So, I decided, last week, to start keeping a food/potty/upset journal for Sweet Boy to see if I could recognize any patterns. We have an appointment with his doctor, later this summer, and I would like to be able to give her a full picture of what we're seeing/experiencing. After a lengthy conversation with his last foster mom and reading through the activities from our week, I am convinced that his tummy troubles are anxiety. Sweet Boy lived with his last foster mom for six months before coming to us three months ago and she said he never experienced ANY of the symptoms I describe.
But...that was during a time in his life when he had only walked through one disruption and the contrast of environments was so, vastly, different. He experienced peace for the first time, since birth, when he came into that home.
In his eyes, the move to our home is (I presume) unexplainable.
Last night, something happened at the dinner table that required Ben to discipline Sweet Boy. Immediately after, he started coughing and told us that he was going to "choke" his new word for throwing up. I told him that he was fine and that he needed to take two big deep breaths instead and showed him how to do it. He didn't throw up.
That night when I was laying in bed with him, I told him that after reading through his journal, daddy and I felt like his tummy aches were because of things that he is feeling in his heart or thinking about in his head. I used the word "anxiety" and explained what it meant. When I mentioned fear, he said, "I'm afraid of things, mom."
"Well, let's talk about that, honey. What are you afraid of?"
"Dragons. I am really afraid of dragons."
I bit back my laughter and talked him through it as if it were a logical fear.
What else, honey. What else are you afraid of?
"Well...I'm also really afraid of crocodiles."
Clearly our conversation was going nowhere, but I persevered, hoping we'd get to something more meaningful. We talked about the power of God and the job of the Holy Spirit. I told him that he never has to be afraid at night (most nights he lays awake for a long time) because his brothers are with him and we're not far away. I ended the conversation with another stab at his fears. "Honey, is there anything else that you're afraid of that you want to talk about?"
He was thoughtful for a really long time. So long, that I would have thought he had fallen asleep if I wasn't staring at his eye balls. He, finally, looked at me and with complete seriousness, said, "Mom, I am REALLY afraid of walking fast backwards."
I couldn't hold my laugh in that time and responded by saying, "Well, buddy, that is really easy to fix. Stop walking backwards!"
"No. No, mom. I'm not afraid to walk backwards SLOW. I'm really good at walking slow. I'm afraid of walking backwards fast."
We're not really getting any closer to solving his tummy troubles, but little rays of personality are starting to shine through the cracks in Sweet Boy's very tall-walled exterior.