Friday, September 18, 2009

Nude swimming and home made slushies.

Align Center

Life is good.

Today that is, because we just had the two most difficult days ever with SS. P's sister called last night at the tail end of a "moment." Uncharacteristic for me, I honestly told her why her brother was not available. I know, weird that we spill our guts on this blog, yet we do not really talk to our relatives about the hell that is working on attachment, with a strong willed two-year old to boot. It would be so nice to sit down and talk with a parent that has gone or is going through this.

I have felt very lonely during this process. While I do have experience with a difficult child (JJ), I have never felt this alone in my life. A lot of it is self inflicted, because until yesterday, it has been my sole responsibility to deal with SS's issues. Yesterday, P witnessed for the first time a royal SS tantrum. What he saw scared the daylights out of him. He came home for lunch, and instead, he found himself holding 25 pounds and 7 ounces of sheer fury. SS is into self harming, so we can't just place her in her crib or just let her be. She will hurt herself, because when she is in that state, she does not feel pain.

I have witnessed more of that type of episodes than I can count. However, until SS, they involved my clients, not my child. There is no worse torment that watching your child in pain, and unable to make it better. P learned a harsh but necessary lesson yesterday. Most people would think we are exaggerating, after all, we are huge compared to SS. Her strength is just incredible during her tantrums. I was very worried yesterday that the neighbors would call law enforcement or Child Protective Services. I do know that if I heard the screams, I would also be concerned about the child's safety. P is a strong dude, and he had a hard time holding SS. After the episode was over, all three of us were in tears. P really needed to return to work, and I asked him to get the Ergo from the van. As upset as she still was, SS smiled when she saw her safe pouch. I carried her around for about an hour. SS spent the entire time with her hands on my face, just babbling and cooing to me. She then said "down, crayons," and off she went to color. I was shocked that she did not fall asleep. I only witnessed the meltdown and I was exhausted. While we were having dinner, SS picked up the Ergo and wanted one of us to hold her. P did the honors and held her while I cleaned the kitchen. SS fell asleep in the Ergo around 7:30 p.m. Thankfully, she slept through the night and has had a great day so far. While SS getting the Ergo may not seem like a big deal, it was to us. SS was eating fine, then refused to eat more. Her behavior was escalating, and we both began to worry. SS getting the Ergo was the first instance of self regulation we have seen. Hopefully now that she has more language skills we will begin to see more self regulation.

How come P had never witnessed on of SS's finest moments? Simply because it was my fault. P is putty in SS's hands and I have foolishly allowed it to happen. He spends very little time with SS and he wants that time to be fun, carefree. After all, I am here to be the heavy. But that is why we are where we are now. I felt sorry for both of them and did not listen to what I knew was my best judgment. Children need consistency and we failed miserably at providing that for SS. Last night P and I had a serious talk after SS went to bed. We just can't have two sets of rules for her. Thankfully, the episode he witnessed scared P stiff, and I think he'll be cooperating from now on.

P does A LOT with SS, so I do not want anyone to think that he is just dead weight. When we visited PR the Abus were always commenting on how involved he was with SS. Duh guys, it is his daughter. BTW Abus, you do know that I'm bilingual right? Because the way you two talked like I was not there made me think otherwise. After being JJ's everything I would have never had a child with someone who would leave all the child rearing to me. P is naturally a more laid back person than I am. To him it is not a big deal that he allows SS to use his cell phone, laptop and our cameras . Now he realizes how detrimental it is to SS. I need to let go of some musts that I have. There is no logical reason why the pink sippy is for milk, the orange one for juice and the blue one for water. And G0d help the person that places the wrong liquid in the wrong cup. It is beyond an@l and I need to let go off that and many other silly things. Compromise really sucks, but is a necessary evil.

I can't imagine the turmoil inside SS. While I was not raised by my birth mother, I had a Mami and Papi who loved me and made me feel secure. I do not know what is like to fear parental abandonment. Whatever good there is in me is because of them, and that is an amazing gift. SS has had multiple caretakers in her short life. Even though we have been attached to each other for fourteen months now, she is simply waiting and fearing my departure. In order to protect herself, she pushes me (and now P) away. We just have to keep reassuring her that we are here to stay. We frequently tell her that we are her forever family. We then go into silly explanations of how long forever is. I know that eventually SS will trust us not to leave. However, we also know that SS will most likely have abandonment issues for the rest of her life. After Mami and Papi passed away, I also developed fears of being left behind by the ones I loved. I was so young and alone that my solution was to close myself to love. Screw that concept was my motto. Not until I had JJ and until I met P did I learn to trust and love. Kind of sad.But we are always going to hope for better days for SS.

Wow, I initially intended to write about the joys of nude swimming and home made slushies. Sorry that this post was such a rambling downer. If you find youself here and you are a waiting adoptive parent, or someone going through a similar hell, there is light at the end of this dark tunnel. Also, you are not alone. Our hope is to eventually read these posts, and feel a sense of immense pride at how far SS has progressed. We know she will.

Slushie face.

My manly husband rocking the Ergo look.

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