Independence days

Charlotte is doing so much more for herself now. I can feel her confidence growing. And little by little that is translating into a better dynamic with her sisters. The lows are still low, with tears and the usual, “This is why I HATE having sisters!!” But in between there’s more peace and moments of true friendship and teamwork.

Today as I left to pick up Fenner from her riding lesson, Ellen said, “Mom! You can’t go. I’m afraid Charlotte and I will have a big huge fight!” “Oh, I think you can handle it,” I said. “I’ll be back in twenty minutes.” When I got back I braced myself for a fight scene, but instead found the two of them playing together with their dog stuffies. I haven’t seen them do that in months.

When they do still fight there is quite a bit of hitting, which is hard to ignore, but I’m confident that at the end of this program that will have all but disappeared.

Meanwhile, today I’ve held training in shower temperature control, hair washing, toaster-oven operation, and toe-nail clipping. They still beg for their old maid-service back now and then. Tonight it was Fenner, “Mooooom, will you make me something, pleeeeeaaaaaasssss … I don’t want to cook for myself.” “Well, the great thing about cooking for yourself is you can make it just exactly the way you like it,” I offered. “No, that’s the bad thing about cooking for yourself. I don’t feel like it!” “Mmm. I know what you mean.”

Meanwhile Ellen goes in and out of neediness. Today there was a lot of, “Mom, will you watch me? … What do I do next? … Ok, what do I do next? … Ok, what’s next? ….” But I see her confidence slowly growing as well.

And I found this note from Charlotte on my desk. We had joked about how it was school vacation so her alarm clock was on vacation too. Clearly she’s giving that some thought:


Also here and there I’ve done problem solving with the girls on paper where we write down possible solutions and then decide what to do. I guess Fenner liked that approach because I found this on the couch today:


I don’t know what the problem was (her own boredom perhaps?), and although I can guess who the “stupid freak” is, it’s still good to see her brainstorming solutions to her own problems.

p.s. Right now it’s 8:50pm. The TV just went off and Ellen said, “C’mon guys, let’s go get ready for bed so we each get ten minutes with mom!” “Yeah!” said Charlotte and they all marched upstairs without ONE word from me. I gotta say it again: Wow.

Explore posts in the same categories: Week 3: Timeline for Training

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