First, a shout out to my ex-sister-in-law and others on Team T. who, we have reason to suspect, are reading all the family blogs.
Happy stalking! Oh, and by the way, I’ve heard about your “wedding” photo on your wall, but I don’t think anyone ever told me: were you the one dressed like a pimp, or the one dressed like Elvis? I’m just having a hard time picturing you as Elvis. Whatever.
Now for the dream. It was odd, for many reasons.
It was adoption related, but it was all about Tank Boy, who has been home three years now. In the dream I was in some international adoption doctor’s office or something — some kind of establishment that deals with internationally adopted children. While I was there . . . waiting? (I don’t even know what I was doing there), I saw a Korean woman with two children, and I knew it was Tank Boy’s foster mother (though, actually, in the dream she looked nothing like his foster mother, and had 1970’s middle-aged white lady hair, but whatever).
When I went to talk to her I was completely overcome with emotion. I started crying because I was so glad to have the opportunity to ask her questions about my son. I told her how grateful I was for this opportunity to talk to her and find out about some of my son’s earlier months of life. Before I could ask her anything she told me about the two children who were with her. They were her children, she’d decided to adopt them.
One was a little boy who she said she’d had in her home at the same time Tank Boy was in her home, but at the time she could only keep one, so she chose that one. The other was a little girl who she said was Tank Boy’s twin. I was shocked and said, “They are brother and sister?” but then she explained that, no, they were only born on the same day, but weren’t actual twins.
Then it was my turn and I asked her what I really wanted to know: Was Tank Boy always such an angry child? And she sighed and said yes. We chatted a bit about that, but I don’t remember the specifics, and that was the end of the dream.
It is so odd to me that I’d dream about that now. Tank Boy always has been a very angry child, and it has been difficult on the whole family, but in the last few months? The last few hectic, life-changing months that we worried might make things worse? He has almost completely transformed. The first month or so was rough. The screaming intensified and increased in frequency, and knocking things off the counters (his passive-aggressive way of throwing things without actually throwing them) returned a bit. Then it was gone.
I don’t think I’ve blogged a whole lot about Tank Boy’s temper. When I started this blog, the whole point was to help me focus on the positive things going on around me. I tried to blog about the funny things he did, the cute things he did, to help me focus on his positives. It was difficult. I know that sounds horrible, but it’s true. Before we even got Quinn’s referral, the worst parts, the physically violent aspects, of Tank Boy’s temper were gone, but the temper itself was still violent. Does that make sense? His anger was emotionally violent, if not physically. I have always wondered how much of it can be attributed to all the disruption in the first nine months of his life and how much of it is his underlying personality.
At any rate, it has vanished. In its place is this wonderful little boy who will randomly thank me for things, who plays nicely with his baby brother, who no longer yells and screams every time he hears the word no. He is helpful. He frequently does what he is told without argument now. He is, frequently, polite. Oh, sure, he still argues with and yells at his sisters, and usually every afternoon, when he is getting tired because I no longer make him take naps, he has a little meltdown and yells at me about something. He still argues with me, too, but it isn’t the same and it isn’t as often.
Odd. Right when we were afraid he would regress. I don’t know why this change has occurred. Is it just developmental progress, maturity, kicking in? Is it that having a baby around has diverted my attention, thereby breaking some negative cycle Tank Boy and I were in? Has going through a bunch of huge disruptions in life but having his family remain intact and there reassured him in some way that mere words couldn’t?
I suspect, of course, that it is a combination of all three. He is almost four now, I haven’t always handled his behavior with patience and aplomb, and every other time his life has been turned upside down he was put in the hands of new caregivers.
Whatever it is that’s going on, it surely is a positive.
And George, if you’re out there, Tewt the Newt says hello.