When Rain Hurts by Mary Evelyn Greene

March 13, 2010

September 23, 2007 Journal Entry and Chapter 19


In Pursuit of Minnows (Late Summer 2007)

September 23, 2007.  Peter wet himself for the third day in a row.  Yesterday, while catching minnows at a nearby creek, he peed his pants while boring his gaze into Pat’s mother and us.  It seems whenever we let negative behaviors like wetting pass without consequence, Peter interprets our inaction as weakness to be exploited.  For the last two mornings we ignored the wetting on the advice of our new Red Hook pediatrician.  She is a sensible, well-meaning woman, but like most doctors we encounter, lacks experience with post-institutionalized children.  She can’t imagine Peter pees with purpose and so she offers a plausible explanation.  “Maybe his sleep pattern has changed.  It happens at this age,” she tells us.  “He may be overtired and not listening to his signals.”  We’re so desperate to believe one of Peter’s problems is “typical” that we take her advice and try ignoring the problem.  I recall this conversation vividly as I confront Peter about his renewed interest in extramural peeing.  I tell him I’m aware he’s wetting because he went without consequence the last two days.  The kind doctor no doubt would reproach me for saying so, but I know my child.  He scoffs and hides his face so I can’t see him relish in the moment, his smirk re-enforcing the terrible truth Pat and I have known for some time:  we often are at war with our son.  The Normal Frontal Lobes (us) versus The Flying Neurons (him).  When pushed to speak about the reason he’s begun wetting again, he looks up and says, “I like to upset you.”  “Does it ever upset you?” I ask.  “No, I like it.”  He walks off without looking back and crouches behind the kitchen island.  I soon hear him crying.  I peek over and find him sobbing with great shuttering waves of shame, knees drawn up to his chin as he rocks, repeating to himself how sorry he is, that he’ll try harder.  I start crying too.  “Come here,” I say, picking him up.  I expect limp, dead weight but he wraps his arms tightly around me, squeezing my neck for dear life.  I think he understands, for the moment, that he’s his own worst enemy.  Peter can be the boy who wants carte blanche to disrupt our family at every turn as well as the boy who desperately needs and craves love.  There is an epic, primal war waging inside him.  The stakes are so high it dwarfs the battle he’s waging against us.  If I think too much about which boy will prevail, which of our Peters will emerge to face us as his body and mind edge toward manhood, I’ll lose what’s left of my mind.  And so I squeeze him back and surrender my fear in favor of this rare, connected moment.

Chapter 19:  Something’s Not Right

Somewhere around the six-month mark, Pat and I realized denial was no longer a rational pursuit.  By this time Peter was attending preschool three mornings a week and I was grateful for the break.  It gave me the opportunity to focus on Sophie without the distraction of Peter’s increasingly more difficult presence.  During this time we still clung unsteadily to the “give it time” theory, continuing to hope that Peter’s odd behaviors would eventually resolve.  Clinging to this possibility made about as much sense as running a marathon with one shoe but we weren’t yet ready to face reality.  It didn’t help that everyone we turned to, doctors, preschool teachers, family, and friends, urged us to practice patience.  He needed time to heal, acquire language, and discover a sense of self.

Another reason we didn’t move sooner was that although his puzzling behaviors and social interactions were worrisome, they didn’t scream out for attention.  The bed soiling hadn’t stopped but it hadn’t escalated either.  He was acquiring language, but at a slower rate than Sophie, who was chattering happily and nonstop.  Peter still only had a few dozen words but more importantly, he had a habit of stringing them together in a way that didn’t quite seem right.  For instance, he called the bathtub “bath tonight” and referred to the sink as a “drink of water.”  It was easy though to dismiss these language mistakes, especially since he was still transitioning from Russian to English.

His preschool teachers were happy to have him even though when pressed, they confessed that he kept to himself and wouldn’t join in with the other children.  He also didn’t follow directions, even simple ones.  I remember these kind-hearted women almost whispering these confessions, as though it were impolite to discuss a recently adopted child’s lack of progress.  “But he’s no problem,” they’d say, grabbing my hand warmly.  “And he’s cute as a button . . . those eyes!”

Tiny and Wearing Madras (Peter's spring preschool recital, May 2005)

Then there was the sitting down behavior, a precursor to the tantrums and rages that still pepper our daily lives.  Whenever Peter was upset, because he didn’t want to do something that was asked of him, like stop a preferred activity, or leave before he was ready, he’d drop to the floor.  It was the strangest thing.  He’d sit with his legs straight out and his hands resting rigidly in his lap, silent as the night and staring blankly ahead.  And he wouldn’t budge.  One of us would have to hoist him, one-armed, and carry him like an unwieldy mannequin.

