Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dear PTSD, You suck…

So here’s the thing… (by the way I like saying that, like I have something profound to say..,even if I don’t). I have nine children. One of which is in a Mental Hospital and has been since over 5 weeks ago. She has been committed and will be transferred to the State Hospital soon. She calls me, like 8 x a day, and she is totally dis-regulated….crazy angry, crazy manic…you know like “Real” crazy. Conversations like that everyday can put anyone in a funk. I have to create safe boundaries for myself and answer the phone when I am strong enough. At this point, the crazy ain’t leaving,…so I have to allow it with open arms, yet, not. let. it. Drown. Me.
And then there we eight other children. Seven of which are struggling. S.T.R.U.G.G.L.I.N.G
I took Bugs to see “Soul Surfer “ tonight, while Trev cleaned up the Yard Sale, and fed the littles Pizza. We needed a break…and it was, until it wasn’t.
In the movie, there is a part where right after the daughter’s arm was bitten by the shark, she is headed to the hospital in an ambulance. You watch as the Mother gets the phone call..the phone drops, and you see her shaking,  numb face as she enters the car…driving to the hospital, on the road behind her , is the blaring ambulance, she pulls over, lets it pass…and out loud begins praying and begging out loud that “let her please live, let her please be alive”…..

My hands started to shake, and then my body was shivering uncontrollably…as my eyes began to switch left to right on there own…I was taken back to the day, I received a phone call around 4:30 from my sister in law on January 12 2010.
There was an Earth Quake in Haiti, a BIG one
…those words reverberated in the back of my brain, they radiated down my spine, into my whole body as I too began to repeat “let THEM please live, let THEM please be alive”…..that hummed in my soul for 36 HOURS….before we knew if the kids were alive, if the Orphanages hadn’t collapsed.
And tonight in the $2 movie theater, it wasn’t “as if”, I was back in those memories, and feeling those moments, I WAS THERE, I could feel the goose bumps that would not leave on my skin, the permanent lump of anxiety lodged in my chest, how much it HURT to breathe, the glare of CNN on my television constantly on, willing Anderson Copper to show MY children, their Orphanage…I was there tonight, and IT SUCKED.
Once the tears slowed and I could regulate my heartbeat again, and see the movie screen, once again, another trigger over took my senses, Bethany choose to travel to Thailand, on a mission trip right after the Tsunami, lets just say, third world country, natural disaster, here we go again….palms and forehead sweating, the smell of the Earth Torn, people dying, Haiti began to rise in my nostrils…The image of them bandaging heads, and there I was in Central Tent Hospital, in the middle of Haiti watching two small boys bring their Mother who had rags tied around two bloody stumps that once were her legs in a wheel barrow. She was dead, but the boys didn’t know that….my heart broke in half all over again, the bile in my throat just as sour, my brain screaming “why does this happen”…I. was. There.
I could see their glazed eyes looking into mine, dull and full of pain. I remembered handing them water bottles and the Protein Bars out of my bag, the brush of their hands, the feel of their hair as I ran my hand over their heads and asked if they were hungry, the sound of their voices as the said a weak “Merci”, and went to find where the volunteers had taken their mother.
I had not remembered that moment until sitting in this theater. The two weeks spent in Haiti after the quake, are full of those moments, buried under the surface, while I try to help my kids heal…and keep on burring my stuff…until it comes up fighting for air, screaming for attention.
I had a good ugly cry in the safe darkness of the sticky floored, almost empty, $2 theater.
Afterward, Bugs and I did a little walking around, I needed to regulate before going home, also secretly hoping the short people would be asleep upon my reentry.


