Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Princess and Her Pee

Kiddos with reactive attachment disorder display some unusual behaviors. After 20 months of living in our house, A(6) continues to be a challenge. She attends kindergarten wearing diapers (her choice, bought with her birthday money). If she goes with "undies," she whizzes where ever she chooses. Now, mind you, I have nerves of steel, but standing in the store with your 6 year old peeing on the floor will bring the strongest to their knees!

Last week, she and I spent some quality time together, her in the "chore chair" refusing to do chores and me prepping dinner. She expressed that she was angry at me and I asked why at me. I had done nothing to harm her, but others in her life (bio mom, dad, siblings) had. We actually engaged in some meaningful dialogue for several minutes. Because of her opening up to me, expressing feelings appropriately, not yelling at me, she earned time out of the chair and played happily for an hour, just like a well functioning 6 year old girl. Then, time was up and she reverted to the old little girl, but I digress.

The next morning, we chatted again, both a little hesitant because of the behavior after her freedom time the night before. She said (now remember, she is only 6), if I didn't treat her like a princess, I was abusing her!

It is interesting how the mind gets twisted by what people do to little kids. So those of us who feel led to pick up the pieces of these little lives must untangle the mess that is left. Sometimes, the task seems impossible. Discouragement is definitely part of my daily life. But, just like the princess in the fairy tale, someday A(6) and I will figure out how to stop that little irritation from driving her. Someday, she will stop wearing diapers. Someday, she will play without reverting to the old little girl.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Full Contact Hymns

Going to church is an interesting expedition in our house. Getting four children with varying mental illness ready can be challenging. When breakfast is finally finished, hair combed, teeth sparkling, we split into 2 cars, the two older kiddos taking two little ones in one car and mom, dad and two others in another. It works better that way.
At church, we sit alternating big/little across the pew in the back. The real challenge is the singing. Kids love music and when you have kids with little self control, you get motion. Sometimes, lots of it! So, I hold onto T(11) and try to corral one other while dad gets the third (one is still in nursery). When it comes reducing the motion in a mania burdened boy with ADD, you get a work out! People pay for this kind of work out and I get it for free, every Sunday morning.
So, the next time you are in church, joyfully enjoying the worship songs, look around. Somewhere in your church, there may be a mom singing and getting a workout!