While Huckle has not yet asked outright about his mother or grandmother, he mentions them in his own way.
We were at the store a few days ago, he was in the cart, and I couldn't push it between the clothing racks, so I was out of eyesight for about fifteen seconds while I found his size on the clearance racks. I talked to him the entire time so he could hear my voice, and when I reappeared, he said, "You hate me and you going to leave me." I assure you, I tell him he's safe and loved.
Later that night, he got grabby with the dog, and I told him to be gentle (words I repeat about twenty times a day -- he's three) and not pull the dog's tail. I don't think my tone was any different than usual, but he stopped and asked, "You hit me now?" I assure you, the most painful thing he's experienced at my or my husband's hand is scrubbing dried tomato sauce off his forehead.
My mother spends the day out here once or twice a week. When Huckle first moved in, he would scream bloody murder whenever she left. After a week or so, after another traumatic departure, he was finally able to say, "Mommy won't feed me." I assure you, I make food for Huck once an hour, and there is always a bowl of fruit on the kitchen table, should I be in the bathroom for more than forty-five seconds.
I know all this, and the other instances I haven't listed, are his way of asking for reassurance. He's testing me, and I just have to keep on keeping on. But it breaks my heart. It has escalated in the past few days, ever since I showed him his mom's photograph, and I'm kicking myself. Here's me, serving my traumatized boy a mindfuck in a black plastic frame.
OK, something just occurred to me after writing that -- maybe I didn't debilitate him with that photograph, maybe I made it okay for him to talk about her and his past, and that's what he's doing? Maybe he's starting to work it out, and in 3 year old terms, this is how it happens?
If only I had the time or energy to reread all those adoption books, but I can't even remember to wash the conditioner out of my hair during my shower. Quick, someone give me a page number.