Friday, November 30, 2007
I have decided to write today a little bit of the challenges of adopting a toddler. It is hard to plop someone down in your house, personality formed and intact and just gel. Especially when it is a personality that you haven't had before. The dynamics really change and everyone needs to adjust. That is pretty hard to do.
When you are being screamed at with the word "no" about 5000 times a day with a hateful look in the eye and a swatting arm, or a one shoulder shrug that seems to tell me to go you-know-where, it is hard not to take it personally. It took a good 3 months for me not to take it personally and to realize that maybe it is just something part cultural(the look and shrug), but mostly just the only way she knows how to communicate. She still does it, but at least catches herself and corrects herself when she yells "NO!" at me, so I guess that is a good sign. A lot of it is her frustration at me not knowing what she wants. Another good bit is the fact that she doesn't understand the "why" of the word "No" to her. She goes off in a tizzy when she is told no. She absolutely thinks that everything that everyone else has, she should have. And not in your typical 2-year-old-doesn't-know-how-to-share kind of way, either. If one of the boys wants to sit in a chair, then she sits in a chair. Food, toys, and even a shower are sources of this issue. It's wild. And she ain't silent about it. Can anyone with boys and girls tell me that little girl voices are way more shrill?? Jeez. Now, I say all of this running the risk that someone will slam me and say the whole "How dare you", bit, but it is the reality of adopting an older child. I didn't really consider her an older child, but I do now. I read the books, but until you're in it, you can't quite grasp the scope of it all.
I still have MANY times where I get angry about her "attitude", but it's so hard to tell what is "attitude" and what is normal girl drama. I imagine that if I had had a daughter already or no boys yet, nothing to compare her behavior to, this would be less of a struggle. The fact that I do have something to compare her to, which is a natural thing to do when you have other kids, probably makes it more difficult, because it is hard not to do so. She is all drama, man. I am not used to that. Boys are really just go-go-go, get hurt, tears, go-go-go-go, and repeat. It's funny, because people who have their daughters first, and then a boy, talk about how their boys are their tough ones. Maybe it just depends on what your experience is. Maybe it is just Mars versus Venus.
Anyway, it would be crummy of me to post about challenges without posting about the beauty of Peeps. She is sooooo content to love and be held and sit in your lap(unless the boys have something she wants, of course). And, man, is that girl smart. She is talking up a storm and is quick to figure things out. She is obedient when corrected (except for her initial responses with the no and swatting thing). And she's getting more and more independent every day. She wants to walk like her big brothers in stores and do whatever big kid thing they do. And do I need to say that the girl is adorable?
I am kind of bummed that there really are no more babies in the house. But not too bummed. I need a break. They are 4, 3, and 2 and wearing me out. Cam will go to kindergarten next year, which he will love. That will give the younger ones some more one on one, which I look forward to. They both have early September birthdays, so Bro will still be home for another 3 years and Piper another 4. Both will turn 6 the first and second week of Kinder. That seems like a long time away.
This whole journey has been fantastic, difficult, easy, quick, long, and every other set of opposites you can think of. I'd do it all over again and again and again.
AREN'T FAMILY PICTURES ALWAYS EASY?