This is hard, period. I knew it would be. But, all in all, its harder than I thought it would be, on many different levels. My hat is off to all those moms out there who make motherhood seem so easy and effortless.
We have had a tough 2 days to begin the week. Nick is generally pretty happy in the mornings and his most unhappy time is after nap two, prior to dinner. Yesterday, he was fussy most of the day. I have come up with five things I think could be contributing to the fussiness (1) he is teething (2) his diet has changed tremendously and he's still getting used to it (3) he doesn't understand why dad comes and goes (4) he's still adjusting to the time change, and (5) this is regular toddler behavior. If I ever figure out what is going on, I'll definitely post it.
Now that we're home and getting to know each other better, there are some interesting things we've noticed about Nick.
Sleeping: No matter what time he goes to bed, he wakes up at 4am. Actual bedtime doesn't seem to have any impact on the 4am wakeup. Sometimes he'll fall back asleep on his own and wake later around 6am, other times he will cry and that usually leads to an hour of rocking before he'll go back to sleep. We have no idea why 4am, this doesn't coincide with a significant time in Russia in terms of his sleep. Hopefully this won't continue for much longer.
Eating: So far Nick will eat anything we put in front of him. We are very happy about this and hope the good apetite sticks around. I sometimes worry that we are feeding him too much. He almost always wants more of whatever he's eating, even after having a nice big portion. For now I'm going on the assumption that we can't over feed him and he'll stop when he's full, and I'm thankful that we don't have a non-eater.
Drinking: I'm not sure what to do about this one. Nick will chug the entire contents of his sippy cup whenever he gets it. So, if its snack time and I give him his water/juice he'll chug it till its gone, then he'll want more. The only time he won't chug it is if the water/juice ratio isn't to his liking, then he'll throw the sippy cup. I have tried to keep it out (and filled) to show him he can have it at any time, the problem is that he chugs it every time. Its like he's got a hole in his leg. If anyone has advice on this one I would greatly appreciate it.
Pooping: Hates it, hates it, hates it. For whatever reason, he often poops during meals. Maybe there is a biological reason for this, not sure. Anyway, he gets so upset, thrashes around and throws a fit. We try to be supportive to let him know its ok. Its so traumatic for him. It really makes me wonder what they did to him at the baby home. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing but the highest respect for the caregivers, but between the pooping and the diaper changing I am at a loss.
Diapering: Hates it, hates it, hates it. As I have found through some rudimentary research, the diaper hatred is very common among PI (Post Institutionalized) children. Its such a struggle sometimes, and even harder if poop is involved. I am not skilled enough to change him standing up, which apparently has worked for some. Special toys work about 50% of the time. My latest thing is to sing to him when I'm changing his diaper or clothing. This has shown some promising results.
Music: Loves music, loves dancing, especially his jazz hands, which come out when the spirit (or the Wiggles) moves him. He is so funny to watch. He is getting more bold with swaying, turning circles, and even clapping sometimes.
Aside from learning about Nick, I'm also learning some things about myself. For one thing what its like to go from one day being a career oriented woman to the next day being a mom. I feel like an imposter mom, totally clueless and inadequate. Its really strange. I didn't feel like this in Russia at all, but these feelings have cropped up since we've been home.
For example, when strolling Nick through the neighborhood the other day, I felt so self-conscious. Like, it must be obvious that I don't know what I'm doing (should the sunshade be down, is my child strapped in tight enough, etc.) and that I might as well have a label on my forehead that says "adoptive mom". Isn't that messed up? Its very similar to the way I felt back when I got divorced (in the early 90's). I felt like it must be obvious that I was divorced and damaged in some way.
I find myself worrying about the most ridiculous things like, do I need one of those shopping cart covers, will people think I'm a bad mom if I just plop him in the cart, do I have the right stroller for the right purpose, is it adjusted properly, is my child dressed appropriately for the weather, and the list goes on and on.
So, I'm worried that I'm going to be compelled to start every new introduction with declaring that Nick has just come home with us from Russia. I don't, don't, don't want this to be the case. I don't want him to be the "adopted" kid with the neurotic mom. I hope I can get past these feelings and onto more productive thoughts. I just wondered if anyone else out there has felt like this?
I'm going to wrap it up for today because Nick should be waking up soon from his nap. I'll close with some recent pictures!
4 years ago