Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Decline of Self Sufficiency

One of the things we were amazed about was how self sufficient Fisher was at the ripe old age of 3 years and 1 month. He could do so much for himself we were constantly amazed during our three week time with him in China and would quite often find ourselves looking at each other, mouths agape, with a look of, "did he just do that himself?"

We were discussing this with a couple at the birthday party on Friday who have 2 young boys from China as well. When I asked them if their two were self sufficient when they got them, their eyes lit and up and they immediately blurted, "Yes! Scarily So!" We immediately began laughing at some of the stories, folding their own clothes, brushing their teeth better than my dentist does during a cleaning, tearing off the lid of a sippy cup because it's just annoying and limits the flow of liquids, throwing away trash, etc... We then  bemoaned the stories of today which lead to, what the crap happened after we got them then?!

For example... On the second day in China with Fisher, he finally had to go poop. He hopped right up, no stool, no special seat. I hung around to of course make sure he didn't fall in. When he was finished, I did like any good parent of a toddler would and began getting ready to clean him. This was instantly met with screams and a flurry of Mandarin that could only have meant, No, I do it myself! To which he did, tore off the correct amount of toilet paper, folded it just so, wiped, checked himself and repeated until he was clean. Fast forward to now, 5 months later. Door flung wide open in the hall bath of house, Fisher's voice reverberating throughout the entire house announcing, "I'm doooooooone!" As if to say, the royal highness is finished with his business and someone better come quick or their WILL be consequences. Oh my how we have digressed.

It does lead us to believe two very important things; these children were treated like little adults and if they didn't do as expected, there would be harsh consequences, and secondly, toddlers are capable of way more than we think and can be accountable for more than we presume. Our tendency is to enable inability and dependence on us too much, when in fact, within the correct loving boundaries, they can quite often wipe their own tushes just fine thank you, all by themselves.

Wondering if other adoptive parents have seen this behavior?

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