Monday, August 10, 2009
Sweet Child o' Mine
I've hesitated in writing about this because the subject makes me feel horrible, but it's been hanging over me for months now and I have to get it all down.
I'm taking Boo in to have her evaluated. Her behaviour is out of control much of the time. She cannot tolerate any frustration at all - the slightest thing sends her into paroxysms of rage, shrieking and crying over tiny impediments. She does not listen to anything she's told; if I tell her to stop running in the house, she will stop but within half a second, is tearing around the house again. When the Bug is colouring, Boo will rip the crayons out of her hand because she wants to use it. Mind you, she'd been happily been using another colour moments before, but because the Bug has it, Boo wants it. Even though I generally buy them their own toys (2 sets of crayons, 2 of the same doll, within reason, of course) Boo always takes the Bug's things.
Lately she's been biting the Bug. The other day, she bit her so hard that the Bug has a mark on her back, five days later. She hits her a lot, although the Bug gives back almost as good as she gets, minus the biting. Lately, the hitting and biting has really been escalating. Whenever Boo gets frustrated with the Bug, instead of screaming at her/about her, she now hits or bites.
The not listening to me thing took on terrifying proportions the other day. I decided to take the girls to the beach - they'd never been to the ocean before and it's been ages since I'd been. We drove down to East Lyme, CT and for a little while, we had a great time. We'd been there about two hours when Boo decided to go get a bucket of water. I got up to follow her. The beach was packed, so I had to look down to avoid stepping on people and when I looked up, she was gone. I walked down the beach for a minute to see if I could find her but when I couldn't, I went to the lifeguard. He radioed it in and a bunch of lifeguards and park rangers immediately fanned out and began looking for her. I think it was the longest 20 minutes of my life until they found her, four life guard chairs down the beach, still dragging her little green bucket. I hugged her and hugged her and cried.
What was so infuriating about this incident is that not half an hour earlier, she'd done the same thing. I found her in a minute that time and impressed upon her that she had to stay with me because of all the people and all the water around. She's constantly taking off, running out the front door, dashing away from me in parking lots and the market and nothing I say will make her stay with me. I know this is pretty typical behaviour for someone her age (4.5) but combined with all the other things she does, it's just one more in a list.
She's defiant and destructive a lot of the time. Her favourite word is no and her favourite thing to so is run away from me, hiding whatever it is she's not supposed to be doing. She rips up books, she's torn the legs off two plastic baby dolls, she's destroyed just about every toy I've bought her. She's snuck crayons into her room and drawn murals on the wall. The most disgusting thing is the poop. When she's mad at me or frustrated or just generally pissed off, she goes upstairs and poops in her closet. A few times she's smeared the poop on the walls and on the window screens. It's disgusting. And yes, I've bought locks for the closet.
It's not like she's not getting attention from me: she is. I take them to the library and the park and we play outside. I read to her and play with her when the Bug naps, so she gets some one-on-one time with me. But I do have to occasionally do things like laundry and dishes and make meals and pee. And when I do those things, she gets in trouble.
I'm at the end of my wits here. I hope the woman I'm seeing on Thursday can help. I don't want her medicated, I just want some help. I hate the way I feel when Boo is acting like this. I hate how enraged I get by her continuous bad behaviour. I hate that I can't take her anywhere without worrying about whether she'll melt down or run away. Most of all, I hate the guilt that's eating me up over all of this.
Of course, as I sit here typing this, she and her sister are having a very elaborate tea party at my feet and have been doing so for a good 20 minutes now with only a few minor whinges....