I bathe Zeni every day. I was AND condition her hair, comb it out, and lotion her.
I was talking to some friends about it this weekend and realized that the reason, at least in part, that I do it is because I still feel somewhat like her caretaker, not her mom. I am her custodian, charged with caring for her. If I was caring for a friends child I would make sure they were bathed, fed, warm and taken care of and that is how I catch myself feeling about Zeni at times - like a friend's child. I have great affection for her. I enjoy her. I feel protective of her. I feel like I know her fairly well. But I do not yet feel the same beautifully painful love that I feel for Hayden.
I feel fairly certain that feeling is on it's way. I'm getting to know her and we're getting to know each other. I'm learning that when she has her arms out at her sides and they are shaking up and down that she is overstimulated and needs dark and quiet. I'm learning that she grunts when she's tired. That she likes to sooth herself by sucking on her index finger. That she eats up attention, she's a flirt, and she's stubborn. She likes rice cereal and sweet potatoes. She likes it when I make clicking noises, and when Jeremy rubs her hand on his beard. When she first falls asleep, she snores - it stops once she is deeply sleeping. She likes to be swaddled with her left hand free.
I love making her smile, I like throwing her up in the air and hearing her giggle as I catch her. I like feeling her in the sling, close and nestled in like a little animal. Each time I correctly identify what she needs and am able to provide it I feel a little closer to her. Each time I find myself angry at her because it is the middle of the night and she will not go back to sleep, I feel a little further away.
It's agonizing. I feel guilty at all times except when I am staring lovingly into her eyes and talking softly to her like they say to do in the attachment books. I spend about 10 minutes a day not feeling guilty.
For those of you who have adopted, did you go through this? When does it end? For those of you who have more than one child, does any of this sound like second child stuff?