Ping-Pong

Not many rabbit hole stories to tell, which is good news. This program has done wonders for the number of times per week I feel like losing it. Jerry did say he came close with Fenner earlier tonight though. Here’s a taste:

Fenner was in the kitchen making a grilled cheese for herself and Jerry was there too, making quesadillas for us. I was in my office and overheard part of the conversation. “Dad, how would you get the burned part off?” “Let’s see, I would take it like this and scrape it …” “Dad! Now there’s a hole in it!” “Well, that’s ok, it’s still good.” “No, I don’t like that!” “Well, I’m sorry, I should never have touched it … I should have just stayed out of it, it’s your food and I shouldn’t have had anything to do with it.” It was quiet for a moment and then I heard Fenner’s voice say, “Glass man!” Jerry didn’t respond. I asked him about it later:

“Yeah, I almost went down the rabbit hole with Fenner. She wanted me to scrape the burned part off her grilled cheese and I made a hole and she didn’t like that. But I told her I shouldn’t have touched it and then I stopped talking and let it go and it was fine.” “Did you apologize?” I asked. “Oh… no … is that part of the rabbit hole thing?” “Yes, you’re supposed to apologize for your part in it.” “We’ll, I think I actually did say I was sorry.” “Mmm. What were you feeling when you said it, though. Angry?” “Yeah, I had the angry response, but then I backed off from that and we ended up fine.” “I’m just curious because I heard her say ‘glass man’ to you.” “Glass man? What’s that?” “Remember when we had the week about our buttons, the girls could say ‘glass man’ to us anytime they thought we were overreacting? The term came from Charlotte’s classroom at school …” He still had a puzzled look on his face. “Well, anyway, I think when she said it she was reacting to your tone. Tone is just so powerful,” I said. “Huh. I didn’t hear her say that.” “So, that wasn’t really an apology if you were still feeling angry.” “Right, yeah.”

Later on, Fenner motioned for me to give her a hug and she said, “I’m bored.” “Oh … want to help me with the kitchen?” “No.” “Hmm. Want to collect all the clothes from your room that need washing?” “No. No chores.” “Ok. How about Ping-Pong with dad?” She perked up. “Where is he?” “I don’t know. Let’s go find him.” We found him outside taking a stroll in the yard. “Dad, want to play Ping-Pong with me?” “Of course!” he said. They disappeared into the barn together and soon I could hear shouting (the good kind) and laughing.

Ping-Pong’s not ice cream, but it was just as sweet.

ps A little P&R update: Charlotte’s date for earning back her friends privilege has moved out a bit more. She likes to claim that she forgot or that she doesn’t understand, and then I get sucked into too much explanation and she doesn’t want to hear that either. Next time, instead of explaining more, I need to focus on encouragement. Here’s basically how it went this time: yesterday at pick up time after school, the girls ran ahead of me to the car. As I approached, they were already in their seats and Fenner was holding something behind her back saying, “Ask me nicely and I’ll give it back to you.” Charlotte was grunting and grabbing at her hand. “Charlotte, please ask me nicely and I’ll give it back.” “No!!! Give it back to me now!!!” she yelled and reached behind Fenner’s back again, trying to grab whatever it was. “Um … Charlotte?” I said gently. She looked at me and slumped down in her seat. “I forgot again!!! This is too hard for me!! I hate going back to zero!!! Fenner and Ellen have to go back to zero too!!!” “Well, no, I mean, for TV and bedtime, you’re all together, but for the visiting with friends privilege, you’re each on your own.” “What? I don’t get it!” I kept talking, trying to explain. “Oh, fine … just start the car,” she said, looking defeated. “Charlotte, you can do this. It’s ok if you need a little more practice.” “Mom, just start the car!” she said, very annoyed. Enough talking, mom. Let her sit with it. She’ll be ok…

Explore posts in the same categories: Week 10: The Rabbit Hole

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