Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Happy Birthday to me?

Today is my birthday.  Although my relationship with my birthdays is fairly complex I was actually looking forward to the day. Daddy bought me a gorgeous wedding band eternity ring which I was very excited about wearing.  We had a lovely family afternoon planned.  The sun was shining.  Daddy was taking the afternoon off work and we had decided to go out to our local Zoo park where we have season tickets and then out for a family dinner.  What I didn't factor was that today Katie's behaviour imitated one of those children from Super Nanny! She has been exhibiting all the signs of the condition L.G.S., otherwise known as Little Git Syndrome! She had a particularly bad dose of it today and has pretty much spoiled much of the afternoon.  In fact she went straight to bed after we got home from the restaurant, although she is currently still doing all she can to mess about. Daddy is dealing with it! I'm staying out of it now! (edit: I gave in and went up and settled her again and now all is quiet!).

I'm really not sure what today has been all about (although when reviewing the day in my mind I remembered a similar situation when it was Daddy's birthday as well on another family day out).  She was fine this morning and very excited to give me a present and two gorgeous cards this morning but things took a turn for the worse when I picked her up from pre-school.  She reacted badly to me comforting a friend's young daughter who is feeling very poorly today with tonsillitis.  Katie forced her off me with a disgusted look on her face.  Now this reaction isn't anything new at the moment.  She is currently going through a phase of finding it hard when I help other children and is experiencing feelings of jealousy.  We talk about how she is feeling and I have tried to explain the difference between the love I have for her and how I might feel about other children. I know this is a fairly common issue with children and is part of our attachment process.  I'm not entirely sure what has triggered it at the moment because she seemed to have moved on from these feelings about a year ago and seemed very secure.  She has now been with us for two years which was about the time that she had been in foster care.  I wonder if some internal clock is feeling a little insecure at the moment or whether it's something to do with talking about adopting another child?

By the time we got home she was in a pretty difficult mood.  Her pre-school teacher commented to me this morning that she wasn't particularly well behaved at school yesterday and this is something we are seeing at home.  "Moaning Myrtle" and "Belligerent Brenda" are currently two common visitors to our house.  Katie seems generally tearful and grouchy.  I am currently wondering this evening if she is coming down with something.  She had a cold last week but doesn't seem unwell at the moment and she shouldn't be over-tired as we have a strict bedtime routine.  

I managed to get her to rally when we arrived home and we had some of the birthday brownies that we made yesterday and had a lovely cuddle.  About 20 minutes later she seemed to suddenly just switch into major naughty mode.  Like someone had flicked a switch.  Lots of arguing, spitting and hitting.  The atmosphere in the house thickened and I could feel myself wanting to internally combust.  I put her on Time-out after the hitting and spitting incident and sat in the lounge to calm myself down.  Daddy arrived home soon after and we went off to the zoo.  Katie did a grand job of scooting all around the park but she was generally stroppy and argumentative for the whole afternoon.  Things didn't improve at the restaurant and we left after we'd finished dinner, with Katie in tears because we decided enough was enough and we weren't staying for dessert.  Arriving home things deteriorated even more and bedtime wasn't a particularly pleasant affair with Katie having a total meltdown and as predicted, has just wet herself.  

What on earth is going on with her?  She seems desperate for negative attention. She gets so much positive attention that there isn't really any need for that. Is she just jealous because it's my birthday and the attention wasn't completely on her?  Is she tired at the moment?  Is it just one of those phases?  We have noticed that when she moves forward in one developmental area, she tends to fall back on her behaviour.  She has been making huge steps forward with being dry at bedtime and her communication and literacy is zooming on.  I wonder if this is why we are having all this challenging behaviour?  Is it that she simply needs to start school to absorb and channel some of her intelligence and energy?  Is it all of these things combined?  All I know is that I'm glad she's now in bed.  I love her so much but today, I, don't like her behaviour very much at all.  I now feel like I want to have a glass of wine, not because it's my birthday but because it will help me unwind from a particularly challenging day.  

