On, um, uh....Wednesday! Yeah, on Wednesday I posted about my 8 year old and how I was totally stumped as to what to do next with her....
(and I rec'd some wise and useful suggestions too)
Now it is time for the rest of the story...
She was in her room when I came home, I called her down for a snack and sent her back up while I put out lunch fixings, I called her back down for that and then up she went and she came down again a little later for her piano lesson and then back up.
I was angry too and a one point, when she was making a face at me on her way back up to her bedroom again, I snapped at her that "she had decided that she wanted to be angry before I got home, so she was also getting lots of opportunity to be angry at me now that I was home!".
No, I know it wasn't helpful to anyone and I felt bad right after, as she put a little more stomp into her step.
This all lasted for about two hours.
Shortly before 3pm she came and asked me, eyes flashing and mouth pinched, if she could go outside. I said no and go back upstairs and then I turned away. But not before I saw what looked like tears in her eyes.
Hmmm. Maybe it was time to try talking to her again.
Pausing just outside her door, I could hear her talking outloud about "Fine, I won't go outside, you don't care about me!!!!" as she moved stuff around.
That is when I stepped in and told her I did care about her very much, I was just so confused about how to help things change and I was frustrated and despite all that, I loved her to bits and would never stop.
She started to cry in earnest and threw her arms around me.
We sat on the bed and talked for a while about:
-how it is not okay to mess with other people to distract yourself from feeling sad and scared
but it is okay to talk with them about feeling sad and scared
-her oldest brother loved her very much but now he felt sad and upset and confused and worried that she didn't care that her behaviour had hurt him and would, until she could talk to him about it herself
-Birthmom left because she had huge problems that had nothing to do with her kids and I am lucky enough to be able to deal with my problems in different ways. (We actually went in depth a bit about this and I made sure that there was no badmouthing of birthmom at all.)
-how I often leave her home during short errands because I think she will get bored and cranky but that if it makes her feel better to come with me, then she can most of the time. That would be fine with me.
She actually seemed to feel quite bad, sincerely, for her behaviour. (Although I did take that with a grain of salt.)
She did end up coming to her brother's shinny game with us, and has asked to come next week as well.
Yesterday I took her on a brief errand to the library and store with me.
She was frustrated because she wanted to go into the library and look at books and we didn't have time (which is a huge difference from a year ago when she didn't have a clue what to do with herself there!).
At supper, Oldest Brother talked about being frustrated and unhappy and feeling like he didn't do a good enough job taking care of her, and that she really didn't care how she felt.
She said she was sorry but otherwise seemed unaffected.
Before bed though, she was quite upset and sad.
That is kind of her time for thinking and feeling about things that she has successfully distracted herself from all during the day.
She started to cry again and talk about feeling really bad about how she had made her oldest brother feel.
So I hauled her downstairs in her pjs and plopped her beside her oldest brother on the couch and she tearfully apologised and told him she would try to not mess with him anymore.
He was honestly touched.
Hugged her and told her Thankyou and that her really appreciated her saying so.
She went to bed.
Took a long time before she fell asleep.
Last night my husband and I went out for 7pm with plans to be away till 10pm.
Youngest daughter was tucked into her room right before we left - instead of being allowed to stay up as she usually does.
She was allowed to keep her light on until we came home, unless she started messing with anyone and then it would be lights out.
She called 3 times to my celphone, but other than that, there were no problems.
I will continue taking her with me on errands etc. only leaving her home when I MUST.
Yesterday, I also emailed my friend who used to come and do respite care for us, to see if I can set her up to start coming again.
We have the funding, we might as well use it.
When I left the house last night, in gold heels and jewelery and makeup, I kept giggling a bit giddily. It felt so unreal! Going out! With my husband!
We went to the fundraiser cocktail party, said hello to who we knew and couldn't find a place to sit...looked at each other over our tiny plates of bulk prepared Costco like hors d'oerves
and decided to slip out and have dinner at our favourite restaurants.
It was really, reallly nice.
And we were home before 10.