Sunday, August 29, 2010

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Is that what it is- I'm not sure.

I do not need a break. I have short breaks built into routine. One of which is EXTREMELY positive for both of us. The other- creates more chaos for me to manage.

I realized- 10 minutes ago- THAT relationship- the chaotic one--- is co-dependent. When I think of leaving, it's as scary as thinking of not. There is "history" (and ongoing) with boundaries... or, more precisely, a lack there of. And- it makes me snap.

Its hard for me to keep these healthy boundaries in place for my son. He needs them. I NEED THEM. (I should point out that "Personal Boundaries" are a relatively new excercise in my life, so I really do have to WORK at them... many years of therapy...)These help maintain structure and routine. Lack of either equates to all out chaos. Inside him- that he just CAN NOT HANDLE. (I almost used the word "control"- but that word is a whole greater issue of this 3 year old). I struggle with maintaining them, even without interference and judgment and expectation from others. But- add them in and it's beginning to feel like a house of cards, or that old game "Don't spill the beans". (Add just one more and it's all gonna come crashing down around me.) Except I think each of these beans weighs approximately one gross ton.

I don't need a break. I need to be better. He needs me to be better. He needs to be better. He needs me to support him. He needs me focused on him.

I don't need a break. I need help.

It is times like this- I crave the supportive, strong (ruggedly handsome anamored with me and my son) positive parenting partner.

It is also times like this- that I adore my adoptive family friends. Most of you readers- who have kids at home- kids who are from "the hard stuff"- know- that there is NOTHING like an adoptive parent who has walked that familiar path. One who has felt the bumps, bruises, scratches. One who has watched for the things you watch for. Who instinctively knows that it is NOT "normal" (what ever that is supposed to mean-??). The one who will watch, listen and say- "I agree. I think you have a right to be concerned. This is what I see...."

The one- who by simply virtue of being there. By spending the day with you and letting the kids play together. By simply letting that happen. Is helping me. Is not giving me a "break", but is helping. No judgement. No justification. No expectations.

It may not be much to some. But it is priceless.

Let's not forget she is forgiving and patient when you whine on and on about your own endless issues and thoughts and scares and theories and conjectures and tears.

This post did not go in the direction I expected. But- it helped me to redirect and think about how to handle this week. How to do what NEEDS to be done. Thank you my friends. Both physical and virtual. On this roller coaster... with huge climbs and giant drops... you keep me breathing. I don't know, where we'll be- on another high or struggling through the valley- by they time this is published but.... we will still be here.

We are back in survival mode for a little bit. See you on the other side

Monday, August 23, 2010

Structured Chaos at VBS...

First 'structured' group activity here in the states... with a scoop of chaos thrown in...



Oh Never Mind- Tackling is much more fun!
Screaming with etCITEMENT
Uh? Where'd you go?

I see whats going on here... Sassy boy never misses an opportunity. Under the parachute, my butt. Get back up here!! You are 3- she is 7. I do NOT want to be repeating this conversation in High School!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday Confessional- Techno Chill...

I admit-

- that childrens headphones, and iPod and toddler tunes downloaded, may be Mommy's gift from the heavens.

Peaceful. Ride. Moments. Thinking allowed. Precious.

I once thought I'd shun technology for my child. Old School. Wooden blocks. Finger Paint. Smocks. Leaf presses.  Witty, enlightening conversations in the car about rainbows, waterfalls, fish, birds, Ethiopia, family, school, etc.

I admit- I need the break. I've come to learn that as a single mom. As a single introverted mom-- I need breaks from the constant touching, constant talking, constant inquisitions of Truck? Truck? Truck? Truck? Bus? Bus? Bus?

I'm not complaining. I'm not. I'm admitting my limits. And in order to be the best mom- I sometimes make imperfect choices.

My son is a joy and perfect just as he is. And-- well I'm not perfect, and neither is headphones on a 3 year old... but a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do.

