My little one swings about with his emotions and behaviors. I remember with my older son went through these times when he was unruly and slept poorly and then a week or so later he would burst forth with a new skill or more words in his sentences. It was then I knew how hard a little brain works, perhaps practicing how to make sentences, and how it all at once stimulates and exhausts a little person. When I think of Andu and count off the months he has in our home, fifteen, I can't help but notice how much heavier his load is than a child who is born into a family and is with them from birth. While he is plotting about how to make sentences and let others know his mind through his voice, he is also learning trust and attachment and love. This is a challenge for anyone of any age. Little kids are so vulnerable. They literally have no choice but to depend on others.
Last week was difficult. Lots of foghorn-crying, acting out, hitting, and rascally attention-seeking behavior. I would look on in amazement at the child who had come so far act not at all like himself, pushing me away. The saddest thing happened, too. I was holding him, his face to mine, struggling to get some article of clothing on, and he slapped me hard, really hard, on the face. It was so hard that I was shocked into silence and must have been wide-eyed when our eyes met. He hadn't really been mad at me, but that hitting had become so much a part of his behavior, that he just did it. He hadn't even been looking at me when it happened. But, he knew its effect, I could see that in his eyes. He looked terribly sad, almost in tears. His eyes were pleading. And I said, there's no hitting, followed quickly by, you're okay.
Now the past few days he is so little suddenly. All that brashness, that behavior that invites you to be annoyed and withholding of praise, is gone. In place of the hellcat is a baby, so little. He is a shadow, never more than a few feet from me. He is cuddly and insists on holding hands. He just gets so "little."
I don't know the secret to parenting. I don't know what to do so much of the time. So I just stay present. The days are long, but the years are short. Have to just stick with the little ones, be present, stick close.
Posted by Christine @Mother Paradox