Once I got home, tucked Bugs in bed…baby Faith needed to be held, O.K, well maybe I needed to hold her, her goodness, her healthy chubby, sweet smelling weight upon my chest, who needs a weighted blanket, when you have a baby, a healthy, emotionally attached baby, I was holding hope. So I sat on a bench from my van in my driveway, while Trev put away the last of the Garage Sale junk, and processed with him.
Having a built in Therapist…is a VERY good thing.
Once I went to bed and woke this morning, I felt purged, and I stop to wonder. When our traumatized kids, have a PTSD attack, a memory so raw, so deep, so painful…even if it is in the womb, being taken away form their birth mother, or a natural disaster, it is NOT a memory, they ARE re-living it…and if, and when those past demons pop up, we are prepped and ready and understanding and empathetic, non reactionary, we can help them process and purge that pain…and the next time it comes up, it will be a little bit smaller, a little less threatening and raw.g\

Every single one of us is in the process of healing something, let us be gentle with each other.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

“Being Committed”; literally and figuratively

Note:(lap top was smashed into a gazillion pieces (well maybe not a gazillion pieces ) during our trip, Big feelings, you betcha…so pics will be uploaded in the next decade…this was written on my cell phone.)

“Being Committed”; literally and figuratively

Forgive the play on words. But seriously at this point, it is what it is. The mind numbing, heart aching, nightmare that has taken over our world, mostly hers, but trust me the aftershocks hit here daily. Since last Monday night I feel like an already ran over deer, just getting on her feet, trapped in head lights once again, isn’t secondary PTSD grand?

Papillions trial date was “supposed “ to be at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday morning. We packed Monday night, planning that the Tuesday, before we left that evening quite possibly might be sabotaged by the littles. Monday had been a rough day, phone calls of more self harming, more meds, more sleep inducing medication…and at 10:30 p.m. when my child woke, she called me. I had already been in bed for a half hour, crying at the ceiling silently. We chatted like she was away at summer camp…and she mentioned that her “Dr. had come in and prepared her for her trial.”

“ Wha?”…”um no, sweetie, it must be the meds, your Designated Examiner said the trial is Wednesday, not tomorrow, we will be there tomorrow night to make it the next morning.”

“Well the Dr. said it was supposed to be tomorrow.”

“Please let me talk to your nurse.”

….and the nurse confirmed that “whoops”…there must have been a miscommunication, yes, the trial in fact is tomorrow morning. (I may, or may have not, gone ballistic on this woman, I may have called the hospital irresponsible, asked how many law suits they have had against them recently, my claws and fangs may have popped out, jus’ a lil’…my husband may or may have not said “THAT. WAS. AWESOME…I have never heard you talk to someone like that.”

…and then we did what any parents would do, we packed up 8 children 11:30 at night, woke our neighbor to ask to take care of the dogs, filled up the car, downed a rock-star, and a 5 hour energy thinger each (can I just say EWWWW…and Oie’ we are NOT as young as we used to be)….and drove the 4 ½ hours to Boise in the middle of the night.

We bedded the kids down at the hotel, crawled in bed at 4:30…slept 3 hours and were showered, dressed, and not so bright eyed and bushy tailed by 8 a.m.
My sweet Mama showed up to babysit our half comatose zombies while we drove to the Juvenile court.
We walked through the metal detectors, got wanded down, checked in and were sent to wait in these pew-like benches..and all I could like was…’this sure isn’t Kansas any more”.

About ten minutes later, a very nicely dressed young adult approached us wearing suit, I thought, “well he may not have parents with him, but this kid is ready to represent himself.”
He asked if we might be Mr. and Mrs. Pappillions parents, “um yes, we are”….and then this absolutely darling kid, introduced himself as her ATTORNEY. Sweet Nectar.
He led us back to his office, walls scotched taped with unframed photo’s and I’ll never forget his killer pez collection, this was my daughters court appointed lawyer. I silently wondered, if he would need a ride after court, or if his mom would come pick him up…Holy CRAP…this is her LAWYER…

Kidding aside, my gut was doing flip flops while he informed us that he had already spoken with her, she was not going to protest the committal, she knows she needs help. I asked if we had any hope getting her into another facility besides the State Hospital, he said no, a committal, because it is ran through the State Health and Welfare Department, this was her only option, but once she is released and pronounced stable, we have the option for another RTC that we as parents would see fit. The difficulty is that because she is 18, anywhere she goes, unless she is committed by a judge, she can walk out of.
Bleak options, very bleak…but honestly, since last week, my daughter has self harmed almost every other day, some requiring stitches. At this point, no RTC will take her, she is not safe enough, as she has continued to be on1:1.

