Saturday, August 4, 2012

zài jiàn, honeymoon period!


The honeymoon period is over. Bye bye!  Zài jiàn!  Hudson is testing us, and letting us know very clearly when he is not happy with the limitations placed upon him. He still likes to play, laugh, sing, and be chased... but he has decided to no longer stop bad behavior such as yanking the dog's hair when we tell him firmly no.

On the way home from Taiwan ROCks in Chicago (more about that later) we stopped at a McDonalds with a playland. I promised Hannah that if she ate a good dinner she could play for a few minutes. When I took both of the kids to the playland, I realized that there wasn't anything that an under two year old could do there. Everything involved climbing up first to go through tubes and down the slides. Hannah monkied up the play equipment, and Hudson wanted to go in right after her. Physically, he could climb it and tried to... but he's only 19 months old, and when he gets stuck and scared up there in that structure, I can't get up in there to save him. When I removed him from the play area I experienced the biggest fit from either of my children I'd ever seen. Screeching, scratching, hitting, bucking, and kicking with all of his might to try to get out of my grasp. It was bad. I can't explain to him that he can't do this because he could get hurt... and the only way he has to express his frustration with me is with a full blown fit. I walked Hudson out to Kevin to remove him from the situation and take him out to the car to settle down.

Bad behavior now has consequences, and we're working through that. I've been to the eye doctor's office at least four times since we've been home from Taiwan to have my glasses adjusted because of getting hit in the face with a hand, a bucking back, or a toy. We slowly moved away from bottles. When we picked Hudson up at 18 months old he was drinking four bottles a day and then eating a meal. We switched that to eating first and then a bottle, then dropped out to two bottles a day right before naps and bedtime, then went down to one nighttime bottle, and now no bottles this week. This week has been the hardest in our transition. I'm a mean mom because I wouldn't let Hudson drink my Corona light at the Mexican restaurant or let him open and play with lighters a the grocery check out. This morning over breakfast when the photo was taken, he was mad at me because I wouldn't let him eat his weight in grapes. Seriously, I think that about 15 grapes for a 19 month old are plenty and we can move on to eating other healthy foods. Throwing the buffet of Cheerios, cheese, apple slices, and bits of ham back at me is not acceptable table behavior.

Thursday night both kids played at Nana and Papa's house for a couple of hours. This is the first time we had been away from Hudson since we met him. He's totally comfortable with my parents and did great. When we dropped them off Kevin joked, "Okay... let's set the GPS for Florida and keep on driving!" it sounded really tempting.

I have a great support system of local adoptive mama friends as well as my online connections of Taiwan adoptive mama friends. Yes, there are so many other people that have much more difficult transitions when adopting children, but this is still HARD for US.  Thankfully, Hudson gives great hugs, participates in snuggle time, and enjoys kissing me on the lips over and over.  He's easy to love when he's not screeching.


  1. You are in that difficult toddler stage. For all of my kiddos I found 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 to be the most difficult age. They are too young to understand reason or danger. You just have to keep doing what you are doing because that is all you can do. I did chuckle at your commend for being a bad Mom because he could't drink your corona or lighters. You and Kevin are doing a great job. And by the way...this phase that Hudson is in in exhausting both mentally and physically.

    1. I'm glad you thought the beer and lighters part was funny, too. I still get a kick out of it. A friend told me, "Well, on the bright side, at least he's not drunk, on fire and starting fights." Heh heh!

  2. Your post reminds me of when we first brought our then just-turned-four-year-old to our home from foster care 11 years ago (he's now 14 1/2!) He couldn't really speak well--he mixed English and Spanish at the time--so all he could do to tell us he was not happy was to throw MAJOR tantrums. He was small for his age, but boy was he strong! We had hitting, kicking, biting, thrashing, throwing things...we had to learn how to restrain him properly and many times just had to close him in his room and walk away. It was quite the experience for this newbie mom!! But we survived, and he is a well-adjusted teenager now. Interestingly, he still closes himself in his room to "cool down" when he's angry! :)

  3. Hudson is adorable! Your pictures on your blog are absolutely amazing. What a great photographer you are! I'm sure that the transition for Hudson is affecting him in many ways as well - learning a new language, integrating into a new family and new country, etc...It's a lot for his little brain/neurological system to take in! He's learning to adjust to a completely new environment and people. Anger, frustration and fits are his way of communicating, although it's not the most desirable behavior - he doesn't know yet how to verbally communicate or express what he's feeling inside partly because he's still so young. Anyway, I'm sure you already know all of this. I'm very happy for you and your family that you have a new addition! I really love your blog and am excited to follow along on your journey!


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