Monday, August 31, 2009

And not enough beer in the world, either...

Just kidding - I've never been one to use alcohol to cope with stress. Although the ice-cold dark beer I had about 6:00 this evening following Sergeant's 50-minute meltdown sure did hit the spot. She is continuing to have one huge, drag-out, knock-down fit each day. But she hasn't had one at night since Saturday. I decided she needed to sleep in my bed until we get back on track and it seems to be making a difference with the nighttime tantrums. Our older daughters co-slept until they were four-ish, so this is not a new thing for us. I'm perfectly happy to have her sleep with me for the next year, if that's what she needs to do. It is just so, so much easier to cope with the meltdowns when they happen during the day. Unfortunately, she seems to try harder to hurt me when she tantrums during the day - more energy, I guess! But, we've been working through the tantrums and when she's not having one, she's been pretty awesome. She's getting cuddlier by the day. We are working on compliance and on her understanding that she's not the boss, I am. And that I am a good mommy who takes good care of her. She doesn't get to order me around and tell me what to do. I find it incredibly ironic that her blog name is Sergeant and her Sergeant-like tendencies are actually a sign of attachment issues. Even with all the preparation I did and the reading I've continued to do since we arrived home, this kind of blind-sided me. She did so well for the first 2.5 years, that I never expected attachment issues to crop up now. I'm so glad I recognized them before they got any worse. I've seen improvements already in just a few days, so I think we're on the right track. I'm doing a lot of little things to promote a feeling of security. She has a little book she takes to daycare that has a picture of me at work, so she can look and see where I am. There is also a spot to put a picture of whomever will pick her up and a picture of her back at home. The last picture is she and I together and the caption is "Mommy always comes back." She seems to enjoy the book. For the past several days, I've also put the same yummy-smelling lotion on the two of us and told her she can smell her arm at daycare if she misses me. I've been talking a lot, in an off-hand way, about what a good mommy I am and how I'll always take care of her. When she tries to boss me around, I reiterate that I'm a good mommy and that little kids don't have to be in charge. I've also been making more time to snuggle with her and have tried to change my attitude to be more upbeat and playful. When she has a meltdown, I tell myself that it will only last 30-45 minutes and then we'll get on with our day. I know we're just starting this journey, but I believe we are on the right path.

1 comment:

Shirlee McCoy said...

I saw your post on RQ. I'm too new to adoption to have any advice, but my sister went through something similar with her eldest son. He was adopted from Ethiopia when he was two. Both his birth parents had died after his younger brother (also adopted by my sister) was born. Things seemed fine until he began kindergarten last year. He became defiant, started lying and was acting up in school. My sister finally realized that he was upset about going to school when she and his little brother were still at home. Once she got up the courage to talk to him, he admitted that he would lie in bed at night and think about his birth parents.

She took him out of school and began homeschooling, and the behavoirs improved dramatically. He's in public school this year and is doing great. You can skim through her blog to find some posts on this -

I think you're on track doing the co-sleeping and skipping the gym to be with your daughter more.