I May Be Worried About the Wrong Control Freak

Monday, August 10th, 2009 | Connecting the Dots

I was trying to work through Rory’s tantrums last night–well, not the tantrums, but the way I react to them. And I was getting all fancy about her need for control, and how maybe I could understand that, as she’d had no control over being abandoned, and adopted, and yadda, and so I shoudl be more tolerant of her need to choose, say, which of the three potties in the pool bathroom she uses, every single time, and maybe if I was more tolerant of those things, I would be more patient in general, and not want to stick a sock in her mouth when she starts in on the whole gulping and gasping and repeating things over and over. (have I mentioned that she continually changes the screamed demand, say about every fifty repeats, in an attempt to land on something that she can scream for and you will give in to–the potty, maybe, or a drink of water…)

Ok, so I get a little attitude change out of me, and this is good. I’m able to head a tantrum off at the pass. I’m a little more patient today, and it’s a good day.

But at dinner tonight, while I was off at the buffet, she fell asleep in her chair.

Now, this was not the way I wanted dinner to go. I wanted to get THROUGH dinner, and get everyone bedded down to preserve our brief interlude of adult time. A sleeping Rory, I believed, meant a Rory who would wake up when we lifted her to leave dinner, and wake up ugly, and also refuse to go to bed until midnight, and everything, everything would be ruined, my whole life, vacation, pretty much the whole shootin’ shebang, ruined.

I went to wake her. You can’t. Rob said, I tried. Oh, yes I can. (I have a cup of ice in my hand at this point. Yep, charming.) She’ll ruin dinner, it will be awful, don’t wake her, she swam all day and she’s done, he says. I do not believe she will sleep on from here, and I say so, and add my every-thing-will-be-ruined-forever belief, and he looks at me like I am crazy, and I realize that I am, and put the ice down, and eat.

Turns out, we were both right, and we were both wrong. She did wake up, at about dessert–but she woke up kind of…pleasant. I sat her in my lap for a while, and then she wanted ice crean, which was fine, and then she was nice, which is rare, and then–with little additional complaint–she went to bed, and it was, all in all, a WAY nicer evening than it would have been without that 20 minute nap that I was so set against.

I do believe somebody else needs to relinquish a little control here, and it’s not Little Miss I-Like-Ice-Cream.

Lest you think all was hunky and then dory, though, the final scene of the evening had Lily in tears, as Rory repeatedly and happily declared: I like Sam. I like Wallet. I no like Nini. For no reason, other than just to torment. I have some thoughts about that–think I’ll enlist Sam’s help. It’s not the first time it’s happened (sometimes it’s Wallet she “doesn’t like”) and I think if he had a response, like well, I love Lily (or Wallet, or whatever) and you’re being mean, and I don’t want to talk to you when you’re mean–that would nip this. If they could all respond that way, that would be good, but I don’t know that I can get Lily and Wyatt to resist the flattery.

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2 Comments to I May Be Worried About the Wrong Control Freak

JK
Monday, August 10, 2009

I hate it when I realize I’m the problem in the situation, but it sounds like it wasn’t too bad….

Wuxi Mommy
Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Funny how I could totally relate to you:) Sometime during our second month home, our Maia went through an aweful “I want to control this whole house” phase, and of course, out came my not-so-pretty tendency to fire back with more control to stop her. This cycle escalated and escalated til one day I realized that maybe I was actually making things worse (woops). It’s hard for me to remember that our Maia has lost everything familiar to her, and her attempts at controlling are really a natural part of her coping with such huge losses. Now, I try to give her a few more choices than I used to and it seems to help her “think” she has more control. For now, this seems to have tamed the tiger. Or maybe I should say tigers:)

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