These were warning signs, certainly, but except for the bed soiling, they felt manageable.  Peter was a little boy who was obviously having trouble adjusting and who was withdrawn and reliant on maladaptive behaviors to express his needs and frustrations.  We accepted this and tried our best to embrace the adage that patience and love were the greatest of all healers.

But then the other shoe fell off.  About six months after the adoptions, Peter abruptly abandoned his passive approach to living in our house.  Almost as though an alarm bell sounded inside the deepest recesses of his brain, our son awoke to the sounds of his own primal screams.  His demons became loosed and consequently, our family’s course, laid from hopes, dreams, and a pinch of folly, took a turn toward a future we never expected or imagined.

One early Sunday morning when the bulbs had bloomed but the grass was still brown, Peter ran into our room and uncharacteristically jumped in bed.  Despite the darkness that still blanketed the day, the house was awake from the rumbling of a springtime storm.  Sophie had already beaten him to the punch and was lodged deep under the covers, hiding from both the thunder and the high-pitched howl of the wind whistling through the newly leaved trees.  Peter wiggled his way between us in search of a spot where he too could disappear.  Despite the children’s fear, I was grateful for the banging storm, for the intimate opportunity it offered.

Because it was still mostly dark, I didn’t notice anything unusual when Peter stretched his arm out from under the quilt.  But I quickly smelled the odor.  “What the . . .,” I gasped while Pat fumbled for the lamp switch.  To our horror, the light revealed what we already suspected.  Poop, coming from Peter.  And it wasn’t a simple accident.  He was covered in feces.  He had taken his own waste and smeared it all over his body and pajamas and into his hair.  He was completely covered in poop.

Sophie started crying as soon as she realized what happened and this caused Peter to run screaming from the room.  The place on the bed where he lay was fouled and so were Sophie and I.  Because Pat was unaffected, he sprung into action while I remained stunned and on the verge of getting sick.  “Get him,” I groaned as I fought back the urge to vomit.  Lifting Sophie gingerly from the bed, as if she were injured, I carried her into the bathroom.  Stripping her pajamas in the tub, I scrubbed her delicate skin under water as hot as she could stand until the germs fell off and her sobs subsided.  After wrapping her in a towel, I handed her over to Pat as he long-armed Peter toward me.

Early Spring 2007

It was a morning I’ll never forget.  By early afternoon the house was sanitized, as were the human occupants.  I remember sitting at the breakfast bar, sipping strong coffee while I stared numbly at the rivulets forming and reforming on the windowpanes.  I couldn’t manage much more.  Peter was busy rifling through our junk mail, stacking the flyers and advertisements into a big messy pile, and Sophie was engrossed with her Little People farm.  Every once in a while the blare of Cock-a-Doodle-Doo would rouse me from my thoughts and I’d turn and smile toward our daughter.  Surfing the Internet from his perch on the coach, Pat too would look up and smile briefly.  We had so much to talk about and were biding time until we had some privacy.

Before we put Peter down for his nap, we explained very simply that he would be spanked if he ever did that again.  Unsure whether he knew the English word, we gently but firmly demonstrated the spanking process.  “Peter know,” he nodded solemnly.  “Peter know.”  I don’t know whether he knew or not but two days later he delivered an encore performance.  Enough was enough.  We’d been tolerating the “poop on one end and pee on the other” bed routine for six months.  Every possible solution we tried to stop the behavior, including putting a potty in his room, either backfired or didn’t help.  Not charts, not rewards, not consequences.  And he had upped the ante substantially.

So as promised, the second time around we spanked him.  It felt like a defeat, certainly.  During all the years I dreamed of becoming a mother, my imagination never took me to a place where I resorted to spanking a toddler I’d brought home from Russia only six months earlier.  But I also never dreamed of parenting a child who willingly covered himself in feces.  I was at a loss, and so was Pat.

It’s not that I think children should never be spanked or that any parent who chooses to spank is a borderline abuser.  But spanking our kids?  That was different.  Sophie and Peter had been neglected and half-starved and who’s to say they hadn’t been physically or even sexually abused?  We just didn’t know.  But we also felt like we had no other choice.   Perhaps the worst part of all is that the spanking worked.  He never did it again.  As we would soon discover, Peter experiences some kind of psychic release when he’s thoroughly punished, whether spanked or disciplined in some other way, which by far is the more usual scenario.  It’s almost as though he’s hit rock bottom but doesn’t realize it until a strong punishment intercedes to alert him.  Only then can he pull himself together and resurface.

