Sunday, January 3, 2010

6 Months Later.....

In the excitement of being snowbound for 4 days, followed immediately by the holidays, I neglected to blog about my 6 month anniversary of having met Charlie and becoming a family of two with her.

Things have changed GREATLY since that first day when she cried for 5 hours straight.

If you read some of the archives, I was an uncertain mother (still am in many regards, but different regards) learning to nurture a child who had been separated from everything she knew. Some of the posts talked of attachment parenting in the face of tantrums. Some posts asked for help with her fear of letting me out of her sight. Some days seemed like they would never end, as far as the crying and then Post Adoption Depression combined with maternity leave hit. Then some days felt like they would never end...

I've written about all of it, although it took me awhile to write about the depression, as one of the biggest taboos in today's society is being a "bad mother".

So, 6 months later, I can honestly write that I think I'm a "good enough" mother. I'm not perfect. There are still days when, like being stuck in the house for 4 days with no electricity, having to entertain a toddler for 16 hours a day, I thought I would lose it. But things have gotten MUCH better. For those of you suffering from PAD, get on some meds if your Dr. thinks that will help, and hang in there.

Today, Charlie is a precocious, happy child. She still has tantrums, but I walk out of the room (ala Supernanny) and that works almost instantly to quell them. Most of the time she is happy, affectionate, bright, curious, active, loving. She is confidant and will go with her babysitters when I need to leave without fear. She has a nighttime routine which is easy (for both of us) and consistent, whether she's at home or somewhere else. Makes traveling much less stressful. There have been a lot of changes, for the better.

The only "problem" we are still dealing with is biting at her daycare. I truly believe this is due to her having teeth coming out on all four sides of her mouth at once. She is getting better. I brought Ora gel to the school and her teachers give her a cold washcloth several times a day. Since then she has had a few "attempts" but no successful completions of a bite. I'm grateful the school is working with us on this, and there has been no talk of expelling her. Well, they'd lose $700 a month so I suppose they are loath to expel anyone. Not good business practice. But still, I appreciate it.

She is well bonded with me and her grandparents, who visit often. I probably am not the role model for attachment parenting, I do let her cry it out for 10 minutes at a time, but it works for us.

There are moments when she is absolutely the cutest thing on earth. Like when her little lips form to babble her high pitched baby talk, or when she points her chubby forefinger right into my eye and says "AIIIIIIIIII??????" When she points her finger and frowns sternly at the dogs and says "no no nooooooo" when they try and take her cookie. When she tries to rub lotion into her round tummy with her uncoordinated hands and looks up, pleased as punch, to make sure I noticed. When she says "mamamamamamamamaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa" until I look up, and then she asks "moh?" and makes the sign for "more" when eating tangerines.

I get enough sleep, but I am still tired a lot of the time. I'm lucky Charlie is a good sleeper. She has me beat by a few hours per day actually :-) I suppose the fatigue just goes along with single parenthood and all the responsibilities that need to be taken care of. It's endless. I'm on the 3rd load of laundry this weekend. One load a day really. But I knew most of this when signing on so I'm not complaining. In fact, I'm very lucky. Charlie is very easy for the most part. Many times, if she wakes up before me, she plays quietly in her crib until I get up. She has started saying "sank yooo" whenever you hand her something. My family was quite impressed with that ;-) considering she is only 16 months old. (I took all the credit for teaching her that, when really it was her daycare who taught her. Shhh! Don't tell anyone.)

When I think of parenting a special needs child... I just don't know how people handle that. Hats off to them. I couldn't do it without a very involved partner.

So that's where we are 6 months later. I'm not totally over my depression, but then, I don't know if I ever will be. I've had some low grade depression since my teens, so I don't know if that will ever totally lift. Charlie does help me find joy just in watching her.


Calmil2 said...

Happy 6 Months :) So, do you put the Chai Coffee mate in your tea? What tea do you use? I use the Pumpkin Spice one for coffee in the a.m....yummy!!

Chrissy said...

congrats on 6 months!! thanks for sharing! I look forward to reading your blogs :-) and it was nice to see a picture of you!! :-)

LegalMist said...


And kudos to you for recognizing that you are a "good enough" mom!