Week 2, Day 7

Jerry and I talked some more about our buttons last night and this morning. Only one girl had called out “Glass Man!” all week. It was to Jerry, and I can’t even remember what the activating event was. It was toward the beginning of the week, and Jerry had responded, “Ok, well, since you called me out, now we get to talk about what just happened.” “Umm, honey?” I said. He looked at me. “Our job this week is just to self-reflect.” “So when do we get to talk about it?” “Not this week.” I said.

Since then, and with all the positive changes, there has been very little overreacting. I still hate to be ignored. But when I really think about it, when I feel that way, the story I tell myself is that the child is trying to make me mad and doesn’t respect me and clearly doesn’t appreciate all the things I do and will grow up to be an ungrateful spoiled brat and people who know her will think I must be that way too. Sigh. What a lot of baggage to lay on a little kid! And when I step back and look, what’s usually going on is that they are frightened because I seem just a little bit out of control and so they go quiet in an attempt to hide from me and protect themselves.

Jerry said he definitely feels triggered when he sees the older girls leaving Charlotte out. “What do you tell yourself about that?” I asked. “That she’ll always be alone…I just remember me as a little boy and how afraid I was to approach people. It took me so long to get up the courage to join any sort of group … and when my mom left … and my dad basically left too…” “You were isolated.” “Yeah, which I know is totally different from Charlotte’s situation.” “Right, and it’s important to consciously tell yourself that and treat her like she can handle it. She can be her own best friend and she has good friends at school. And I don’t think shyness is a problem for her.” “No, no, I don’t think she has any of my issues there.”

This morning he took note of another of his buttons when Fenner and Charlotte had a squabble at the breakfast table. Charlotte was frosting her cinnamon bun and Fenner needed some too. “She always hogs it all!” said Fenner. “Well maybe if you ask nicely …” I forced myself to stop there. Fenner walked over to Charlotte, “Charlotte, can I please have some frosting?” Charlotte ignored her. “Charlotte!! Can I please have some?! … Answer me!! … CHARLOTTE!!!” Fenner got right in her face and Charlotte let out a high pitched scream. I heard a muffled groan and looked at Jerry. His head was tilted back and his hands covered his face. He was working hard to stay calm and quiet. We both held our tongues and within minutes they had worked it out with the frosting themselves. Jerry looked at me and said, “I’ll add that one to my list.” I smiled.

Later on I was stripping our bed and Charlotte asked if she could play on it before I put the new sheets on. I said ok and she ran downstairs, “Fenner, Ellen! Guys! Come play on the big bed! Mom took the sheets off and it’s the soft thing on top!” To my surprise, they accepted her invitation and enjoyed a few moments of close-knit harmony with minimal bickering and almost no hitting. I’ll take it!

Playing on the big bed

Explore posts in the same categories: Week 2: Buttons? What buttons?

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