"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, June 20, 2012

In Retrospect

I've lost my ability to see ahead for Princess.

I used to be so in tune with her. I could see a trigger a mile away. But it got to the point where everything was a trigger; it was too overwhelming, and I started trying not to see them, just so it wasn't constant. And the past six months have been so filled with hurt. Princess's new-ish doctor evened out her meds, which is an amazing thing, but what's left in the wake is Princess, fully aware of the pain and fear she feels. And since she can't process it yet, guess where it goes? All over the rest of us.

It's been a hard, hard six months. And it's harder now that it has ever been. Her doctor says he's seen a lot of families give up at this point, saying that they preferred the miserable they were before to the miserable they are now. I know in my heart (and her doctor agrees), that if we can just get though it alive, it will be better, livable on the other side.

But right now. It's just hard.

We had a family wedding to travel to this past weekend. One of us thought Princess should go, and the other thought she should stay with a sitter. Both of us were experiencing, er, "feelings" from our vacation traveling. The one who thought she should stay caved, and the trip to the wedding was without incident. The wedding activities were without incident.

We let down our guard.

Sunday was Father's Day, but it wasn't really on our minds. Buddy and Peanut had left Saturday night to spend the week with Gramma and Grampa, so we gave Daddy his five-pound gummy bear and his turkey made from compost pile gleanings (complements of the Cuddle Bear) Saturday morning. We were two hours into to four hour drive when we decided against fried chicken in the park and for Joe's Crab Shack.

What Were We Thinking #1.

The first thing I didn't see was that the restaurant was (duh!) full of men. At least half looked like the type of man Princess is frightened of. The wait was about 30 minutes, and about 20 minutes in, Princess insisted she saw a boy who frightened her two years ago by lifting her skirt while the class was in line for the computer lab, resulting in the first total meltdown the school had seen from her. It was obviously not the same boy, but she staunchly and unreasonably insisted it was.

Right then is when we should have gotten out of there like bats out of the seventh circle of hell.

But I've lost my ability to see ahead.

We sat down, and Josh and I consulted the menu to see what would be the best way to order. Princess promptly chose the most expensive dinner of the children's menu consisting of fried food with a side of fried food with some fat as a garnish, and began telling us emphatically and repeatedly what she wanted. Thinking about her food issues and not seeing what was really going on, we showed her the (gigantic, delicious) meal we were going to order and share.

Princess began to throw a tantrum that looked exactly like a three-year-old who is not getting her way.

Which really torked me off.

Even though I knew somewhere in my head that that wasn't really what it was.

While we waited for the food, she kept looking over her shoulder. It's "normal" for Princess to be hypervigilant, especially about food, but this was more like a tic. I actually started to worry she was going to hurt her neck. And usually the presence of food of any type would have snapped her out of a food-related funk, but when the meal came, even though it was all things she likes, even though I went without some things so that she would feel like she had more, she threw her food around complaining about how disgusting it was.

And she just kept escalating. She hid under the table. She flung herself into the seat behind her. She whacked the poor man whose back was to the other side a few times. And she kept insisting, loudly, that she wasn't.

And still I didn't see it for what it really was.

Eventually there was no choice but to remove her from the restaurant. I dragged her out of the booth while she ramped up the volume and walked her outside, where she slapped me and complained loudly about having done nothing wrong and how mean and selfish Daddy is.

Happy Father's Day.

I sat in her seat with her while Josh tried to concentrate on driving safely while she screamed, kicked, pinched, and bit. I am now the proud owner of an incredibly ugly bruise on my behind and a spasm in my back so painful I have to have Josh slide me out of bed this morning.

She just couldn't do it. And I should have seen it.

When she finally got tired enough to cooperate with some breathing exercises and a drink of water, she began to sob about how sorry she was. And I believe her. But now I am physically and emotionally sore, and Josh is really pretty depressed, and neither of us have the reserves to meet her.

And we just have to push through.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

In Which Kerrie Congratulates Herself

You know that feeling when suddenly you turn around one day and realize: your baby has a "schedule?" Not one you made up for her, but her own. You've got a good idea of what she's going to do when, and you know what everything she does probably means even though she can't tell you with words.

Ok, so maybe it's not quite so exciting when your baby is nine. Or maybe it is. And that it's only Day Four of summer vacation and I figured it out makes me think I'm pretty awesome.

So here it is:

1:00- Rage
6:00- Rage
Bedtime- Rage

The thing about this schedule that makes me all tingly is that I CAN DO SOMETHING TO CHANGE IT!!!!!

