SugarHouse Mama

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My Mantra Yesterday: I Love My Child, I Love My Child, I Love My Child

There are no words for yesterday. Or even the last few days in general.

I can't bear to go into detail, so I will be forced to paint large strokes for you and you will need to use your imaginations. Ok, medium strokes. Large strokes aren't that much fun. You need a little detail.

Adjoa was mad because I told her 4 pancakes was too many and she would be sick {I need to post about the food issues we have been experiencing as well}. I caved a little, and cut one in half so she ate 3 1/2 pancakes. I had two. Robert ate three. Really, she should have been full. But she was mad. She ate the half pancake and wanted more. I explained again that she would be sick if she ate more. She started licking her plate.

I asked her to stop and explained that it's bad manners and "gross" to lick your plate like that. I took the plate away and set it down. She glared at me. Pick up the plate. And started licking again.

Adjoa, I asked you not to do that.

I took the plate away again and set it down. She glared. She picked it up. She licked it.

Adjoa! I said no.

So I took the plate away and put it in the dishwasher. I turn around and she is glaring at me, licking her knife and fork. I take them away and put them in the dishwasher. I turn around and she is glaring at me, licking her cup.

Robert is aghast. This is pretty much the first time he witnessed her deliberately disobeying me.


It was time to take out Adjoa's hair and re-do it. The day before, I really talked it up. Told her we could watch princess movies and she would get beads and braids and all that jazz. She was excited.

I put her in the tub {much easier to take out the old 'do when the hair is wet}. She starts with being silly. Then it morphs into obnoxious. And suddenly, I have this child who refuses to cooperate with me. I warn her that she won't get to play in her bubble bath while I take out her hair if she keeps it up. She keeps it up.

I drain the tub. She stops the drain.

I ask her to get out of the tub. She lays down.

I had my fill. I pick her up, sopping wet, and carry her to her room. I was holding her away from me because I didn't want to get wet. She started fighting me. She was so slippery. I dropped her. I felt terrible. She was mad at me. She began again with her fit-throwing.

I left the room and told her I would come back when she was ready for me to do her hair. I few minutes later I hear her in the bathroom. I walk in and she has this totally guilty look on her face. I figure it's because I caught her out of her room. I pick her up and carry her back to her room and begin taking her hair out. She had cut off two of her little ponies clear down to the elastic!!!

I was horrified! 9 months of growing her hair out wasted! The hair is like 1/4 inch long! The section is 1 inch wide, and 2 inches long. I wanted to cry. I was beyond words. She had school pictures the next day.

I think we are going to have to basically shave her head. 9 months! No more cute beads. No more braids. We are back to headbands. I am distraught.


More fits, crying, fighting me while I try to do her hair. She refuses to talk to me. She just suddenly starts crying and stomping around. 20 minutes of tantrums.

I called Robert and asked him to come home early from work.


I Love My Child. I Love My Child. I Love My Child.

When are those scholastic books going to get here????



Ahhhhhh thoughts and prayers are with you as you go through the terrible twos and threes and the ferocious fours. The fives get easier.:) HANG IN THERE!

timid said...

And to think... you could have avoided the entire bit of drama if you would have only given her a small bit of control over something as minor as letting her decide how much food she can eat before she feels full. For the price of one half of a pancake (and swallowing a bit of your pride), you could have appeased her and put the matter behind you quickly. Please do not get offended, but the way you relay the story makes it sound like you are micromanaging her life and she is (understandably) rebelling to protect her own interests.


--uncle rus.

Kara Busath said...

I smiled as I read this because my youngest daughter Maren played beauty shop twice and cut big chunks out of her hair. Now you just have to wait for her to run down the street in nothing but cowboy boots or paint the entire dining table with water colors. Three is a great age!

Jen said...

I look forward to hearing about your food issues, I know that a few of us who adopted toddlers have been discussing food issues on Facebook lately.

It took Selina months to get more comfortable and to get a more typical relationship with food. Now she is like my others, sometimes she won't eat anything and other times she eats more than her father.

The hair can be tricky, I can't do Selina's unless she is a willing participant, period. She is too strong and stubborn. I can comb it but as far as doing a style, if she is not into it, it would be miserable for me. It has taken us 18 months but for the first time I did it a few weeks ago in braids while she was awake. About 22 hours of braiding over five days... We actually had a good time... that was a long time coming though.

What a bummer she cut it. Do you have a Naartjie by you? They have super cute headbands and clothes.

Hang in there, we all have been there...

FullPlateMom said...

Jessica, Uncle Rus up there is kidding, right? I can't tell, so I'm just going to assume he's one of those family members that likes to joke. Right? I hope so.

Because, I have a daughter who was raised in the same environment as Adjoa. In fact, they are almost the same age. If I "give her control" over a choice, then she wants to make the next choice, and the next choice. Before I know it, I've lost all my control in an attempt to give her "some". Juliana never had any control before. She was told to do it, and if she didn't, she was "beaten". So, if I give her an inch, she takes a mile, just to "see" what else she can get. When you have a child who didn't start out with you, and is still learning what to expect, they love it when you micromanage. They just can't tell you they love it, so any change sets them off. School is a change. She's just testing how long you'll stick with her, Jessica. I know you knew that, and now everyone else does too. It's an attachment thing.

Kara's right, three is a great age. They're just as naughty as they were at two, now they're just more verbal.

I'm right with ya sista!

Anonymous said...