Not having him here is fresh in the heart. The longing to have the car seat full... Far to ..'on the surface'. I hope it never wanes. It is better with him here. I am better with him here. It's just that -change- which I've needed a lot of- is hard-  like molding clay- I was a lump and I'm changing. If I come out looking like a set of headphones- I'll know I took a wrong turn. Until then- we keep going forward.. together... sometimes towing a 2nd generation iPod, loaded with 123 Favorite Children's songs!

Edited to add:
On the way home tonight-  him, with headset on- I kept watching him. I think it helps him. Helps to shut down 'the visual' a bit. "Tune out" "turn down". All other ways of saying... I think it relaxes him.  And then I read this post... and the pieces all came together!! Ah haa moment! It all makes sense now!  (Although a great idea, and one I instinctively like - I think the tickets are a bit ahead in my Son's developmental age.)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Brand New Day...

It was a day...

A day that followed a few others...

A few others that were hard...





Needing more...

Pushing away...

Pulling close...

There were days that I questioned myself. Questioned what was happening with you. What could I do, to ease your pain. I could see it in your face. See it in your play. Feel it in your hugs. Feel it in your too rough touch. See it in your lounging in bed. Sense it in your pleading. Touch it with your pushing.

Confounded. I didn't know what to do. So I did something that doesn't come natural to your momma.. but I'm learning. I was patient. I asked for help. I kept my voice soft. Subtle. Nurturing. Gave you time. Space.

You heard me when I said- you were a Good Boy. You heard me when I said You deserve praise. You heard me when I said I like to watch you play and work hard. You heard me when I said you are smart. You are strong. You are fun. You are a joy. You heard me say you deserve to hear these things. You heard me say God gave you a good heart.

I heard you say "I love you Momma."  For the first time- on your own- you put your hand in my hair- your nose on mine- smiled- giggled- "I love you Momma".

I love you too my son. You fill me up.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

If you only knew...

I can not express what these photos represent. If you only could have seen US (that is me,him and sometimes another random park person- who was so nervous at how 'well' we were doing) trying to get him up 'the mountain' in April. If you only knew how far he has come for a kid with NO muscle tone. Hypotonia- my A55. NOTONIA was more like it. We have far to go.. but he now scales this thing like a bump in the road....

Next stop- Everest.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Update: Past 6 months & Final Edition

To blog readers: This is an update written for family and friends. Some of what you read and see here will be new and some of it repetitive. This is the last of the series of updates I intend to write for them. Regular writing will resume shortly.

The last time I wrote and update to you all, was May. It had been 4 months since Teg and I were united as family.  I've tried writing this a hundred times and have as many notes and drafts... but... I'm not sure, exactly which direction to take this update; this last installment.

So much has happened, changed since the last update, in the last year, in the last 6 months.  Do we look back where we've been. Do we look ahead? Do I list my struggles as a parent? Or his flourishing successes as a child in a constant state of awareness and comfort seeking?  Do I explain what happened on this day one year ago? ... So forgive if it is disjointed and possibly bullet pointed. There are things I want you to know. Things I want to document. Pictures You just GOTTA SEE!!

In Addis Ababa, January
Same outfit in July. KNEES!
Teg is Amazing! No doubt! He is funny. Kind. Loving. Sensitive. Joyful. Giving. Compassionate. He is full of giggles, zurberts and dance moves! His quiet Ethiopian demeanor & voice has not found the 'balance' yet- and is currently on the other side of the scale being a  boisterous conversationalist. He loves to say "Bless you" when you sneeze- "scUUUUSe You!" when you burp- "Thank you!"... at often inappropriate moments?!  He loves to get me to stop the car to give him kisses and squeezes. He enjoys going to church- but thus far refuses to stay at the children's program as our church has a live band and.. well.. I told you about his dance moves. 

His squeals of delight, I often mistake for screaming. As I attempt to explain 'screaming can be scary'- he sets me straight.... "Mommy! I so etCITED!!"

He is Persistent. I will not say stubborn- as he doesn't often display frustration with difficult or tasks he's set his mind to. He just sticks with it and demands the time to figure it out.