One of the D.E.’s (District Examiners) appointed by the court, assigned to her case showed up. A mean spirited crotchety know-it all psychiatrist, that had me in tears more than once with his future recommendations for my child, finally my husband called him an “unprofessional ass, and informed him that he was a Clinician, and the lack of his advocating and professionalism was inappropriate”…O.K. so he didn’t call him an ass…but I wished he had.
Our other D.E. was MIA, this man is a Social Worker that works directly with the state and gives his recommendations, he has respected what we have tried to do for Papillion, and we were anxious for him to show up…and apparently he too missed the memo and thought court was a good 24 hours from now. He showed up in sandals, and shorts. This. Was. Going. To. Be. Awesome.

At this point, we convened, all understood that for safety reasons, and due to consistent self harm and attempts on her life, she needed to be hospitalized until she could stabilize and be transferred to another more therapeutic facility, everyone’s fears lying in the fact that if she is not stabilized, she will burn out of the RTC, and be back hospitalized yet again, or worse.
Papillion was brought in by an officer, both hands and feet shackled. My heart started screaming “NO”, and aching, I was in physical pain for her, maybe it was a little anxiety attack, because I thought my heart was going to explode out of my chest.

They had drugged her a little to keep her compulsivity down, and she seemed oddly calm. Everything went quickly, the Prosecuting attorney was brief, Papillions attorney admitted that there was not contestation, and the judge spoke plainly asking her “ Seems to me young lady you have a team of parents and professionals that are supporting you, wanting you to get the help you need. At this time I doubt you understand the great blessing that is, I don’t see that in this court often. Go, be well, receive the hep you need…and then he said some other “judgey” stuff and stomped the the gavel, and we were all dismissed….as we stood and Papillion was ushered out of the court room, she wouldn’t look at us, I called softly to her, We love you and dad will come see you this afternoon…she nodded.

We numbly met with the Attorney and the D.E.’s, we requested documentation for recommendations for a Young Adult RTC,So that we may work on Individual contracts between Medicaid and Health and welfare. Other options we are seeking are that of our church as well as I have spoken to a number of parents that have succeeded in having the school district, due to a child’s special needs and incapability for regular schooling, pay for the RTC.

We are trying every option known to man. We also are working on getting her qualified for Disability, this will open other options in the future, as well as maintain her having State Insurance past the age of 19. We have chosen not to fight for Guardianship, it was a long hard, face smashed in the carpet, sobbing and praying process…but the thing is…we have to give Papillion everything that we can give her, but not everything. She has practically bankrupted us already…if we give her what we have left, the small part that is reserved for the other eight children, we would be irresponsible….and that hurts, but is the truth.

Some of this feels very personal to share…on the other hand, I know that as I LOOKED EVERY WHERE for what was to come, what court, a committal, the odds of really getting help looked like…there is NOTHING out there…and some desperate Mom, somewhere is going to need this heads up, be able to network and have it all right here….
We went back to the hotel, I let Trev lay down with the babes, and I took the other six swimming. I felt like the Zombie-bride….trying to smile, trying to interact with the little kids when all I wanted to do was get in the shower and cry.

