Sometimes You Have To Read Between The Lines


(photo by eggo; used with permission)

(photo by eggo; used with permission)

This post was originally written on April 30, 2009

My goal is to not feed¬†escalation with my healing kid. No rages since Friday … sort of.

Yesterday they were amping up. Determined. Basically, if I walked in the room and dared to clear my throat, I would be welcomed with a, “WHAT?”

“Honey, are you okay?”

“You already KNOW!”

Ya-da-ya-da-ya-da.

Third verse, same as the first.

And any other “Ground Hog Day”-ish analogies I can recall.

So, they’re flopping and tossing their pencil yesterday. “I don’t know how to do iiiiitttt.” I let them know that was fine. Let’s just put it away. No need to do it. “Come over here with me, babe. Let’s just rock for a minute.”

Their words were screaming, “I don’t want to rock!” Yet they veeeery slowly made their way to the chair. ¬†Stiff as a board while they kept screaming.

Crying, crying, screaming, “LET GO OF ME! I DON’T WANT TO BE ROCKED! GET THAT BLANKET OFF! I DON’T WANT A BLAAAANKET! I DON’T WANT TO CUDDLE!”

For 45 minutes they did this.

45 minutes.

Sounds exhausting, right? Nope. Quite the oppposite. You see, that is what I was HEARING. Yet here is what I was seeing:

My kid was not being held. In fact, for much of the time I just kept my arms on the arm rests or behind my head. I wasn’t even touching them. They flipped and flopped and SCREAMED and pouted. Yet, never once EVER got out of my lap or out of that chair.

At one point they had her head buried right next to my arm. It was right after the wailing had begun. I think my anxiety-ridden thought went something like this, “They could take a big chunk out of my arm right now. I’m crazy vulnerable. I can feel their breath on my arm. And if they do, am I going to stand up and chunk them in the floor, or am I going to do Lamaze breathing while saying, ‘Do it again, honey. I’m pretending it’s kisses.’?” Yeah, whatever. I’m no robot.

No biting. No hitting. They would turn over and make sure their forearm was placed very firmly against my abdomen. Yet there was a line never got crossed.

My child did not get out of my lap or out of that chair until I asked them to get up with me and go eat lunch.

And I let them go first, in front of all their brothers and sisters. They were shocked.

“Honey, you don’t have to earn our love. Sometimes we do things just because you are ours. We want to. We love you.”

NO that did not nip anything in the bud. YES they simply escalated again in the afternoon. OF COURSE, my healing child pitched a fit again this morning while we were doing some schoolwork.

Yet, my kid was telling me so much with what they DIDN’T do yesterday. On their level … in their knowledge of love … my child loves me and needs me, even though it doesn’t look like “normal” stuff if you happen to be hanging out in my living room.

 

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