Looking back on this phase of our lives, I now understand that Peter wasn’t able to hold himself together, that the strain of keeping his behavior and impulses in check was too great for him to bear any longer.  The honeymoon was over.  Maybe by that point he felt secure enough in our home to shed the perfect robot routine.  Conversely, maybe the sudden change in course signaled his inability to cope with the demands and nuances of family life.  To this day I’m unsure which is the more probable explanation or whether there’s even a third or fourth consideration that would shed light on the shift that occurred.

 

March 2005

Unfortunately, the feces smearing incidents, though perhaps the pinnacle acts of his rapid descent, weren’t the only issues with which we found ourselves faced.  During this period he also became destructive, ripping wallpaper from the walls in the middle of the night and pulling toys apart piece by piece.  “Truck broke,” he’d complain, showing me the various pieces he plucked apart.  “Garbage time.”  Whenever Pat or I tried making him acknowledge his role, so that he understood his actions caused the toy to break rather than random fate, he would scream red-faced, “Peter no break.  Truck broke!”

 

It was in this manner that I gradually came to understand that Peter had trouble making logical connections.  For a long time I thought he was just being stubborn, that like most young children he didn’t want to admit his mistakes or his role in a particular misdeed.  But over a period of time I realized that Peter constantly overlooked, even angrily denied, the most obvious cause and effect relationships.  Twisting the arms of sunglasses will cause them to break.  Ripping the wallpaper will bring about a consequence.  There’s no dessert when dinner is left uneaten.  The doorbell always signals a visitor at the front door (as opposed to another door).  Dishes will break when dropped.  Peter simply didn’t register these kinds of unshakeable facts.

Not only was his inability to make logical connections a serious source of concern, it made disciplining difficult because Peter doesn’t learn from his mistakes.  More likely than not, he’s destined to repeat tomorrow and the next day the mistake he made today.  Maybe on some level he understood this, or at least sensed on a basic level that he lacked the tools to navigate the complex world of family and expectations.  Maybe that’s why he opted to take no risks or make even the simplest of choices during those first months home.

May 2007

In the orphanage there were no choices.  Peter was never left alone or unattended, not even at night.  Fifteen other children slept with him and a caregiver stood watch, or at least remained minimally conscious, throughout the night.  Meals were eaten in groups with caregivers combing the aisles to help or maintain order.  Toys were kept high on shelves and to the extent they were brought down, they weren’t scattered across the floor so children could pick and choose.  Children were given one toy at a time.  Use it or lose it.  In the orphanage Peter was told when to potty, when to play, when to go outside, when to eat, when to shower, when to sleep, when to be quiet and when it was okay to make noise.  It’s the kind of system where independent thought is not encouraged and certainly not required, and where a lack of independence or self-regulation might actually make yielding to the rules easier.

But in a home, he was free, at least relatively.  Free to explore his environment, free to make certain choices, such as what he wanted for snack, and free to express his thoughts.  The same held true for Sophie but the difference was that where Sophie learned from her environment and adapted, Peter became more bewildered and frightened.  He didn’t have the tools.

Once he began showing his frustration, whether by smearing feces, ripping wallpaper or launching rocks at Sophie’s head, other telltale signs emerged.  For instance, once he realized there was plenty to eat, always, and that he would never go hungry, he began using food as a weapon.  He often refused to eat dinner.  Keeping a single piece of food in his mouth, whether a pea or a bite of chicken, he would chew and chew but never swallow.  Over time, his refusal of food evolved into a more active assault where he made himself throw up at the table, especially in restaurants.  Logical consequences had zero effect.  He either never made the connection or he didn’t care.  Sometimes Pat and I still catch ourselves uselessly debating which is the more prevalent of Peter’s states of mind, can’t or won’t.  It’s impossible to say because the two are inextricably intertwined.

The behavioral regression we began witnessing during this time was further complicated by what seemed like developmental backtracking.  His rate of language acquisition reached a sort of plateau and he began exhibiting unusual physical movements.  He repeated himself constantly, particularly his name, and always in a loud, monotone voice.  Busily engaged in the “crashing, screaming, falling game,” he might for example, hear someone ask for the time.  Without awareness he’d parrot the question, “Is it 6 yet?”  He also could spin on the middle of the living room rug for thirty minutes straight, oblivious to any action around him.  He regularly walked on his toes and flapped his hands.  Sometimes he rolled his head so violently he looked like a ragdoll drunk on a rollercoaster.

