Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Catching Up...

Wass appenin' hostuff? (16 candles?)

We are still here. Stil holding on. Things are progressing and changing and regressing all at the same time!!

The last couple months, we have been going strong. Moving fast. Developmental milestones. Attaching. Connecting. But there were still some behaviors that needed tweaking. I figured we were making such great progress lets keep moving if he can take it. Apparently- he couldn't .. and more importantly... I was lacking in preparation and information. (hindsight and all)

I started employing some, connection tools- to connect to him and build a solid foundation and then moved on toward showing him better ways of getting attention. I could give you a synopsis and although it isn't exactly what we went through, these folks wrote a good breakdown of the steps they used from Parenting the Strong Willed Child (week1   week2   week3 and week4) I actually incorporated some basic stuff from the 'Incredible years" which I took as a parenting class.

I may be wrong- but here's where I think I threw us off track. The ignoring. I started wondering if it was just three year old controlling or negative seeking behavior... but it got... desparate and intense and that's when I finally.... FIINNAAALLLY realized.... "I'm ignoring a child that was formerly neglected. Should I be doing this?"

ETA: I should note- this is a very good book. But my son has some specific long term neglect in his history- I didn't realize how long term until I met with the therapist and some questions were answered. 

Granted. It may have only been a moment or two until that particular behavior stopped... but.... I think it was enough to pull whatever little triggers this little guys got. I could kick myself- but... i've thrown my knee out doing that  and there are more things every day that deserve kicking.... so I've giving up kicking too.

So that's where we were when I left you last, and although we haven't completely recovered we're taking on more and I'm not sure where to stop.

Head Start started last week. It is a great program. And although people can say alot of bad things about it in general-- our program is TOP NOTCH and today's nightmare proved that they are the right place for both of us (another story for another time). It's only 4 hours each day 4 days a week.

I've met with a child / family therapist who has experience in attachment or 'adjustment' issues. One visit with her and I already can't wait to go back!! (We both begin going soon) I think this may be the best thing we've done. And on the really really really hard days (today) I wonder why therapists aren't on call 24 hours a day.... or... maybe if I just moved next door to her and had all her phone numbers so she could help us straight away?!?!?  Wouldn't that be great??

Going at his pace.... sometimes means running to catch up.

So I wanted to catch you up. The past few weeks- I've just been taking it easy with us- trying to 'connect'. Have fun. Enjoy. Laugh. Going interesting places, but going at his pace. But I have hard days (today). And with our kids from the hard stuff- even just connecting and laughter can be work, challenging and overwhelming. Sometimes, I have to back off and not 'love on him' too much. But usually I don't know until he's already past his limit. This. Stuff. Is. Hard. Fun. Lovely. Wonderful. Beautiful. Agonizing. Hard.

ETA: I should also note- that a pre-scheduled event (Teg sleeping at Nana's) has also instigated extreme clingon's and pushaways. I should have known to tell her she's got to wait. I thought he was ready-- but after everything else.. it was very bad timing and hopefully we'll get through this stronger. I must remember to be consistent and nurturing even during the grumpy's.

Going at his pace... sometimes looks more like this.

I'm thinking of making some small changes to the blog so that may take some time too. I don't know how well this is working for a journal for him. I really want to keep up the handwritten one. But there is so much I want to share that has helped us. So much people need to know going into caring for kids from the hard places. Neglect. Hunger. Malnourishment. I have some lighter subjects to include as well! Not all debbie downer. Heavy Hal. Lighter moments and absolutely ridiculous situations that single parents are forced to put themselves in. Man... that could be a book!


Anne said...

I'm a single mama adopting a toddler boy and love your blog, please please please keep sharing :)

Julie said...

I love the way he is looking at you in that picture; speaks volumes.

{Staci} said...

Love this post. Love the pictures. Love your honesty. You are my hero, Mama.

Kate said...

Love that first picture.. what a beautiful boy you have. I just noticed you're a follower on my blog, and I was so excited! I actually didn't think anyone really read it any more, so thanks for the comments!