Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Ups and the Downs

Elijah has been with us for one month now.   I know the phrase " meant to be" is tossed around a lot, but it is what comes to mind when I think of my newest boy.  Not only was our meeting and adoption match so amazing but Elijah fits in here so well and the adjustment has been relatively smooth.

Ellie and Elijah have a particularly sweet relationship.  She really idolizes him.  And he is so sweet in return.

My definition of "smooth" might not be someone else's.  I was preparing myself for the worst.  I expected complete rejection, acting out, frustration etc.  So, while things are not perfect and a Elijah does not act like a typical 7 year-old, I am so pleased with where he is.  

We have our ups and downs.  Sometimes the biggests "downs" and the sweetest "ups" occur in the same day. 

Our attempt at an almost-family picture.

Elijah is learning both spoken and unspoken rules that our family and culture has.  Rules that our kids, here since birth or as babies, just know.  Things like, don't yell inside, especially around Daddy.  Don't touch other people's food on the conveyor belt at the grocery store.  Don't pour water on your siblings' heads in the bath.  And don't, ever, knock down anything Nicholas has built, be it out of snow, blocks, Lincoln Logs, or anything.  Seriously, you'll be sorry.

Setting boundaries continues to be an issue, of course.  Elijah really doesn't like it when I say no or limit the number of TV shows he watches etc.  He usually doesn't really behave terribly, just little acts of defiance, such as dumping a basket of toys or running in the opposite direction of where I've asked him to go.  Once, he even ran and grabbed scissors from a kitchen drawer and cut his hair! That has been his worst misbehior to date.  But I think he regrets it, as I have caught him checking himself out in the mirror and (I imagine) noticing how funny he looks with a chunk of hair missing.

One day he simply would not talk to me because I had said no to tv.  He wanted to be alone and looked very sad.  When I got down on my knees and tried to talk to him and look in his eyes, he obviously got very uncomfortable, like he was about to cry but did not want to, and yelled at me to go away.  That is hard for me, but, I am sure, much harder for him.  

But, that night, Elijah surprised me with kisses!  He has watched me and Ellie do our evening routine of 10 kisses and 10 hus before bed every night.  That night, after cutting his hair and pushing me away all day, he kissed me over and over again, giggling and hugging me.  It was so nice, and made me think that maybe enforcing the safe boundaries, while hard, is a good thing.  As you all know, a kid feels safer when he or she is not in charge, when a parent cares enough to set reasonable limits.  I hope that these, along with my demonstrations of love, are making him feel safe and secure here.

6 children is definitely more than 5, in terms of housework.  I feel like I am constantly making meals and snacks, and continually cleaning up the house and doing laundry.  Not to mention kissing boo-boos and getting kids dressed in snow pants, jackets, gloves, hats, and scarves to go play in the snow.  I am finding that household routines are more important than ever.  I am not naturally good at following plans.  I'd rather fly by the seat of my pants, but that isn't working any longer, if I ever plan on sleeping.  But, I am glad to find that I am not sinking into the doldrums, but feeling pretty happy.  I am not sure why this is, other than the fact that I am living my dream-- 6 kids and I get to stay home with them.  To me, this is awesome.  I know, not for everybody, but it makes me very happy.  I have no qualms about turning 40 this year, and I think a lot of it's to do win the fact that I am happy wih where I am in life.  So thankful. 

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