By May, we knew something was seriously wrong.  Despite varied opinions and our own desire to wish them away, Peter’s behaviors could no longer be ignored or casually explained.  Instead of lying awake wondering who Peter was and how spooky it felt to live with a child we barely knew, our sleep soon became interrupted by an entirely new brand of torment.  Namely, whether our son was missing a few key ingredients, components essential for normal childhood development.  Afraid to waste any more time, I made appointments at Vassar Brothers Hospital to have his hearing and speech evaluated and at our local hospital to have him seen by occupational and physical therapists.

The wait and see game was officially over.  Peter had let us know, loud and clear, that time would not heal his wounds.  Frightened as we were, at least we didn’t miss this last desperate scream for help.


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14 Comments »

  1. Did you see 20/20 last night? I don’t think you are alone with your struggle.
    J

    Comment by Judy — March 13, 2010 @ 6:52 pm | Reply

  2. Really great writing! As usual:) sending you all hugs:)

    Comment by Claire — March 13, 2010 @ 10:17 pm | Reply

  3. WOW! I am exhausted just reading this, but I am ALWAYS riveted when reading your posts. Your strength and resolve in dealing with your children, their issues, and each other is remarkable! You HAVE to make this into a book…your message needs to be heard. Also, parents with biological children that have any mental disabilities would be interested in this (I think) from Autisim (sp) to learning disabilities, to delayed speech ~ as parents we want to know/think that our kids are “normal” (whatever that means) but we also want the best for them, if we feel something (no matter how small) is wrong we want to know we are not alone as well as, where can we get help!
    I applaud what you are doing here with the blog and look forward to ultimately reading the book!
    Keep Rockin’ it!
    Meg

    Comment by Meg Coldwells — March 13, 2010 @ 10:44 pm | Reply

  4. Mary, I so relish your writing, your insights, and your voice! I cannot imagine the courage and commitment you have for your son but obviously your writing is a small window into it. Honestly, every session with your writing leaves me contemplative for hours. Thank you for sharing your journey. Alice

    Comment by Alice Jackson — March 14, 2010 @ 9:05 am | Reply

  5. The language troubles would have been the first for me to suspect but the least of the difficulties.

    The logical thought – or lack thereof – that is something else.

    Comment by Adelaide Dupont — March 14, 2010 @ 9:00 pm | Reply

  6. Thank you for your honesty and insight. We adopted a boy and a girl from Ekaterinburg almost three years ago. Your blog today is the first mention I have seen of the eating issues we faced. We went through a similar fight with food. Our son would first horde and hide food, then moved on to chewing a single bite for over an hour. Our daughter can make herself throw up at will at the table. Their fear and need for control tears at my heart. I don’t know if they’ll ever be securely attached. This last few weeks our son thought his teacher was his new mother — she give him food, hugs and love — that’s all it takes, right?
    I will follow your story with interest. If you ever need a shoulder or a listening ear from someone who understands a bit of what you’re experiencing, feel free to reach out. I too am an ex-lawyer but I have learned to listen better now.

    Ronda

    Comment by Ronda — March 15, 2010 @ 4:08 pm | Reply

  7. Hi there. Just found your blog and I am hooked. The honesty and experience with which you write is refreshing.

    Comment by Ferenje Mama — March 15, 2010 @ 11:02 pm | Reply

  8. Mary, I’m with Meg; I get exhausted just reading what you are doing. But I’m also hooked on the story your are sharing. From a book/next steps perspective, I’m interested in what you might be thinking about in regards to how you organize this story. Your blogs are not really chronological, and you combine more current experiences (in italics) with the earlier story below. Also, your posts are very long. I’m not complaining from a reading standpoint but wonder what you might be holding back for a book. If you’re looking to attract publishers or agents, you should separate book content from blog content. Publishers first thought that blog could translate directly into books. But sales were bad. The blog should be more about building the platform for the book–finding, building and hooking a certain type of reader (your who?). If you’ve been following Women’s Memoirs or the postings I’ve been putting on our LinkedIn group, you’ve been reading about platform building. Here’s a link to the most recent (yesterday) posts on Women’s Memoirs and where I guest blog for Story Circle Network:

    http://womensmemoirs.com/memoir-writing-book-business/marketing-platform-building-and-the-question-of-who/

    http://storycircle.typepad.com/scn/2010/03/whats-your-platform.html

    In the meantime, keep up the good work. And bless you and Pat both as you continue to find your way through this difficult challenge. I wish the best for you, Pat, Sophie and Peter.

