"Mom, how does the Tooth Fairy fly through the air?"
"How do YOU think?"
"I think moms do it."
"But how can a Mom be a Tooth Fairy?"
"Good moms are lots of things, Princess."

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Onion Layers

Raising a child with reactive attachment disorder is like peeling back the layers of an onion (I wish I could take credit for that gem, but I can't. Sure wish I could remember who to give it to, though). You're always peeling a layer, and there's always one underneath. Princess's new layer appears to be lying.

Sometime, it's completely random, nonsensical, knock your head against your forehead lying. Yesterday she wet herself and ran up to change. Fine. Frankly, I'm glad we're to the point where she'll change herself. One less battle to fight. However. She ran downstairs half a second later half dressed.

"What are you doing, Princess?"
"I'm looking for the wipes."

Now, she knows full well where the wipes are. In fact, just two days ago she pretended to not know where the wipes were kept, and I had her spend five minutes sitting on the toilet staring at the wipes container. She knows where they are.

"Princess, go take some time to watch the wipes box. Five minutes."

I set the timer, read my book, and went to her when it beeped. She told me they were gone.

"Take out a wipe, Princess."

She opened the box, showed me the wipes and said, "see, they're gone."

"Take out a wipe, Princess."

She stabbed at the wipes for several minutes, acting like it was thorougly beyond human possibility to remove one while I watched patiently and silently. Finally, scowling at me, she took one out and cleaned herself.

"So Princess. How'd it work out for you to pretend you didn't know where the wipes were?"
"Not good."
"How'd it work out to pretend you couldn't take them out?"
"Not good."
How do you think it will go the next time you try it?
"Not good."

Mmm hmm.

But what concerns me more is the lying she does to herself. She had a homework page yesterday that involved counting by tens. She took one look at it and squealed, "oh this is so EASY!!!" I knew it would be a struggle. Josh was home, too, and we (mostly Josh- oh, thank you darling flu for keeping Josh home yesterday, too!) did our best to direct her without walking her step by step, and it took her about two hours. When Josh finally deemed it correct, she gushed and gushed and GUSHED about how easy it, then skipped away to put it in her backpack. Josh was too stunned to respond.

This is what I find most perplexing. She is a hard worker. I mean HARD. It's one of her most fortunate qualities. It's something to be proud of. But instead of telling herself, "whew, that was hard! But I worked hard and I did it. I rock," she tells herself a lie.

I know asking why is futile.



  1. The wipes thing brought up some BIG feelings for me. Holy cow. Been there.


  2. BTDT got the t-shirt.
    Keep on peeling. Did you know that when you're peeling an onion that if you keep your mouth shut you won't cry? Laugh if you want but I didn't know that until 2008. It works on our kids too. :) Sometimes that is...other times...not so much.