With Roman, the little victories mean a lot. Especially me, as he seems to have such trouble expressing his love & affection toward me. I sometimes wonder if it's there at all. He's definitely not securely attached to me. For example, what I usually get is what happened tonight. He's at his grandparents, and he called us at 9:15 because he was having a hard time falling asleep. And he told Doug, he realized why - "I didn't say goodnight to you." Not me - he didn't even ask for me - it was Dad. When I tell him I love him, as I did on the phone, I get the same reply - "okay." Can you imagine telling someone you love them daily and only getting an "okay" in response? Doug told him the same thing on the phone, and Roman of course replied "Love you too." It's clear where I stand. It's hard to not take this personally, but it's what I have to do. It's not me, it's my position as mother.
That's why I have to take the little things in a big way. Like when we were getting ready to go meet my parents & Roman spontaneously said, "I'm going to miss you." I don't think he's ever told me that before. And the other night, he cuddled next to me while watching tv even though his Dad was there too. I remember once someone told me that it was the parents' job to love the children, and to earn their love in return. But in a natural relationship, even with parent/child, there is affection that comes back to the parent. I hear parents say "Oh, isn't it wonderful" and how it's the "best job in the world" to be a mom or dad. They clearly get affirmation from their children in some way. I had never experienced that at all until Charlie came along. Spontaneous hugs, the attach-explore stage, running to a parent for comfort... all things Roman has never done. I hurt so badly for how damaged he is in that respect, and once in awhile I have a small pity party for me - because I live his damage now too.