Monday, August 8, 2011

Our first head-to-head

This story is nearly 48 hours old now. I'm still a little pensive about the telling of it. I'd like to change the names to protect the innocent, but really, you'd guess who the players are, wouldn't you?

Maylin and Momma have had their first fight. 
(spoiler warning: We both won. I think.)

Through this blog, I want to share the fun and excitement of bringing our new daughter home. I also want to be transparent when it ain't so pretty. That would be about 45 minutes last Saturday night.

Maylin is a night owl. Let's just say, it works well for me.
She is a slug in the morning. That's okay since my eyeballs wake up a good hour before my brain. The down side is she starts winding up around 8 and by 9:30...she ought to be in bed, but is sassing her way through the process. 

Saturday night, Mark went to the executive lounge to get some internet stuff done. The connection was slow and the process took longer than either of us expected. In the past 6 days Maylin has been with us, we have all turned out the lights and gone to bed at the same time. I wasn't going to try to put her down for the night if Mark was going to be here "any minute." It was still a bit early for bed, anyway. 

She sat beside me at the computer after we had colored, and cut, and read, and snacked, and all the other things we do to fill our time together in the hotel room. I think she puts up with it because someone told her we need to bond.
Yeah, I'm sure that's it.

I wrote out the numbers 1-10 while saying their names in Chinese and English. Then I wrote Maylin Li and pointed to her as well as the scratches on the paper while saying, "Maylin Li. That's your name."
I created and named a circle, a triangle, and a square.

She put her hand over mine, and motioned that she wanted me to write it all again. So I went through the paces again, but this time, she said most of them with me! Then she wanted to hold the pen herself and have me guide her through the same routine. She said all the numbers again and we were both quite pleased with ourselves! We went through the same thing several time before Maylin said, "Baba!" and then rattled on in Chinese. 
I figured, why not? So I grabbed my room key and we headed out the door together to find her Baba. He was just as excited as I had been to hear us tell him in both languages what we'd done and how brilliant Maylin is.

We then kissed his scratchy cheek and headed back to our room without him. We settled again for a few minutes when she pretended to write something more, and sparkled, as she coyly whispered, "Baba!"
I smiled and told her "no, Baba was working."

It kind of went down hill from there.

She resorted to pulling and hitting when I told her no again and put her in an upholstered chair. It was a long, loud 50 minutes while I held her like a baby, and she fought with all she's worth. The emotions of at least 7 long days of transition came out every pore and muscle of that little girl. She was angry and sad and who-knows-what-else as she kicked and stiffened and fought my arms.

I know there are other ways some of you may have chosen to handle it.
I was Asking for any other option that would be better for Maylin, and heard nothing but my heart saying,
"It's okay, Baby. Momma loves you."
I rocked and walked and patted her leg or back.
I sat quietly and resolutely while I sing-songed my mantra:
"It's okay, Baby. Momma loves you."

...and eventually, her tired head stopped pulling away from mine, her body softened,  and she let me hold her while she came back to me. She kept her face directed away from mine for another half hour, even once she was calmed. Once she was settled, I offered her yogurt to drink (a favorite) and we nibbled some crackers together.

By the time Daddy arrived, she was bathed (oh, so sweet to see her scrub her head in a furious way then let me dump water over her head while she rubs the water out of her face!) lotioned with momma's good stuff and dressed in her TinkerBell gown. There was hardly evidence of the battle that had raged just the hour before.

I don't think it's our last one.
I think it must be tough living her side of this new arrangement.
There were moments today that I saw the defiance begin to surface when she didn't get her way,
and that look crossed her face. But she reigned it in and we'll just deal with it another day.
Helping Daddy hang up washed laundry

I wrote the above yesterday evening, but truly wanted it to settle in my heart before I published it. One reason may have been because I have a fabulous addendum:

I got my first spontaneous hug from Maylin tonight.
And in the spirit of my being transparent with you, as well as the fact that it truly cracked me up,
I must say, I will forever remember that moment.

I've never before been hugged by anyone while I was using a squatty.


  1. Thank you for your transparency. There will be ups and downs along the journey into Maylin's heart, but I know you will be patient and give her all she needs (and then some). What a beautiful flower though to receive a Maylin initiated hug! :) Dad sure does know what we need = and when we need it!

  2. I was just thinking, it's kind of funny He's left flowers in the bathroom more than once this trip!

  3. I love reading your posts. You are such a wonderful writer. And I love how you make sure to end all of your posts on a positive note. Ok, who am I lying to, I just love you! And want to be just like you when I grow up!! So glad that your flowers continue to come when you least expect it! :)

  4. Loving the posts, Dorothy!! Thanks for including us in this journey by letting us read the highs and the lows. I can't think of a better family or better parents for Maylin. You are a wonderful mom and an example to me. Lots of love!!

  5. Thank you for is a gift to let people enjoy the roller coaster ride that is parenthood! Keep up the great work - and awesome news on the hug!
    Carol in FL

  6. This story reminds me so much of another little Dersch girl that I got to spend an hour or so with every Sunday. Each Sunday was the same. She would be unhappy with me and I would have to hold her as she fought back, all while walking back and forth down the hall. By the end of the hour, she would be stuck like glue to me and loved me bunches.

    These days, not a hint of that attitude when I got to spend three days with her at camp. Just a sweet, sweet spirit.

  7. So fun to read. Though I'm sure that parts of it weren't fun for you to experience. If anyone could love her through these changes, it's you my friend.

    Loving that Maylin hugged you... laughing at her timing. This girl is full of life!