With that said, how did our family define normal this week?
As the Mama, I went through a colossal mental shift in relating to little Max and his tantrums. I talked a little bit about it here, but basically I went from "why is this kid pushing my buttons all the time" to "this really isn't about me, is it?" when I stopped taking my son's emotional breakdowns personally there was definitely a shift in my attitude, and how I addressed the situation. Why it took me three weeks to figure all this out is beyond me. All I can say is that Max is definitely responding to my emotional shift, and he's a happy little camper. We went from 5 tantrums on Tuesday, to none on Friday. That doesn't mean the meltdown days are over, but we're definitely making progress over here.
Another exciting development we had this week is that Max had a little hang out time at Grandma's house without his mom or sibs. Because of his social history we are constantly watching for signs of separation anxiety and attachment disorders. We were pretty sure we wouldn't be able to leave him with anyone for at least 6 months. But apparently he has enough of a relationship with Grandma to hang out with her for half an hour while Mom goes to get the others from their various classes. I imagine it helps that Grandma loves to plan fun activities, like cooking spaghetti. Good stuff.
Oh, and during his 4th time in his life ever entering a swimming pool my little man totally taught himself how to swim. My little guy who wouldn't go in water deeper than his knees on his first 3 visits to the pool not only worked up the nerve to completely submerge himself, but also had his arms and legs coordinated enough to swim 4 feet at a time. The lifeguard and I were both completely amazed. As is common with most children who've spent time in an orphanage, this kid is more athletic than all 5 of us put together.