I'm no psychologist, therapist or professional child-understanding professional. I'm not even a "real dad." I'm a surrogate father and a homeschooling advocate, so take this with a grain of salt, but here's my thinking: Brittany and I have had a major breakthrough in our understanding about the girls: One of them is still totally not attached to us. And this makes it incredibly hard to do things with her.
I think I missed something in our adoption classes. We were told that attachment issues were difficult. I totally got the message that the kids would be distant, frustrating, hurtful. But I think I skipped the day they talked about how you simply wouldn't care at all about the child with whom you had not bonded.
Crying? Don't care.
Hungry? Stop complaining.
Tried? Deal with it.
In fact, my reactions have been 180° from what I've heard about parenting and seen in books about raising girls. Right now, I can't imagine a little girl of mine ever melting my heart. Can't even fathom it.
That makes me sad.
But if my theory is right, I get where those apprehensive about spending all day with their kids are coming from: They--like me--are not attached to their children. Their children--like the two I'm watching--drive them crazy more than they warm their hearts. So is it any wonder they don't want to be stuck in the same room with them for several hours a day, wrestling through school work and having to <shudder> cuddle with them on the couch?
I imagine, however, there are those of you, perfectly bonded with your children, who are shaking your heads right now. 'That's not how it should be,' you're thinking. 'Having children is such a joy! There is some much more to experience. Homeschool! Homeschool! You'll see!"
And I agree. I firmly believe that homeschooling is the best way to attach. Attaching can be painful, difficult, frustrating and a number of other negative descriptors. But being attached is how life with children should be. Society has somehow made attachment optional, so you may be experiencing the same kind of issues those of us in the foster/adoption track struggle through. But on the other side, I'm told, life is great.
Are you up for it? Because if you are not attached with your children, you absolutely should homeschool. You'd have the opportunity to do things like:
Read Green Eggs and Ham Together
Build with Blocks
I realize it doesn't feel like an opportunity. "Torture" may seem more like it. Many times I know I don't feel like reading to the girls.
Still, do I want to go through life avoiding my children?
And so I do the responsible thing and I read, I play, I spend time. And I'm hoping that eventually we'll bond and everything I've been told about the wonders and joys of parenting will become true.
I hope, as I take another bite out of parenting, to one day discover that:
green eggs and hammy chil-der-en!
I do! I like them, Sam-I-am!