Today has been a no good, very bad day, as Alexander might call it.
One of those days where you’re woken up in the middle of the night for a potty break, but someone still soaks his diaper and gets the bed and pajamas wet. The kind of day where stick things explode all over you and the counter tops and it’s only 8am, so good luck finding time for a shower. You can’t get the caps off of bottles and your husband has already gone to work.
Then you call tons of doctor’s offices and your insurance company. And still don’t have a single appointment scheduled by 4pm. Because you can’t get a real person and have to leave a message.
Someone won’t swallow her carrots and won’t spit them out either. Just wants to scream with carrots in her mouth. Until she spits them out onto the bed, when she is supposed to be laying down for a nap. And she screams for an hour.
And then finally, both kids nap and you go to shower. And, you hop out of the shower and someone is screaming. This time the easier kid, but he won’t go back to sleep. And then the dogs bark. So, dogs in their crates. And the boy still won’t sleep. Then, papa comes home and the dogs start whining because they heard him. And you leave the boy alone while you talk to the papa and then the boy starts crying because he has to poop. And then the papa takes the boy to the bathroom. So you let the dogs out, and they bark again and then the screaming girl wakes up.
But then, the papa takes both kids and both dogs and goes out and you actually have a few minutes to sit and breathe.
Seriously, that was my day. Ugh. When Lena woke up crying, I just started crying. Her nap was too short. They need naps. Both of them were falling asleep in the evening yesterday.
Lena screams and cries A LOT. She is grieving and angry. It might sound odd, if you don’t know what I mean, but it’s normal for adopted kids to grieve all of their losses– previous life, birth parents, etc. Even if what they have now is better than where they were. The truth is, grief and anger, isn’t pretty on anyone. Especially a 3 year old who can’t communicate it. It really comes out whenever she NEEDS something. Needs a nap. Needs food. Needs to potty. I can’t imagine all of her emotions right now. From our perspective, it is pretty miserable too. To be on the receiving end of all of her grief and anger. Even just to watch her mourn.
Ilya is the total opposite. Lots of people told us he was guaranteed to be harder, being older and a boy. I may be jinxing myself here, but he is doing extremely well. He does have his moments, but generally, he seems unscathed. When he was crying today, after I took my shower, he obviously had been crying for a few minutes. Saying “mama”. And I walked in there and he reached out for me to pick him up. I cuddled with him and kissed him and he was fine again. Totally fine, ready to roll around and play. He loves being cuddled and kissed and picked up and held. Yes, he gets upset when he can’t have his way, or when he’s tired or hungry, but he doesn’t seem to carry that grief and anger that Lena does. Sometimes he seems like the ignorant ideal of adoption, a kid who is incredibly grateful to have a mama and a papa. And sometimes it seems like I must have just hit my head too hard and he is our bio kid who has been here for the past four years. Like how he teases me after I kiss his forehead by wiping the kisses off.
I wanted to share how both of them are doing with you. Lena because I think what we’re going through with her is normal. It is common and it is brutal. With Ilya, I want to share it because I want more people to consider the boys. To know that all boys are not as hard as many think they are and maybe there is a waiting little boy who will slip into your family just as easily.