Moody Monday

This is hard. I know I can’t expect results overnight, but I’m still feeling frustrated. Have to take a deep breath and recharge for tomorrow.

It started this morning with Ellen. (Oh, sweet Ellen, why can’t you be sweet to Charlotte?)

Ellen said to Charlotte, “You’re taking the dumb bus?” “Yeah.” “That’s dumb.” “Has it left yet?” “No … but you’re not going to make it, you’re still making your lunch.” “I don’t care.” “Actually, Charlotte, yeah, the bus did leave.” I was listening from my office next door and at that I stood up and walked out, stopped, gritted my teeth, and went back in my office. I could hear my ‘I will not tolerate your treating Charlotte this way’ lecture in my head. But it stayed in my head. I sat down again and heard Charlotte say, “You’re just tricking me.” “Ok, ok,” said Ellen, “the bus didn’t really leave yet.”

A few minutes later Charlotte said, “Mom, where are my library books?” “Where do you think they might be?” I answered. She sighed and walked up to her room to get them. (Progress there at least!)  I started to worry then that she wasn’t going to make the bus. That is one of the hardest things in the world! To sit there and silently watch as your child approaches a possible failure. Sometimes it makes me physically ache. I hope it gets easier.

Charlotte stuck with it and left the house just in time. “Bye!” she said and then came back in. “Actually, I’ve decided that I need a coat.” “Charlotte, the bus leaves in ten minutes!” chided Ellen. “Ooooohhh, how am I going to find a coat?!” she said and ran into the mudroom. A few seconds later she had a coat. “Ok, Bye!” and she ran up the hill as fast as she could.

Just then Fenner came downstairs. “Did Charlotte take the bus?” “Yeah,” said Ellen, “I told her the bus was leaving in ten minutes and she went running up the hill! It was funny!”

I went upstairs to escape the cruel talk and then I heard, “Mom! Are you ready? I want to leave right now!” It was Ellen. I hurried to finish getting ready and marveled once again at the sight of them waiting for me.

It wasn’t until we arrived at school that I understood why Ellen was in such a hurry. As she got out of the car I heard her say, “Ha, we beat dumb Charlotte.” Sigh.

After school I had a rare couple of hours alone with Charlotte and I made a conscious effort to connect. I asked her what she wanted to do and she said go to McDonald’s. When we got there I gave her the money and sent her over to order and pay for her own food (capable). We sat down together and I asked her about her karate class. She said, “Mom? Do you know what I like about sitting here and talking about karate?” “What?” I said. “Nothing!” “Oh, ok.” “I want to talk about Monsters vs. Aliens,” she said, “Like, that stuff that comes out of Insectosaurus’s nose is really disgusting!” “Mmm,” I answered, “well, I’d say my favorite monster is B.O.B. because he does so many funny things with his eyeball.” “Yeah,” she said and then described all the funny things she could remember that B.O.B. does with his eyeball and we laughed together while she ate. After that we went to a nearby playground and had even more connect time. So I admit I had my hopes up for a smoother-than-usual evening.

However, as soon as I picked up Ellen, the yelling and spitting began. Then at home a big fight over the TV. But there was this interesting exchange: “Charlotte, can we please watch one show before you start your movie?” pleaded Fenner. “No,” said Charlotte. “Please? Just a short show?” “No.” “Oh, fine, then watch your dumb movie, you dummy!” yelled Fenner and then I heard the sound of her hitting Charlotte, hard. “Don’t hit, Fenner!” said Ellen as Charlotte started to wail. “I don’t like it when you hit because then it teaches her to hit and this morning she hit me really hard and it hurt.” “Well what am I supposed to do?” asked Fenner. “You’re supposed to tell her what you want and then ask her again nicely,” said Ellen. “Well why didn’t you tell me that before I hit her?” “Well I didn’t know you were about to hit her!” Hmm, very interesting.

I also noticed that Charlotte made no attempt to tattle on Fenner, so continued progress there. But she was still fairly clingy tonight and after all that time together this afternoon I just wasn’t expecting that. I’ve got to be more patient though. It took 5 years to get here, and it’s going to take time to turn that ship.

Later I asked Ellen to teach me her favorite move from her Hip Hop dance class. It only took a minute, but I could tell she liked it. Then she surprised me by saying, “Mom, I need a shower. My hair’s getting unhealthy.” “Ok go for it!” “Mom, get the shower ready!” “Ellen, you’re a capable person, you can figure it out.” “Noooo, Mom, I don’t know hoooooowwww!!” I walked away and a few minutes later heard the shower running.

Next I made time to sit with Fenner and watch part of her favorite TV show. Doesn’t seem like much, but every time she laughed at the show she would look over at me so we could laugh together. And by the end she had her legs draped over me and was holding my hand.

So there we are. After writing this I can see it wasn’t such a bad day after all…

Explore posts in the same categories: Week 6: The Crucial C's

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