|4 out of 5 arguments are started over Barbie Dolls…|
G: Daddy! DADDY! Ping is trying to take my barbie doll!
Me: What? Ping, are you trying to take G’s doll?
Me: Really? Because I see her doll in your hand.
Me: Ping, I can see that you have G’s doll. Don’t lie to your Daddy.
Ping: Well G being no fair!
Me: Why? What is no fair?
Ping: She no give me her doll.
Me: Ping, before we got in the car for our long drive, what did Dad tell you to do?
Ping: To get a toy for the drive.
Me: Right. And did Ping get a toy?
Me: Alright, well, next time, listen to your Daddy and bring a toy. Now, please give G back her doll.
Me: Ping. What did Daddy just say?
Ping: Ooooohhhhhh… alright. Here.
Me: Thank you baby.
Ping: But if you do that again, then THAT’S IT, I’m OUTTA here!
*I slowly pull the car over to the side of the road and turning around*
Me: Baby, where are you gonna go?
Ping: I go back to China!
Me: China? You will never be “outta here”. Daddy is never going to let you go, and even if you WANT to leave, you are going to be stuck with me forever. Understand? Forever! You no go back to China.
Ping: Okay. *a big smile slowly crawls across her face*
|I’m outta here!|
… a little while later when we get home from Chinese School …
Me: Hey, you’ll never guess what Ping said today.
Me: She got mad because she got into a little bit of trouble, and she looks at me and says “That’s IT, I’m OUTTA here!” Isn’t that hilarious!
Wife: SHE said what?! Oh that little … stinker! She said that because she knew it would hurt! That was deliberate.
Me: Eh, maybe, probably. I just thought it was funny. I told her she was stuck with me… she seemed to deal with that truth better than you did when you realized you were stuck with me.
Oh kids say and do the cutest things! One of my fellow adoptive families told me the funniest story about how on their first night with their newly adopted 5 year old daughter – that their adorably cute precious daughter eyed up the father and make the “throat slashing” action while eying him down… and trust me, the “throat slashing” action means the same thing in Chinese as English. Or how their daughter mimed pulling the pin of a grenade with her teeth before throwing it at her new father!
|Laughing with Dad|
Ahhhhh, good times.
I think being a parent sometimes requires having a thick skin – and a slightly skewed sense of reality. I think if I actually believed that MY daughter wanted to be “outta here” that it would have really hurt. Okay, it hurt. It really did. Even though I knew she was just trying to get me angry and didn’t mean it.
And I knew she didn’t mean it… because between the odd “throat slash”, “grenade” or “outta here” moment, there are so many precious moments spent with them curled up in our arms, lying on the couch with us, playing barbies, and tender moments filled with “I love you”s. And those great moments out weigh the bad moments more and more each day.
So, to all those parents out there who have read about the loss and attachment issues, do not despair – there is hope. I have seen our precious Ping change from a defiant child struggling with loss and attachment into a sweet girl who curls up and snuggles in with me at bed time, who is the 1st child to the door to greet me when I return from work, whose 1st question she asks me in the morning is “Daddy, can we cuddle?”
|Just a little cuddle Daddy?|
Amidst the loss, hurt, pain and loneliness can be found joy, love, peace and family.
Our children have such capacity for either side of that statement – for my part, I hope I pour more of the latter into my children, but that can only happen if I choose not to hold onto the former.