If you saw us Sunday after church, you know that I had a very sad four-year-old on my hands. He was getting lots of sympathy because he just looked miserable. Why? I have no idea.
We’ve noticed that the way AIB wakes up can have an effect on his whole day and, Sunday, he woke up pretty happy. But not too long after he had gotten ready, he started talking in a whine exclusively. It was work to get him out the door to church since he suddenly forgot how to do things like put on shoes and his coat. He chose not to eat breakfast and right as we walked out the door he told me he was hungry. I suspect this had something to do with his attitude.
His Sunday school teacher said he was fine in class but as soon as I picked him up he went back to being solemn. Crazy kid wouldn’t even eat a chocolate covered donut without coaxing. We had two cars at church and DIB was doing just fine and enjoying the attention of the older kids who kindly play with him (the kids tried to play with AIB too but he was not having it). I told AIB that we could just go home since he was having a rough day and this sent him straight to tears saying that he didn’t want to go home. However, he was in no condition to be with people. He sobbed the whole way walking to the car and the twenty minute drive home. When I asked him what was upsetting him, he just said that he didn’t want to leave or that he wanted to be with his brother (which is his usual response whenever he gets upset). He was over-reacting so much to the situation (we told him that he wasn’t in trouble but that he might need more sleep) and could not pull himself together.
The whole way home, I was thinking, “What is going on with this kid?” He had gotten plenty of sleep and nothing major had happened that day. This was one of those times when I just wonder if there is a hurt so deep in his heart from his early life that neither he nor we can understand or know.
I did the only thing I knew to do when we got home. Pulled him up on the couch with me, cuddled and took a nap. I’ve got a thousand things to do and am not a napper myself (even at 9 months pregnant) but I couldn’t help but think, “This is probably the most important thing for me to do right now.”
There are many things that could have been going on. AIB might have just been overly-tired, he may have been having a bad day, he may have purposefully been acting that way to get attention. He might have been having a time of confusion and frustration at all the changes that have taken place in his life over the past year (and the impending change of becoming a big brother). He can’t articulate any of this to us yet. All he knows was that he was sad and he needed to cry, cuddle and sleep.
This was one of those times as a parent through adoption where I had no clue what was going on. He wasn’t being bad (although, his sadness was making him act rudely). He was just sad and he needed to be comforted, even if he didn’t know why.