We’re discovering a pattern, and it’s a good one. Once something happens once–she meets someone, we go somewhere, someone leaves the house and comes back–and nothing dramatic happens, then it’s ok. It’s worthy of interest, and possibly comment. One thing that’s important is that I notice what’s happening. Mama, come see. Come see Heather. Come see Eli’s daddy. Once I’ve seen—Yes, it’s Heather! Hi Heather! Big deal greeting…. Then we can all go on, somewhat hesitantly. Today is the third time our babysitter has been around (I’m home too, but working in the office) and today, it’s pretty good. Heather can help Rory, she can get her a snack, Rory can stay downstairs and play…all progress indeed, and more than I’d counted on.
But I know Rory is still working and processing. She woke up in the night last night calling for “Mommy, mommy!”–and I don’t think I was the mommy she was hoping to see. I got a frown, a stony face, and no hug. So I whispered—do you miss mama Deena? It’s ok. It’s ok to miss her, and ok to be here, too. I have no idea if it helped. But I lay next to her bed, not touching, not intruding, and she went back to sleep (until 4:30, when she told Rob “but I’m UP!”). And this morning it was all good again.
She has a book of pictures from her foster home. This morning she pointed to Mike (her foster dad) and said “That’s you, Daddy.” No, that’s Baba Mike. Pointing to another picture–“That’s mommy.” No, that’s Mama Deena. Maybe this is a way to make sense of things, to make it ok, if somehow we ARE Mike and Deena, who left a week before we came to pick Rory up for a visit to the States. Maybe this is just how she makes it easier on herself somehow, or just a way to think about it until she’s ready to cope. I don’t know. We’ll handle it gently.
Here’s a funny thing: If you tell Rory there’s a rule–as in, no jumping on the sofa–then that’s it. There’s a rule. Anyone else violating it is turned in with a gasp of horror. Any accidental transgression is apologized for. It’s a rule, after all. You know what that means, don’t you? It means that it’s possible to teach kids rules. Real ones, not the kind that you have to remind them of over and over, and not just “no jumping out of the car while it’s moving” sort of things. Arbitrary, but enforceable, rules that allow things to happen sometimes and not others, or in some places but not others. We didn’t manage that. Good thing we had some help on this one, because she’s the most stubborn of the bunch–but somebody trained her up already! hooray! Somebody with a stronger will than we have, thank goodness. Remind me to send Mike and Deena a fruit basket when she turns 16.