My son was held by his birth mother once the day after he was born. She was about to leave the hospital and she came into the nursery to say good bye to him. I stepped out and gave her privacy. That was the longest 45 minutes of my life. I convinced myself in the lobby that she was changing her mind about the adoption. The social worker eventually came to get me announcing that she wanted us to leave first to avoid the risk of seeing us outside. I never saw her again after she entered the room to hold him that last time.
I mention that back story to help put the rest of my post in perspective. I freely talk to my son about how he grew in her belly and that she chose me to be his mother. He is full of questions about her. He calls her by name saying, "That was when I was in _____ belly." (FYI I will never use her name in my blog to protect her privacy.) He talks about her like he knows and remembers her. (He did listen to her for months through the womb. He also looks just like her.)
My son is 3 on the edge of 4 years of age. His imagination is in full swing. He tells me fascinating stories all of the time. Sometimes my car is surrounded by fire and we have to summon the Rescue Bots and Ninja Turtles to save us. Other times the Power Rangers want to live in our house, eat our food and sleep in our beds. Lately, he has been working in his birth mother into the stories. She is not a super hero, but a point of reference. For example, "When I was in her belly, I did these things." "I worked at Krispy Kreme a long time ago when I was in her belly."
This recent addition may be normal adoptive kid behavior. I don't know. I am not correcting him or asking him to change the story unless he speaks negatively about her like "she gave me up". Nope, I never stand for that. He doesn't realize at this age that her choice of adoption is a sign of love not giving up.
They call it a "phase" that will end at some point. I call it exhausting. My son is now acting out out of the blue both at home and at preschool.
I am trying my best to stay consistent and follow through on consequences, but I am tired. I am tired of every morning being a fight to get the wee one out of bed and out the door. This morning, he stared at his toothbrush with toothpaste sitting on top for 10 minutes in complete defiance. The more I asked him to brush, the more he smiled. The boy took me to the edge of crazy town.
My co-workers told me that they heard my stomping feet coming down the hallway at work. They knew before seeing my face that I was in a state. It took me two hours to shake my mommy rage.
If you are reading this and you don't have children, let me explain something before you suggest strategies. You cannot make another human being do something that s/he does not want to do. You can't force someone to wear clothes, chew food or stand up. You can't. Instead, you have to convince the little darling that it's something that they want to do.
I did something today that I hate doing, but I am only human. I screamed. I was completely frustrated and I screamed. It scares my son and it makes me feel like complete dirt. Once I was done, I looked into the face of my son and said, "This isn't working. Our family is not working. Why isn't it working?" Then, he collapsed in tears crying, "I want our family to work" then refused to take his medicine. It's like you see a glimmer of sanity in flashes and then it's nutty again.
I am not a bad mother. I am like everyone else. At times, everything runs smoothly. Other days, you struggle just to get out the door with everyone's shoes on their feet. You need the bad days to put the good ones in perspective. Eventually this phase will end and a new one will take its place. I just hope I can stay sane in the process.