Tuesday, August 24, 2010

More Progress and Tidbits

Many apologies for the lack of blog updates-there have been some crazy long lapses in Internet connectivity and I am in the process of trying to remedy the situation!  In the meantime I figured some updates on the boys were past due.  I finally feel like I have a handle on things-we are beginning to branch out a bit from the 'basics' we were sticking to for the first couple of months. I will admit to having difficulties in trying to balance parenting and time for myself and at times feel somewhat lost, but these boys are amazing and there is no substitution for spending time with my family.

Yes Daddy O, it is 5 am.

Baby O is pretty shy now around other people and much prefers the company of Mommy, Daddy, and his beloved brother, Boy O (or 'Bubba' as he now calls him).  No worries about whether he knows who we are-he now calls us Ma Ma and Da Da. 

Boy O loved the book Green Eggs and Ham so much that I made him some one morning.  Regular colored eggs are a rare beast in this house nowadays-we have tried red, blue, yellow, orange and purple.  Somehow eggs just taste better when they are a different color.  Purple is my favorite.

Baby O can actually reach the door knob.  I don't know what I'm going to do when he starts walking without the help of the furniture.

Boy O is enamored with all things spiderman.  New questions emerge everyday about Peter Parker-here are a few that give me the giggles:  Is spiderman 8 years old?...Why doesn't he fly?...Does he eat carrots?...Does he like ice cream?...Does he have a motorcycle?...A car?...Does he live in a tree?...Is he friends with Santa Claus?

Baby O wants to do everything his big brother does, eat what he eats and go everywhere he goes.  He even asks for his 'Bubba' when he gets up in the morning.

Before Daddy O goes to work every morning he takes Boy O around the block in the front seat of the car.  Sometimes he gets so excited that he has his shoes and jacket on before we are out of bed.

Not only can Baby O identify all of us, but he can say ball, balloon, and bottle on a regular basis.  There seems to be something about the 'b' words that roll off the tongue.  He also loves to clap and just learned to blow kisses.  I turn into mush whenever he does it (Actually, I turn to mush whenever he does anything-it's all cute).

How does a four year old go through 4 pairs of shoes in three months?  He really does wear the soles down.  I'm training for a marathon and my shoes don't wear that fast.  We've tried the cheap and expensive and have discovered there really isn't a difference.

A few phrases I never thought would come out of my mouth:  Don't lick the table....How many times did he poop today?....where did you get that gum?....why is the door knob sticky?....Aim for the toilet next time, please....your spiderman underwear is in the wash, Buzz Lightyear will just have to do.   And yes, I can hardly believe it myself, but I have actually uttered "Because I said so" one time too many.

I can hardly believe that Boy O ever had training wheels.  For lack of a better term (do they still call it this?), he's popping wheelies, jumping off curbs among other things and his bicycle looks like he's had it for at least 20 years.  He loves to ride that bike.  He also loves to adorn it with various feathers and sticks we find on our runs-boy glitter, I guess!

Three months really has gone by in a flash and it won't be long before I am writing about six months home.  I am amazed that the boys have transitioned so smoothly in such a short period and the kinks I stressed so much about early on are working themselves out.  I'm sure that speed bumps and road blocks will pop up every once in awhile, but I'm just not as worried about them anymore.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Too Much Love

For the past six weeks or so, I have been writing fast and furious in my journal every evening.  I have written several posts and am thankful I chose not to click on the publish icon.  Something about the tone was just negative and angry.  Certain situations were beginning to seep and fester right down to my core.  Adopting transracially, I anticipated intrusive and possibly rude comments from people concerning our family, but could not foresee or understand how awkward I would feel in trying to find a graceful response in order to make a quick exit.

More often than not, my sons are present and putting me on the spot (especially in their company) leaves me incredibly flustered.  My older son can understand enough of the language to know what's going on and both can see that it makes me uncomfortable.  I am struggling to overcome the anger I feel at a complete stranger approaching me and asking personal questions concerning race and/or adoption. I do feel the need to be polite and teach my sons that anger is not a useful tool in dealing with these folks, but interestingly, it is my initial emotional response when boundaries are crossed.  I am learning with each new question and comment (you would not believe some of them if I told you) what responses work best and am also discovering that telling people a question is inappropriate and highly personal can be an educational moment for them, myself, and my sons at the same time.

Not only am I perplexed when searching for responses when dealing with adults, I have found answering questions from children to be equally as difficult.  These types of questions don't make me angry, but I just can't seem to find an answer that is satisfactory for young, inquisitive minds.  In responding to adults and children alike, Daddy O has demonstrated tremendous reserve, grace, and creativity-I continue to observe each day and hope that I can follow in his footsteps at some point.  One scenario that kept repeatedly confounding me last week was a little boy who would stop in front of our house on his bicycle as Baby O and I would play on the front lawn.  He would stop and stare at us for a few seconds, furrow up his brow, and say "Why do you have that baby?".  I would usually respond with something along the lines of "Because I love him.".  This of course was completely inadequate for his 5 year old mind and his next question would be "But why do you have THAT baby?".  My next response: "Because I do, I guess.".  Still unsatisfactory, but he would take off down the block and be back the next day with the same line of questioning.  This went on for about four days until Daddy O was present for the question.  I knew it was coming and was cringing at what might come out of Daddy O's mouth (I know, I know, where is the faith, Mommy O?).  Here is how the conversation went:

Boy on bike:  "Why do you have THAT baby?"

Daddy O (without hesitation): "Well, we just had too much love in our house and needed to spread it around."

Boy on bike: "What do you mean?"

Daddy O: "Well, our whole house was filled with boxes and buckets of love-so much so that it started to spill over into the garage and we had no room to park our cars.  Love was everywhere and we were running out of buckets and boxes, so we needed a family to soak up some of the love.  That's why we have THIS baby."

Boy on bike (eyes wide, looking at all the boxes and buckets in our garage): "Oh.  Okay."

He hasn't asked the question since.

Being witness to this short conversation completely washed all the anger right out of me. I will never be able to control or predict when and where questions/comments are going to present themselves, but what my husband taught me in that moment was to take a deep breath, don't hesitate, have courage and be honest in the moment-if it takes a bit of creativity and humor-even better.

Please let me clarify that my definition of honesty in this case is being honest with myself-this doesn't mean that I need to feel any obligation to respond or answer.

I love THIS baby.