This post is part of the Weekly Adoption Shout Out #WASO where this week's theme is regression.
Mostly this post is about regression as far as Missy is concerned but I'll also touch on it as far as I'm concerned too.
During our training we were told that adopted children often regress to a much younger age. Apparently it's them filling in parts of their lives that they missed out on before. It can also represent comfort, something familiar.
Missy is five and a half but in the past six months we've also had a baby and a toddler living with us. Missy likes to play 'the baby game', although much less so recently. She pretends to be a baby, crawls along the floor talking in a baby voice, saying 'gaga', 'thirsty' and 'cuddles'. We have to pretend she is a baby and pretend to feed her a bottle and then usually give her a cuddle on my lap or rock her like a baby. Daddy doesn't feel comfortable doing this and I didn't at first but I just go with it now as the game doesn't last long. Our SW suggests it's her acting out scenarios and helping herself to understand that Mummy and Daddy do actually do what Mummys and Daddys should do. This role play is likely to be something she missed out on on several occasions when she was baby. Our SW also explained that children, however, won't re-enact something for months that they missed out on for months. They may only do it for a while, a few days even, or everyone now and then. At least with Missy it's just pretend and I don't actually have to get the sterilisers, or jugs out!
For Missy, there isn't a pattern for her regression, or at least not that I've noticed yet. It doesn't happen when she is anxious, in fact it's probably more when she is - or appears to us to be - settled in her surroundings.
It's not just Missy that regresses. I feel I've regressed to a person I was 15 years ago. That person had little confidence and that's how I feel now. I feel like a shrinking violet at the school gate. I felt worried about going into town this evening for a night out, and nearly didn't make it (and cried in the restaurant, oh for goodness sake!). My self-esteem has taken a nose dive. 14 years ago I went backpacking round the world and it did wonders for my confidence. I can't do that now of course (though to be honest there are many days when I wish I could). I've started re-reading the book that helped me make that shift 14 years ago - Feel the Fear And Do It Anyway - bloody brilliant book - you can throw all my other books away but don't touch that one!! And another good book I'm reading (I have at least 4 books and 3 magazines on the go at the moment) is What to Say When You Talk To Yourself.
It's when I start drinking Martini & Lemonade that I know I've regressed to an 18 year old!
PS. Saturday - Baby has appeared today! Baby turned up half an hour ago wanting bottle (used her Hello Kitty bottle that was on the table), burping and cuddles then sleep. Now baby wants nappy changed! Baby wanted pasta for tea not the rice I've put on - that was until I explained that babies do eat rice in their meals, not pasta. Baby is now climbing the furniture - I'll be climbing the walls shortly!