Here are bullet points for the rest of the week/weekend:

• We did a lil’ retail therapy at some killer thrift stores and scored Simples, my fav shoes from ten years ago in Perfect condition.
• My Mama showed up at the hotel with Thai Food and then we hit the Treadmills.Love.
• I didn’t sleep a wink the next night…but did get the cry/shower in.
• Next Day I went to the hospital to wash, condition and re-braid Papillion’s hair.
• It did not go well, repeat, did not go well, a Social Worker triggered her, and I had to leave, hair half way done.
• That totally sucked…
• I was losing an inner battle, had to reclaim my center, we decided to not stay and have another visit. I was not strong enough for another melt down/blow-up.
• Then I felt guilty, and so we went to Dairy Queen….because what fixes anxiety and heart ache better than a Chocolate Ice-cream, chocolate covered cherry blizzard. Nice job fatty.
• Yes diet has been off since exactly one month ago today…it is what it is…and I eat my feelings, I am working on that.
• Self Harming has gotten worse and required medical interventions.
• I have had to be healthy enough to distance myself and not let her dysfunction be mine, and that is easier said than done, because this is hurting ALL of us so very much.
• The little’s are spinnin’.
• Had to gut Chatter and Diva’s bedroom Saturday night…found the Root of all Pee.
• Spent all day Sunday 10:a.m. to midnight regulating, therapizing…and generally keeping kids from climbing the walls… (thanks Diana for the break on Saturday and the bonus help of getting my Sand Tray up and going!)
• I am tired….maybe more than I have ever been, don’t think I have slept more than 3 hours a night .
• She will be Professionally “relocated” to the State Hospital next week.

I have another blog entry in my head…the part about being committed to my children, to what their NEEDS truly are, and succumbing to my own selfishness. Relinquishing the vain parts of you that you don’t want to let go,saying peace out to the worldly things that I loved so much, the clean organized home with adorable d├ęcor, the fact that instead of sports , we do therapy, instead of Disneyland we look at parenting retreats for Trauma….letting go of everything else except what is healing, and necessary and letting go of all else. Clutter, Stuff, Fancy, Impressive, Perfection, has no room here, so we are cleaning house…we are choosing to be committed to healing, committed to kicking Trauma in the face, healing wounds, regulating the dizziness of pain, loss and fear…and the days we can’t do anything but breathe…well that is what we will do, We. Will. Breathe.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Update:Suicidal Teens/Children in Adult Mental Health Care...the reality....

So many dear friends, new friends, old friends, adoptive friends, therapeutic parents…have been lifting me up and carrying me. Your emails, phone calls, texts, blog and facebook posts/messages each lift me up and have carried me at times when all I have wanted to do is curl up in a ball and cry for one hundred years. I am now being braver that I have ever been and sharing this blog with many that I have kept it from. Not out of anything but fear of judgment, the fact that I used to be an adoption professional, used to work with many of your children, may have not done things the way some would have wanted , but ALWAYS had in my heart what was best for the children, also fighting years of “ways things are done”, and always trying to respect the culture and not offend, but make many small changes that I could. I have tried to be your support system, and now am being so very vulnerable in the honesty of what happens in my home, the personal effect of my children’s trauma. I have gone elsewhere to find the support and the people that I needed to be there for me. This is so very raw.

I get there are people that still openly hate my guts, respect me, and please don’t share my and my children’s vulnerability with those people…please don’t.

I have debated about abandoning my blog, my facebook, my cyber life and internalizing all of this pain…but as my friend Heidi reminded me in the gift of her phone call today…I AM A DOER. I always have been…and well I need you, I need you parents out there, I need your prayers, your advice, simply your love, because facing this alone is harder than being brave enough to tell it how it is, ….and since searching blogs, literally typing in questions in google that NO PARENT should have to type….there is nothing out there that tells you what happens when your child becomes Clinically, Undeniably Suicidal, and they are barely 18 and thrown into the adult world of Mental Health.

NO ONE IS TALIKING…and I NEED them too! So to you, the Mama that pulled this up on a desperate search….I am opening a can of worms…because someone needs to.

Sooo here’s the thing….don’t read if you don’t want to know. It is depressing, heartbreaking, and the damn truth of our unbelievable mental health system in this country.

