"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, August 4, 2010

Healing and Not So Much

The last few days have been......not nice. Was it the out-of-town trip without Daddy? Is it the boxes full off stuff ready to (hopefully) go to our new house next month? Should I just be thankful Princess is not pe.eing on actual things?

I wish I knew.

The worst part is the car. She knows. She knows that pounding Peanut in the car (and then pounding me outside the car in someone's front yard our shoulder of the highway) is my absolute numero uno biggest button to push. She knows. I know it, too. What I don't know is how to make it NOT my absolute numero uno biggest button to push, because, in my opinion anyway, keeping Peanut from being hit with a seat belt buckle is, I don't know, important? And our family not being held hostage by a four-foot-tall bundle of rage? Also important. So button it is.

Two days ago, we got the Double Whammy. Princess was showing Josh a flashlight I bought her at the zoo. I was feeling reeeeealy depleted and hadn't sewn my mouth shut yet, so I interjected, "yes. Because I'm mean. And that's what mean moms do. They buy their daughters flashlights at the zoo." And Josh said, "wow. That IS mean. No wonder you called her mean today." And Princess said:

"But she didn't buy it for me today!"

I lost my rocks and stomped away from the table, refusing to eat with Princess in the room (I know; not my shining Therapeutic Moment). So Josh told Princess she had to wait to finish dinner until I was finished.

And then she lost her rocks.

Somewhere in there, Peanut decided she needed to clear the air with a rage at the same time. Josh decided to put them in their room together, to enjoy and savor one another's noise. After a while (a looooong while), things quieted and I began to hear the sounds of weepy conversation. So we did what any red-blooded parents would do. We snuck upstairs and listened.

The levels they're healing at are so telling when they're together. Princess was still very very angry. At us, of course. Because, you know, everything is our fault. In the World According to Princess, none of her actions are her responsibility. Daddy and I should be very very careful and watch our step lest we make her mad or hurt her feelings, because if we do, apparently it's ok to break everything in the house including her drywall and pe.e her pants and throw them at us. Cause it's our fault. Anyway. Princess was still yelling about how we "don't take care of her and she's just a little giiiiiiiiiiirl," and about how everything is our fault and all the things she's going to do to us when she gets out of her room. Peanut, on the other hand, had moved on and was doing more of a whining, feeling-sorry-for-herself deal. Plus she was a lot funnier. She suggested she and Princess pretend they were sick because they'd get popsicles (fatal flaw: you can't fake being sick enough to get popsicles), and suggested they chase me around with a fly swatter. But the real snorter was when she told Princess that Daddy was had "such a baby brain that he doesn't even know how to log us into Websmutz." I had to run away as to not blow our cover.

Right about then I needed to get the Cuddle Bears pajamas. When I walked in Peanut told me she has something to tell me. In another mature moment, I said, "oh, I've already heard what you have to tell me. You think I don't take care of you, that I don't love you, that I have a baby brain, and that you will hit me with a fly swatter.

She laid down on her bed and sobbed.

So I took her out. This sent Princess into a rage I have not seen before. She was completely irate at the "unfairness" of Peanut being allowed out. No matter that Peanut was making different choices. No matter. I brought Peanut into my room, and she started taking off her bracelets. She kept telling me I should take them back and she shouldn't have them because she was bad. Hello, shame. I hate you. I told her I gave them to her because I love her and because she behaved safely in the car, and that it made me feel good to see her wear them. And then we had an amazing conversation.

Peanut has had such an impressive year. She has just bloomed. Of course she has setbacks- we process them and move on. I have been so excited by her healing and progress that I don't think I've ever taken into account how frustrating it is for her. Out of what seemed like nowhere, she wailed, "I have to tell you something! I whispered to Princess that you do take care of us and you do love us! And Buddy and the Cuddle Bear NEVER make mistakes and I ALWAYS do!" and she threw herself down on the bed and sobbed. My heart broke.

"Peanut? Peanut? Do you know why it's easier for Buddy and the Cuddle Bear to do the right things?"
"Peanut, Buddy did not lose his first mom. His heart has never gotten hurt. And the Cuddle Bear? She was a baby. Her heart hurts too, but not like yours does. You have worked so hard. You try so hard. And most of the time now? You do the right thing. You used to make choices that hurt a lot. Now you hardly do at all. And you're only going to get better at it. Your heart is going to get stronger and stronger.

But Princess's heart? It's hurt more than yours. Some of her heart got hurt because she was protecting yours. It's even harder for her to make healthy choices. So when you're deciding if you should act the same way as Princess, listen to your heart first. Because your heart...it will tell you the right thing."

I snuggled with her. And she went to sleep.

And Princess. It was very different. Same stuff underneath, same sucky shame, but she's keeping hers. It's good and buried, locked safe in a box so it can't get out.

I sat in front her her bed, with her in the "power position." And just sat. Said nothing. She immediately tried to bolt, and I guided her gently back the where she was sitting. When I could see that she was regulated enough to comply with at least that, I said, muy muy softly,

"Are you treating others the way you want to be treated?"
"Are YOU treating others the way you want to be treated?"
(repeat x3. Or x6. Or x 84,642)
"Are you treating others the way you want to be treated?"

So I put my arm around her. She actually collapsed into me and (I think but am not positive) cried. And I told her today was done; she could start over tomorrow. And I tucked her in.

And "tomorrow" was absolutely not better. Not even one bit. Does it matter?

Wish I knew.


  1. I have a feel this will be a comment I repeat... but again THANK YOU for sharing this. It encourages me. It helps. (((hug)))

  2. Ah, it sounds absolutely exhausting. Bone and soul crushing exhausting. You are SUCH an awesome mom! Don't feel bad for the few moments that are less than stellar, please! I have worse moments every day. It's about how you pick yourself back up and keep on going and it sounds like you did great. Rock on!

    btw, I did not realize you are moving- yikes!

  3. No one is perfect... we all lose it ... don't beat on yourself for it..the fact that you pull it back round so wonderfully is what counts.... you are an amazing women and don't you ever forget that .....

  4. You ARE amazing. A lot on your plate right now. I wish I could come help you pack or take the kids for a day.