    Comment by Kendra Bonnett — March 16, 2010 @ 9:24 am | Reply

  9. What a harrowing, gripping story. I am the adoptive mother to two children born in Guatemala and know how challenging such issues can be. Your strength is inspiring. Look forward to reading more.

    Comment by Jessica O'Dwyer — March 16, 2010 @ 4:54 pm | Reply

  10. Thank you for sharing your story. We adopted our son at age 1 1/2 from Perm, Russia, in 2006. He is 4 today and has just been identified to have PDD, Pervasive Development Disorder, on the low end of the autism scale. He is a hand flapper and can focus on a single wheel of a car for a good deal of time, lines all cars of a certain type in a straight row, etc. Eating is brutal, we have to stand on our heads to get him to take a bite of anything except for his favorite…baby food. His issues do not begin to compare with the onces that you continue to face but I wanted to reach out and thank you for sharing your story and I will pray for your family and your patience and energy!

    Comment by Rebecca — March 17, 2010 @ 12:02 pm | Reply

  11. Wow, I’m sorry you are having such a difficult time with Peter. Our daughter is 7 1/2 years old and still quite unaware of when she needs to use the bathroom. She usually smells of urine or bm’s. I usually have to wash her laundry very often because she will soil 3-7 undies/day. We cannot put her in Pull-ups or the like because she gets terrible UTI’s. We’ve been warned that the next one could send her to the hospital as most ‘normal’ antibiotics don’t work anymore. I can take the laundry. I can take sending her to the bathroom every 30-45 minutes while she’s awake & at home. The teacher is good about sending her to the toilet at school. I am THANKFUL she is (& always has been) night-time toilet trained!!! The one time she pooped in her undies in bed (age 27 months–about 2 months after adoption), she SCREAMED & COWERED in the corner of her bed…terrified of what we would do to her. Body language tells me she would have been severely hurt in the orphanage (Sovietsk, Kaliningrad, Russia).

    All this is nothing compared to Peter. Thank you for sharing your story. Praying for blessings for all of you, Laurel

    Comment by Laurel — March 24, 2010 @ 11:14 am | Reply

  12. Hi, We went through so many of these challenges with our adopted children from Romania. Our daughter had quite severe emotional problems and still does. We got her at age four and she’s 22 now. She was recently diagnosed with post-institutional autism syndrome. She’s getting better and very functional despite major setbacks recently when she was hit by a semi and had brain trauma. Our son was adopted at age 6. He wet his bed and pants until about age 14. He sucked his thumb so hard, he had to get special braces to keep from putting a hole through the roof of his mouth. When he reached age 12, he constantly went to others instead of turning to his family for any support. “Well-meaning” friends enjoyed because he did have an outgoing, friendly personality. No one would have anything to do with our daughter. She was very difficult to take anywhere. She also tortured animals and had an eating disorder. Later, we found she had h-plyori bacteria. A woman who lost her son constantly gave our son attention, gifts, and mothering. She had a daughter my son adored. This woman had our son claim child abuse so she could be his foster parent. After a thorough investigation of us, our son’s private school for LD students and discussions with his therapist of 10 years, it was determined that we never abused him and deserved a purple heart. We moved a few miles away but our son still managed to see this woman. Now he’s 24 and on his own. He’s married with a little girl. We never get cards or gifts for birthdays, Mother’s Day, etc. We see him maybe once a year for a few hours. Then he goes to see his “friends.” We are still paying for the private school our son attended that was more expensive than Harvard. We sent him to it because in 7th grade, we were told he was to brain damaged to ever learn to read. We didn’t believe the school district. He went to the finest school in the country for boys with severe learning disabilities. He went from first to tenth grade level and skipped a grade in 2 1/2 years. He returned to public school and took Honors English, Honor Physics and Honors Alg 2, graduated on time and won a partial college scholarship. He emancipated from us two week before HS graduation (right after he totaled his car on prom night) and didn’t invite us to his graduation. We are still struggling to help our daughter. We are immensely in debt. We are sick that the son we loved so much and is so kind to everyone else doesn’t give us the time of day. How could the dream of having a family turn into such a nightmare when all we did was give our child the very best we could?

