One of the most frustrating things about parenting ~ in particular about parenting a child who has not always been one's own child ~ is that you can be going through life, thinking that things are okay, and then ~ WHACK ~ you get kicked in the teeth.
I've had a "kicked in the teeth" sort of week with Lana.
I think a lot of mommy blogs and adoption blogs tend to focus on the positive, and that's completely okay. But, this blog is primarily
for me, it's my space, and there are times when I have to talk about the hard parts, if only for my own sanity.
I truly believed that Lana was ready to be away from Husband and I for a week while we went on vacation. I truly believed that she was going to be fine, hanging out with her grandparents, aunt, uncle and cousins.
Part of the reason I believed that was because she spent a week away from Husband and I last summer. She went on vacation with my mom and my brother and my aunt and Gabe and one of her cousins.
I think the key difference was that, in that case, Lana left US, to go have an adventure with her Grandma and her Uncle J~. And in this case, WE left HER.
That was an enormous difference, in Lana's mind. Evidently. As near as I can tell.
All last week, she misbehaved in totally unacceptable ways. When she was called out on this misbehavior, she would begin to cry and wail, "I love you, I love you, Mommy, I love you, Daddy, I love you, I love you."
It was kind of weird, to be totally honest.
So we would respond, "we love you, too, but you cannot __________ (fill in the blank with whatever bad behavior she was doing.)"
There was a lot of crying, and whining and stomping. There were unreasonable demands (some of which were highly amusing. For example, "I WANT TO GO TO A JAPANESE RESTAURANT RIGHT THIS SECOND OR I WILL SCREAM.") (As IF I would take a screaming 6 year old out for sushi. Not in this lifetime
.) (The thing that she wants at Japanese restaurants is tempura shrimp and steamed dumplings. She will eat sushi but she doesn't like it, and it's too expensive to feed to anyone who doesn't REALLY enjoy it, you know?)
The bad behavior came to a head on Sunday. She was in a terrible mood. She had a friend over for a playdate
and was very bossy to her. The girls ended their playdate
on a happy note (after I told her she needed to stop being so bossy), but when her friend left, there were more tears.
Late in the evening, she told me that she wished Gabriel would die. I kind of lost it when she said that to me. I did not deal with it well. I had to walk away from her because I felt like she had stuck a knife in my heart and twisted it all around.
In the end I told her she wasn't ever going to be allowed to leave her bedroom until she apologized to me and Gabriel. (There was a lot of screaming coming from her bedroom until she finally emerged and apologized. Her apology was half-hearted. I honestly don't have a clue how else I should have handled this.)
Before bed, she cried for forty-five minutes about hating her school situation. (She loves kindergarten
, but she hates her after-Kindergarten
program. I will concede that I am also unhappy with the after-Kindergarten
program. I just don't have any other options at this point, and she has several friends who attend the program. It's only for another month. She's going to spend the summer at home with Husband and Gabriel, and then, when she starts First Grade, I will put her on the bus in the morning (as I do now) and she will come home on the bus with Gabe in the afternoon, and Husband will be home from school when they get here. So, I understand that she's not happy with the situation, but I cannot fix it for another month.)
Then she cried that everyone hates her, she hates everyone, and everyone is mean to her. She cried herself to sleep. She was up and down all night, screaming and crying. It was like one of the nights when she had only been with us a few months, screaming, anger and refusing to allow us to comfort her. (Normally, when she wakes in the middle of the night, she will allow us to take her to bed with us and she'll sleep between us and calm down. But, Sunday night, she screamed at us to go away, not to touch her, to leave her alone. She screamed that she wanted to stop crying but couldn't. She screamed that she was hurting, but couldn't say where or what hurt. It was incredibly frustrating. And exhausting. And sad.)
But yesterday, when she woke up, she was excited to go to school. She ate breakfast and put on her shoes and put her lunch in her backpack without any trouble. When I picked her up after school, she was in a good mood. She ate dinner happily and she and I went for a walk through the neighborhood, and then she played Pixos
with Gabe until bed.
When I went into her room to sing her a song and tuck her in, she was under the covers. I said, "Where is my Lana?"
From under the blankets she said, "I am a monster and I ate Lana because she is a mean girl."
I decided to play along. So I said, "Listen to me, Mr. Monster. You bring me back my sweet Lana."
"No, I ate her," came a voice from under the blankets.
"Mr. Monster, if you do not bring me back my sweet Lana, I will cry," I said, and then I made theatrical weeping noises.
From under the blanket came the sound of fake vomiting. (Evidently, the monster was throwing Lana back up?) She popped out of the blankets and said, "I escaped from the monster's stomach, Mommy."
I crawled in bed with her and snuggled with her and sang her a song. In the darkness she looked at me and said, "What would you do, if I disappeared for real, mommy?"
I looked at her, and said, "Lana, if you disappeared, I would FREAK OUT."
"For real? You would freak out?" she asked me. "Would you cry?"
"Yes, Lana, I would cry. And I would look for you and look for you, and I would be really, really upset."
So she said, "Okay mommy, I won't disappear." She fell asleep without tears, which felt like a victory after the horror of Sunday night.
I just worry, that there will be more times when the monster will rear his ugly head again. And I feel like I'm never quite sure when to expect a visit. These hard parts...can be really hard.LM
*The Tragically Hip, 700 Ft. Ceiling