Sneezy, wheezy, snotty and restless... along with hyper, sassy and anxious are the new names of the seven dwarves that are living at my house. Lance and I are both sick with vicious colds that are amazingly drug resistant. Honestly, I've never had a cold that laughed at the OTC meds I've thrown at it. At least we should be over the worst of it when we fly out on Saturday... I hope!
Jackson is slowly melting down, he's getting more and more anxious about us leaving. He's not eating well, and keeps telling me that his tummy hurts. We've learned over the years that hurting tummy means anxiety, you know how you get an nervous knot in your stomach? It doesn't take much to tip Jack over the edge on a good day, he's an anxious little guy at baseline. We've had non-stop chatter, constant hyper-activity, poor eating, self-injury and my favorite, acting out with body fluids.
I've debated whether or not to write about this, but it might help other adoptive parents after they bring their kids home. Jack potty trained quickly and easily at a little over 2 1/2 years old. He's had the odd accident or two, mostly related to being stuck somewhere he didn't have access to a potty. One day last summer, I went into the bathroom and there was urine EVERYWHERE. It looked like he'd just hosed the place down. I asked him about it, then had him help me clean it up. I didn't know what to make of it.
Then it happened again... and this time I was aware of some ongoing stress in the household. I was getting ready to have some surgery, we had out of town guests coming and we were in the middle of completing our homestudy. This time I asked Jackson if he was feeling mad... "No", sad... "No", scared... "Yes!" accompanied by heartfelt sobbing. We talked through it and he was able to tell me what he was scared of (Mommy not coming home again) and how he could always tell us how he was feeling, etc. etc. We discussed the fact that going pee-pee on everything was not an appropriate way to behave, even if he was upset. Again, he helped me clean up the bathroom... no recriminations, no yelling.
Sunday morning I go into the downstairs bathroom and once again there is urine everywhere, the floor, the baseboards, all over the toilet. You can call me a lot of things, but a slow learner isn't one of them. We talked about how he was feeling... obviously he's upset about our upcoming trip. But here's the thing he said that broke my heart... he said he's afraid we're going to bring baby brother home, like him more, then take him (Jackson) back to Russia and leave him there. I reassured him that a family is forever, that includes him AND baby brother, no one is getting returned to Russia no matter what. Once more I have him help clean up the bathroom in a very matter of fact way.
The last two days have been filled with all kinds of hitting, himself mostly, with toys and objects and his own hands. I really don't know what to do with this behavior. I just keep taking his hands, or whatever he's hitting himself with and saying "Nobody hurts my baby, and that includes you." It's like he has this pile of unused energy and he's gotta use it or explode. He's given daily opportunities to burn it off, but it's never enough. He literally CANNOT be still for more than three or four seconds. It's like this continuous gyration and flailing... it's enough to drive me to drink! All the normal things we do to help him feel better aren't working, rocking, holding time, quiet time... none of it helps. I'm really at a loss.
If there's anyone out there that has kids home and has experienced this sort of behavior, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. There may not be anything else to do except get the trip over with. I sure would love some input on this...
Christmas Letter 2017
4 weeks ago