Monday, July 30, 2012

10 Tidbits that aren't going on the Family and Friends Blog

1.  We have mice in our garage.  The kids are half terrified and half fascinated.  I'm just grossed out.
2.  Oak hasn't had any weird peeing incidents in about four days.  That we know of.
3.  The scratch on Oak's back has finally healed.  This is from when he was running from me after being defiant, and I tried to grab his shoulder and instead put a 2 inch scrape down his back with my fingernail.  How's THAT for guilt? 
4.  I was trying to think of some fair-but-realistic limits to screen time, and realized that any reasonable amount of time would be such a drastic cut-back from what we're now allowing them that it will cause a revolt.  And I was RAISED WITH NO TV.  So I am also experiencing serious guilt about allowing my kids to spend so much time on videos/games/Smart phones.
5.  Our kids go to bed at 11:00 at night.
6.  I buy them treats every fucking time I go to the grocery store.  It's ridiculous.  I justify it by pointing out that our therapist told us that until they really "get" what family is about, they need to equate mom and dad with food, which will mean mom and dad = joy, which eventually will mean mom and dad = love.  But I'm afraid that they're learning mom=easy touch at the grocery store.
7.  I keep forgetting to put sunscreen on everyone, and I'm the only person in the family who isn't sunburned now.
8.  I worry that I already love Linden, but sometimes don't even like Oak.  I know they aren't supposed to be good to "earn" my love, and I know why he behaves the way he does.  I know he has no reason to trust me, as I'm his fourth Mama, and have only known him six weeks.  I know he desperately needs me to love him wholeheartedly no matter what he does.  But when he does something shitty to someone then smirks, "Oops, I'm sorry," I have trouble keeping it all in perspective. 
9.  I worry that I love Linden because she's so cute and cuddly and tries so hard to do the right thing, and that this is going to be a lifelong pattern for her that will mess her up in a big way.  I worry that she'll get pregnant at 14 because she thinks she has to be cute and physically affectionate to get love and that she won't value her own boundaries.  I worry that she'll think she has to be perfect in order to deserve love. 
10.  Due to some questions about sexual play at the orphanage, I sleep in Linden's room and the Winemaker sleeps in Oak's room.  We feel that this is keeping them safe from each other and bad patterns of behavior, but it's not doing much for our sex life, or even cuddling time. 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Too much?

We've been keeping the kids busy the past several days.  Yesterday we went from the eye clinic to the air/space museum to the park to dinner to playing with the newly discovered neighborhood kids. Today we went from bike rides to watching the new neighbor friend's dance recital to a picnic to the amusement park to dinner to more bike rides and more neighborhood kid playing.  We have had no unwarranted peeing, mooning, throwing, or raging in that time.  Yet I feel uncomfortable with the pace.  Everything I read says, "Slow down, less stimulus, more quiet family time."  When we slow down, the kids get bored, and when they get bored, all hell breaks loose.  So are we just postponing the inevitable by keeping them constantly entertained?

I'm adding this to my running mental list of things to discuss with our adoption therapist next week.  The only problem is, my brain is so overwhelmed right now, "mental list" might as well read "burn pile."  Whatever.  I'm sure we'll have plenty to discuss with her regardless. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

First Report from the Home Front

June 30
When I tucked my kids into bed tonight, on this their second day in our country, we talked about what a good day we’d had.  We took a walk on a nature trail, they met and played with their cousin, we got 26 books at the library.  “And I got presents!” added Oak.  “And I got presents too!” added Linden, who is always trying to keep right up with her big brother. 

We’ve legally been their parents for nine days.  We’ve been their caregivers for two weeks.  Today they mooned me (I mean, spread buttcheeks and all), threw an apple at my head, smeared bananas over two windows, tried to sneak a mustard bottle into their bedrooms, locked me out of the house twice (yes, the second time I had figured out to keep a key in my pocket), cracked an egg on Linden’s brand new pillow (which yesterday they spilled orange juice on), peed on the nature trail six times, and, well, there’s more, but you get the idea.  Yet it really was a good day.  When I think about that, the reality of what we’re doing really hits me.  I don’t think I know any parents that would consider this a good day.  Somewhere in there my husband vomited into the guest bathroom sink, which clogged it, and I think having to clean that out wars with concern for him for feeling so terrible as my two biggest downers of the day. 

The rest of it I pretty much just rolled with, and since things never got beyond a certain point, we were able to have fun together.  Other than the peeing, I loved taking the walk with them.  They grumbled about it all the way down our street and around the corner, then when we stepped onto the nature trail, Oak gasped, “Is it a forest?!?”  They eagerly spotted birds and squirrels.  They dashed ahead of me, but stayed on the path and always stopped at the pre-arranged point I’d set.  They told me stories, very few of which I understood, but I loved the animation in their faces and their eagerness to share with me.  After the last few days (and the public peeing today), I had been concerned about them getting together with their cousin for the first time, but it went swimmingly.  She eagerly handed them gifts, which they eagerly ripped open right there in the parking lot of the park we’d decided to meet at, and their delight needed no translation.  “How did they know I wanted Legos?” wondered Oak, so “How did they know I love Barbie?” echoed Linden.  The kids played on the play structure together, our niece filled up her water bottle from the drinking fountain for them, and my two “Yuck, I don’t drink water” kids took turns gulping it down.  I translated the Lithuanian rules of Tag, and they had a rousing game.  The dads supervised more games on the play structure while I sat with my sister-in-law and talked about parenting.  Our niece is lovely, bright and willful and charming.  I know my kids’ behavior right now is extreme and atypical, but it still helped to hear some of the challenges my in-laws have with their kid.  After we left the park, the kids were delighted with the library, grabbing any book that caught their eye once they realized I wasn’t going to set much of a limit, while the librarian quickly located a half dozen wordless books for me, so we can “read” together.  We came home and they dove into their gifts, ate their dinner, asked for their baths, and climbed into bed of their own free will, happy to be settled in with their new stuffed dogs, their library books, and their new nightlights.  It was a good day, indeed.