Since my first post, there were many more attempts, we raced and raced to find an appropriate RTC, that A. was appropriate to her needs, B. Wasn’t a mortgage, and C. Would take her…and NO ONE could help us!!!… once it got to the point we could no longer keep her safe, she was taken to an Adult Behavioral Health Facility, admitted on her own will. Once admitted, I no longer could help her keep her boundaries for her, keep her world as small as she needs it to keep the triggers at bay. I relentlessly tried to warn the staff, but all they could see was a beautiful charming girl, and couldn’t really see why she was there…while I saw the mania, the dis-regulation, the control games….they were all snowed. (seriously isn’t “mental health” their JOBS?) When I went to visit, and a 41 year old creepster would not stop staring at me and my daughter , I could not protect her, warning her would have been a road map of “what to do”….so I pulled staff aside…and BEGGED them to keep an eye on “the situation”. The next day I came back for the visit and the Creep had CORN-ROWS in his hair, he had asked her to braid his hair, and having NO BOUNDRIES…she did, he sat between her knees for an hour and a half…while she braided his hair (full body shudder), my baby-girl was so manic, she couldn’t complete a sentence…I pulled the staff aside and went postal on them, only the way a mother could…and then to the poor, unhealthy man I made it abundantly clear he does not come with in 4 feet of my daughter….I can be scary….I promise.


Again she had everyone wrapped around her finger, fooled in the pathology that she was wrongly admitted …
Until she couldn’t do it anymore, and snapped, and lets just say, the staff was traumatized.

My child who should have been in the 5-7 day facility is now on Physicians order (committed) and has been there for two weeks now….that is what happens when the attempts don’t stop. That is what happens when your child has had a psychotic break, and the Reactive Attachment Disorder morphs into a life endangering Personality Disorder. We are where all the warnings of “If you don’t get help in time, and what can happen” land is….and from one parent to another, I can’t begin to describe the heart-hurt, the deep helplessness, the guilt, and loneliness. You and your child are falling through a deep dark abyss with no handholds.

We are so volatile, she is now in a 1 to 1 unit, meaning she can’t be trusted to be alone at anytime. Staff is assigned to her 24-7, she is overly drugged most of the time…self harm attempts are daily.

She still believes if she can come home, and have whatever she wants, all will be O.K.
She deeply believes all of this is my fault. Got to love R.A.D. We have had over 9 suicide attempts in the last 3 weeks. Guilt is a heavy boulder on my chest, irrational, and not honest, but how it hurts.

So here is what happens, when your kid loses their internal battle, and is two weeks over the adolescent age limit. “They fall through the cracks” says the Idaho Director of Adult Mental Health. Period. “Nothing they can do, but go to a State Hospital, if they will take you.” Are we back in the 1950’s where people were committed in psychiatric warehouses for life, with no therapeutic intervention? No…most adult mentally ill people in 2011 are now, are homeless or dead….unless they have millionaire family members who pay steep bills on Private RTC’s. Standard Care for a Suicidal Adult is a 5-7 day stint in one of these hospitals, and then they are released….with recommendation for intensive out-patient treatment…until they come back again…or are successful in their endeavors.

And so my child has been given a “second positive”…which no one will fully explain, other than it means she is now on Physicians hold, has no say in her release, and now has two appointed Designated Examiners and a court date in front of a judge, deciding the course of treatment (AKA, where she will be court appointed to go, most likely a state hospital/adult unit.)

Which would be depressingly expectable, if she was an adult, if she was capable of not being victimized, if that sentence was not a promise of a further downward spiral for my broken child…which. It. is.

