T, Puppy and I--along with Puppy's first mom--are guinea pigs in a study that is vaguely about the effects of nature and nurture in adopted children (I think we'll find out what it's really about when they publish the findings). We had a visit from the researchers on Saturday, and at one point T and I sat in front of a video camera for 20 minutes conversing off of generic prompts they provided. The first prompt asked, "Think back on the past week? Was it a regular week? How was it for you?" I think we laughed for five straight minutes. It was just such an absurd question under the circumstances. No, we always head out town, bring back a new family member, and have some of the best and worst moments of our lives all at once. Totally typical week for us!
Firefly is two weeks old tomorrow. It has been a good two weeks and certainly an intense two weeks. The overarching feeling for me is that she has somehow always been with us. I remember the same feeling when Puppy came home. I was prepared for life to feel topsy-turvy as we adjusted to parenthood, but instead it seemed as if we had been feeding and bathing and shushing a little one all along. The illusion didn't last, but it certainly created a nice bit of emotional respite during the initial weeks.
Puppy harbors no illusions that Firefly has always been here. It's true that he has been wonderfully sweet toward her. It is touching how gentle he tries to be with her, how he wants to show her off to visitors and make sure she's attended to when she cries. But it is an enormous transition for him to not be the only child and his feelings about that are seeping out in other ways. He's testing his boundaries with us pretty constantly, particularly with this screech that peels the paint off the walls. Underneath it all is a fairly clear plea for reassurance, so we've been trying to give him the extra love and attention he needs right now without jettisoning our basic behavioral expectations of him. Honestly, helping him through this has been more tiring than anything Firefly has required of us.
We've mostly been hermits since Firefly came home. I was ready to be more adventurous this week, but by Monday I was sicker than I've been in years and I'm sort of still recovering. (Knock on wood, Firefly seems to have escaped the stomach bug that the rest of us got. They tell you to keep newborns away from sickies, but what to do when the sickies are inside the house?) But, no more hermiting! Today Firefly makes her debut into society at playgroup. I need to see some friends and Puppy needs to stick as close to his regular routine as possible. And the world needs to see Firefly's cute face.