Don't listen to rus. We have had many days just like that and have Olivia's super short bangs as proof (cut 2 days before her birthday by her sister). Plus there is always more history to the struggle than a few words can express. We all have days like that and have to say the same things you say, "I love my child. I love my child. I love my child."

kristy said...

one more thing...her throwing tantrums and being disobedient also shows that she feels safe with you enough to show you her not so good side. Take it as a compliment that you are safe. She trusts you won't get rid of her--but she will test you just the same.

moliver said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MommyBrec said...

Okay, I am a NEW MOM, and so I am saying this hoping someone will either say, "Yeah, that's great!" or "that girl doesn't know what she is saying"! LOL! Taiger went through this SAME thing and I started a "bean" store. He started with, like, 5 beans. When he was naughty (I told him before hand what "naughty" was--tantruming, not minding, being mean, giving mean looks, etc.) he would lose a bean. When he was really good and minded, he gained a bean. The beans bought him prizes. They cost enough beans to keep him working, but not so many they became something unattainable and he gave up. This bean store WORKED WONDERS! After only a few weeks my COMPLETE MONSTER had turned back into my sweet little boy, and, amazingly, the bean store sort of went away. (So I am not still buying "prizes" and giving him tons of gifts!) He only earned, like, three things (and they were things he needed anyway, HA HA!), but it only took that long. I realized what it did was EMPOWER him to CHOOSE if he wanted to be "good" or if he wanted to be naughty. He had the freedom to choose, but he would have a consequence either way...good earned a bean, naughty lost one. I gave Taiger a special container for his beans and we counted them often. They were something special that got him things he wanted, that he could control and cary around, etc. I LOVED them because they were an easy punnishment! :) No fights, no trying not to yell...just "Stop tantruming...Stop or you will lose a bean...Okay, go give Mommy a bean." The end!

Anyway, whatever you find that works, GOOD LUCK! :D

MommyBrec said...

HA HA! Okay, so you are a step ahead of me! :D I just read your previous post...stickers, beans, it all the same! GO YOU! It is a good idea! I let Taiger see what he was working for and told him how many beans it would take to earn it. We counted them often and talked about how many he still needed. When he was about to make a bad choice, I reminded him he would not get his "blank" as soon.

If they are stories she LOVES, then that is a good incentive for a longer time, I think. If she likes them but could do without them, too, then maybe throw in something little before the BIG prize of the book! Just a thought.

Again, good luck! :D :D

Lois said...

Oh I have to agree with Uncle Rus. NOT! Obviously doesn't know Adjoa, her past or present. She is the most independent child I know. And you micromanage? lol

Some good advice above. May I just add that I would take a 3 year old over a 17 year old, this is good practice : ) You are great with her!

Shannon Watson said...

Oh, yeah. Welcome to That Age. See, you don't even have to specify a number - you just say to people, "Yep, she's That Age." Rachel has been putting me through the roof with wanting to control everything (seriously, there is a list of at least 20 things that if anyone even attempts to do for her, she will howl and shriek and hit and curse - her favorite curse is "You girl woman, woman girl! I don't speak English!" Don't ask where she got that because I don't know.). Deep breaths. :)

When Marli was 2, she FINALLY had -some- hair (hers didn't grow very fast). And her brother promptly acquiesced to her request for a haircut. Took her down to the scalp with my sewing scissors in 5 different places. We had to shave it off. People mistook her for a boy for over a year. Fun times. :D


Cheryl said...

Ha! Sounds like my little Naomi - who is 4! You can give some choices, but adopted children are not the same as bio children! We have three bio children and three adopted children and nothing is the same. The WORST thing I can do is give them choices - they don't know what to do with that yet. They feel safer if I just decide for them. I also know many families with adopted children who don't know when to stop eating. We don't have this problem with any of ours, but I have close friends who do. They know what it's like to be hungry and they will eat until they are sick because they don't know any better. You are doing all of the right things! Keep up your mantra! :)

Steve and Narda said...

Now times Adjoa by 2 and you have my twins!! They cut each others' hair all the time. You know, the nice thing about African hair is that it really isn't all that noticeable. You can style it in ways that it doesn't show too much. I have never shaved them after one of their "haircuts" and it has worked out fine...and they have had some pretty bad and short haircuts. :) Hang in there. You're a good mommy!!!

Anonymous said...

Sorry you're having trouble, but I want to assure you, this may not all be "adoption problems" as so many people like to call it. Kids are kids. I have to agree a little with Uncle Rus...yes, everyone can hate me too. Kids don't typically eat themselves into sickness with healthy foods, not candy-and only some adopted kids do. Many children can go through growth spurts and be ravenously hungry. My healthy 2 y.o. often eats more than I do, and sometimes doesn't eat much at all. He doesn't have eating problems, he's just a's what they do. Some options are appropriate at this age, not letting her run the house; but would you like a, or b? Small, semi-controlled options, kids need to learn decision making. The hair sucks, how did she get scissors though? It gets easier, you seem to try really hard and that is the most important part. Good luck!

Awo said...

Hi, Jessica. We also have food issues with Abena. I too thought that she would have gotten past the worry about being hungry by now, but she hasn't. It has caused other problems, like she'll hit her brother and take his food, and she'll beg food from strangers if she sees them eating. And she will SCREAM if you take her empty plate away while others are still eating. You are not alone in this. Jennine and Ginny really helped me through a difficult time when I thought I was going to lose my mind about this issue. maybe I'll post on the yahoo group so we can see what others have experienced and maybe get some feedback. Wish I had more advice to offer, but I just wanted to say hang in there - you're not the only one going through this.