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

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Miracles in my own home!

Currently I'm sitting on the back porch watching the children as they swim in our pool that is probably not going to make it through the summer. One side heaved and dumped a large volume of water, now the 3.5 foot capacity is barely holding at 2.5 feet. Oh well, it's twisting, pitching and heaving but cool on hot summer days, which has been a welcome respite after yesterday's 101'F before heat index factored in.

Of course, the tepid water is only respite if the occupants are getting along. Right now, AB is screaming that I need to skim out the pine straw. Last night's storm left a blanket of brown needles everywhere even after I threatened all the trees with a chain saw - apparently trees don't respond to verbal threats. I'm supposed to be doing bills but the IFI therapist will be here in 30 minutes and well, wifi access on the back porch is too tempting to NOT blog. I'm such a junkie.

Sissy has been all over the map, mood wise, including a crisis call on Sunday. Yesterday was "fun" with her moods up and down like a yo-yo, changing from one extreme to another in the span of 30 minutes. Literally, from angry, gritting teeth, tears and complete defiance to higher than a kite: giddy, waving-hand motions, running about the house and Cheshire grins complete with toddler-like squeals of joy and laughter. It's a little off-putting and bewildering. I nearly called the pdoc but my IRL friend said that her RADish does that sometimes. OK. I'll go with that. It's weird, slightly alarming but immensely easier to accept than the possibility of another med change.

True to form, Sissy has been sleeping like a baby all night despite her rash of complaints to any listening ear, including professionals, that she was waking many times and never going back to sleep. The baby monitor nipped those claims in the butt with the exception of last night's conversation with her IFI therapist. Like an idiot, instead of talking to Ms K privately, I told Ms K in front of Sissy that we were dosing Sissy's meds at supper time now to help her sleep patterns. Sissy got irate and interrupting me blurted out, "But! I AM WAKING UP! JUST LAST NIGHT! HONEST! I DID!" I gave Sissy that condescending look only mother's can give that says sure ya did, kid. and we're not even going to acknowledge the words that just came out of your mouth because you know they're a lie and I'm too weary of your games to think of a decent consequence and then I turned to Ms K and gave her my best glib smile, complete with the cock of my head and a roll of my eyes and Ms K took the cue from me and changed the subject.

Have I mentioned I like our new IFI team?

Hot on the heels of trying to nip her withholding issues in the butt, pun intended, Sissy has been so idiotic about tending to her hygiene when toileting that we have stripped her of her privacy. Now, like a potty-training two year old, I get to give her assigned toilet times and accompany her every time she goes, making sure she uses all of the required toileting manners. She tries my patience with her incessant demands the she "has to go RIGHT NOW, REALLY REALLY BAD, honest, I can't hold it anymore!" and I enjoy casually looking up at her and saying back, "I'm not ready to take you right now." But the biggest issue for Sissy would not be aggravating me about feigned toilet emergencies. No. Her issue is over soap.

yes. the dreaded soap. *echoes of the scene from Christmas story "It was ... it was ... SOAP POISONING!!!!!" complete with harrowing moans and wails of despair from the melodramatic parents*

Really. I should be imprisoned.

ANYWAY... In the past Sissy has gagged, wretched and even vomited over soap. Yes. Vomited. (gosh, even as I typed that I was wishing I was lying to my readers but sadly, it is the truth) So in particular, I monitor her soap and hand washing. Imagine my surprise this morning when the following conversation occurred not 10 minutes after we were awake (really, WHY does the crap start so gosh dern early every day? It's exhausting to wake up knowing that I'm going to get crap just because it's a new day):

Sissy: I'm wiping! *sounds of toilet paper coming off the roll*
I'm flushing! *sounds of toilet flushing*
I'm washing! *my cue to enter the bathroom*

*mom enters and nauseating smell from toilet fills the space - we're having issues when it flushes, filling the room with the most wretched stench*

Sissy: UGH! That stinks!

