Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: On a commune in Virginia
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Not the right time
My DD, 5, goes off with my in-laws (they live about 7 miles away) on Thursdays from 9-3, Fridays for a sleepover and she usually stays till Saturdays around 3, and then Tuesdays 1-4. This has been our routine for about a year.
This morning they had to take her a little early because of some appointments. I wake up DD early so we won't be rushing to get her out the door, and we cuddle, read books, talk, eat breakfast, all very sweet.
Then when it's time to get in the car she clings to me and says she doesn't want to go.
"I go on Fridays and I don't want to go on Thursdays. It's too close."
I've been reading How to Talk So Kids Will Listen... and so I mentally thrash around wildly for the skills that would help me here.
"It sounds like you're sad to leave right now. You want to stay and play with your friends. Do you maybe also want to spend time with your grandparents?"
"No. I just want to stay here. I'm not going." Clings harder.
Well, I acknowledged she was sad...but what can I really say? She's going with her grandparents. I know that, they know that. We're all just waiting for her to get in the car.
Oh yeah, the fantasy thing.
"I wish you could stay here and go with them at the same time. I wish I could make more than one of you so one could stay with me all day, one could go to school, one could go with Grandma, and one could play. Would that be cool?"
"Should I make more than one of me? Then I could go to work, hang out with you, spend time with Papa..."
"Yeah. But I'm not going."
And so, because they have to leave, I give up, open the car door, and uncling my daughter as gently as I can, and buckle her in.
And of course she's screaming and I'm cursing myself and judging myself for not being quicker on my feet and understanding how I could have diffused the situation so she left feeling loved and taken care of instead of shoved off and unheard.
Then, sad and upset, I do about the worst thing I could, and go inside and turn my inward bad feelings on my husband, complaining that I don't feel like he's taking any part in attempting to help learn skills and tools to help us in these kinds of situations. I do want him to be reading this book and doing the exercises with me and talking about it, but what I really want this moment is some comfort, some acknowledgement of me own feelings and how this was a hard send-off, and now I'm having a terrible time getting what I want on top of everything.
Clearly I can't be an effective dispenser of good comfort and feelings acknowledgement if I'm not able to ask for it and receive it myself. So now there's me judging myself all over the place about how things are my fault and judging myself for not letting go of the judgment and just accepting that I'm doing my best.
And underneath it all - I'd really like some sound perspective about what to do when it's the moment to do something else and you don't have the TIME to give your child to talk it out. Obviously I cannot be the first person to go through this.
HALP AND THANKS