He's becoming a rather accomplished "swimmer". He actually still sinks better than swims, but he does them both with such style and enthusiasm!  My son is a hoot in the water! Tub. Ocean. Lake. Pond. Pool. Size, stream, temperature, cubic feet per second, pollution level- none of these variables deter this fish from jumping into water to get his gills wet! Nothing.

He is a VERY quick learner and understands more than he can convey with language. When I'm being a decent mom, and explaining things to him- he gets it and understands expectations.

He's using 3 word 'sentences' to get his point across (I'd like it to be more) but his vocabulary is growing daily as is his annunciation. He is still self motivated regarding speech and cracks himself up daily saying things I can't understand!

I no longer worry every moment of every day about his transition. I still fret over my own. I have much to learn- and much to learn about how to parent this child.

Teg is beginning to understand that each family has different rules and expectations. As tempting as doing what the other kids are doing - he is learning the value in our family dynamic (albeit, slowly).

I laughed at myself a 100 times this week as I enrolled Teg in Vacation Bible School. How do you teach a kid group dynamics without telling him "just do what everyone else is doing"? I almost kicked myself when I heard myself say- "Just stay with your group and you'll be safe."  Neither of these statements are true and certainly NOT what I want to teach my son, in the grand scheme of things.. but .. I said them and thought... what the??!?  See what I mean. I've got more to learn than he does.

My son is funny, joyful, kind, loving, and is learning to be at peace!

His mom is often tired, cranky, unenthusiastic and learning to be a peace, often with her foot in her mouth.

Before: Sleeping on top of Momma

Remember all those months of sleep anxiety. Well June and July saw it return-- He fell asleep in my arms more often than not. Today... well, today we are past that six month point. Today folks,..... he is sleeping in his own bed. (silent roar of applause) Granted that bed is directly next to mine, but... that's beside the point.

After: Sleeping in Toddler Bed!!

Remember the update I wrote to you last June(09)?... when I wrote to you about friends that were switching agencies and I had been in turmoil over weather or not to join them. I wrote to you, explaining, as Peace had come to me, to simply be at "Rest" with the process, and stay where I was at. I wrote that on the 29th of June---- I NOW know- it was within hours of Teg being brought into care, in Hosanna.

It should be August 12, 2010 when you read this.  One year ago- at around 3:30 in the afternoon- I received a phone call- quickly followed by an email. This is my futile attempt at taking a picture of the first time I saw his small, delicate, scared face.

Note the hesitation, the "HUH?", the fear. Yes it was all there. I was sure they had made a mistake. I wasn't sure this was my child. I was jumping ahead 'in line' by almost a year! I was sure they would take it all back.

One of Two photos I saw August 12, 2009.

A year later.

There are so many things to celebrate in adoption. And at the very same time- so much to grieve. That is one of the primary things I've learned--- through the paper chase, through 'the wait' and through parenting. For every moment we radiate joy from a place so deep that it is intangible- the very same fact or action, moves us to uncompromising grief. Celebration & Despair. Compassion & Passion. Confusion & Clarity. All wrapped up in one moment, one cause, one person, one family, one country.

When I look at this picture: I laugh in joy, remembering these special early moments in Ethiopia and I also cry- knowing that he was in physical and emotional distress- that had yet to show itself. Celebration & Despair. Joy & Pain.

So although, August 12, 2009 was a turning point... a defining moment in my life- it is another one of those days which, I'm not sure how I feel about yet. It had no significance in his life. And yet- certainly one worthy of celebration. Although, lately, he is experiencing a lot of anxiety when we discuss Ethiopia- so this 'special day' will be reserved for me... for now.

We are approaching the time (about 2 weeks)- in which- he'll have been with me, longer than he was in the care center in Addis Ababa. It's continues to amaze me how these 'anniversaries' of innocuous details stir things up as much as the 'anniversaries' of traumatic events.


July 18th- was six months that we've been living together as a family. Six Months.  Yup.    This lady was right all along. I read it- but, after that six month mark- things look ... Different. Capital D Different.

    Folks, 6 months was like a switch. Literally. Suddenly- I can go to the bathroom by myself. (SIX MONTHS FOLKS!) I can take a full complete shower and not have to keep the shower curtain open so he can see me. It isn't just his progress.