So being the Mother I am, I am fighting tooth and nail to get my daughter appointed to a Young Adult RTC , that is therapeutic, boundary building, a safe house with regulations and peers she can relate with, not older sick people that WILL trigger her.
I am pulling out the big guns, and using every possibility known to man to get an individual contract written between Health and Welfare and this RTC, I am begging for support and help humbly and not so quietly advocating what is best for her, what could and might promote healing, instead of the perpetual cycle of chaos, pain and self harm she is in and will stay in…if SHE SEES NO HOPE, no change in her environment, no belief that she can get better. ..she won’t, she may not anyway, but be damned am I going to give her the best shot she has.
If that doesn’t work….my child will be committed to a State Hospital, long term.
She can’t come home, maybe not ever. As my new friend MeDenne so eloquently put it, “I can love her up close and I can love her far away.”
At this point, I have to protect ALL of my children. If Papillion was ever successful in harming herself in front of her siblings, there would be trauma I may never be able to reverse, or heal, I have to own that. That is a VERY painful thing for me to acknowledge. She may not ever come home.
I will always be her Mom.
Forever.

For the past three weeks I have carried this, I have called the Hospital, I have annoyed staff, Dr.’s, nurses and social workers, I have stalked Adult Mental Health, Medicaid, Psychiatrists, Councilors, Therapists other Trauma Parents (MeDenne again, you were a gift in a time I needed you)….Annie, Julie, Diana, Christine, Crystal, DeAnna, Chavonne, Mary, Eileen, Medkid (Melanie), Teresa, Hannah, Laura, Brooke, Heidi, Mom, Pat, Carol (my sister), Cynthia, Cathy, Ericka, Johanna, Tanya, Alicia, Jeanette, Corrie, Sheree, Christie, Jamie, Jodi, Judy, Diane, Sarah, Katie, Melissa, Tracy, Amy, Kristen, Fay, Shelly, Lynn, and so many others…you have no idea what the words…. “I am praying for you” or simply “I thought of you today”…have lifted me in times where words and hope are few. There have been so many dark, desperate moments. My ache for my child is an open wound. I am constantly giving this to God in times where there is nothing left for me to do. She was his before she was mine. He knows both of our hearts, and our pain, so when I have nothing left I give it to him, for both of us.

I don’t know where we go from here. Court is on Wednesday morning, if she is stable enough to be shackled and transported to court. That is the reality of where we are at. It will break my heart wide open to see her restrained, but we are driving the 8 hours…with every opportunity, document, and recommendation in out arsenal, to get her somewhere safe and therapeutic. Please, pray for peace, for a break in the demons that rack my child, for Warrior like strength for me and my husband,….for the people that have a say in my child’s future to listen and consider, and break molds, and fill cracks on her behalf.

Please pray,
Linds

Monday, July 4, 2011

Shards of Glass….


About two months ago my kid broke a glass casserole dish in a rage…and by “broke” I mean they held it up over their heads, and shattered it on the wood floor. I think it was over a cookie. So Mommy protocol…deems everyone off the floor, put shoes on and “Rager Joe” is put outside to “jump it off”. I first picked up the big pieces, did a sweep for the medium and small pieces and then used a wet paper towel to pick wipe away the microscopic. Yet I still managed to lodge one in my foot, my right heel.

So I tweezed what I thought to be “it” , out…and went on my marry way….until a month ago…my heel started to get a needle prick of pain, every time I stepped on it a certain way….now I am pretty sure I still have some glass in my foot. I can’t feel it, and forget it is there until it hurts. I have tried (when I have time to stop to see it it has come to a head and I can get it out…but most of the time, I have life to live and I step on it anyway, most likely pushing that microscopic glass deeper and deeper.

Hello Trauma. I hate you.

We forget about our own “stuff”. Too busy dealing with our kids, our spouses, our friends…until it hits us smack in the face. It hasn’t hit me smack in the face as much as has me in fetal position…wanting to live in the back of my closet….you know when I am not taking care of eight other children.

So update on “things”: They got worse, and then much worse, and then even more badly than I could imagine…and now they have been on that level for about a week now. My child is in an Adult Mental Health Hospital. I have to have a “code” to call or visit them….I drove 8 hours this weekend back and forth for two horrific visits, I am shaken, I am triggered, I am heartbroken…and I have no idea what comes next…so please just keep on sending those prayers.

