On a good day, parenting will test the integrity of your character. On a bad day, parenting will test your will to live. Parenting children with trauma histories will cause you to test the integrity of everything and everyone you thought you knew, for the rest of your life.
~J. Skrobisz

Monday, May 31, 2010

Day 4

argh. Reading through some of the posts, it seems Day 4 is a deal breaker for our RADishes. No worries. I flopped yesterday too, so that means I can count today as Day 2? lol

Why am I flopping? Hmmm. I don't think it's Sissy. I think it's me. I have too many irons in the fire and my brain is all screwy, overwhelmed and I can't take a moment to think straight. So remembering to hug, touch and ask a child what THEY want to do is, well, a challenge for ME.

On another note, hair.
Talking to Corey about the need to chop our RADish's hair because they are not willing to keep it tidy and unwilling to let Mom help has meant the scissors come out and the hair gets lopped off. Let's think a minute.
#1) chopping the hair is allowing our RADish to say "ha. i win. you can't touch me"
#2) chopping the hair is the RADish saying, "see, that proves it, I'm not beautiful"
#3) chopping the hair for Mom means we don't get to touch them in loving ways like other mommies do
#4) chopping the hair means no more hygeine issues, no more screaming, one less battle to wage war over

So, does chopping the hair make it easier or harder or both? Let's be honest, when you were a little girl dreaming about being a mommy to a daughter, didn't you imagine THESE images?

Tough stuff, gals. And yes, Sissy had a glorious mane and yes, for sanity, it got lopped off, twice. But to be honest, as hard as it was for me to do it (the first time I justified it by convincing her we should donate the 10 inches - oof that still smarts thinking of it), it has meant one less issue to contend with. One less obstacle my RADish can pit against me. It NEUTRALIZES the playing field so we can attack RADs on other terms that are less personal for mother and daughter.

How many of you have had to make this choice?

Sissy's hair on Chopping Day

a "happy" Sissy after it was gone

Hugging the envelope with the hair donation


waldenbunch said...

I am struggling with S not combing her hair. It's long and becomes a rat's nest when she doesn't deal with it.Drives me crazy. She'll put it up and do things with it but won't comb it through underneath. Don't know if this is RAD, hates the pain but won't deal with it, or a sensory issue (which I don't think she has). But we're getting ready to do battle one way or another. May mean cutting it. Not sure yet.

Bren said...

Charlotte has long beautiful hair too, but she rips it (with the brush) and has lots of broken and split ends. I keep it long anyway, though she mainly does it herself. I should take more opportunities to do her hair for her.
When she came to me her hair was falling out by the handful as she was so vitamin deficient. Once she got proper nutrition it became beautiful. It finally got to a place where I could do fun stuff with it so I put a fishtail braid in....those take FOREVER to do. I told her through the whole process how beautiful her hair was and what a pretty girl she was....on and on and on....of course I did not know that was like the worse thing you could do to a RAD kid...and that night she got a hold of a pair of scissors and chopped it all off. She was to the scalp in the front and the long braid was found under her bed. That was the day I realized we had some major problems!!! Here are pics....

Crayon said...

This reminds me... I grew my hair out and cut it for Pantene's Beautiful Lengths [like Locks of Love, only you can donate a shorter amount] and I NEVER SENT IT OFF. It's still sitting in an envelope somewhere. I got it cut over a year and a half ago... oops. Sissy did have gorgeous hair!! Still looked pretty when cut, though.

JJC said...

i'll start by saying that i do not have a RADish, and i am by no means an expert. just another mom who enjoys reading your blog. if i understand what you've written about sissy in the past, i would suggest cutting her hair for a few reasons. it seems as though you've limited her personal belongings as she has a difficult time managing them, and i would see managing long, thick hair the same way. a shorter bob style would be very easy to wash, brush, and stye. easier for her to do herself. you may even be able to compliment her on her ability to style a more simple cut rather than see it as a potential battle. also, it seems as though you've referenced sissy as showing interest in preschool games, playing better with younger children, etc. many younger girls have shorter, simpler hairstyles --maybe b/c their moms don't want the battle, maybe b/c the girl wants to do it herself and needs the easier style. it could be that her hairstyle should match her maturity and her ability to manage the style. also, i believe you live near atlanta, and it is HOT there in the summer. i live in texas, so hair must either go up into a ponytail or be too short to fit in a ponytail. rather than let her see a shorter style as a "win", you could possibly play it off as a summer cut and then keep it that way, should it reduce the number of battles.

like i said, i am not a RAD expert and am only offering my observations from what i've read here. i wish you luck and look forward to hearing what style sissy will sport this summer!

marythemom said...

My neurotypical daughter had issues with not caring for her hair so we usually kept it cropped (which she hated). We're also in TX.

My adopted daughter with RAD came to us at age 11 with a boyish short cut. She wanted to grow it out and I let her. She looked amazing, but like the other girls described here she rips the brush through it when wet, damaging it. Getting her to bathe regularly was also an issue at first. Then we discovered the ratted, hair mats at the base of her neck and discovered she wasn't brushing the underside of her thick mane. Next we discovered she'd stopped using shampoo and only used conditioner...

I'm with JJC, tell her it's a Summer cut and crop it. There's time for longer hair when she gets healthier.

Mary in TX

FosterAbba said...

"So remembering to hug, touch and ask a child what THEY want to do is, well, a challenge for ME."

It's a challenge for us, too, because so often our kid wants to do things that we absolutely, positively, do NOT enjoy.

I have to say that I'm glad the timing of summer camp worked out the way it did, because I don't think I'd have it in me right now to participate in this challenge.