Things have happened today that have made me realise that I’m still not really doing very well with dealing with the behaviours that we have from Big.
On the way from walking home from nursery, Big was asking me what we were having for tea. (She knew because she’d been asking me from 7am this morning and it was on her chart.) During this, Little tripped and scratched all her toes (because she was walking home with no shoes on because shoes ‘noy her and she gets more feedback from the ground without them.) At no point during this episode did Big ask if Little was okay, or show in any way that she was concerned about her, she just carried on asking what we were having for tea. After two neighbours had come out to check we were okay we made it home and had lunch.
After lunch we read some stories then I asked Big to take off her nursery t-shirt and said I would help her choose another one. This was met with a hit in the face so hard that my ear rang for the rest of the afternoon but again, not a flicker of anything from Big.
Now, I realise that I cannot expect her to show empathy when she is not able to. I can teach her how to recognise when we might demonstrate it but it wouldn’t be real and I think I’d still find it very hard to deal with. Because I do find it very hard to deal with. I find it very hard that after she’s hit me or spat at me or scratched me or screamed in my face, she then wants me to read her a story or help her with a jigsaw without any discussion about what has just happened.
I find it very hard to put my own feelings aside at this point because I’m still (literally, sometimes) reeling from what happened and I don’t like that she does not need to acknowledge it.
Now I know that this is something that I am going to have to learn to do. I know that it is up to me to recognise that she can’t do this and learn how to move on but at the moment I am finding this one of the hardest things that we are dealing with. I think if there was even a tiny dialogue after an incident I would feel better but there never is.
Interestingly, today we bumped into a wee girl that goes to the same nursery as Big. She was playing in a small bit of land near us and asked if the girls wanted to play. She was playing at being a ‘person’ at the South Lakes Safari Park and was busy putting the monkeys to bed. They were all sleeping in their cots. Initially Big looked at us and said, ‘There isn’t any monkeys’, and wouldn’t join in with the game. She then looked at me and ‘stepped’ on the monkeys and continued smiling at me. The wee girl she was playing with dealt with it a lot better than I did and just said, ‘that was horrible, you don’t stand on baby monkeys.’ I left it at that.
In the bath tonight, Big pulled a chunk of Little’s hair out and laughed. It was for no reason and Little screamed very loudly. Big kept laughing. I think this is the first time in a year I have seen my endlessly patient husband get cross. He just couldn’t believe that there was no reaction from her.
So, it would appear that I am going to have to work really hard at this. This is something that is going to be part of our lives and I can’t get cross every time it happens. She is not doing it to because she won’t, she ‘s reacting like this because she can’t react in any other way. It’s up to me to change the way I react to it.
One of the main difficulties I have with ‘after’ is that I can’t get any space. For a child who cannot stand me being near her, she cannot cope when I’m not there and I usually have a very upset Little to comfort too. I can’t even go and stand in the bathroom for ten seconds because they would both be there and it wouldn’t help. I think I’m going to have to start trying to take the ten seconds in my head, so I might not get the physical space but at least I might get the mental. The ‘after’ will still be the same but hopefully I can start to change how I deal with it.
I’m also going to have to stop buying chocolate as this seems to be a go to stress reliever and it’s not good!
The Best Bits
We had a pirate party this weekend to celebrate the adoption orders being granted. They did well and Big has actually volunteered some information to other people about it!
At a recent trip to the beach, Little spent about two hours, digging, making sandcastles and burying herself. She was constantly checking in but was also perfectly content and it was lovely to watch her.