Before and After
Anyway, here are two more conversations I want to record - they may not be as wonderfully handled as the last ones, but they are part of the ongoing picture of our family life and BJ's developing sense of self as it relate to adoption.
Last week - BJ and I are sitting on the couch with one of those lap desks in front of us. She is really mad at me because I am making her do her homework (I am such a mean mom). She has a lot of math. I help her by talking her through the first few problems then tell her to do the next couple. Won't let her have the TV, won't let her play with the dog,etc while doing her work. She is becoming increasingly frustrated as I intercept her stalling techniques. She really really doesn't want to do this homework due the next day - she is worried about approaching bed time and missing out on tv.
She says: I don't like you; I never wanted you to be my mom. She is shouting and angry, I believe she is angry about the homework right now. I say - people don't get to pick their parents. I didn't pick grandma. She says before I can say even though I am not adopted - but you were born to grandma. I don't want you, I just want L.
Amazingly this actually didn't hurt, I knew she was mad because she was trying really hard not to do homework and I was being fairly successful at taking away every excuse not to do it.
I didn't say anything and she calmed down and did her homework. She finished, had 15 min of TV before bed. As we walked upstairs she started singing, I love you mommy, My mommy is the best.
I said in my teasing voice - sure you love me as long as I am not making you do your math! She laughed and gave me a sheepish grin.
A few minutes ago, BJ was doing cartwheels across the living room. She layed down a blanket on the floor to do them on, the dog ran over and sat down in the middle. She screeched in a whiny voice - get off. The dog did not move. BJ kicked at the dog. I said - "Time Out!! - get on the couch - now!" She has been told before we don't kick the dog. She knew immediately - and started whining - I know I shouldn't but I wanted. I said "Stop" I started to tell her that the blanket on the floor.. she started yelling - I just want to be a normal kid. I don't want to be adopted. A's not adopted. I don't want to be adopted. I just want L right now.
I said - what does not kicking the dog and doing cartwheels on a blanket have to do with adoption?
She started whining again the dog wouldn't get off the blanket. I said please stop whining. She sat on the couch. THen she said can I get up? I said - are you ready to listen to me? She said yes.
I said it is OK to say however you are feeling. It is OK to say that you don't want to be adopted and that you want L. It is not OK to shout at me that you hate being adopted just because you are mad at me and want to get me off what we are talking about.
She said OK. Now she is doing cartwheels again and watching full house reruns. Jesse and Becky are getting married. She turns around and says, whats the thing after you get married? I say the reception? no, the honeymoon? Yes - do you have to go to that? I said,no but a honeymoon is just a nice vacation. Did you and Daddy? I said Daddy had to be at work on Monday so we stayed in a hotel in Lake Tahoe. BJ - Have I been there? - Me - Its up by grandma's - Oh! I am going to ask if I can go there.