I will get up and start again tomorrow and hope that tomorrow is an improved, happier, day but for today I feel like saying... 

Happy Bloomin Birthday to me..........




12 comments:

  1. Well firstly Happy Birthday. I hope you're enjoying those choccie brownies with a big glass of birthday wine?!

    You've identified that when Katie comes on in one developmental area, others take a step back. Mini is like this too at times. That, along with the excitement of your birthday and having to share the attention with you has probably all collided today. I hope she is back to herself tomorrow, and I hope you have an easier day with her.

    But for now, enjoy the rest of your birthday xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you hon. It's good to hear that other children have similar reactions to their development. Today hasn't improved unfortunately but Daddy and I had a chat about how we were going to handle the behaviour and I instigated the plan when we had a 25 min meltdown this afternoon. Basically I put her on time-out and said nothing to her. Every time she spat or screamed or kicked I picked up a toy and put it on the shelf (4 toys in total) until she calmed her behaviour down. I didn't say a single word until she was calm and quiet. I had a cup of hot chocolate ready for her when she was finished and we sat down and drank them whilst having a hug and a little chat. I plan to continue this reaction. We've agreed that if she hits or spits then we will simply walk away from her without saying anything and reacknowledge her when her behaviour improves again. Watch this space LOL xx

      Delete
  2. Well Happy Birthday to You! Hope things are a little quieter by now. Sounds like Katie is telling you how she feels, good and loud. My therapeutic parenting trainer would say thats' progress.
    Hard work though isn't it when it's the big family occassions that they find it most difficult to cope with? x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's interesting Sally but it's only on birthdays. Other outings have been fine so there must be some sort of link there. I agree though that it's hard work. I felt drained before we'd even gone out yesterday afternoon. See my response to Stix for our future plan regarding this behaviour. I spent much of the afternoon saying to her "I wonder why you are speaking so rudely to me; I imagine it might be because you feel cross because......" LOL xx

      Delete
  3. well Happy Birthday anyway! Hopefully the next one will be a smoother ride :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you!! I might just go on a spa day next time!! LOL

      Delete
  4. Hugs. I wish you a happier and more lovely day tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Happy Birthday Lovely! There are phases like this - you just have to carry on with loving and reasuring her (which of course you know already). Good luck!
    Btw - when she's 16 you can tell her it's your sodding birthday so she can celebrate nicely or naff off.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LMAO!! I like that suggestion for when she's 16! Yes we will continue with love and reassurance and positive reinforcement. She gets lots of that. Am going to ignore more of the negative behaviour and praise more of the positive and see what effect that has on it all.

      Delete
  6. Oh! Sorry to hear about crappy day but a very happy birthday anyway...hope you got time to unwind with a glass of wine and plenty of cake. My overseas friend is having similar problems with her adopted daughter who's now nearly 12 (not that I mean to worry you!). Their May birthday is on the same day and often ends in a mini-meltdown! But she's hopeful that this year they've made some progress because they visited the orphanage were her daughter was 'lost and found' as she puts it. On a slightly different note, my friend who's adopted, now in her 30s, has always found birthdays and big events challenging, so we tend to celebrate her birthday on a different day, so she's not thinking of her birth mum. I think it's the big events thing and the expectation that comes with them. Sounds like you're doing amazingly and providing everything Katie needs to explore her feelings. Pat yourself on the back for being an aware and loving mum, and wishing you a much smoother day today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had several glasses of wine, some more of my birthday brownies and promptly feel sound asleep!!! I'm not a party animal at all after drinking wine!! Thank you sharing the stories about your friends. I think birthdays can be very difficult when you have a more complicated background. They are for me as well so I was probably a bit over-sensitive as well yesterday. Have managed the behaviour with much more planned foresight today. Obviously needed a rant to clear my head and rethink things.

      Delete