Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Happy "Gotchya" DAY!

It's been two years! Wow what a Journey. I am listening to Daddy and Zaleeya in the bath as she negotiates her way through the nighttime process... what a smart kid!

What a difference 2 years makes, and in this case what a difference 2 MONTHS make! At the end of August, before we headed off on our first vacation without Zaleeya , I was ready to quit my job as mommy. I was so frustrated! Zaleeya's tantrums were terrible, her rebillion at it's highest, her constant demands unreasonable and we struggled to get through the days. I was ready for a vacation...

On our trip we did some serious soul searching. What was wrong? Why was she still seeming to struggle so much? Before we left town she would still INSIST I carry her down the stairs, demand a whole lot of my attention doing simples things, and throw tantrums when she didn't get her way. Why was she suddenly screaming herself to sleep after the normal nighttime routine? Some of it was normal 3 year old stuff, other stuff just didn't seem right.

So I came home in the beginning of September with a fresh perspective and a new attitude. My sense was that we were parenting her with too much discipline and rules. This was a child who lost the first year of her life with her parents. Sure she needed discipline, but she also needed more love. And we decided we were going to give it to her in spades.

We changed the nighttime routine and let her have more control. We went back in to her room after lights out when she wanted more "tissues" or more time "holding my hand". I didn't give in to every one of her whims, but when she started to tanrum I held her until she decided to stop (against the advice of our parenting doctor who wanted us to put he down and let her work it out- she NEVER worked it out!).

I put my pateince hat on every morning. I apologized to her when I lost my cool. I explained things in a normal voice and expected her to understand concepts she didn't quite get.

I discovered that through all this chaos of the last few years, I forgot how much I needed to work on MY attachment to her, and how loving her unconditionally was the only way to make this happen.

And it worked. Six weeks later we have a child that is more confident, wants to be independent, hasn't thrown a tantrum in days, falls asleep on her own without screaming, and this morning said to us "You're lucky, because I Love You".

It may have taken two years, but we are finally here. The transition is over. She is OURS fully and completely, and we look forward to the next 2, 4, 8, 16 and 32 years!

PS. Aurora (aka Sleeping Beauty), Pink and the number 7 still rule our house! Sigh...
PPS. I'll do a post with some fun pictures on another day...