    Suddenly, I feel like I'm stepping out of the weeds for the first time. Like I can take a step back and gain a little perspective. I thought I was seeing the big picture all along.. but now... NOW, I can see I was mired in the thick of it for so long- perspective was not what it was about. Survival. Survival was what those first 6 months were about. Now I can see/ plan/ hope a bit of the future that lays ahead of us and things look good.

    We aren't done. Not by a long shot.

    Being blessed with this extra time with him, has allowed me to see things that I'm quite sure I wouldn't have noticed otherwise. We have some attachment work to continue with, of course. I've also seen some subtle, but clear, indications of "holes" in his developmental stages. Not "Stops". Just a few holes. Some of those we've been working on- some will take more time than others. Some will need professional help, which I'm looking forward to. All of them effect our daily life. But - I can tell you this- it is a good life!

    We've continued to travel a lot through July. DC to visit with Ryan & Jon (and Max & Zelda of course!).

    Ryan was actually saving his life, in this picture, as he was attempting to jump in the river (basin?).

    Ventured to Rindge, New Hampshire for Ethiopian "Culture Camp". Which was great and wonderful! Amazing. He loved the music and dancing!  We met another little girl that the two of them had been in Addis together. She had left about 2 months earlier than Teg... but there must be something in that toddler gibberish I still hear every once and while. Cause after about 90 seconds they were off and running hand in hand, squealing to their hearts content!!

    Running hand in hand is something Teg can NOT do with Mosey- with who we visited again. This time in Southern Maine. His buddy Mosey is .. FAST! Lightening McQueen fast! He's got a natural stride and cadence for which, professional runners would kill. Teg, on the other hand.... is ... not..... fast. ... Yet. YET.

    I have no idea what was going on. I can only imagine Mosey had something to eat or drink and was feeding it to Teg?

    Earlier in the day, before visiting with Mosey and Anna (mom), we gathered with our Maine Ethiopia group for a fun day at Two Lights State Park. Both of these Ethiopian gatherings were a special treat. Not only do we see families that look like us- but Ethiopian families! Mothers, Fathers, Sons, Daughters, Teen-agers all take a special shine. I can only call it Ethiopia-ness. It is engulfing, entrancing and inspiring. (of course I forgot my camera in the car... so no pictures of this one..)

    He's grown so much- I need to adjust his car seat and give him pain meds regularly for the growing pains!! Check out the difference in heights.

    Day # 2 or 3 in US January 2010
    July 2010

    Here's the growth info for the past year. He was 26 mo in July 09.
       July 2009    30 in   17.5 lbs  
       Jan  2010    32 in   30 lbs       First US measurements
       July 2010    37 in   35 lbs       In US 6 months

    You are reading correctly. He's grown 5 inches in the past 6 months. He held steady at 32 pounds up until last month.  His height is still in the 25th percentile, his weight has jumped to 90th percentile and although I have no measurements to prove it- I believe his head circumference is off the charts. (It may also be where all the weight has come from the last 2 months?

    Use the top shelf as a judge for height changes

    I've edited this since originally posted and deleted a few photos. Some sketchy searches were turning up based on the captions

