I've been getting some questions about what it looks like to take someone you don't know into your home and pretend to be a family after one fateful Monday night. Instead of trying to *actually* explain it, I'll tell you about making cookies.
On Saturday, I decided to make homemade cookies as a treat for my boys. Little Ham is very excited about cooking and wanted to help, so of course I let him. However, cookie baking is a pretty loaded subject for someone who has been through 6 homes. Apparently every single new mom he's had (including his biological grandma) made cookies together with him as an ice breaker.
While we were mixing ingredients, a lot of stories came out about who would let him snoop what during the process. Grandma let him eat butter and chocolate chips. Mom L let him have some of the batter, and so on. I made him wait to snoop until we were at the very last step before baking, which was not very popular -- someone was pretty sure he wanted to eat a whole stick of butter.
At the final taste/snoop time, Little Ham took a bite of dough and said "This tastes TERRIBLE" and spit it out. He then told me how much Mom L's cookies were better than mine.
I baked the cookies without his assistance, because he then wanted to leave to go play with Hamslice.
After the cookies were baked, he tried one and again insisted they were terrible and he couldn't even finish one.
The next day he forgot that they were my cookies, and he ate one and asked for another. I smiled hugely, and he then changed his mind and reminded me that the cookies are gross.
The next day, he took one store bought cookie in his lunch *and* one of mine, but I pretended to not notice. When I asked about the cookie later he insisted that he threw it in the trash.
When I brought this up in therapy, Little Ham told the therapist that Mom L's cookies were "Magical."
And so this is what it's like to have a new kid in your house who has a whole life they've already lived without you. It will take time and a lot of love, but I still believe that maybe in a year or two, he'll eat my cookies. Stay tuned.