Sunday, May 13, 2007

I'm just a barrel of laughs

I've had a really good Mother's Day, really. I'm not complaining. I got to go to the park with my boy, fostermama & Niblet. It's beautiful out today and there's a festival in the park, so there were vendors and music and tons of people. We all enjoyed ourselves. Now fostermama is in the other room napping with Niblet and Squeak is playing on his floor gym.

But (you knew there was a but, right?) I was very upset by what happened when we went to pick up Niblet. We got there and they weren't quite ready for us yet, which was fine. Niblet's mom was finishing her hair and starting talking about how Niblet's been crying a lot and "I just can't stand that! There's nothing wrong with her, she just wakes up crying and cries whenever!" Some of it was just venting for my benefit, as proof that she's glad that we're taking her for the day, which I understand, but some of it was not like that. Some of the things she said to Niblet were upsetting to me, and obviously not how I would ever talk to a child, but that's not the worst part.

The worst part was Niblet. She was standing there, arms tense and hands balled, face squished up in a silent almost-cry, while her mom finished her hair. Her dad kept yelling at her to "turn that off". She really wanted to cry, for whatever reason (maybe because she was excited I was there and knows that her parents yell at her when she gets too excited) and she knew she wasn't allowed to cry. It was the most painful thing I've ever seen. She looked at me and I smiled at her and said that we'd go out and play once her mom was done. She smiled a little, but her face was red from holding in the cry.

I understand she's a handful. I know her mom was venting, and I get that. But it's hard not to take it hard. And Niblet obviously does take it hard. She's always been sensitive. When she was with us, she always cried when she woke up - unless we were already holding her.

Niblet's adult sister, and the sister's mom, were both there, as well. She gave them kisses before we left.

And, amidst all this, one of the things that Niblet's mom said was "you want her back? You can have her!" She totally didn't mean it, and it was just part of the vent, but, obviously, it stuck with me. They know we wanted to adopt her. They know we want to be a part of her life. They must know that we would take her if need be - really, what else would be the reason of asking us to be her godparents? I think it's probably even good that her mom feels secure enough to blurt that out without being afraid that we'll take her up on it.

Oh, how I want to take her up on it. Everytime we have Niblet, fostermama and I both comment on how *right* it feels. The 4 of us hanging out, being together. It's very hard not to imagine what life would be like if she were ours again.

While we were getting ready to walk away from their house, Niblet's mom stuck her head out the window, called Niblet by a nickname I've heard her use before, and said goodbye again. She loves her baby, I know she does. It's just all so damn complicated that it makes my brain hurt.


Lo said...

Oh, how hard that sounds. Hope other readers will have something more useful to say....

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry this happened when you picked Niblet up.... I do know, from working in a school that was 98% AA/inner-city = low socioeconomic... that I heard many parents tell their children, even little bitties to "turn it off". In regards to crying. It was as if- unless the child was really hurt- physically- that crying just to cry would not be tolerated.

A lot of the parents didn't seem to "get" that this is just part of being a toddler and sometimes you have to cry for no apparent reason at that age.

It could also be- they didn't want her to cry while they had "company" (you). They probably want you to think it's pretty good all the time with NIblet.... I don't know- it could just be cultural- but it never gets easier to hear/see.

As for her mom offering to give her back to you- just make sure they know you'll take Niblet back at a moment's notice for whatever reason at any time. She may have been kidding- but there may have been a grain of truth in the statement too.

Take care!


Mom2Many said...

Wow what a hard day. I totally feel for you.

A Special Family said...

Happy Belated Mother's Day to you!!!
When a child is scared to cry...whew, well it isn't good. I am going to be praying for her and you.