    Whats next for us-
    • Preschool. Some how some way- he's going to school. 
    • Work. Some how some way- momma's going to work.
    • Reading. I always learn & we grow when challenged by one of our parenting books. Currently walking through some steps of "Parenting the Spirited Child". Fun stuff.. and I'm not joking. We are totally having fun with it. It is challenging to me and him- but teaching me sooo much and so much is 'getting through' to him.
    • Adoption Talk. Addressing what it means for he and I and eventually the differences in all families.
    • Books. Right now we're working on focus- so that soon, perhaps we'll read more often (ants in pants and darting eyes make it challenging right now...)
    • Ethiopia. Plans for a return trip in a few years. (Get ready Uncle Ryan!) The "Ethiopian- ness" of the gathering in NH brought it all back. The smiles and welcoming comfort of the older kids and adults, the music,  ... I can not put it into words. Which is why, I have never attempted to write about the trip. The next trip will surely be different. But- we must go back. We must continue to return. It is his homeland and one day he'll want more than what I can offer. When that day comes, I want him to be comfortable and confident in returning there, or where ever, he needs.  If it were just me- I may have gone back already- but he is not ready. Not yet. For now- I settle with closing my eyes and smelling our Berbere spices I brought back. If only for a moment I'm back there again.... (for a far less romanticized reason..)  while we were there, one bag of the spice burst open and my entire room and suitcase smelled like it for the rest of the trip. At the time I was upset. Now- it is heavenly.
    • Giving Back. Supporting Ethiopians is one way he & I can give back & he can learn the concepts of managing money at an early age. A specific way is to sponsor a specific child. I've already started putting a little away at a time- but soon I'll be introducing the topic to him. There are many different organizations that do these things. For my own preference, I prefer to support the smaller hands on groups (especially in Ethiopia for a billion reasons I can not go into here). I like Six Baer Essentials -Children's HopeChest for Kolfe boys and Drawn from Water. But I'm researching organizations that may work specifically with the under served, marginalized population of Wolayta. The Wolayta ethnic region is far south of Addis Ababa and is where Teg hails. 
    • I am looking forward to being able to complete a conversation.    ... With an adult.
    • I'm looking forward to the day that every single word that comes out of my mouth is not about how he and I are doing- his newest trick- or what he's driving me crazy about... Yes. I've, sadly, become one of "THOSE" mothers.
    • Word Tense- Adoption is a verb (to adopt) or a noun (as in going through the adoption process). Teg is not my adopted son. He is my son. It's sort of akin to saying "my husband that I married." Redundant. And certainly it would catch your husbands ear - and immediately wonder "Which husband, DIDN'T she/he marry?"  Teg WAS adopted. He is now, family. If Mom introduced Christy as her Step- Daughter-- Somewhere- eek... it would twinge as if she'd just been moved over- a step further away- in a labeled place. Some adults do not mind the moniker. Being a 'step daughter' myself- it is not the way I want my son to feel. As if he belongs in a box that's labeled "adopted".

    So that is it. Six months give or take. I hope these 'updates' have been educational, helpful and interesting. As I look back and attempt to take a look with some perspective- Teg is doing great! He is adjusting far faster and quicker than I. He is a wonderful child that God has blessed me to be entrusted to him and him to me. We praise Him every evening for our family and for our special friends and family that have been so supportive in bringing us together.

    Adoption is wonderful and hard. I urge each of you - to be supportive of adoptive families. As they go through the process- and after their children are home. Family is family- but there are special challenges all adoptive families face. If you know someone who is adopting- offer to help. Anyway. Somehow. If you are unsure where to start.. .ask me. I may have some ideas.  Of course- I can not yet guarantee that we'll be able to finish the conversation in one shot... not yet. But I AM looking forward to that day!

    Moving on and other notes:
    PBS's Point of View (POV) is airing a series that I'm looking forward to. As many of you are family and friends I hope you'll TiVo it or settle it to watch a few of these as well. Heavy emphasis on the experience of Asian adoptees, and one domestic adoption, but I’m sure the themes translate to other adoptions as well..

    The first will be First Person Plural, which will first be aired on August 10.  It is the story of a woman adopted in the 1960’s from Korea and what happened as she began to remember her birth family.  The PBS website describes it as “a poignant essay on family, loss and the reconciling of two identities.”

    The second will be Wo Ai Ni (I Love You) Mommy, which is first scheduled to air on August 31.  It is the story of an 8 year-old girl adopted from China by an American family.  The story is told through the eyes of the little girl as she struggles with her new identity after leaving her foster family and culture behind.

    Off and Running is the third offering in the POV series.  It is scheduled to first air on September 7.   This story is about a young African-American woman adopted transracially and her struggles with her identity and her estrangement from black culture.

    The final offering is In The Matter of Cha Jung Hee which is scheduled to first air on September 14.  This documentary is another story about a Korean woman who was adopted in the 1960’s and her search to find the truth about her past.

