From: Mama Bear
Re: How Many Times Do I Have To Tell You
December has been a long month for us. Unlike most people whose month probably flew by, our December seemed to drag on, like a car sputtering on fumes trying desperately to get to the nearest gas station.
This month we finally took you to see a doctor to see if you have A.D.D. We did this on the recommendation of your teacher, that poor young woman who has gone completely gray since the beginning of the school year. She used to be beautiful. Now she is haggard and skiddish. The doctor thinks that while you probably do indeed have A.D.D., it's too early to diagnose. You haven't had symptoms (in school) long enough and he thinks that your teacher has a little stick up her pooper and may be jumping to conclusions.
We will have to keep an eye on it although I suspect that while you are intensely annoying, impulsive, loud and mind-numbingly exhausting...it's just your personality. The reason I say this is because since we've been to the doctor you have not had one single incident at school. In fact, you've been perfect, staying on green all day for over 3 weeks which means that the teacher didn't so much as grit her teeth in your direction. This shows self-restraint. I think it also shows that the doctor scared you a little bit and you realized that what your doing is not going un-noticed. You do have the power to make it better, you just need a lot of support and patience.
That patience is sometimes impossible for me to muster. There is only so much screaming and whining and crying and yelling and running and fighting that I can take. There are days that I don't understand you and as much as I hate to admit it; I feel totally defeated. And exhausted. Other times, I feel completely inadequate to be your mother, like I just don't have the capacity to motivate you. It frustrates me to no end.
I don't expect you to be perfect, I don't expect you to be anything. But sometimes I look around at mothers who are happily reading with their daughters or pleasantly doing anything (cooking, crafting, shopping, sitting) with their little girls and I'm green with envy. Every time I try to engage you in this way it's a bust. I might as well be beating my head against the concrete with blood dripping down my face for as pleasant as it is.
Don't misunderstand, I love you more than I could ever describe. You are beautiful and smart and funny and the most tender-hearted little girl I know. When Spencer died you were heart broken and I knew then that you've suffered more loss than many grown ups have faced. You are strong and in some ways, mature beyond your years. It's just that I want you to know that it isn't all lost on me. I know that this is tough, for both of us and am trying to make it better.
When you grow up and are sitting on your therapist's couch and he tells you that it was all your mother's fault, I want you to at least know that while I screwed you up, I did it while I was trying to do my best. That I turned over every leaf and exhausted every option. That I cried at not being able to be more for you.
Like any mother, I want only the best for you. I want you to be yourself and not squash the creativeness and spit-fire that is your essence. I just don't want it to impede you. I don't want your eccentricity to hinder your friendships or ruin your ability to learn. I just want to find a balance. Where you can do well in school and enjoy your work and teachers and friends. Where you can come home and be a happy little girl who laughs and plays until the street lights come on. And you can do it all while still being uniquely you.
You turned four years old on December 15th and it seems like overnight you went from cuddly baby to big boy. You look like a big boy, you act like a big boy, you even SMELL like a big boy. When you were a baby I used to sniff your feet and nibble your toes. Because they were scrumptious. It always made you giggle and you still like me to do it to you.
The other night when we were reading, you put your feet in my face and I swear that I saw God. My vision got blurry, my head went dizzy and I passed out from the funkiness that is your feet. Don't be expecting me to sniff and/or nibble on anything in the general direction of your toes ever again. Unless of course, you are trying to kill me and run away with the insurance money. Just remember that I'm worth more if I'm accidentally dismembered.
You poop like a man too. It wasn't but a month ago that we had to beg you to drop the kids off at the pool but once you got the hang of it you became a poop machine. You went from pooping once every other day to pooping fourteen times a day. It makes you happy and now you think that all of life's problems can be solved with a good BM. The other day I was struggling to find something in the pantry and when I got exasperated you said in a helpful tone, "I think you need to poop, mom." I think maybe you're on to something. It really could make you feel better after every life crisis:
Got fired? Take a poop.
House burned down? Take a poop.
Got sentenced to life in prison? Take a poop.
This month you did something that totally broke your father's heart. After watching me polish mine, Birdie's and Bear's fingernails you insisted that I polish yours. I told you that it was only for girls but you would not be dissuaded. I tried to compromise by putting clear polish on your fingers but that wasn't enough. "Purple fingers, purple fingers", you demanded. So I did your nails in purple polish. And you loved it even though it crushed your dad. Could you please re-assure him by pulling his finger or something?
You have officially rounded into the terrible twos. Terrible is your middle name. It's a darn good thing that you are so stinking cute because otherwise I'd consider posting your naughty little ass on freecycle.
You get into EVERYTHING. I can't take my eyes off of you for a second without you doing something like setting the microwave to "explode", crushing bananas into the playroom window screens or taking all of my tampons out of their applicators. And when I catch you playing with something that you know is off limits you say, "here you go" as if you were only touching it to give it to me.
It reminds us of that one comedy show done by the legendary Bill Cosby where he talks about his little kid being caught with something and immediately saying, "I got it for you! Yes, I did drag the dining room chair across the kitchen, use it to climb up on the counters where I proceeded to slather myself in olive oil...but I did it for YOU!!! Because I knew that you were going to need the olive oil and I wanted to be helpful."
You got your hair cut for the first time ever this month and you went from looking like a hippie to a trendy little tot in your cropped bob. You were an angel when the stylist cut your hair which surprised me.
That's the reason why nobody (other than your immediate family) believes me when I tell them that you are hell on wheels. Because when I say that you are a monster child they look down at you and as if on cue you look up and smile with a twinkle in your eye and give your best Pollyanna pose. Then, as soon as they turn in the other direction you look at me and snarl with smoke coming out of your nose. Because you are just mean and like to eat baby puppies for breakfast.
At least you're allowing me some free time during the day. I finally got you to agree to stay at the YMCA child watch without going completely psycho on the poor babysitters. You put on quite a little show when I leave you; however, screaming and turning all shades of purple in the face. As soon as I round the corner where you can no longer see me, you stop instantly and are all, "lets play some poker, kids".
Your favorite book this month is "Green Eggs And Ham". You have most of it memorized and you do this thing where you say the last word that I read. You sound the same way that I do when I pretend to know the lyrics to a song on the radio, singing (with vibrato) the last word of the phrase and trying to act like I know the whole song. Then, when your dad points out that the lyrics are actually "dude looks like a lady" and not "do the funky lady" I have to try and find a way to still think I'm cool.