"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."

Thursday, June 3, 2010

AC Day Six: Kerrie Rocks the Chart

Princess was home sick yesterday. When Princess gets the flu (or whatever), she generally barfs once, and then is totally fine. So I knew it would be totally and completely inexcusable to not hit everything in the Attachment Challenge, and that I would never be able to show my face again.

And, you know, it was really a pretty nice day. Usually, I dread Princess being home sick, because I'm never sure what's real, and because she has a very hard time entertaining herself. The hugs were shockingly easy; I thought back to how difficult a time I had been having getting to only five; I can't believe how much easier they are in just five days.

We painted nails for a bonding activity. She asked to play a game for Mom Time. I braced myself for Memory or Chutes and Ladders (oh the HORROR!), but she chose Mancala. Not only that, but she picked up on the strategy I was using and used it herself. I was quite impressed. Then it was 2:00. Princess starts to fall apart around this time; she honestly still benefits from a nap most days. I told Princess we'd play one more time, and then have "rest time." For the Cuddle Bear, "rest time" is sitting by me watching part of a movie. It's really more for me. Princess asked if she could play during rest time. I told her she could play quietly in her room, read books on the sofa, or agree on a moving with the Cuddle Bear. She asked if she could play in the living room. I repeated her options.

I've thought a lot about shame lately. I don't completely understand it, but I understand enough that I now believe that it's a good chunk of what's going on in Princess's head and driving most of her behavior. This quote stood out to me especially:

"They don't understand you are only commenting on the last thing the did. They think you are commenting on them, and their worthlessness as human beings."

I've been keeping this in the back of my mind as I interact with Princess, remembering to keep my face soft and neutral, remembering to be careful (oh so careful) with my words. And here is where that came into play.

Princess said she wanted to choose a movie with the Cuddle Bear. Of course in retrospect, I never should have set things up that way. I probably should have just chose the movie myself; no one would have minded. Or, maybe she needs the practice. I don't know. It is what it was.

It did not go well. The Cuddle Bear chose several movies, all of which Princess nixed with "no. I don't want to watch that one." Then Princess chose Bunnytown, which the Cuddle Bear vetoed. After that, to whatever the Cuddle Bear suggested, Princess replied, "no. I want Bunnytown." I let it happen twice, then I got down in front of Princess, rubbed her arms, and said, "it's ok for you to say no. It's ok for the Cuddle Bear to say no. It's ok for you both to say no. It's ok. We will not watch Bunnytown. We will not watch Blues Clues. If this is too hard, I will go lay down with you for a while. It's ok. I am here."

I stepped back. The Bunnytown whining continued. I scooped Princess up. Normally, this is were the escalation would fit in. But I said, "this was too hard. You tried really hard. Let's go rest together. You are good." I laid down with her, and she got as close to the wall as she could. I got close, too. She did some odd combination of fussing (sound, but no tears) and crying, but she didn't kick. Or scream. Or yell at me. She quieted fairly quickly. After ten minutes I got up. She wailed, "WHAT???" but was quiet again after a few seconds. And then she napped. Very, very unusual sequence.

If others' experience with this challenge is any indicator, today will be a blood bath.

But I will still be here at the end of it. And she knows it.


  1. I stumbled upon your blog by pure randomness. What great things you have to share--thank you for writing them down. Much luck with the rest of the attachment challenge!

  2. Thanks for stumbling! But it couldn't have been THAT random if we both follow Cake Wrecks. Love that site!