    Check your local listings for the time and station.  Depending upon your local programming, it appears that these documentaries may air more than once.





    Friday, August 6, 2010

    Friday Confessions - Comfort Nursing - Adoptive Nursing

    My three year old son asked to nurse the very first night. He was two and a half at the time. He still does. There. I said it.

    I've attempted to write this post a hundred times. I'm not ashamed. At all.I'm proud of all the work we've done and this was often a hard one.  It's just that- - - - I tried researching- to find more about this 'phenomenon' and... could find very little. No one seems to talk, blog/write about it.  All I have to go on is my own short 6 months with my own son. First hand knowledge should account for something, but writing it and pushing 'publish' - with no other back up material... ugh.

    So lets' be clear. I'm no expert. I was winging it for a long time. There are a few resources, but most of them have to do with supplemental feeding your child. The articles I found most helpful- after much digging- had to do with breastfeeding mothers anxiety/questions/issues over their childs comfort nursing (and not feeding). WOW! That was an eye opener. Breast feeding kids comfort nurse too. Ok- so--- this is not completely unnatural! phew.

    ETA: I never did research till in the midst of realizing I didn't know 'appropriate' from not in regards to this entire concept.

    There is so much I could write. SO much detail- for a boundary challenged person- it would all be TMI. So I'll try to tell you like it is- without going to far.

    The first time I ever heard of this "comfort nursing" was from a couple of private messages I received from some BTDT mom's. I had posted a question (in an ET adoption forum) about bottle feeding a child that age and whether or not I should attempt. Plenty of public response and discussion- but privately- the word was passed on "Don't be surprised if he asks to nurse."

    "HUH? What?" I responded. "I've got nothing to offer! These puppies couldn't deliver milk if I was the milk man!"

    They kindly explained that it was just for comfort and that I should be open to it.

    Man, were they right.

    The first night together, as I got dressed into my PJ's- Mr. Curious spotted, pointed and came over. He 'asked' if it was ok.

    "Oh boy. Is he kidding? Already??" I thought.

    "Yes. Yes. I nodded and sat down.

    He didn't that first night. (He couldn't anyway. Many of you know he couldn't suck and I needed to teach him how to drink from a bottle for the first few days) but he continued interest and by the 3rd night he was suckling.

    I didn't know what to do. I was literally winging it. I didn't want to force him to do it. But at the same time- I wanted to encourage him, as he was interested and it was the first thing my new son had ever asked of me. So I made a plan.

    I would sleep in a tank top. A loose one that left me..."accessible". One that allowed him to be comfortable and explore without having pasty white lady br3ats in his face all the time. I wore the tank top often when it was just me and him- so that he was comfortable with me in that type of dress.

    For him- he rarely suckled himself to sleep. It was literally and quick and long lasting comfort thing. 5 seconds or 30. Sometimes a minute or 5. But to this day- he finds comfort in my chest. It isn't just about the suckling. It is about the comfort he finds in knowing that I'm available.

    We all have little scars, collar bones, neck muscles, skin tags, heart beats, breath sounds, skin folds, fat rolls. Something that they find comfort in. Landmarks I call them. Hears them. Touches them. Sees them. Feels them. Sometimes he tastes them. This is where six months brought us to. Landmarking... more than Nursing.

    It wasn't always about comfort. Sometimes it felt almost desperate. As part of his grieving. He wanted me to be able to provide milk. "Whetat". He'd say over and over again. Trying so hard to put the bottle and me in his mouth at the same time. Eventually finding a spot to let the bottle drip down my br3ast captured at the nipple.

    Painful to watch. Painful ache, that I couldn't give him more. Painful to see his greiving. And knowing- as I watch him struggle- he wasn't weaned before his 'transitions'.

    We are close to him being 'weaned' off of me. I am fully open to him continuing, on an as need basis, for a full year. He'll be almost 4 by then, but only with me a year.

    This past week, he's done little if any nursing and a little landmarking at bed time. But for the month of July! It was intense. Often, frequent and demanding. And then suddenly- done.   (He's also sleeping in his own bed for the first time in 6 months this week too- so maybe a correlation?!?!?)

