We have had Button now for 10 weeks and both Brian and I can change his diaper with equal amounts of ease. He shows no preference for one of us to do the task over the other. This took a month.
We can both put him to sleep and he actually shows a preference for ME at bedtime and naptime!! Can I just tell you what it does for the bleeding, shreds of my heart when Brian comes down after a bedtime struggle with Button and says, "I don't know how you manage to get him to fall asleep in under 15 minutes!" And he falls asleep, face to face, with my arms around him. This took at least 5-6 weeks.
The feeding thing has almost resolved itself too. When I am alone with him (most of the time) I can usually feed him his meals without a hitch but if Dad is home things can get more complicated. He will almost always demand Dad if possible and then throw fits in the middle of the meal about odd things. That may not be adoption related as much as "terrible two's" behavior though. Hard to know.
There were two interesting things that happened that let me know we were making real progress in bonding and, even though this post is getting long, I want to share them with you because I think they are an excellent picture of the bleak realities of a non-bonding child. I tried to imagine what this would be like before it happened to me and I tell you - I could not wrap my mind around it.
The first thing that happened was that Button has this little mantra he says to himself, on and off all day, as he plays. He sort of chants his people's names. I think it's a comfort mechanism. Anyway, he would say, "Bopa, Gaigai, Dada" over and over again while stacking blocks or doing any quiet activity. At about the 7 week mark I suddenly heard him say, "Bopa, Gaigai, Dada, Mamma." I had been added to his list of comfort names. Now he always chants me in with the group. Trust me, it's a big deal.
The second thing was that about 2 weeks ago, Button woke up from his nap and I got him out of bed and carried him into our wouldbig chair for "book time" like we do every day. As we walked along I realized that something was different. At first I couldn't identify it but then I realized that Button had snuggled against me koala style with his hands around my neck, head on my shoulder and legs wrapped around my waiste. Yes, I carry Button constantly and have done so for more than 2 months, but unless he was passed out cold that child has never snuggled against me. He holds his body away from me, rigidly, making it so heavy and difficult to carry him but he demands to be carried none-the-less.
I stood in our hallway holding him and cried. It was such a small thing and it felt so huge to me. My tears made me feel so pathetic, like I was desperate for love or something. Since that time Button seems to have decided that he can perform this "koala snuggle" with me safely and he will now do it once or twice a day and then pull back, look into my face searchingly and smile. Once though, he looked at me very seriously and then slapped me hard. He is working so hard to find safety that it breaks my heart for him. And, yes, a little for me too.