Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Temper Tantrums, Court and Uncertainty.

Life is great. And that, for lack of better words, is an understatement. I am blessed. But just as we have many good days, we have very bad days too. Days where I think, "I need to rethink the kid thing because I am a bad mom." 99% of the time this is during a temper tantrum the Princess is having. At this point her nickname changes from "The Princess" to "The Meltdown Queen". (Ronnie came up with this one, blame him.) I worked in preschool for several years and have done lots of babysitting, so I have seen my fair share of fits, meltdowns and temper tantrums. I have had chairs thrown at me, been headbutted. But this...oh this. This is something different. I think it's mainly that she can continue it for soooooooooooo long, hours if need be. And I want so bad to just cry...partly because I hate what she has been through and is still going through and that the tantrums stem from that. Partly because I am so frustrated I want to scream!
Anyone else ever have this moment where you want to hold a pillow up to your mouth and just scream as loud as possible? I had one today. But, at the same time she is breaking my heart and I just want to hold her and not worry about what she did to get in time out to cause the tantrum. But, if I do this will it not let her know she can get away with it from then on? I am at a loss here. I want to be understanding of what she is feeling, but yet because of her speech delay and circumstances, can't express. But I want to set boundaries for her too. She will start kindergarten in one year! She has to get this under control. A year seems like so far away but it is right around the corner. I know that because I got her in January and it's almost a year already. This year has just flown by. And the next one will too. (And while you're dishing out advice to me, now would be a great time to tell me how to stop time from going so fast!!) Anyone have any ideas on how to get my incredibly sweet, funny, and temperamental Princess to not throw such horrible tantrums? I am ready for anything...anything that will help me not lose my insanity or feel like a horrible mom and that will help put her at ease and able to talk to us instead of scream.
On an even more negative note....her caseworker came out for a standard visit today and boy was she the bearer of bad news. About two weeks ago she said she didn't believe the Princess would ever return home because of a few reasons. Today, that was not the case. Today, she said she "isn't exactly recommending she goes home on August 23." Now, I'm not exactly sure what that she or isn't she recommending that? What I do know is this: this isn't good for me. Or Madison. Or Ronnie. Or my family. And most definitely not good for the Princess. While I can't go in to details on why....just trust me on this one. Her caseworker did say that she is recommending they begin "at home, UNSUPERVISED visits". At this point I don't know whether to scream or cry. We have done this before and I cannot begin to describe to you what it did to her. She had such bad anxiety that she would have diarrhea every time she went and then come home and sit in my lap very quiet. I AM NOT looking forward to this. To add to the bad news, because that just wasn't enough, her caseworker also said even though she most likely will NOT go home in August...she will most likely go home at her next court date which will be November 23...give or take a few days. I cannot begin to describe to you what is going through my brain right now...and my heart. But I will say this: How do I tell my 3 year old daughter that her "sissy", whom she adores, is leaving us? How do I explain this to her? She gets anxious when The Princess is gone for visits and speech and asks every 5 minutes when can we go get her and makes me play videos of her on my phone over and over while she plays. More do I tell the Princess that she has to go
home again? How do I explain to her that we want her and love her so much but we may not be able to keep her? How do I explain to her that we aren't giving her up or giving up ON HER? How do I help her understand why she has to leave what she calls “___’s home” and leave her “sissy”, “Mama” and most of all her “Daddy” who she cries for when he is not home.
How do I explain to her that she won’t be going to visit her Granda everyday anymore or her Papa, Aunt ChaCha and Uncle Wes? The sun rises and sets on Granda. She asks to see her everyday, starting as soon as she wakes up. She LOVES her Granda. How do you take away a child’s Granda? How can I be okay knowing she is crying because she wants to come home…to her bed. See her Sissy. Be held by Mama and Daddy. Go to Granda and Papa’s house. How do I do this?? I don’t think I can. I really don’t. She is MY BABY!
She loves her Daddy fiercely and has from the beginning. I know no matter what, she is going to be mad at us because we have done this before. She went home for 8 days in March. 8 days! I still cannot believe that's all it was. It seemed like 8 years!! (Anyone who suffered through my depression with me can confirm this.) I was severely depressed and cried all day, every day. (I am surprised I am not a divorced woman.) The day that we had to let her go home, I went to the car after court to kiss her bye and told her I loved her and would miss her. She showed no emotion and only gave me a blank stare. Almost zombie like. She wouldn’t say it back….and pushed my face away. I thought she would be a little excited about going home and it would kill me. No this was much, much worse. She was mad at us. She thought we were giving her away. It was the hardest thing I have ever been through. Miscarriage included. It broke my heart and consumed my thoughts the entire 8 days she was gone. I called DHS to tell them if she came back in custody to bring her back straight to us. 8 days later as I was telling my mom on my front porch how bad I missed her, my cell phone rang. It was DHS. They said she had come back in custody and would we still take her. Would we?? I told them we will always take her. I woke Ronnie up and said, "If you could have one wish, what would it be?" He said, "A baby..our baby...The Princess!' I said well let's go get her then. She is waiting on us. He jumped out of the bed and asked me if I was for real. I think the huge smile assured him I was not! When we got there and saw her she immediately smiled and said, "Heeey!" But then she became reserved. She looked so SMALL and SAD. It was obvious she was glad to see us, but obvious she was mad and hurt as well. I
told her we missed her so much and were so glad she was back. She said, "I missed you too!" I found out later she asked for her Daddy (Ronnie) every day she was gone. It took almost 2 months before she became less reserved and remotely the child who had left us. She finally came around and began to shower us with hugs and kisses again. I mentioned it to her almost a month ago that she may have to go live with her mom again. She says no every time and that she is staying with her Daddy. I told her we loved her so much, and wanted her to stay with us forever and we don't want her to leave, but that her mom may say she has to come back. This may sound harsh, but she doesn't understand the judge/court/DHS system. It was the easiest way I could explain it to her. She broke my heart in that instant, because I couldn't help but cry, and she wiped my tears, crawled in my lap and patted my back and said, "It's okay Mama!" But in her eyes she looked a little distant from me again. I vowed never to say it to her again. I have to prepare her before November but I don't know how to do it without breaking her heart. I can handle mine being broken. But I will walk through fire for that girl and fight for her with everything in me. I can't imagine life without her. It seems life didn't begin until she walked through our door with her curly hair and dimpled smile. It scares me to death.Our day was full of bad news and exasperation. But there is always something that happens to bring the laughter back. The Princess kissed Madison goodnight before getting into her bed, as she always does, and said "We go see Granda tomorrow!" Maddie said, "No, we sick. I'm sick. Your sick. We're all sick!" 8) Thanks for the laughter, God. You know we needed it.