Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Where Are Mommy's Eyes?

I ask Ephraim this question a lot when I'm holding him.  It's the only way I can get him to look into my eyes in that situation.  He'll make eye contact...and then poke me in the eye!  But then he'll hold the eye contact for a few moments.

Eye contact is a struggle for children who have had interrupted attachments or lack of attachments in the beginnings of their lives.  There was a time when Ephraim got better at it.  But I've noticed lately he refuses it much more often.  It's always been during intimate times that he averts his eyes: feedings when he was a baby and while being held close.  If he's sitting in his highchair across from you, he'll look into your eyes regularly.  It's when you hold him close that he pulls those eyes away.

I don't know why it's gotten worse lately.  Maybe it's part of the regression I talked about having to do with Daddy switching jobs and being home less.

This morning I tried to rock him and look into his eyes while he drank his apple juice but he wanted to be on the go.  I've got a few more tricks up my sleeve that I've read about including singing interactive songs with him on my lap.  Maybe we'll try that later today.

It breaks my heart a little when he won't do the seemingly simple task of looking into his mommy's eyes and I start to feel like I've failed him in some way.  But I have to remember that attachment is a process, we're still making progress regularly, and I just have to make sure I keep putting in the work.

Have you looked into your child's eyes yet today?  It's a wonderful thing...even if it's just for a moment.

1 comment:

Penelope said...

Hi Laurel!
Attachment is tricky, isn't it? Maybe you could have him evaluated? I wrote about ECI on my blog. And check out the comments from other adoptive moms.

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