    This, comfort nursing, did much to hasten our attachment process. It did NOT substitute all the other things we need to do for attaching.

    I know I'm not alone in this. Since talking about this with a few adoptive family friends, they have all opened up about it- in private. One was surprised when it 'happened'. Another was home almost 4 months before her 3 year old asked. She explained he was too old and she wasn't comfortable with it. Another wanted her child to- but he showed little if any interest and she didn't know how to facilitate it for him. There are so many questions... and it remains so personal... but I also know many out there- with younger ones that may not be able to ask- that crave it- that need to know you're available- but can only scream, kick, fuss, bite out of frustration.

    There is so much more. More I could say. TRY IT! BE OPEN TO IT- or at least be prepared for when your child needs it. I hope this made sense. I hope I've done the subject justice- or at least opened the discussion so that others may take it on. Peace out.

    Wednesday, August 4, 2010

    Selective Publishing...

    "All things published on the internet are forever."
    "If you read it on the internet, it must be true."

    I'm relying on both of these fables truths to cover my A55 in the future.

    In regards to that last post- I'm only publishing those that think I didn't actually fail. Because one day- someone may read this- like my son- and he'll think I failed and there'll be a dozen or so people who wrote it here! On the INTERNET- (SO IT MUST BE TRUE!) - That I did NOT FAIL!

    All other comments to the contrary are being denied. To those that care... there may, or may not, have been more comments supporting the mommy failed theory than those that went above and beyond attempting to poo poo any idea of failing in such situations. Thank you friends.

    Monday, August 2, 2010

    Mother Fail...

    You go into this thinking you'll be a natural.
    "They" warn you it may not be that simple.

    I swear- Sometimes I think I really suck at this. Sometimes I miss the basic/easy stuff. After six months we've covered a lot of bases. Staying home with him for all this time, has given me every opportunity to be in tuned to his needs- especially when he doesn't quite have the verbal skills to express them. And yet- when I'm trying so hard to fulfill his needs on "this" and "that"- well- "The other thing" I totally miss. And feel like a novice.

    He's a sensory seeker. Especially at night. I try to be there for him- while not contributing to inputting more sensory stuff. Fight him and it feeds on it. Get frustrated and it revs him up. Raise my voice- add an hour till eyes closed.

    At the same time- it borders on ignoring him. And well... that is just too close to neglect... it is a very very delicate balance. One in which I try very hard to hold and at the same time- give him room to learn to self soothe (hoping for the day he can go to sleep on his own). 

    Tonight was a big fight night. He was over tired. Fighting fighting fighting. Oh, the things he'll do to keep his eyes open!! At a certain point-  I turned my back on him, laying on my side. His foot firmly in my back as he keeps constant contact.

    He moved closer. Closer. Closer. He sat up. He giggled. I didn't give him anything to feed on. I stayed put. "He needs this." I told myself.  "He's overtired. He needs sleep. We've done eye contact. We've talked Ethiopia. Just lay here. He'll settle"

    Next thing I know- He's pulling at my PJ bottoms and attempting to lift my PJ top. (again, I'm back to, to him) I lay there. Still. Not going to give him anything. This is new.

    "Just stay put.  Let him tire. He needs to sleep. Don't give him any sensory stuff back. He's trying to get you going. Don't do it." I remind myself.

    Soon- he's in my pants. Literally. Putting a leg inside my pant leg and he's attempting to tuck his head and upper body inside my pj's.

    All I can think is- "He's literally trying to climb inside my freaking skin! Are you kidding me! He's doing his best to piss me off"

    And then... it hits me...

    "They" told me. "They" said it time and time again. Skin to skin contact.

    Of course- I'd been conscious of it early on. Months ago. But- here I am thinking I'm an old pro at this. Thinking all bases were covered. Thinking those basic needs have been met and moved on. Thinking I could tell what he needed and would automatically respond to them.

    And here I was, ignoring him. Ignoring his needs. Fighting against them- oblivious of what he was asking for.

    A natural -my ass.

    I've still got a lot of work ahead of me.