Third Daughter came to speak with me, words of wisdom she had to impart, with each sentence is broken into many fragments separated by way too many commas. Kind of like the tune to American Pie’s “This one time, at band camp” …
“Eema, Abba said, that when I am angwy, Abba said this, I need to stop being angwy, and to stop being angwy, I should pinch a pillow.”
“Punch a pillow,” corrected Second Daughter, rolling her eyes. It’s an incredible achievement that Second Daughter knew enough of English expressions to be able to make that correction. This is the child who normally tells me about her day by saying “Eema, did you hear about the this?” (“The this” sounds a little better in Hebrew, but not much.)
“Oh, yeah that” says Third Daughter. “And so, I will need a pillow to pinch – I mean punch. The end.”
This is a wonderful breakthrough, as Third Daughter has been throwing tantrums each and every bed time for the past few years. We’ve tried moving bed time around, 7 PM, 8 PM, the tantrums have always been there. And irrational ones. She wants water, we bring her water, she doesn’t want water. She needs her toy, she wants a kiss, she doesn’t want a kiss. She yells for her father until she passes out from exhaustion. No rule setting or consequence threatening could fix it. Bribing also didn’t work.
In the middle of one of these tantrums last week, I was cleaning the kitchen and trying to ignore her, when she ran out of her room. “Eema, I can’t stop being angwy. I HAVE A PWOBWEM!!!”
Well, I consider it a breakthrough. Of course, I’m also wondering if we aren’t just a little too free in this house regarding disabilities. Did she overhear too much ADHD speak, and think she would get out of trouble if she just implied that she needed a diagnosis? I’m not sure I care too much one way or the other. On my outstanding list, my fabulous list of fabulous things that I must get done – hence still outstanding – is an appointment with an occupational therapist for Third Daughter. She has shown some major sensory issues, craving pressure to the point where she pushes her cuticles back and has done serious damage to her thumbs. Not to mention the talking and fidgeting in class,- I’ve got to make this appointment.
But she’s aware and taking control of her situation. Every morning starts with a wrestling match with a large bean-bag chair, and every evening ends with one as well. So far, the evenings have been better, but I’m not praising this as a windex-moment yet. Probably because she’s the Third Daughter, and so doesn’t have each and every one of her challenges and resolutions bronzed as “breakthroughs”. That burden is all on First Daughter, unfortunately, no matter how much I try to rein myself in.
First Daughter is growing into such an awesome lady. We have BFF evenings, with long serious talks about life as we watch silly syfy shows that have been off the air for a number of years. We talk about hairstyles, share recipes (mostly about cookies and cake), and keep it real with the latest gossip going around her class. I love learning about her world. She fits in well with the other girls, and seems to be displaying an appropriate level of “cool.” There is still drama, but it’s lessening quite a bit. It’s certainly less if we remember the medication, but even without it the drama is cooling down.
Of course, school starts in a week for all three girls, and probably our roller coaster ride will start again. In the meantime, there are problems, and there are pwobwems. First Daughter is growing, Second Daughter is teaching, Third Daughter is understanding, and Fourth Daughter thankfully still stays in one place when we put her down. So life is good.