Right now it is the one with my youngest daughter.
And if you don't know to look for it - you wouldn't know that she is trying to grind me into dust.
Hell, I don't think that she knows it either, not really.
Just before our youngest kids moved in, ten days before to be exact, we saw a crappy playtherapist who gave me the raging willies about ever letting her talk to any kids, let alone mine.
She did talk about there being "holes" in the kids' attachment.
That is a phrase that is running through my head a lot these days.
Yesterday I had a worker come to the house to talk to me about the support funding that can be put in place for after the adoption is finalized.
Kids were all fed and medicated if necessary and then stashed in their various rooms with amusements and careful explanations of why this was what was happening.
AL still found three pressing reasons to come down the stairs to "talk" to me. If you count "talking" as being a chance to widen her eyes, cock her head and bat her eyelashes at the visitor.
Once was because she needed help brushing her hair. She didn't, not really.
The third time, she accidently stumbled and fell down three stairs before catching herself (she was unhurt) and then dissolving with dramatic sobs in my arms. She wasn't wearing her slippers - an almost sacrosanct rule in our house mostly because it honestly seems to prevent just such things as falling on the stairs. Before I sent her back up to her room, she managed to choke out that she had come because she had lost track of the days and needed to know what day it was. When I asked if she still had her calendar on her wall because she could use that. Her little mouth went into that "o" of astonishment that she wears so well and she let me know that she just couldn't remember how to use that thing, it was so confusing.
Now sometimes, I do wonder if she doesn't have some cognitive issues, she might - but the more I am exposed to her day in and day out the more I know that a big chunk of what is going on with her is about controlling her environment.
Very few other adults who see us, frequently or infrequently, pick up on this though.
Some do, but the others just sort of look at me like I am more than a bit unstable when I snap at the adorable widdle child or I put on my drill sergeant routine to get her centred and listening.
Yes, it does look like normal behaviour for a kid her age but NO it isn't.
What she is doing is putting on an act for the benefit of other people.
She doesn't act like that at home with just me most of the time.
She needs me to be tough and clear and firm.
At home if she insists on pouring her glass full of a juice that she knows she doesn't like or she hasn't tried before and then decides she doesn't like - I'm sorry but yes she does have to drink it all. Wasting food is not acceptible. Especially when she has been told again and again.
BTW, she doesn't do it at home anymore, she just does it when we are out.
You probably didn't catch that look she just shot me as you intervened on her behalf.
You aren't rescuing her.
You are just playing into her hands.
And no, I don't need you to raise your eyebrows at me like that!