One past Saturday, the family made a trip down to the Cincinnati to visit our relatives down there. This was Eva’s first trip down to the Queen City, and she was excited. Of course, she can be excited about just about anything, as long as you say it in the right tone with a smile.
“Greece may pull out of the Euro causing mass market problems in Europe and the markets, blah blah!”
“These political commercials today make it seem that voting for the other guy will cause the end of days, pbbt!”
“This is the year the Vikings win the Super Bowl, Yeah!”
Well, maybe not everything.
We wait until she finishes her after lunch bottle and hit the road. Perfect planning. This is her nap time, so she’ll sleep in the car and be rested and happy when we get there.
Did you catch the mistake last paragraph? “Perfect planning”. As if there is such a thing in parenting. Sometime you get caught in their robotic acts of consistency, and begin to think you know what’s going to happen. Pbbt.
You know what happens next. Eva stays awake the entire way there. Well, about ten minutes away she begins to doze off. Precisely the worst place to start dozing. The route we take includes this road called Rybolt. Rybolt, I’ve determined, was a roller coaster that was repurposed as a street. The first time we took this road we were following a Mini Cooper up a hill. Then, it disappeared, as if it went into a sink hole. It was just a steep hill on the other side, but still crazy none the less.
Eva did not appreciate this route choice. Just as she’d fall asleep, we’d drop and she’d open her eyes in a panic, wondering what the heck just happened. Now, not only is she tired, but also off put.
When we arrived, Eva was tired (obviously). Eva is a people person though, and there was people around that she needed to observe, so no time to sleep. Then a funny thing happened.
Being the most adorable thing in existence, most everybody wants to hold her. Hold on, quick diversion:
The Four Types of Baby Holders
1. The IRS Agent – They come over, and you know them, and they take without asking. Most frequently known as Grandma.
2. The Child at the Pet Store – They come over with their arms outstretched, the message is clear, gimme.
3. The Shy Girl – They act all shy, wait for you to offer, but if not they’ll meekly ask “Can I hold her?”
4. The Back of the Bus – They don’t ask, they don’t take. You need to offer, or just plop her in their laps. Most frequently known as Uncle.
OK, back to the story. We had a couple of cousins who wanted to hold her. Never been a problem in the past. Today, she realized that the person holding her was not Mom or Dad. This led to tears and frowny faces. First time ever for her (not the frowny face, the I want mommy or daddy).
As a parent, there are many ways to view this. Hurrah! She’s doesn’t want to be with strangers (Stranger Danger!) She won’t be climbing into a stranger’s car any time soon. Or boo, we want to avoid having a child who’s too reliant on mom and dad. Besides, there were our cousins so they don’t qualify as strangers (Eva disagrees, if you’re not recognized, you’re a stranger, that includes you, strange sun glassed man who sounds like daddy but doesn’t have the same eyes).
As an adoptive parent, this is a grand milestone. In a previous post, I discussed the bonding between us towards Eva. I didn’t discuss her bonding with us. How do you determine when that occurs vs. I kind of like you because you give me food and a place to sleep? Well, this moment I think qualifies.
(Confession Time) I didn’t realize the importance of the moment during the moment. I want to share Eva with our family, spread the joy. I was sad that she wasn’t up for it. Only later that week, during one of our monthly meetings with our social worker did she point out the significance of the bond between her and us. Perhaps there were previous moments that I had missed, or maybe I believed it true because I had bonded so strongly.
Eva fights off sleep. Too much to look at. At her next feeding, we try to give her the bottle, but she is so distracted by the kids running around. We find a quiet spot, which works until a child comes barreling through. We are fighting a losing battle. To top it off, mom is starting to feel sick. So much for perfect planning.
Just before we pack things up to go, one cousin comes by for a last shot. Eva, after spending the afternoon with her in the room, relents. She is no longer a stranger, she is somewhat familiar. She still checks that we are close, but finally lets someone else hold her.
We pack up and say our goodbyes. Back to the road, back through the roller coaster, back on the highway. Eva fights it for a while, but eventually quiets down and sleeps. Apparently she needed a pacifier…