Last night we were getting ready to go to a friend's Christmas Play, and I was surprised that Nia asked me what she should wear right down to the shoes and socks. We had her looking georgeous with a purple headband in her hair. So, I was even more surprised when we got out of the van and she was wearing a green dew rag instead (The first Switch-A-Roo). I guess the purple headband was just a little too American. I wouldn't mind the dew rag so much if she didn't look like a cancer patient with it on. She took out her braid extensions yesterday, so her hair is back to Very Short. I think it has grown a teensy, weensy bit in the last 3 weeks.
Anyway, she was disappointed that she had to go to bed when we came home, which led to a pouting session. Unfortunately, she woke up still feeling pouty and started causing trouble with her siblings right off the bat. The morning was spent with her in tears. I hugged, prayed over her, looked her in the eyes and reassured her of my love. Then I kept doing the daily routine.
Somehow, during the course of the morning she switched back to Adorable Child. Not sure what happened, but I was grateful for it. It remains to be seen how many more times she will do The Switch before the day is over. I write all of this mostly for parents who haven't brought their older Liberian children home yet. There's no use acting like everything is rosy. It's good to know what to expect. The hardest part is not letting her isolate during these pouty times. It would be much easier for me to let her close herself in her room until she could emerge as a pleasant child. However, for her attachment issues, I must force her to continue to engage with the family with only small windows of time alone. Remember, I'm not trying to throw my child under the bus and give her a bad rep. I'm simply trying to paint a realistic picture of life after bringing home an older adopted child. My other children definitely have their moments, too. For example, Isabel (3yrs) completely went ballistic in Borders bookstore today because I wouldn't buy all the Diego toys. We walked out of there with every eye in the store fixated on the 7 of us.
Nia is quite adept at frying her own eggs, something my other children haven't been allowed to do yet. Of course, she IS the tallest child in our family, so being able to see what's in the skillet gives great advantage.