A couple of days ago, I mentioned to Wood that my mother and sister really want to move closer so they can be a part of Nana’s daily life. My sister’s connection to Nana has been amazing – she is always sending her things in the mail and sending me articles about parenting. My mother loves to have Google Hangouts where she can see Nana running around in the background. Moving closer is an ongoing discussion in our family. Wood agreed that their support was more than we initially imagined (considering their personalities) but added, “imagine how they would act if this was your biological daughter.”
I got the screw face because whet? My entire family wants to move across the country for Nana. What more could they do for their niece or grandchild, biological or not?
It bothered me but I left it alone, assuming it was just a slip of the tongue.
But this weekend, it came up again. Wood and I were talking about Nana’s complete disregard for the Coach’s instructions at soccer this weekend. He said, “Imagine if that was your biological daughter, she would be even worse.” He went on with some joke about my independence and how stubborn my daughter would be.
*pump the brakes*
Two times in a week is starting to be a habit. And it’s clear that a comparison between Nana and what our biological child might act like is on his mind.
Now don’t get the wrong idea. Nana is his princess. There is nothing about his parenting that would make me think that he doesn’t love her fiercely and completely. He is her biggest cheerleader and she is truly a daddy’s girl. So I know his comment didn’t mean to indicate that he doesn’t see Nana as his daughter.
But right now as Nana goes through this threenager phase, she is an enigma to both of us. She doesn’t listen, messes up her room in a CRAZY way, puts random things in her mouth, tears up her books, jumps on the couch, touches things that have BEEN off-limits, cries every night before bed, negotiates with ever direction given, pours water on her head, and in general just acts like every day is OPPOSITE DAY.
We are so out of our league with this. Most of the time we are wondering if an alien inhabited her body. It is annoying. And tiring. And funny sometimes. Like when she gave her dad the four-finger hand point and said in the cutest, but very serious, voice, “Daddy, do not close my bedroom door again. Okay.” You had to be there.
I read a book – okay, okay, I read an article – and it said that this is normal. So while it can be draining, I realize we need to just stay calm, find the humor in it and wait for the storm to pass. *shrug*
But maybe Wood sees this as a personality quirk that can’t be attributed to us as her adoptive parents and wonders if a biological child would act differently.
With a biological child, you can ask your mother about the craziness that your child is putting you through and she can assure you that you acted the exact same way and turned out okay. With adoption, there is no historical reference and so it feels like you are constantly walking into the unknown. With a biological child, you can point to certain personality traits and assume they “got it from they mama”, but with adoption, who knows where nature ends and nurture begins.
I’m not ready to call this an issue yet, but it is something that I will keep my eye on. If there are still some lingering issues related to our fertility and not being able to have a biological child, we need to address them. Parenting in the here and now is hard enough without having to consider the “what ifs.”