Ideally, this is what would happen:

12:30- Nap
6:00 On! The! Dot!- vegetables or dinner stuck in mouth
Bedtime- Tucked in before Imminent Rage signs start to show

Realistically, this is more what it looks like:

12:30- Nap, but I let Princess take a book because usually she doesn't like to read but she likes to pretend she likes to read so she falls asleep right away only this time it turned out she was m$*#&@&^^g interested in the book so she didn't sleep leading to new factor
4:00- Rage
5:00- Kerrie realizes that, despite the unscheduled rage that actually enjoying a book is new and therefore a very, very good thing
6:00- Dinner is not ready yet, so Kerrie sticks carrots in Princess's mouth and offers them to everyone else because it is 6:00 and Kerrie can't take one more "no fair" without Josh home
Bedtime- Crapshoot
9:30- Congratulate self with glass of wine

Next up: what on earth to do about that 4:00 rage.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Mani-Pedi Fail

Hmm. I wonder what that is?

There are those things that I can't really put two and two together on, and I know asking questions will not get me anything useful. Or even close to true. So I file the information away for later. Cachink!

I cleaned the kids' bathroom last week (have I ever mentioned how estatic I am that this house has a master bathroom that no one! can enter! without permission!? Because, eeeeeew), and noticed these weird pink smudges here and there on the counter- but mostly in front of Princess's space- that didn't come off when I rubbed them with the cleaner. It didn't look like anything I could place. Cachink!

Thursday, Peanut asked Princess why Princess's fingernails were red. Princess said, "marker!!!" and stuck her hands behind her back. I looked, and she had kind of a reddish stain around the edges of her fingernails. Suspicious, yes. But Princess has been admonished before for drawing on herself (mostly by Josh, because me, meh. I have bigger fish to fry most of the time), so I didn't think much more of it. Chachink!

Yesterday, I removed Princess's laundry from the dryer. And there were two socks covered in the same color as the counter and the fingernails. A color that did not come out in the wash. Chachink clunk!

Please go get me whatever it is that you have that made marks on the bathroom counter and is covering these socks.

She brought me a marker. A washable marker. From the main floor of the house.
Try again, babe. The thing I'm expecting is from upstairs. Probably hidden in your room.

She brought me a bottle of nail polish. Which no one is allowed to have because they always spill it. Yeeeeeeeah.

Ok! Let's go get the rest of my stuff out of your room, then.

I started to toss her room, and she sat next to me. I was about half-way through when I said, "you know, you'd have a lot less to clean up if you got out what you have hiding in here and give it to me BEFORE I tear up everything."

She swooped in and immediately pulled out a bottle of nail polish remover. The brand new one. That was now empty.

I said, "what else have you got?"
I'm pretty sure that's not the same color as what's on your socks.
It is! See!

And she stuck out her fingers and toes. Which I hadn't noticed. Which were pink. And also pretty much the entire length of her legs. And her carpet. And her closet door.

Evidently she had been repeatedly painting her entire self, and everything around her, with my nail polish, and then taking it all off with my nail polish remover, for a week. At least.

I immediately went bat-poo nutso. It was the stealing. The stuff that I'm supposed to remember isn't a moral issue but actually a response to extreme stress and a cry for help always trips me up. I have not exactly been "slow to anger," as of late. It got a little surreal, because AS I was freaking out on her, I could still hear the Still Small Voice in my ear- I was just apparently to scalp-prickled triggered to acknowlege it. It went kind of like this:

She only steals your stuff.
Shut up.
Because it's you she wants to be close to.
No, it's because she has no respect for me whatsoever.
It's because it's you she wants to be close to.
Shut up.
She tried to clean it up. Usually she just leaves her illicit messes for you to find. Or step in.
Shut up.
She wanted you to catch her so she could stop feeling bad. That's why they're still painted. She doesn't know how to fix it with you.
No, she just ran out of remover.
She feels bad and she doesn't know how to fix it.
Shut up!

And it did.

I made a conscious choice to stay angry. You can imagine how the rest of the day went. I stomped around yelling. Princess had such a huge meltdown she got a hanger stuck in her hair from tearing up her closet from the inside

(because she's been painting her nails and removing the polish during the time she was supposed to be brushing her hair and teeth for the past week. The rat's nest look was starting to go on)

my anger upset the other children and flowed over onto Josh, making him feel depressed and helpless. It was not good. Not good at all. Very sub-par. Fail.

Thankfully, every day I'm given is a day to try again. And the Still Small Voice is louder after a two-mile run with really loud music.