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I'm a 30-something wife and mom. My boys are my pride and joy. Together, we are navigating being a forever family post international adoption.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Sometimes I just Need to Shut my Mouth

Buddy had a really hard time sleeping when he first came home. He had nightmares, sleepless nights and there were many bedtime battles. We tried LOTS of different things (music, night lights, different bedtimes, and on and on) and we finally found a routine that worked for Buddy.

Thank God.

Coming up to one year of being home, Buddy started having a hard time again. He was sleeping restlessly and waking up exhausted. His bad dreams, which had long ago subsided, had returned. And he definitely didn't want to talk about it. He didn't want our input at all, actually.

I was over-tired one night when I was tucking Buddy in and I said something I wanted to take back right away. I told him that if he didn't start having better sleeps there would be consequences.

I didn't mean that we would punish him for having nightmares. I meant that lack of sleep would negatively affect how he felt the next day. But it came out over-simplified and completely wrong.

So Buddy stopped tell us when he had bad sleeps, even though he was still coming out of his room with bags under his eyes. I apologized to Buddy and I tried to explain what I had actually meant to say.

A few mornings later, I asked Buddy how his night was. He said fine. Then I asked him if he believed me that he wouldn't get it trouble if he had a bad sleep. He replied by shaking his head "No."

Ouch.

Now, a few months later, it seems like Buddy has settled back in. He looks rested in the mornings, isn't fighting bedtime and will talk about his dreams both good and bad. Judging from the commotion Hubby and I made the other night cleaning up after a sick Swar, he might finally be having sound and deep sleeps and not waking up as often or as easily.

This whole experience was a good reminder to me that grief and fear are not something that adopted children get over. It is cyclical and dynamic. And, as the parent and adult, it is my responsibility to sometimes just shut my mouth.

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