Thursday, November 15, 2007
So much for the takeover.
Very cute little fellow he is! Hmm, we played a bit, ate not much, considered using the potty seat but realized we don't have one with the little shield on it and my goodness doesn't that stream point awfully high, had a bath and cried some about not playing with toys at bedtime, cried some more about bedtime itself, read stories for about 15 minutes and cried a bit more, lullabyed after lights-out for about 25 more minutes and finally went to sleep. And that was only 7:40! Pretty darn good for a first night I'd say. It's so hard to fathom how confusing and sad this all is for a toddler, and so impossible to explain, too, so you have to connect on a very universal, viceral level. Connect right away by chasing each other and tossing things and "talking". Try to be funny. Show love even though it feels a little strange because you don't know him. Turn the lights out and bring him back to bed even though you know he's going to cry, but sit there and lullaby because your intuition said to. We never lullabyed with Sweets- our thing was reading, but something said "sing" so I did and it worked. Sing when he's not crying, stop singing when he starts again, start singing again as soon as he takes a breath in between cries- he stops crying and listens, starts to relax. Keep it up even though your head is wondering if it's really helping or hindering, but you hate crying it out and know it's not a good idea for a little guy spending his first night in foster care, and keep going and then he's blessedly asleep. I think it's important to go back to the basics, go back in time if necessary, when they're just starting out. When we had Peeves, we didn't even bother trying to establish a bedtime routine because she was so monumentally difficult and we knew there would be no point struggling over it for a two-day placement- we just drove her around until she went to sleep, but this little guy might be here a while, so in this case starting from day one is good, I think. Got to get some younger books, though. He's just slightly younger than Sweets was when she came- it absolutely floors me that she used to be essentially like him. It makes her seem so grown up. I can barely remember her "baby days". Anyway, here we are again! And I'm calling him Prancer- you should see the way he walks- prance, prance, prance!