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

Saturday, January 28, 2012

And they give themselves away...

I love U2. I know that dates myself. I don't care.

Thursday morning Sissy was a chatterbox. If you have a RADish you know what that's like. It's not just an excited child talking about all sorts of things in an excited fashion. No, RADish chatterboxes mumble random ideas in staccato rhythm, much like a slow-flashing strobe light. Short phrases, unconnected, strange thoughts and ideas, sometimes with a hint of anger or irritability.

Ignoring tactics only work for so long and then, it comes to a point when your nerves start to wince and your brain gets a little quirky and screwed up and you find yourself tightly clenching your teeth trying desperately not to explode in sheer frustration. Usually I get out a "Now is not the talking time" phrase but Sissy will immediately come back with "but I wasn't sayin' nothin!" [1]


This behavior is dead ringer for I've done something and I don't want to get busted.

And what had she done, exactly? Dropped one of her morning pills on the floor under the table but didn't ask for help to find it (I found it later after she went to school and I was sweeping.)

Oh, and the back pack. That one was funny.

As per last week's events, one of Sissy's consequences is that I will do random bag checks daily. The last time I had rifled through it was Tuesday night. It was now Thursday morning. Sissy chattered away, adding her thoughts in faster succession as I dropped off AB and WG, leaving the two of us alone to drive the mile and a half to her school. *chatter chatter chatter*

The car rider lane at her school was long and finally, the bells in my head said yo, mom. DUH! she's giving herself away! So I nonchalantly said, "Hey Sissy, while we wait in the line for you to get out, let me have your bag so I can do a back pack check."

I unzipped and saw it. Her pack of 50 markers, her doodling journal and some stickers. "Hey, what's this?" I said casually as I pulled it out of her bag. She grumbled a low, disappointed "ohhhhhh..."

"I don't see how you'll need these items to help you learn today. I think they just need to stay right here in the van with me. I'll give them back to you when I pick you up."

She tsked at me.

Then, she hugged me, kissed me, said, "i love you mom", got out of the van and gaily went into the building.

She gave herself away but methinks this time, she wanted to be found out. I'm loved because I busted her. Go figure.

And yes, I giggled the whole way home.

[1] when she quips back with that retort, i'll admit, it is exceedingly difficult to not engage the argument with a "YOU JUST TALKED RIGHT NOW!" statement. That argument goes like this:

Now is not the talking time.

but I wasn't sayin' nothin!

you just now said something

no i didn't.

still talking

i'm not!

What do you call that?

UGH! I'm not talking.

Be quiet

I am!



*me giving her the "mom" look*

SERIOUSLY! I wasn't talking!

Still talking (muttered under my breath)

GEEZ! Can't I say nothin?


TSK! For the last time, I'm Not Talking!

and she's still talking (said to the wall)


(talking to thin air)the words are coming out of her mouth and yet, it's not talking. I'm confused.

HUH? Mom! Stop. that doesn't make any sense!

neither do you.


I've asked you to stop talking.

I wasn't talking.

And yet your mouth keeps going.


*i giggle*

MOM! Quit laughing at me!

Not laughing at you, laughing at this conversation.

We're NOT having a conversation. I'm NOT TALKING!

*i leave the room to laugh in my pillow*

*sissy storms to her room shouting about how horrible a mother I am*


Elizabeth-Anne said...

I LOVE IT! I'm happy for you, for having a few moments, for recovering a little more of your sense of humor that you can share this with us. I am happy that you have women that you can share this frustration with and am howling because I have these "not talking" conversations with my little non-RADish with his own other issues ALL THE TIME (and seriously, if he didn't go to school I might have taken to permanently wearing ear plugs).

Ranger said...


How you keep your sanity through that is beyond me? I'm so happy for you that you're getting some good time with her in amongst all your hard work, and so happy that it sounds like she's having a little easier time in her head right now.

kisekileia said...

OMFG, is Sissy really that, well...stupid? Or at least self-unaware? Or is she just playing dumb? Or do you know which it is?

What this makes me think of is a Firefly quote. Mal to Jayne: "Your mouth is talking. You might want to look to that."

Also, I love U2 and I'm 28. U2's not quite as timeless as, say, the Beatles or Queen, but they definitely have fans across a wide age range.

kisekileia said...

Also: "wasn't sayin' nothin'"? How did she learn to talk in such an uneducated way? Did she pick it up from classmates?

Integrity Singer said...

@kisekileia - sorry it took so long for me to reply. when she gets short-tempered she does speak with lousy grammar. It might be from the time spent in the hospital with kids from many different walks of life. When it comes to her intelligence the best I can say is that she just gets stuck and really, truly believes what she is saying. In this case, that she's not talking.

kisekileia said...

Ah, okay. It must be maddening to deal with someone with such a crazily strong capacity for self-deception.

Integrity Singer said...

@kisekileia - yes, yes it is! but also amusing when i don't let it get me frustrated