This weekend has been a busy one, which is not unusual for our family but I am beginning to think I would like to try and make it that way.
My husband arrived home from his business trip at 2 in the morning and as a result both adults were moving s-l-o-w-l-y on Saturday morning. This was not improved by me being headachey and not feeling so good.
This was okay because the usual pottery class that is set to start, across the city from us, at 9 am was not happening.
Still there was a pottery open house that the three youngest wanted to attend at some point and I was supposed to do a really long run (35.5k).
Breakfast was interesting.
Our eight year old, being fully aware that Mom was still ticked at her for illicit use of hand held electronic game in bed, under the covers, after lights out - set her sights on Daddy as being her new best friend.
Bambi eyes, tilted head, little tosses of curls and dragged out syllables:
"Daddeeeeeee, may I pleeeeeeeeeese have some more cereal?!"
Also insert giggles and less clear vocal definition.
Daddeeeee, did not really pick up on it at first, the morning is not his most astute time - but I alerted him to it and he was very careful not to respond by becoming all drippy about her cuteness.
She was not treating me like that at all.
All though she did try to hug me from behind while I was sitting down. I have been gently trying to steer her away from that kind of thing. It feels manipulative.
That may sound weird but it really is always on her own terms and there is very little sense of it being a reciprocal thing. I can not hug back and sometimes I think that is part of the point.
The parents sat her down after breakfast, on her own and talked to her about trying to play one parent off of the other.
She vigourously denied trying to do that.
Except that her shifting eyes and facial expression gave her away.
How wrong is it that a kid who has just turned 8 is this versed in the art of manipulation?
It turned out to be a good talk anyway.
Never sure when we are making headway and when we are playing headgames.
She didn't want to come here.
She didn't want to be adopted by us.
She kept waiting for her foster Mom to come and get her and she never did.
She is mad at her foster Mom for failing her.
Most of this is stuff we knew, had figured out or that she has made tentative tries at verbalizing before but Saturday was the first time she really was able to put it all together.
I never, ever dreamed that it would be the youngest kid that would have so many troubles.
The other three kids are having their own ups and downs too.
We deal with it and we worry about it and I think about it and think about it and think about it.
Right now though, it is my smallest girl who I am scared for the most.
Can she really learn to trust in us?
Will she be able to have relationships where she doesn't have to be in constant control?
It's only been nine months and there are lots of positive things going on with and for her too - the balance just seems to shift back and forth with dizzying speed.