Although working on attachment sucks donkey balls, there is indeed light at the end of the tunnel. Sticking to the no one holds SS except Mama and Baba is paying off, and we had our first baby step. P had a coworker over Tuesday to watch a baseball game. SS was initially shy, but did warm up to him later in the evening. I took advantage of the occasion and retreated upstairs to work on posts and have some rare me time. P reported that SS kept her distance, and did not ask to be picked up once. YEAH! Do you know why? Because we did not make a single exception.
I no longer encourage SS to say hi when people gush over her. As a matter of fact, I'm getting really good at giving a f**** o** vibe. SS needs to get stranger danger down. I unconsciously began to keep SS's hats on indoors. The first time I noticed was when we visited the caves. It was blistering hot outside, but mid 60s and dark inside. Yet I made SS keep her hat on (except for photo ops). Silly, but you know what, if it helps keep people away, then we'll keep doing it.
If you are a prospective IAP, I strongly suggest that you listen to Nancy Thomas' Taming The Tiger While Its Still A Kitten , before you travel to meet your child. In our case our tiger is already a tiger, even at her tender age. We did do a lot of the things recommended, as SS was on me almost 24/7. Using the bathroom with a child strapped to you is quite an experience. Still, something went wrong, and we are going to backtrack, and work our tails off, until we make it better.
DO NOT feel bad for others when you have to impose restrictions upon them not holding/touching/kissing/bathing/feeding your child. We returned home from China with a CHILD, a living, breathing child. A child with a complex history and substantial emotional baggage. Our daughter is not a trinket we picked up at a souvenir shop for other people's amusement.
I blatantly swiped this from another mother's blog, and still have to ask her permission to link to a powerful post she wrote recently. But this is how it is here until further notice:
One morning, while JJ was here, we were hanging out talking and listening to music. I absentmindedly began to sing to SS. Nothing new, I sang to JJ all the time as well. JJ says to SS, "You know, parents usually play Beethoven for their children." The smirk on his face made me take notice at what I was singing. It was the chorus to this song. P and I better hurry up and finish writing our parenting book. There is going to be a bid frenzy by publishers never seen before for the rights to our book. Heh.
Later in the day, JJ told me that he finds himself downloading "the weirdest music." He recently downloaded the Chic@go 17 album. That did not surprise me, because he grew up listening to that music. Let's face it, I was also a slave to whatever music my mother and older brothers listened. JJ said that when he searched for ABBA, he knew it had gone too far.
That reminded me of something that happened when JJ was five. He was in the back seat of my car singing along to The One You Love. I thought it was awfully cute that he knew the lyrics. As I was changing into my running shoes, JJ was belting the last line, "Someone is going to thank THE STARS ABOVE..." The boy was into dramatic endings. I was so glad that I was bent over and he could not see my face, because I was doing my best not to bust out laughing. Kids do have tender egos. As JJ was exiting the car, he solemnly stated, "I know that song. That is wrong, that is SO wrong." Cracks me up every time I think about it.
JJ recently experienced the kind of heartache no parent wishes for their child. But, in life, we can't prevent bad things, we just have to be there to help them pick up the pieces. We are both very impressed with how JJ handled himself, and so freaking proud of where he is now. Believe me, we had nothing to do with the maturity and insight he has demonstrated. JJ even managed to inject humor into a few situations that have annoyed us. I never thought in a million years that we would be having these conversations with him. JJ you really make us proud. We hope you do not mind when we shamelessly claim that our parenting was responsible for the awesome adult you are today. Gotta sell those books.
Yuck, that last bit was too serious, so let's get back to sophomoric humor. Our lovely SS is trying all sorts of babble, and it often resembles real speech. A few days ago she kept repeating something that P swore sounded like "happy g@y day." P asked me if I heard the same. By the time P and I said it twice, SS was able to hone it to a clear "happy g@y day!" P is searching for local g@y pride events to showcase SS's new three word sentence. I really wish I was kidding, seriously.
Tuesday, I went shopping solo, that's right, without my shadow. I have probably been out without SS five times since coming come. It felt really weird, like I was missing a limb. Halfway through my shopping, it dawned on me that something was eerily different. I was invisible, no one smiled at me, no one pointed at me, no one tried to approach me, no one talked to me. Such a contrast from the freaking circus that I have become accustomed to. I really hope that the novelty wears off soon.