Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Two years ago...




We celebrate Pollito's anniversary today. He is 4 1/2 years old and a pretty typical preschooler I think. He is silly, moody, loud, playful, fickle, independent, goofy, and just so much fun to watch! Two years ago today Pollito joined our family. I still remember the first day I set eyes on him. Christmas Day 2007. His foster mom and I were visiting his older brother in a residential home for troubled children. He was this little pipsqueak of a toddler, with a runny nose and boundless energy. Over the next 2 1/2 weeks I got to spend a few hours with him here and there so he could get used to me and be ready to move into our home. He took to us instantly. On that first day he came home he spent the time "fighting" with C. about who's "mat" they were sitting on (picture above). He seemed happy to be with us and we never saw any hint of his missing his previous foster family especially once his brother moved in.

He is still a ham who loves dinosaurs, trains, purses and accessories but I should also add that he loves books, cars, his tricycle, drawing, "writing" his name, and cooking (real and pretend.) He is potty-trained except for the occasional overnight accident. He current greatest love is his Pre-K teacher Ms. W. Each day I am subjected to endless chatter that usually begins with "Ms. W. says...." or "Ms. W. showed...." He lives for school!

We are lucky that he is in a new school where the teacher is experienced and genuinely seems to adore the children. Whenever she is absent he is sad and anxious and we see glimpses of the insecurities he showed when we first got him. Each day when we would take him to daycare he would cling to us and each afternoon he would seem surprised that we were actually there to pick him up. It took us a while to realize that all of his transitions from one home to another had taken place from that daycare so it was natural that he would not know what to anticipate from there. We finally took him out of that daycare so that we could build his connection to our home and our family. I think that was a good idea. Something that even with my previous experience with foster children I hadn't thought about. We often think children need continuity in times of transition and I do believe it is true but in this case that continuity also brought him daily anxiety. He needed a "fresh start" that said this was going to be different but in a good way. It definitely changed for the better when we pulled him out of the center.

He is growing up so nicely in many ways if one can ignore the preschool "attitude" he has recently adopted. He hits the baby, copies all the not so great habits of his older siblings, and is currently in a phase where he must have a meltdown anytime he doesn't get what he wants. He is also a clever little boy. He has figured out how to push all of his brother's ""buttons" and does it quite well. Unfortunately his brother is 9 going on 3 so that makes for a lot of nonsense escalating into major issues between them. But I digress...

Today we will have a small acknowledgement of his arrival, a special treat and a special gift. I cannot imagine my life with Pollito. This begins the celebrations of anniversaries for the other children who both came in February. I am aware of how fast the time is passing. I haven't even completed the lifebooks for the boys and their scrapbooks are barely begun. I need to commit to this project before it becomes too difficult to reconstruct. Where I will find the time I don't know yet but I will....

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