"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, December 30, 2010

Christmas Unwrapped

This year, it was different; and I am puzzled. Usually for Princess, and consequently me, the holiday season spins down and down and further down until it is over and then there is a brief reprieve until March when other tramaversaries take over. This year, it seems the actual Christmas festivities were an oasis. Which I don't get.

The trip to Grandma and Grampa's was uneventful as usual. But we risked a stop at Rain Forest Cafe, knowing it would be really overwhelming for Princess. She sat down by the elephants, I offered to switch seats with her, she refused. So far, pretty normal. But then after the elephants freaked out about the impending thunder storm, I offered again and she accepted. Which is not normal.

She did overeat (despite all parental attempts to the contrary) to the point of carrying around a puke bucket because she felt so bad, and she did immediately stalk out the biggest gift and walk around periodically announcing that it was for Daddy (because, you know, a grinder would have made all her Christmas hopes and dreams come true, if only it was for her). And she was seriously jealous when the Cuddle Bear got to open her grandma gift on Christmas Eve, because it was the doll necessary to fill the doll dress that came with her Christmas Eve church dress. But she did not do this weird staring thing she does with other peoples gifts. It's hard to describe; it's one of those little cues you only notice if you're looking for it. I think it's an in-depth evaluation of whether the gift is bigger, better, and more sparkly than hers and who the giver "loves" more. And she didn't do it. She expressed excitement about her own gifts, and didn't seem overly interested in anyone else's.

But the real tell was the trip home. The trip home has been so horrific that I actually have an actual traumatized reaction to it. At best, it's been exhausting. This time, though...nothing. It took a lot of intervention, but...nothing.

Which I know is some serious progress. And maybe when school starts back up again I'll be able to reflect on it. But right now I'm knee-deep in gunk from the other side of Christmas.

What's different is that it's not rages. It's just about everything else. Especially food and hypervigilance. Take the Cookie Episode:

Yesterday we had Princess's vision therapy appointment. It's an hour away, it took an hour, and I had all four kids. Mostly, considering, their behavior was acceptable, but Peanut was jealous that attention wasn't on her and ranged anywhere from extremely annoying to way more than extremely annoying. As soon as we got in the car, Princess was fussing and moaning and Peanut and the Cuddle Bear were copying her which incited more fussing and moaning, because I haven't yet been able to get Princess to see that she makes herself a really easy target. On the way home, three of the four kids were SPITTING at each other, Peanut was seriously nasty, and by the time we pulled into the garage, I was furious. Buddy immediately wanted me to work with him on his K'Nex set, but I was really ticked at him too, so I told him I needed a moment to myself. I set the Cuddle Bear up on Webkinz, and Princess was absorbed in watching her. I thought. I made some tea and sat on the counter with my back to everyone else.

I was sitting next to the cookies.

Hmm. Cookies. I really like cookies. Cookies would be good right now. A hit of sugar and chocolate would really hit the spot. I deserve a treat for being the only one who can behave myself in the car. So I ate all the a cookies.

What are you doing?
GAH!!! Having tea.
Because I want to. Listening to everyone whine and fight and spit in the car has worn me out.

And she went back to watching Webkinz.
I thought
And I went back to my tea and cookies.

The order of what happened next is fuzzy. I just know that Princess blew her stack because I didn't give her a cookie, too. That I didn't give anyone a cookie is not a detail that seems to matter. What really freaked me out, though, is that she yelled, "you ate five cookies," and I realized I HAD eaten five cookies. And it made me mad. Partly because she had a better grasp on how many cookies I had eaten than I did, but primarily because now I feel stalked. I knew she was hypervigilant and most of her questions she already has the answer to and she's constantly terrified something is going to happen that she doesn't know about, but now I feel like she probably knows how many pairs of socks are in my drawer and possibly my credit card number.

And all this is outside that, seriously, she followed me around for three hours, FOLLOWED ME, whining about the cookie. I honestly wouldn't have guessed it was possible to whine about a cookie for that long.

Apparently, it is.


  1. I hope you enjoyed the tea (cookies) and don't feel bad about it one bit. Kids just have a tendency to measure everything up against what their parents do, feel or say. Its good for them to know that you are the adult and that sometimes you get to do things that they don't. It's called YOUR PREROGATIVE. LOL Can I have a cookie? :)

  2. I can see my daughter knowing how many cookies I ate, AND waiting to see if I have given her any. Not being fed is such a huge issue for her, having nothing whatsoever to do with being hungry, or even eating what I prepare - but if she felt a meal, or a snack, was in order and I cared for myself and not for her - well, that would be precisely what her bio-mom did. That situation (and just that kind of situation - not others with clothing or anything else) would trigger her observation and awareness and readiness to find out for sure if I am different, if I am trustworthy. I'd hear about it - and probably not quite so nicely.

  3. Ewwwww, Annie, you are seriously right with the bio-mom connection. Crud. Ok. Do you think after bedtime is safe, or will I be stalked then, too. Maybe she's got a camera under a sofa cushion.

  4. Sad confession..... I stash cookies and other good stuff like dark chocolate under a table next to my spot on the couch. When the kids go to bed, I binge. If they so much as smell cookie dust on my breath they will freak out and I will regret it for hours.
    I have also been known to go into my bedroom and close the door to eat a donut. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do!