... I'm gonna' show you, baby, that a woman can be tough.
It's Day #3 of the Attachment Challenge in the Moers home.
It has been, um ... hmmmm ... a little rough?
Yesterday was great. I was not happy or feeling mushy, but my kid was deeeeeelighted. Even playing dumb did not stop the make-up application extravaganza. We talked puberty (zits and toners and what-not). It was good stuff. I did not get sarcastic. I stuck to my guns. I was cursing all of you in my head for knowing you would be checking in.
So, this morning my child came straight into my room first thing, "Mom, can I have a hug?"
Doesn't seem like a big deal, except for the fact that it went against three immediate guidelines we have for them (there to ensure safety and success). Well, and they was wearing a painfully clashing ensemble. That is one of my easy indicators of their mood. They have lots of favorites and love to dress up. It's pretty obvious when they are using their clothes to yell, "NOT A GOOD DAY!!"
Anywho, it kinda went down from there. When they are looking for a fight, they are good. They are like stealth warriors who will stop at nothing to meet their goal. So, my first three hugs we the non-squishy variety. Got to hug a very I-don't-want-you-to-hug-me child. [enter sarcasm] That, and a danish, and you have the perfect start to your day!
I decided to have them run an errand with me. We could do some processing in the car, and then as a surprise, I would ask if they wanted to go out lunch with me for Mom time. I started the conversation: "Yesterday seemed to be a great day. Today ... mmmmmm ... not so much. So, let's rewind. How were things when you first woke up?"
They did not want to answer. Well, they did not want to uncover what the problem was underneath. Some of my kids are what the experts call a therapized kid - can spout off lots of therapy words and phrases to avoid the real issue. Got a lot of that. So, I just sat quietly, with the occasional, "Honey, you're not in trouble, and if you don't want to talk about it, that's okay. But if you do want to talk, let's do the work - together. Your choice. I'm okay either way." More with the silence on my side. Oh my goodness, can that kid have an argument with their SELF! It's amazing! At one point they were flopping around, literally nose-to-the-window away from me. Would put their hand up to hide from me. Could not get me to engage.
For some reason, I had the song "Tomorrow" stuck in my head. Just put it on *repeat* in my brain and waited it out. We stopped to pick up some equipment for the park. Then back in the car.
"Honey, I really thought you would have enjoyed going out to lunch with me for your Mom Time today. I wanted that, too. However, you keep yelling at me to leave you alone and go away. I'm not sure what you want. I'm not mad at you, but you seem really angry. This must be hard."
"YEAH, GOOD FOR ME!"
I hate it when they get like this, but it also gives me some of the funniest catch-phrases to use for my own pleasure. From now on, if you say something to me and I would rather ignore you, I'm just gonna say, "Yeah, good for ME!"
It was last year that my darlin' coined the new curse word we are all using with fervor: jerk a**!
"Would you like to talk it? I'm not upset with you."
"Cause you're the MOM!" Hands over the face, the fake cry and that's when the banging started. Hitting the window, door and dash. Just general yelling. This was even after telling them that they absolutely did not have to talk about it. Just really, truly wanted a battled and wanted to choose a consequence.
I pulled over. We were at KFC. I did not really want to eat there, but I also did not plan on having to ask my child to get out of the car. "Sweetheart, you are no longer being safe. If you feel like you can calm ..." "SHUT UP!"
*which, in our home, is secret code for ...*
"Sure, I'd be happy to come around and help you get out of the car."
Of course, by the time I get out of the car, they were getting out and slammed the door just as hard as they could. I told them that I would drive back around and pick them up once I was done ordering. They smacked the side mirror and yelled, "Leave me ALONE!"
Happily, my dear ... happily.
KFC is not a favorite, but their biscuits do make good comfort food!
Got my food and pulled back around in the parking lot. My child came up and just stood at the window, staring at me. "Honey, why don't you get back in once you have fixed the mirror." They did. Of course, it wasn't in a calm and cool way, but they did get it done.
On the way home, I watched them regulate and apologize, so I made my guess (one day we'll be able to do this first thing ... one day ...). "I'm going to guess you had a great time yesterday. However, the lies inside of you told you all night long that you don't deserve good things, so you went looking for a battle today. Why do you think you might have done that? Or maybe I'm totally off base."
Big explosion WITH tears, "BECAUSE I'M BAD!"
We broke it down slowly. The big clincher is because they have done so many bad things. And why has they make these choices? Oh, right, because they were hurt. AND ... what if ... they had always gotten everything they needed? What if there was no extreme poverty in Haiti and all of their needs were met?
"I wouldn't have attachment disorder and I would not have moved a bunch and been hurt more and I would still be with my birth family."
"Right. What would you be? How would you be?"
"Like everybody else."
"So ... you weren't born this way. The only reason you act the way you do is because of what happened to you. YOU are not bad."
We practiced saying affirmation phrases.
And we arrived at home and carried our conversation into the kitchen where we hugged and they made a sandwich.
Six hugs thus far.
Painted fingernails for a bonding activity.
They requested 20 minutes of sewing together (trying to remake an old pair of pants into a skirt). Knocked that out, and broke off a needle at the tail end of it.
They have since apologized for a wee bit-o-crazy in the car, and was very worried they did permanent damage to the side mirror.
But I'm still in.