Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Honeymoon is Over

I love honeymoons - or at least the thought of them. We didn't go on one, but the thought of everything being happy sunshine and unicorns is pretty wonderful.

Anna has been home for 5 weeks and we have 4 weeks of happy sunshine and unicorns. We knew it was a honeymoon period and we knew it would wear off and I am happy to report, the honeymoon is over.

Happy, you ask? Yes! It is so much better when adoptive families start the real work of being a family. It is better when the child starts showing her true personality and quirks and colors. That means she is starting to trust us...and it means we can start truly parenting her.

Anna hasn't been parented much - that is obvious. Initially, when we would discipline her, she would crumple to the floor and cry for hours. She was so hurt - and I am sure she was scared that the discipline meant we would be sending her away. I think she is starting to understand that we are totally committed to her. We tell her every day that she is our daughter forever. After each discipline moment, we tell her again and again how much we love her and how she always going to be with us.

So, what does Anna do that requires discipline? Mainly, she doesn't listen. And I am not sure how different that is from most 5 year olds, right? Anna has a hard time doing something the first time we tell her to do something. She listens after the 3rd or 4th time which doesn't fly in our family - we talk a lot about "First Time Obedience" (not very popular with our kids, but we stick with it!). So, Anna gets "in trouble" for not practicing first time obedience. Again...nothing out of the ordinary for a 5 year old!

Anna also wets her pants...every day. me, this is not unusually considering the circumstances around when she wets her pants. She is always outside playing with her siblings, she is always having fun, and she is always on her way to the bathroom when it happens. To me..nothing alarming here...just teaching her that she needs to go potty BEFORE it is too late. I know she doesn't want to go inside and miss out on the fun. Many of my kids are done this.

But...she lights up a room with her smile. Her beauty is incomparable. Her laugh is infectious. And she loves without hesitation.

The honeymoon is over...and I am so glad it is!


Amy @ Literacy Launchpad said...

Anna sounds a lot like our seven year old. He has an awful time listening. Usually only after a threat has been issued will he listen, or after being asked multiple times. Yeah, not cool. Drives me bonkers. And he interrupts, and he asks questions and doesn't listen to the answers and then asks the same question over and over again... Can you tell I'm going a little crazy over here?

ESolgos said...

I remember when I first learned that an increase in whining is actually a good sign- I was at once relieved and mortified! But I get it. I congratulate you on your willingness to "go there" with Anna and to parent her well. It is a unselfish act and I know how hard it is!