"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."

Sunday, April 11, 2010


I love having my children home. I really do. It takes a bit to adjust the schedule, and that's why one- and two- week breaks are challenging, but I love having them around me.


Spring break was a doozy. I will not hide it; it was. Everyone I knew was out of town at least part of the week, so I was left to my own devices. Josh had to attend a string of open houses this weekend, as well, and trust me, that did not help my morale. So yesterday I once again hit the Wall O' Depression. The night before Princess had yet another tantrum over something many would consider basic, such as using the toilet or putting on pajamas. I do not remember. I am too bored of the tantrums to collect enough energy to remember the boring details. This followed a day of tantruming each and every time she was asked to do something (like pick up a toy. Or wear clothes), so I was done. And resentful.

Josh is well-schooled in the Kerrie is About to Jump off the Roof curriculum, so he took Buddy and Princess (and Jorge) to his open houses. I'm not sure why, but it just made me more depressed, like she was willing to behave herself as long as she isn't with me.

(Well of course she is; it's not like I don't know that. I'm the one who would be "dangerous" to attach to, not Daddy, or teacher, or realitors. It's just, well, it gets a girl down sometimes, that's all.)

Anyway. I had an absolutely hideous attitude toward RAD last night. And, it definitely wasn't me, but I thought I heard someone (I don't know who) threaten to twist her head off if she screamed one more time about, I don't know, having to breathe? Shedding skin cells? I don't remember. But, of course, no one would expect me to remember because, like I said, it wasn't me.

Right around this point, Josh pulled me aside and said, "look. I'm going to give validity to one of your theories, so listen up." And he reminded me that exactly one year ago, three months before the adoption finalized, I had to talk him off the roof. Because he wanted to give up. I had remembered March was a possible traumaversery, but I had forgotten about April. April, when we got the phone call that reunification was not going to happen, that the girls would stop unsupervised, overnight visits and go back to having supervised two-hour visitation at the agency. April, when an already stressed, unwilling, and belligerent birth-mom pretty much gave up trying to even look like she was cooperating or bonding. April, when I had to stick very close to the agency during visitation, because I never knew when it would end prematurely. April, when we told the girls they would not see their birth mom again for a long, long time.


The good news is that April to July last year was FABULOUS with Princess.
The bad news is we're running out of months that do not have some kind of traumaversary.

This morning Princess began a tantrum about picking up the belongings that she used to trash her room during the tantrum the night before. Later, we sat down and I said, "Princess, you have a lot of tantrums about doing regular kid things like getting dressed and picking up and using the toilet. Other kids don't have them. What do you think is making YOU want to have them? There was lots of hemming and hawing and complaining about noise (we eventually ended up outside, where she complained about the cold). And a lot of fake answers. Clearly she either wasn't telling, or didn't know. So I said, "here's what I think it might be. I think you have tantrums because you don't want to have to be close to your family. But family time is important for you, so today when you have tantrums, I'm going to give you EXTRA family time. I'm going to scoop you up and hold you and sing baby songs to you. " And she gave me the opportunity to do just that roughly two seconds later when she and I went to update Josh. She started to jump up and down and scream, so I scooped her up, cooed in her ear as we went upstairs, and laid down with her on my bed. I can hold her in a way that is just tight enough to feel calming to her and keep her from piercing my eyeballs with her fingernails, and I sling my leg over hers, because she actually is flexible enough to kick my head from a prone position. It's true.

Later, when Josh took Peanut and Buddy to an open house (but not Princess), Princess followed me around the house scowling, stomping, and pounding the walls. That interested me, because she does not usually follow me around when she is in a mood. Suddenly I Realized, "she WANTS me to hold her." So I did. :) After the screaming subsided, the Cuddle Bear wandered in and asked what we were doing. I said I was holding Princess. The Cuddle Bear asked to be held, too. I snuggled the Cuddle Bear and said (to the Cuddle Bear, of course) that usually when Mommies and babies snuggle, it makes both of them feel good. But Princess didn't get snuggled enough when she was a baby, and so she didn't learn that it feels good. So Mommy snuggles Princess when Princess is upset so Princess can learn it feels good.

When I left the room Princess stayed. I marked it down as a score, because that meant she was relaxed. Then a few minutes later she walked up to me and said, "Mom, after I get enough money to buy my soccer ball (yes, in case you were wondering, that would be the SAME $14 soccer ball I mentioned in January), how much is a baby stroller?" And I said, "I'll be happy to find that out for you when you're earning an allowance again."

Oh well. You win part of it; you lose part of it.


  1. Wow, it sounds absolutely exhausting. The success is great! Genea is very much the same way with her tantrums. She looks for reasons to have them. The sky is blue, I gave her too many oranges, she wants me to make her purple and I can't do it. The tantrums aren't about something happening, they are about feeling, like you said. Anxiety without knowing why. So we tell her flat out, it looks like you need to have a fit- why don't you go ahead and do that (like in your last post). It's just so hard when you don't know! How can I help when there is nothing to fix or work thru. Bah. Enough.

  2. You are an amazing mom. I mean that 100% from the heart. And you are absolutely right, YOU are the one that terrifies her, YOU are the one that matters to her and so you see the angry, terrified RAD kid and everyone else sees survival behavior disguised as charm.

    I get it and I think, just from reading this one entry, though I don't know you, that you are an incredible mother.