Sorry, sometimes it is just so difficult to blog . . . for lots of reasons--like multiple children who believe they deserve a 'turn' at using the computer; like multiple other things I need to do to keep our house from being totally submerged in scattered toys, scattered papers, dirty clothes, dirty dishes, etc.; like right now when I am seated right here in front of the computer and just am not sure I have the emotional energy to type.
I need to write about bonding. Well, I honestly think attachment with Abby is going as well as can be expected right now. It certainly could not be described as a seamless transition; neither, however could it be described as horribly chaotic.
Abby's age and our language barrier have to be recognized as significant factors. Obviously with a mommy and her newborn, there's lots of healthy skin-to-skin contact, there's physical and emotional nourishment, there's cradling, there's looking into each other's eyes, copying each other's expressions. Mommy is right there to feed, burp, hold, change, bathe, tend to any ailments, etc. But Abby is not a newborn. She's heavy--I can't just pick her up and tote her around all day like an infant or toddler. She's not comfortable with a lot of physical closeness and she definitely does not like being like a "baby"--so I haven't tried having her sit in a rocking chair beside me, little alone sitting on my lap. So far, I'd say the best bonding thing we've done is having fun together--looking at books, working on puzzles, spinning around in the kitchen, just generally being silly. Also kissing (and applying medicine and band-aids to) her owies, applying lotion to her dry arms and legs, and tucking her in at night--seem to be positive "mommy" tasks.
Silliness also really helps deal with her whining--it makes her laugh and it helps my attitude (because I truly HATE whining.) So a couple days ago she was whining about something and I started copying what she was saying in a big, dramatic opera-type voice with huge arm movements. She thought it was funny so it helped us both. I even grabbed her in my arms and spun around in circles in the kitchen. She liked it. (Then I had to spin the other way to try to unwind myself. I was majorly dizzy.) Other times I just have to tell her to STOP. Like today I told her "no" about something and she started going down the whine-list of all the things she couldn't do--like she was the most picked-on and deprived child on the planet. I was grumpy to day and just had to tell her to knock it off.
I try to make comfortable contact with her throughout the day--put my hand on her shoulder, pat her head, kiss the top of her head-- when I'm around her. Today she decided to comb MY hair, apply deodorant to my armpits, lotion to my arms and powder to my legs. I think that counts--it's still safe skin-to-skin physical contact.
Abby truly seems to enjoy teasing and she is generally a good sport. She can also play rather rough--which is a good thing since she has 4 brothers now. However, a couple things she's done to me have actually caused mild pain. One things is when she grabs my cheeks and pulls my lips into a smile--that's fine except she squeezes too hard and it hurts my cheeks. Another thing she did several times was spin around in her chair and kick me in the shins. I was going to ignore these but since she knows these things hurt, I need to have enough respect for myself to not let them continue.
Since the night I posted about where Abby crawled clear across her bed to give me a night-night hug, she has not wanted a bedtime kiss at all :) :) :) Sometimes I comply by not kissing her at all; other times I just give her a light kiss on the forehead or cheek anyway. Sometimes she wipes my kisses off. It's funny because sometimes she grabs Caleb and kisses him until he is just squirming and wiping his face and saying "No kiss" very loudly. I'm thinking as I'm typing that if I'm going to insist that she listen to Caleb and stop kissing him when he says, 'no kiss' then maybe I need to give her the same dignity. Or perhaps at bedtime I could just let her choose which cheek I kiss. I'll have to think about this.