Snippet the first:
After a safety scissor cutting fest today, T asked Puppy to clean up by stacking the papers on a table. Puppy told him, "You cannot stack paper! You can only pile it on tables."
I forget that he's still working on basic vocabulary sometimes.
Snippet the second:
The night before we were supposed to have our visit with Puppy's first dad last week, we were going over our schedule with Puppy. Giving him a heads up for all that was going on the next day, that sort of thing. We were seeing so many different people every day and knowing what to expect gave him a little sense of control. So we told him that Ray was coming over in the morning to play and have lunch with us.
"Ray?" he said. "My daddy?"
Now, Puppy usually calls Ray by his first name. Sometimes he talks about his "birth daddy" (T is his "daddy daddy").* This is the first time I can remember him just referring to him just as daddy.
I tell you this not because it was that big of a deal. T confirmed that it was Ray, his daddy, who was coming over and the conversation went on from them. But something I read online tonight made me think of it.
Often we adoptive parents put a lot of thought and worry into what names we should use for our kids' first parents. First names or special nicknames? Birth dad or first dad? Put Mama before the name or no? There is no one right answer, and sometimes a lot of emotion is tied up in the choices. I imagine that's true on the first parents' side as well.
But that moment with Puppy reminded me that kids often try on different ideas through the language they use. And there is certainly a lot to think through in being a kid who was adopted. In my mind, it's such a simple, yet important, thing to give them the emotional space to explore those ideas. No matter what it may stir up for us.
* He's only used this construction to talk about dads; he doesn't talk about birth mommy and mommy mommy. Not sure why, but I think it may have something to do with the different ways his first parents interact with him.