Explaining these behaviors…

I try so hard to try to get ahead of BubblyGirl’s behaviors.  I try to anticipate what will cause upset.  I want to explain it to her before she gets upset.  Yesterday was one of those days that I still can’t figure out.  Maybe it was just what we call a “sad day”.  She has those occasionally, on these days she talks about a good friend at Lucky Hill whom she misses very much.  This friend was like a sister, so the mention of her name lets me know that she’s having a day where she feels the loss again.  She woke up mentioning her.  That should have been the first sign that we were off to a rough start.

Yesterday we went to church, an activity she usually loves because it involves choosing one of her many “church dresses” from her closet.  She wasn’t so into it yesterday.  Hmmm….  We went potty before we left, FPD left church in the middle to take her again.  We always go to the local bakery after church for big chocolate chip cookies.  She went to the bathroom again at the bakery before we left.  We always go to Cos*tco on Sundays that I don’t work.  It’s our day to stock up.  We were in there for one hour.  We got back into the car to drive home and she obviously wasn’t happy about it.  She pouted and flounced telling us she “no go home”.  She wants to be out and about, got it.  But, it’s time to go home.  She went to full blown mad and peed the little bit that she had in her bladder into her car seat.  She announced it as she was doing it.  She announced it as if it was a punishment to us.  “I no go home!  I pee myself!” Now her church dress and seat are just a little wet, but they still need to be washed.  I told her to please go in the house.  Since we parent with natural consequences, the consequence to this is, you can’t wear the dress anymore because now I have to wash it.  Bummer.  We can’t go in the car until your seat is washed and dried.  Super bummer.  It was enough of a super bummer to send her into a complete melt down.  A melt down that I haven’t seen the likes of since our post-Ghana days.  Almost two hours of pouting, flouncing and then intermittent screaming in twi, fante and a little ewe.  The rule is, you can scream all you want, but it hurts the other kids ears, so you have to do it in your room.  The door is open and FPD and I make a point of being in the living room so that she can see us the whole time.  The minute she stops, I walk over to her room and ask her if she needs a hug.  Sometimes it’s no dice, she just shrieks and buries her face in the pillow.  It usually ends shortly after with her coming out, all composed and requesting a hug.  Done.  Except not yesterday.  She screamed in her open doored room for a REALLY long time.  After one especially long period she stopped and I went in to check on her.  I asked her where her barrettes were.  Not uncommon for her to get so mad that she either takes them out of her hair, or they begin to fall out.  She opens her hand and there they are, in a wad.  She had chewed her plastic barrettes into a gross, spitty, plastic ball.  I flipped out a little.  I’m not mad about the barrettes, they cost me about two dollars.  But, those behaviors make me really upset.  She was so mad that she lost all control and ruined something that she loves.  That scares me.  I tagged FPD and in he went so that I wasn’t inappropriate.  He sat on the floor next to her and told her, again, about the natural consequence to her actions.  Her beautiful butterfly barrettes are no longer wearable.  Bummer, because she really loved them.  Commence another round of screaming, post-Ghana style.

This ended about an hour later.  Three hours of the day spent in a rage.  When I really think about it, that’s what upsets me.  All that time wasted on rage.  How does she get to be a kid when she is SO angry?  I feel powerless to help her.  It stinks.  She ruins things she loves because she can’t control the rage inside her little heart.  We’ve embraced her as a part of our family.  We’ve adjusted to the new normal, but has she?  Some days she has, and some days she hasn’t.   Today she’s sitting next to me, while the other kids are at school and the Diva is getting her beauty sleep, watching Dora and acting like any other 3-year-old.  Today you would never know she was the same child whose heart was breaking yesterday.  We’ll return to that place of grief again, I’m sure.  In the meantime, FPD and I will just keep tag teaming to give her the support she needs to pull herself back out.  But, I’m thinking it might be time to get her a little help.  So, we’ll be contacting her again.  We did it for ResponsiBoy when he was raging about birth parent issues.  BubblyGirl is exhibiting a lot of the same behaviors about her post-orphanage/joining a new family transition.  I might need a refresher in how to deal with this kind of anger.

who occasionally feels a little rage herself for the piece of childhood that her daughter has lost.

6 thoughts on “Explaining these behaviors…

  1. *HUG* to you.Halloween is overwhelming to anyone (as witnessed by the wild rumpus which happened in our home and in PRimary yesterday) – so I’m sure it only added to BG’s stress.When Andrew rages (even at age 11), we have to wrap him up in our arms and legs and just let him fight against us – he actually craves that sometimes (I think it’s the feeling that he can let all of the anger out but know that he has very tangible limits as to how far it can go).*HUG HUG*

  2. FPM, I am so sorry that your precious little girl is hurting. It breaks my heart to think of her sad. Would it help if I sent a new picture of her friend (assuming it is the friend I think), or would that make it worse? Hugs to both of you. She has the best Mama that she could, and I know you will both come out on the other side hand-in-hand.

  3. My twins had a super bad day on Sunday too. I think it may have been from all the excitement and sugar of Halloween the day before. They were adopted at birth, but both have some anger issues similar to what you described. One of them used to “pee herself” anytime I put her in time out. The other one will destroy things she likes when she is angry. It’s hard to know what to do at times like this. I love that you use natural consequences. Lilly’s birthday was Sunday. She got to talk to Ruth in Ghana. I think that really made her day special. She has also dealt with a lot of loss, but to hear that familiar voice of her birth mom singing to her was great! You are great parents. With God’s help, you will know how to best help her. 🙂

  4. I read that and felt ” I know that feeling”….dealing with girls adjusting to a new family…evea after a year we have “issues”. Time, it just takes time….even when time is wasted in that “rage”…or crying fits, or in my oldest ghanagirls case, moping/pouting and lurking like she’s been given the worst punishment on earth. I know how you feel….in different way of course…Hang in there FPM!

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