    Comment by Nicky — March 27, 2010 @ 11:07 am | Reply

    • Nicky, I don’t quite know what to say except that your story, and all the others I’ve heard, as well as our own, is the reason I’m writing this book. People need to know. They need to become educated – and not so they can sympathize with all of us – I’m sure you agree that’s not what we need – but so that they can understand, so they can help and not hinder, so potential adoptive parents can make informed decisions rather than take leaps of faith because their desire to become parents is so great, so people can stop misjudging us and our kids and instead just listen and learn. People don’t want to believe that children, no matter how much they’ve been damaged or abused in their lives before adoption, are capable of acting this way, that they can deliberately manipulate and maneuver adults to gain that all-important sense of control, a desire that trumps everything else in their lives.

      Thank you for writing. And I hope one day you find the peace to believe that what you did for your son is amazing, that you gave him the greatest possible chance to lead as normal a life as possible, even if he never realizes this. You have done your job. You have parented with love and devotion without receiving anything back. I hope one day I can say we have done what you were able to do, though we are now trying to make a conscious effort to no longer sacrifice the rest of our lives, our financial and emotional stability, in exchange for furthering his. It’s not fair to our other child and its not fair to us. We can’t undue the fact that we’ve already ruined ourselves financially for him, but we are trying to prevent it from happening again. The incremental gains we might give him by throwing all our resources at the problem are not worth the monumental loss and risk the other 3 family members suffer. Take care and know that at least I understand. There are others too. Best – Mary

      Comment by whenrainhurts — March 27, 2010 @ 11:31 am | Reply

  13. I found your blog through a post you made on Cafe Mom about it. I can tell you I read into the wee hours last night and woke up today and have been reading voraciously. My eyes hurt and I have been through various emotions following your story from the beginning. I have been tearful reading about the poor babies who slipped from your hands in Russia and what their fate is today. I am a married mother of five bio children who range in age from 23 to just turned 2. My youngest are 2 and 3. I found the need to comment because of the “Poop” incidents. I have to say our 3 year old son did this. My 17 year old did this to the point of removing his diaper at nap time and spreading the contents on the wall and crib. This is a very common problem among parents and if you scour the web you will see how common it is. We used duct tape on our three year old and that helped for a while and he stopped doing it but then a few weeks ago he did what you described. Upon getting him up from his nap my husband discovered he had taken the poop and smeared it all over his body. We were not thrilled but put him in the shower and cleaned him up. He did this again next nap time. Let me say our 3 year old is extremely bright. He is very talented athletically as well and excels at basketball and most other sports, he is very high spirited and may have adhd but my husband did too at that age and so did his father. I certainly understand not having any bio children you may have thought this was a problem because of how he spent his first few formative years but I can tell you that bio children growing up in stable loving homes. Just join any of the preschool groups on forums like CafeMom and you will hear many of the same stories. As for ripping wallpaper off the walls, again this is a very typical toddler behavior and while we put our wallpaper boarder on top of the wall, where he could not reach he would rip down a wallpaper type growth chart and had a penchant for taking the wheels off of his trucks and tractors. I think these are very typical in toddlers. I am not saying by any means (I have not read further yet) that your son does not have FAS or other issues. I feel for you but I just feel that these behaviors you mention here are not indicative of a problem and do occur in many children with normal development. I also want to point out the behavior you mentioned with Peter putting items in a backpack only to empty and do the same thing is also a normal behavior in young children. It is the “put and take” and is very entertaining to many toddlers and many toddler toys are designed for this well know behavior. I am aware that repetitive behaviors and such can be a sign of autism but again many normal toddlers do the same thing. Given the way he spent his early years, I would not think this was a problem and if you confided to me as another mom and friend I would have told you that my three year old does many of the same things. I am looking forward to reading the rest of your chapters. I live about 40 minutes from you and I am also in upstate NY. I have always wanted to adopt, since I was a child. I looked for many years and even volunteered with a domestic and international adoption agency in Maine. I badly want to adopt a little girl from China but with all their new restrictions, it is nearly impossible. I am looking very much into adopting a baby or toddler from foster care but we will see. My husband is very on the fence and thinks we have plenty in our lives right now. Anyway, I am not saying that your son has nothing wrong, just don’t want a parent reading this to think that their child has major problems because they do these bahaviors. Heck, my husband and I are right now developing a sleeper that prevents a child from taking their pjs off at bedtime/naptime. We have a prototype we use here now and no more “accidents.” Anyway in looking at the feasability of the demand for this type of a product, I came across all the other parents with this problem.

    Comment by carly67 — January 23, 2011 @ 7:17 pm | Reply


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