If you follow me on Twitter, then perhaps you saw a series of frustrated tweets from me yesterday. (If you happen to follow my private Twitter account, I apologize for unleashing the drama on you all)
Diva is 5 years old, going on 30. She has been a challenge to us since the day she was born. She can be so sweet when she wants to be, and I love and adore this girl so very much. But dang it, I’m just at my wit’s end with this child.
She pushes everybody around her, just to see how far she can get with them. She’s always done this, and I’m not the only one who has been frustrated by her. Her daycare back home was separated into age grouped rooms, but we always seemed to pick her up in the afternoons from different rooms. She was dubbed “The Diva” in her daycare baby room before she was even a year old. As she got older, the workers took turns taking care of her, because she was a challenge to them too, and nobody could really handle her all day long. Her first pediatrician said, “She’s just a high needs baby, Stacey” more times than I care to remember. Many days I literally had to put her in her crib, close the door, and go to another room in the house to count to 1000 before I completely lost it. One day, my mother called when I was in the middle of a tearful, almost hysterical, episode and immediately sent my dad over to check on me. I changed pediatricians when she was 18 months old, and the new doctor was so wonderful to her and me. He actually listened to me when I complained, something the other doctor just dismissed. I am missing that man so much right now. I’d be willing to drive 4 hours just to talk to him at this point.
That’s really just the tip of the iceburg. She’s only in Kindergarten, but she is already struggling. She’s in danger of being held back in Kindergarten next year, and this is something we have known since February. It’s not just academics, it’s maturity and behavior. I can’t deny she’s immature for her age, because I know she is.
She had been doing so GOOD, behavior and school work a few weeks ago. I felt like all the extra work we were doing and the tiers program at school were really paying off, and hopefully we were in the clear. I cried the day I overheard her reading Green Eggs and Ham by herself about a month ago. Cried like a baby! I was just so proud of her. I was seeing a HUGE difference in her.
And then came Spring Break. We let them spend the week with all of their grandparents back home. I love them all dearly, but part of me wondered if this was a huge mistake. Basically, they were a week away from us and pretty much getting away with murder.
She has been a nightmare ever since she got home. Attitude, attitude, attitude! I didn’t know that much ‘tude could come out of a 5 year old. She has been in trouble for one thing or another pretty much the whole time. In the last two weeks at school, she has been on “yellow” status three times (green: good, yellow: warning, red: bad). Not following directions, etc. Yesterday, apparently she kept putting a plastic bag over her head in spite of the teacher telling her to stop over and over. I don’t know where she got a plastic bag, if they were doing some sort of project, or what. It’s like what adults say goes in one ear and straight out the other. And I’m not even saying half of the mess she has gotten into at home. I’ve lost track of all that. Smearing the poo on the bathroom cabinet the other day is the one that just about sent me to the hospital with a coronary.
So yesterday, I grounded her. Again. I took her TV, Nintendo, and outdoor play privileges away until I see improvement in her behavior. I was ranting and raving, all the while wielding a knife and cutting an apple. Not wise, I know.
I think what got to me the most yesterday was her look. She just stared at me the entire time I was talking to her. There was NOTHING there. Just blank stare. Emotionless. Defiant. Maddening. I had to leave the room. A little while later, the dam broke and I was in tears. My sweet son came in and told me a very strange joke, “just to make me laugh”. She continued to act like absolutely nothing happened.
I was in the process of making dinner last night when she walked into the kitchen. She walked up to me, hugged me, and said she was “Sorry, Mama.” I don’t like it when my kids cry, but I was almost happy to see tears in her eyes. I had started to wonder if something was wrong with my child.
So yesterday (and today, writing this post) was a day of many tears for me. Just wondering what to try next, I suppose. Frustration abounds.