What do you say when your ten-year-old walks out of the psychiatrist’s office, nonchalantly looks over his shoulder, and says to the doctor: “see you later, bourgeois suckers”?
Like many of DJ’s favorite retorts, this gem was taken from the Regular Show. But I don’t think the doctor got the reference. In response to my profuse apology, she replied through slightly gritted teeth: “He’s so cute.”
To add to the fun, this was after a 20-minute session where DJ pretty much refused to talk because I made him spit out his gum before the appointment, and I was practically hoarse from a sore throat. Yes, it was one of those weeks…
Things got even worse this morning when an epic meltdown occurred over the “chunkiness” (or lack thereof) of his mac & cheese and us trying to get him to eat fresh pineapple (which he has actually eaten before on several occasions but this morning was tantamount to Chinese water torture).
And yet, here it is Saturday night–or at least it was when I originally started writing this post–and I know for all of the challenges and tantrums, good and bad parenting choices, that our family is a little bit stronger, a little bit closer than we were a week ago. Because it’s only when we reach those low points–when DJ pushes us to our limits & those doubts of whether or not we’ve bitten off more than we can chew start to creep in–that things get “real.”
Forced to confront my own insecurities, it becomes so obvious that DJ’s insecurities must be ten-fold. That the tantrums over seemingly nothing are about everything. That smart talking his psychiatrist or declaring us the worst parents ever are his ways of testing us. He wants to know–like all children, I’m sure, but especially adoptive children–if we’re in this for the long haul. Or from his perspective, if it’s only a matter of time before he’s sent away.
Eventually his tantrum on Saturday ended, like they always do. In the quiet conversations that followed, apologies were given and accepted, and reassurances offered. I might be imagining things, but I couldn’t help but think that today he woke up with a renewed sense of confidence and serenity–we had made it through the storm together.