Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Good morning? Not quite:)

It's easier to post updates on the good days. Days like today - much harder. But probably more important so some other mom out there will no she's not alone when she has a day like it.

Little man slept in his own bed. It took 2 hours to get him to fall asleep and lots of rearranging from his bed to the ergo carrier to the air mattress to running around the room to his bed and back through all the other choices. He ended up falling asleep on me on the air mattress. Once he was asleep, I put him in his bed. He slept there at nap and we had been working on him sleeping there so this was good because he wouldn't be shocked or terrified when he woke up there. I slept on the air mattress next to him so when he woke up - mommy was right there. This seemed to be good cause he didn't wake up in the night and even though he moves around a lot - he didn't climb all over me like usual so mommy got better sleep too. He did wake up an hour earlier though but still - much better than expected.

We were up at 5am. He had a super wet diaper that was so wet it wasn't holding it all in so he basically had a big ole wet spot under him. I threw the sheets in the washer and changed his diaper and clothes and we started the day. He brushed his teeth, took a bath, ate breakfast, we let the dog out and fed her, etc. And then we went for a walk. Or so that was the plan. I keep the stroller in the back of the minivan - it's easier to get it in and out of there with the dog leash and the kiddo than it is to haul it out the front door of the house every time. Plus if we ever go anywhere - it's already in there. We go for a walk with M in the stroller and Auty on the leash literally every single morning. It's not a new thing. But today, Mihretu thought it would be fun and funny to not get in the stroller and instead take off running down the street in the opposite direction. Asking him to come back nicely and be a good boy and listen to mommy did not work. I just heard a loud giggle and he kept on running. I had the dog in hand and the stroller so that was fun. I then switched to the stern "mommy said no - come here right now mister - do you want to go in time out?" voice. More laughter, more running. This time he started up a neighbors driving and into their side yard toward their back yard. Thankfully, I don't think they were home or they would have probably wondered why the crazy neighbor lady was running up their driveway yelling "come here right now" with my dog in tow. Good times. Love starting the morning this way. I finally catch up to him and though we live on a dead end non-busy street, mommy knows that this taking off running business has got to stop because he may not only do it on our quiet street and it is a non-negotiable when it comes to doing things that are dangerous. So I picked up little man and we marched on home. He went in time out and I gave him a lecture about not running off and how dangerous it was and all that good stuff that I know he had no clue what I was actually saying other than he knew my tone of voice was serious and he knew he was in time out. I am praying he does not do that again. Once time out was done and he got the message (hopefully), we proceeded to go on our walk. This time, we went into the stroller at the door just in case he decided to run off again.

Then we went to a friends house mid morning for a playdate. She has a 3 year old and a new baby so we thought it'd be fun for her little man and mine to play. Mihretu didn't want any part of that. He only wanted to get into things that aren't for kids like the curtains and all of my friends sewing stuff and climbing all over the couch and behind it and running off into their kitchen and trying to get into their fridge. When mommy would try to redirect him - he spit at me. When I told him no spit, he started digging at my face with his finger nails and trying to bite me. Good times. Yeah, that was fun. My friend was super great about it and we decided to make it a short visit with hopes that next time he'd be more familiar and in turn more fun to play with. I'm sure he was just uneasy cause it was a new place and he was uncomfortable but gosh, it is really hard to figure out the best way in that setting to try to get him to not bite and hit and dig at me. And it's hard for me not to get frustrated.

Once we got home, more acting out - throwing food, throwing things at the dog, doing the opposite of what he knows he's supposed to do. Gave him a bath and a heads up that nap time was coming soon. The heads up seems to help prepare him. It still took awhile to get him to fall asleep and he did throw quite a few things at me. I've learned to just move away from him in those moments and wait for him to calm down. If I try to pick him up when he's throwing a fit - it just results in biting and scratching. He is able to get himself together pretty quickly and then he comes over to me and reaches up to be held which is good. I picked him up and put on the ergo carrier and rocked him while standing until he fell asleep. Then I laid him down in his bed. He's asleep now and I'm thankful. I know all of the above things are totally normal for any toddler but especially for a child who has been in the country only 3 weeks. I know these things are to be expected but it's still extremely challenging in the moment when we're dealing with them. I don't always keep my cool and remain calm. I'm constantly amazed at how frustrating this is and how easy it is to forget what he's going through when the behavior on the outside just looks like a toddler acting out. My prayer is that God will remind me every moment to see the situation through the lens of adoption and all that I've learned about trauma, attachment, trust based parenting and those things - rather than seeing the behavior as acting out. My friend forwarded me a text someone wrote to encourage her and it said to view the child as a vessel that has to be filled with love - take ourselves out of the equation and focus on filling the love tank. And to also take time to fill our own cup when we have a moment here and there. For me, the moments are few and far between and these nap times are pretty much it right now. I'm thankful for these nap time moments when I can frankly just sit down and cry. I can't do that in front of M - I did once cause I was so overwhelmed and it made him cry and it was heartbreaking. And I can't close myself in another room cause he'll freak out if he can't be with me at all times. It's hard not being able to just have a moment when you feel overwhelmed. But I will take the moments I do have. I cherish them. I need them to refuel and just feel like a normal person again. This is harder than I ever thought it would be. I thought all my babysitting and experience with kids would make it easier. It helps but it doesn't make it any less hard.

I'm praying this afternoon is better. Maybe it was the extra hour we missed of sleep, maybe it was truly a more challenging morning than usually or maybe it just seemed like it. Sometimes our perspective has a lot to do with it. Lord fill me up so I can overflow and fill his love tank up. Fill me with your compassion, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and love. 


  1. Autumn - I check in on your blog as a woman who will adopt one day - and most likely be single at that time! I really value that you share the good and bad experiences as a single mother as you so often find all the good stuff out there and not the times that are really difficult.

    Praying for you.

  2. you've both been on my mind lately. i hope things continue to settle down, and you both find a way of settling in.

    i, too, appreciate all you've shared here. the good, the bad, the in between. real life.


LOVE our Ethiopian family

We just returned from Ethiopia and oh boy - my heart is completely wrecked. Mihretu and I traveled on our own last March (2018) over his ...