The Crew - Miss Fabulous, Lil Bro, Big Sis and Mr. Man

Friday, April 22, 2011

Navigating Parenthood

Navigating parenthood with multiple children who are inherently different is complicated. As parents here in loo loo land we fumble through, always giving it our all and doing our personal best. Sometimes that still isn’t enough but it’s what we have.  RAD is still with us, very much healing but here. I wish there was a pill or a magic potion, a vaccine for RAD.

Today my troubled daughter had a very good day. We traveled 2 hours south for brother’s eye appointment with his specialist. His vision is doing awesome by the way. The littlest brother was a total and complete ace number one pain in the butt all day today. He decided to be 4 going on 5 and it was not convenient to say the least.

Despite little brother being a pain Miss and Mr. were the big kids and did very well. As a reward for good choices (which had been lacking over the past few days) we went to dinner without little brother. Little brother earned going to bed early tonight because he was obviously tired.

We were sitting at the table in the restaurant having a nice time with nice conversation. We were eating the yummy bread while we waited for our food. My daughter who has been with me since she was 2 and a half years old and fed very very well everyday that she has been in my presence, gazed around the room and snatched the bread in front of her when she thought no one was looking.

I did not say anything to her, it didn’t matter that she took it and it was totally fine for her to have it. The need to get it on her own, to insure for herself that she will have what she needs, is still with in her. It made me sad for her, for what she went through those first years.

I posted that I was able to arrange for a staff member to check on Miss during lunch to ensure that she isn’t taking food from others. The staff member contacted me this week and let me know that Miss is obviously watching to see if she is being watched. The food taking is not going on at this time and so naturally others behaviors have stepped up.

Miss has been coming home with jewelry and things from other children (more and more) and so I contacted the director of the after school program where the “gathering” seemed to be happening. She has nipped that in the bud for the time being. Miss of course is not happy with me for that. Additionally Miss had been fake doing homework during homework time at the after school program. She would do a small portion of her work and then claim to be done. They don’t check the children’s work they simply provide them time to work on homework. I tried to handle the situation with Miss myself. I talked to her two different times and at the last talk I let her know if she continued to choose not to do her homework then I would have to ask Ms. H to have her stay at the homework station for the whole homework time whether she was finished or not whether she had homework that day or not.

Naturally she needed to test me. When she came home and announced that she did not finish her homework at aftercare, a very simple and quick handwriting practice assignment, I asked her why she made that choice. She said, “Because I wanted to go and play.” Well thanks for the honesty however did Mom tell you that she would need to talk to Ms. H if you made that choice again? Yes. So you understand that Mom is going to speak to Ms. H and you will need to stay at the homework station from now on? Yes.

This strong willed child seems to have a perpetual figurative middle finger in the air at all times. I spoke to the director and she was very supportive and said no problem they will have Miss stay at the homework station the full 30 minutes and that will still give her 25 minutes of outside play during the first outside time.

So … Mom is not Miss Fabulous’ favorite person at this time. We have talked about choices and the choices we make lead to earning or losing privileges. It seems that Miss either has tantrums or poop in the pants. The behavior therapist suggested that we make dessert earned with clean pants and not earned with poopy pants. Miss said that was not fair because dessert was lost with tantrums not poopy pants. It was a valid point of view and so we talked it out. I explained that poopy pants are the same as tantrums because they are a choice. We can choose to keep our pants clean and we can choose to handle anger the right way and not tantrum. Or we can choose not to do those things. At first Miss was simply mad and things did not sink in.

Today everyone had the day off from school and Miss was clearly still mad at Mom. I went in to her room and we talked things through again. I told her that we don’t want her to feel that things are not fair because that is frustrating to a person and it makes the person feel mad. I told her that I wanted to try again to help her to understand that Mom and Dad’s decisions were fair. Lather, rinse, repeat. I reminded her that I wasn’t expecting anything from her that I did not expect from my other kids. If they have poopy pants or tantrums then they are letting me know that they don’t want dessert.

I told her also that I understood that I was not the Mom that she wanted and that it was okay for her to feel that way but I am the Mom she has so it would be better to try to make the best of that. She said okay and she had a pretty good day today so here’s hoping.


GB's Mom said...

Hoping with you.

deborah said...

Man, does the pooping in the panties bring back memories. Not good memories, but, memories, nevertheless. When my Miss M did that (until she was 7 or 8 years of age!) I had her empty them, and wash them out until they were as clean as they could get without laundering. She seemed to enjoy it for a while, but, it wore on her and eventually she stopped the pooping in her panties. YUCK!!! At least she got to wash them in the sink, not in a bucket of cold water on the porch, as is recommended by the mother of all RAD trainers. You know who I mean, right? :) Hang in there!!!

Mom 4 Kids said...

I hear ya Deb. Yes Miss does clean the poop pants with the poop bucket and scrub brush in the bathroom in the sink. When I find the hiden poop pants I just give those to her as well to scrub out. She does not like the job, although like your little one she acted as if she did in the beginning. However, it isn't enough to keep her from making that choice. It's good to hear that your little one does not do that any more! There is hope!