Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Concept of Mommy

It has been fascinating to watch my new 3 year old begin to grasp the concept of Mommy.

 I noticed some time last week (so about 2 weeks after taking custody of her in Ethiopia, 1 week after coming home) that she started hollering out, "Mommy?" about every 90 seconds.  I know from a lot of adoption training that this is a really good sign, to have your child "checking in" with you every so often.  But, also it seems like she's just really amazed that someone answers every single time she calls out "Mommy" AND it's always the same person! 

***Insert here the reality check that it is exhausting to be the one answering that call for "Mommy" so often, to be so physically there for a child, especially one that is wrapping every bit of her body tightly around you one second and pushing you away the next.  But, oh the privilege to get to be the one to teach her the concept of Mommy!***

A funny thing happened yesterday.  Well, the not funny part was that my town had some pretty intense flash flooding.  We're kinda used to it because we are at sea level and can get heavy rains, but yesterday was the worst we've seen in a few years and it came on pretty unexpectedly.  My 3 year old had a follow up at a doctor's office for one of the routine tests we did since bringing her to America.  When I left the office the roads had become really flooded and I could not get home.  I had already driven through higher water than my nerves were comfortable with, so I just wanted to stop some place safe and wait it out for a bit, but with my 3 year old I couldn't stop just anywhere.  I needed a place with decent public restrooms (she has to go potty about every 30 minutes), something I could do with her to entertain her (girl is high-energy!), and a place where I could buy some snacks because I hadn't left the house with much, considering I didn't think we'd be out too long.  Also, a place with a parking garage, would be nice, since it was blinding rain!

Only by the grace of God did I think of the perfect place -- the mall!  And I was able to get to it via non-flooded roads!  So I found myself taking my new 3 year old to the small kid play place at the mall, something I never would have chosen to do with her this early into her transition home, and mostly she did great (only ran out of the play area once -- she thinks it's really funny for me to chase her -- we're working on that lovely behavior!).  But, the funny thing was, at one point I was standing near her (actually at every point I was only about 1 foot from her, remember new-to-me child here!), but this time there was a little boy near us and he was crying for his mommy who wasn't especially nearby.  My 3 year old took one look at him crying "Mommy!" then she pointed to me and said to him, "Mommy" as if to say, "She's Mommy, she'll help you!"

I thought it was really funny, but made a point not to respond to the little boy's cries and watched my daughter's face as the boy's mommy came over to him, it was like I could read her thinking, "Hmmm, he has a 'Mommy', too and it's a different person than my 'Mommy'!"

1 comment:

  1. Neat to watch her discover that she has a Mommy but that you are not everybody's Mom.


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