Well, two months has gone by since Brandon arrived at home and the honey moon is officially over. The newness and the bliss? Done. All 4 kids have taken turns having in-depth battles with differing teams ganging up against the others in their love/hate relationship. Brandon has indeed learned that his bedroom is his own and he can throw anyone out that he pleases. His sisters have taught him it is acceptable to stick out their tongues if they are not happy with the other. He also is an expert in the art of tattling. So needless to say the damage control team (a.k.a. Mom since Dad is in Vegas living the high life at a Computer Geek Conference) is working over time because all of that behavior is clearly unacceptable.
We’ve had to get tough on Brandon for his lack of motivation on his studies. I had never had to yell at him before last week when he went limp (who says only girls are drama queens?) when I tried to go over his multiplication tables with him. I am a busy women and I am trying to help him even come close to passing the 3rd grade. I finally yelled, “Brandon. You are NOT 5. You are 11. You need to SIT UP and LEARN THIS MATH!!!!!” His face went stone cold white and 30 minutes later he knew the times tables 0-3 families. He is a very smart boy. He is just unmotivated and hasn’t ever really had to sit down and learn anything if he didn’t want to. His little 45 minutes of tutoring per day is going to seem like a walk in the park once real school starts and he will have to learn and work hard 7 hours a day. Please pray for his teacher. He/She will have their work cut out for them with our son! They will definitely require a pay raise after they teach Brandon for the year.
He also has had a vicious rash from head to toe for the last several weeks that we cannot get rid of. We have no idea if he is allergic to something he is eating or coming in contact with or what. We’ve changed to all dye free and allergy free laundry soap. We’ve done the same to his body wash. We have taken him to 2 different doctors and consulted with another and the rash is still just out of control. We worry about him because he is starting school soon and kids are very cruel.
All in all, even though the Honeymoon stage is clearly over, we can’t complain like some adoptive families who go through horrible, trying days and serious issues with their newly adopted “older” children. We are very blessed to have Brandon. We are thrilled at how well he is adjusting to our culture and family life. His appetite has finally slowed down a bit this month. He doesn’t binge eat any longer with 3 or 4 helpings. He generally skips breakfast or simply has yogurt. For lunch he eats a sandwich or pizza with a few side items like applesauce or fruit. And then he eats a hearty dinner usually topped with ketchup while we mock him for being a “crazy boy.” (I’ve seriously never met anyone that can take ketchup on absolutely every meal!) We feel he is picking up English quickly. I would guess he has about 1000 English words under his belt and he’s finally putting them together in sentences. He cheerfully contributes to the family by doing dishes, taking out the trash, keeping his bedroom in order and carrying in groceries. He also considers it his duty to recruit his sisters to help out as well (which might help explain part of the reason behind the love/hate relationship). He loves to push the cart at Walmart and help me cook in the kitchen. He often says “I love you” out of the blue. He goes to bed happy and wakes up happy and never declines a hug, but usually offers them first. And best of all, he has already learned the importance of praying before each meal. If anyone dares to take a bite of their food before praying and thanking God, he is the first one to say, “No. Pray. Thank you for the food.” It’s moments like these that make the little trials we are having worth it all.