I soooo relate!
Oh, and the Mom Guilt thing, that's a killer. It's hard to give the guilt away, I try to remember that I'm doing my best not trying to be perfect. Mom Guilt's powerful!

Matthew and Amanda said...


I hear ya! This is no easy journey we are on. I prepared A TON and yet I feel so ill equipped sometimes.

Don't let the guilt get to you. You are a fantastic mother. Remember, we've only been home 3 months (Happy 3 months BTW!). Look back at how far you've come.