The other day my kids were talking about baby pictures and they asked me if we had baby pictures of our 3 year old who joined our family via adoption just about 6 months ago.
Insert awkward pause as I scurry in my mind about how to handle this very hard question.
Because the answer is no. We don't. The earliest pictures we have of her are as a 2 year old.
There are a lot of questions around adoption topics and parenting an adopted child that are hard. They just are. HARD.
So, you can imagine my glee when I find an issue or question with an easy answer!
The issue was my very active 3 year old (anybody know an Ethiopian child who is not active?) with long legs is a seat-kicker in the car. And because she is my only child who cannot strap herself into her carseat, her seat has been behind my driver's seat, so I could strap her in and then easily get in my side of the car.
But, the seat kicking became one of those minor annoyances that festers over months and months and finally reaches a breaking point.
Hundreds of times the scenario would play out, I'd ignore several kicks and then they'd just get worse so I'd finally say, "(Insert her name here), please stop kicking my seat." To which she would respond, "I NOT! I not kicking!" And I'd say, "Yes, yes, you are kicking my seat, please stop." And she'd say, "NO! I NOT!"
And on it would go, leaving me wondering which was more annoying, her kicking my seat or her lying about it.
Now, granted, this is a situation I'd handle totally differently with a child that had lived with me since birth, rather than just 6 months, with a child who was completely fluent in my same language. And, I even tried some of those parenting tactics with Little Girl, things like explaining what a lie was and that she was not in trouble when she kicked my seat but that I just needed her to stop doing it and there was no reason to lie about it.
Didn't work. The same scenario so many times.
Until a couple weeks ago, my older 2 kids were in a VBS every day for 5 days about 10 minutes from our house, dropping them off at 9am, picking them up at noon.
Let's just say, I hit a breaking point somewhere in the middle of that week.
But, unlike many other times when I'm not proud of how I handle aggravation, this time, I actually handled it well! I did not scream and bang my head against the steering wheel (even though I wanted to). Know what I did?
We got home, I calmly unloaded my children from the car, and then I moved that carseat over to the passenger side!
Oh, it felt good! The work of installing that whole latch system seat on the other side of the car was cathartic!
And the first car ride with Little Girl not behind my seat? Awesome!
Find more Thankful Thursday here.