My “stuff” has been coming up like vomit, unexpected, and leaving me dizzy. When I was 14, one of my best friends took her life, and then her brother 2 years later. It haunted me in my adolescence for a very long time. I am dreaming about Jenny again, and I am yelling and begging her not to leave me…and she is telling me…it hurts to bad to stay….

We are all alive. I am doing my best to keep it that way, even if things are not how I would do them. Safety comes first. I am doing my best to be consistent and therapeutic, I an painting on a smile and dancing with the littles as much as I possibly can, even with this shard of glass in my foot, and one in my heart.

Linds

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Matching Game

My little Chatter is a mess. Since big sis has flown the coop, we are one afraid little chickie. We are using all of our push-em away tactics to keep everyone sufficiently spinning and crazy. Can’t say I really blame her, she is terrified.

Part of Attachment symptoms are the inappropriate reactions our kiddo's can have. In my sweeties case everything is WAY over the top. ….”the winner of best Actress in performance of a drama goes to” type reaction….drama, drama, drama.

So after a generally great evening, water play out side, picnic and park…we came home and instead of going to bed,we started stick-poking Peanut-butter…and he wasn’t buying any of her crap, and gave her a good wallop.

He’s five, “a wallop” is an opened hand smack on the arm….and yes he got an earful, a “sit and think” and needed to apologize…not that he had the opportunity for a good 45 minutes…since the wailing and raging and general exorcism screams of a crazy person lasted that long.

We were calmly escorted outside, ya know so the neighbors could enjoy it too, we threw every object that could be thrown…watching a seven year old try to pick up a grill..now that’s nighttime entertainment!...we screamed and cried and wailed and banged and drooled…you get the picture…and I calmly sat, sipping on my DDP…enjoying the cool night breeze…and waited. Then waited some more, then calmly prompted, with “when we are ready we can go back in”, babies are sleeping so I want them to feel safe”….and so on…

45 minutes later she came and sat on the stairs with me and put her head in my lap, “pretty tuckered out there babe?”

“Yeah Mom”.

“Do you know what matches with blue?”…..

“Blue?”

“That’s SOOOO RIGHT”…and she looked up and smiled…and asked…

“what matches with green?”

I asked, “I don’t know what do you think?”

“Green”.

“Bingo babe-doll”. and a elbow nudge.

“How bout Red and Brown, they match?”

“Nope, they aren’t the same Mom, you know that.”

“Can I ask you something else Chatter?”

“yeah Mom”.

“If you took that shovel over there and whacked me with it and all I did was say “Ow”, that hurt a little, would that match?”

“Um no Mom, that would be a BIG CRY”.

“Gosh your smart peanut!...What is you flicked me with your fingers like this (flick)..and I start screaming that my arm is broken and I need to go to the hospital…(I am acting this out)….”Does that match?”

She giggles and says “No , Mom , that would be silly that is just a little hurt, you are lying, if you say your arm is broken”.

“You are so right, miss smarty.”

“Can I ask you something else?”

“yeah”

“Well I can see how you were pretty MAD that P.B. hit you, it would make me mad and feel bad too, right?”

“Yeah Mom, it hurt and made me Really mad.”

“O.K. Thank you for sharing that with me….my question, since you are so good at the matching is, did what P.B. did to you and how you acted afterward “match”?”

She got quiet for a minute, her eyes got really big and she said “No, it did not”.

I told her how proud I was that she could see that. I told her it is always my job, whether the hurts are big or little to help her feel better about them, but how she reacts to those hurts are the only way, I can really know how big or little they are.

“Can we work harder on matching Chatter?”
…..”yeah Mom, I will see if I can do that, if I get confused can I ask you?”

“always, sweetheart, always.”



Now go play this game….you smarty pants you……