Mom: Yes, I know. It's the toilet, when it flushes it makes that smell. I'm not sure what's going on with it.

Sissy: *condescending and glaring at me* Well! Maybe you should use SOAP then!

I flicked her on the head, lovingly of course.

Mom: Maybe YOU should clean the bathroom. That comment was rude. I just told you why it stinks like that.


When she regulated and we were in the kitchen serving breakfast I said, "Sissy, it's curious that you suggested I use soap to clean the bathroom. It tells me that you KNOW soap is needed for such a job." I paused. She grunted. I resumed. "Is it getting annoying yet that I have to babysit you in the bathroom every time you need to go?"

"YES!!!!!" She hollered and glared.

"maybe you should take your own advice and USE SOAP."

more glaring and grunting followed by, "I KNOW I SHOULD USE SOAP!"

I was annoyed, irritated, agitated and really, really wanted to holler back. Instead I dug deep and said gaily with a hop and my hands thrown to the air, "It's a miracle! My child has been cured! She knows she should use soap! Hallelujah and Praise Jesus, a miracle, right here in my very own house! Sissy has been saved!!!!" I finished it with a twirl, my hands still in the air.

Sissy was not amused. But I felt better.

Then this afternoon she decided she hadn't been RADly enough. I've put Sissy and AB on Harry Potter ban because OMG, is it ever getting annoying with their 24/7 Harry Potter. So they have 2 weeks no HP. At the library, the rule for our family is 3 books if you want to borrow a movie. Sissy comes to me with ONE book and a movie. "MOM! Look what I picked out!" She's happy of course. She's holding a Harry Potter book. Again, i wanted to go crazy right back at her. Instead I said, "NO."

*screaming, whining, wailing and protesting* "WHY!!!!!"

(thank God our librarians know me and my kids - 3.5 years at the same tiny library and some brutal honesty on my part about my kids' needs is a real boon, let me tell you)

"Harry Potter ban for two weeks. You need three books if you plan on checking out that movie," I said to no one in particular as I walked away.

She picked out four and a magazine. When we got home she announced to her dad that she picked out one of the books for her brother which was news to AB. It was her way to get in a little "dig" about the HP ban. Dad says to me, "Not counting this book she claims she got for AB, how many other books did she pick out?"

"Three and a magazine, the movie's legit then."

Sissy shouts at me, "FOUR other books! I got the American Girl magazine too!!!!"

"Right." I say back to The Dad. "Three books and," I turn to face Sissy, "a MAGAZINE."

The Dad says, "Sissy, HP ban for four weeks."

"BUT! I didn't remember about the ban when I grabbed the book!" she lied.

"Then next time you'll try harder to remember what mom tells you. Stop screaming and you might get to watch an HP movie before the summer's over. Keep it up and it'll be two months before you do."

She clammed it. Fast.

Another miracle! Sissy can shut off her screaming at will! Praise Jesus and Hallelujah, there's hope for us all yet! Maybe she'll keep having miracles? It's more fun than screaming.

Can you tell this summer is really wearing on my nerves already? Pour me a margarita and call it a day. Peace out, lovelies. XXOO


GB's Mom said...

Even if nothing else got done today, you made me laugh :)

beemommy said...

Okay, I'm gathering that it's liquid soap she gags over? In Girl Scouts, we put a bar of soap in a cut off, used but clean, panty hose leg. Tie it to the spout or in the shower make sure it's a really long leg! Just an idea or is it just the smell of soap that makes her gag? Is it possible she was gagged with soap with her birth family?

Integrity Singer said...

beemommy, sissy's issues about hygiene in general relate to her RADs and her abuse and are not sensory driven. It wouldn't matter how the soap or the shampoo, toothpaste or loofah are arranged, smell or feel. Changing those things does NOT change her aversion. Most of the behaviors are related to will and power struggles

Jules said...

I'm surprised that AB doesn't get tired of listening to her and tells her to knock it off.