Friday, December 3, 2010

Drowning in a Sea of Labels

So much has happened in the last twenty-four hours.  I will start with the therapist meeting yesterday.  Uncle M and I met with the girls' therapist while the girls played in the play room.  We talked to her about their various issues, what has happened in the last two weeks since we had seen her.  She recommended using lavender oil on the bottom of the Vampire's feet to help her sleep better at night, and gave us a vial of the potent herb to try it out.  She asked us how 1-2-3 Magic is working, and we let her know that we just started on it, but thus far the girls do seem to be getting the drift of it.  She said something to me that hit home really hard, that I can be a really great parent, but I have to cast off the role of favorite aunt to walk in those shoes.  She is right.  I still long for the days when it was just the girls and I out having fun, and I was the "fun person" in their lives.  I have to cast that role out of my mind, and become the loving mom who guides them to success.  They have a biological mom, who birthed them, and gave them a legacy of issues through her addiction to drugs/alcohol.  And now they have a mom by choice, who will work hard to help them through those issues, and will never leave them.  There, I said it.  I am their mom.

The Vampire lost her right to stay in the play room, cause she wouldn't stay in there.  She had to stay in the therapist's office with us.  She ended up crapping her pants while she was in there, more than likely on purpose and because she wanted our attention.  She thought it was funny.  We didn't.  It stunk to high heaven.  The therapist asked us how we would handle cleaning her up when we got home.  I told her that we would set her in the bathtub, tell her to rinse her pants out and clean herself up, then let her dress, and carry her dirty clothes to the laundry room, and put them in the washer to be washed.  She said that is perfect.  So she had to clean herself up.  To clarify things, she did use the restroom in the toilet during the meeting with the therapist, and soiled her undies a few moments after.  As the Vampire is cleaning up, the Drama Queen informs me that she soiled her underwear as well.  I told her that I am glad for her honesty, but because she didn't use the restroom like she should, she is going to go and clean her undies up after the Vampire is done.  And she did.  I will just keep doing that, with as little emotion as possible until they get the hang of it.   

After dinner they took their usual evening shower.  We always have them lotion their skin after the shower because they both battle dry skin, especially in the winter, then dress in their pajamas.  The routine tonight included a toenail trimming and a foot massage with lavender oil.  Serious spa treatment...  wish I were my kid.  I dried their hair after they brushed their teeth, then read them a Winnie the Pooh story before bed.  The Drama Queen fell asleep almost as soon as her head hit the pillow.  The Vampire on the other hand, fought it.  She fell asleep around 10:00, after being tucked in around 8:30.  At some point in the night, their nightlight went out, probably due to the bulb blowing out.  The Vampire woke up afraid, and crawled in bed with me.  I snuggled her for a bit, then took her back to her room and plugged in another night light for them.  The Drama Queen was awake, told me she was afraid of the dark, then went back to sleep.  I stumbled back to my bed, dove under the warm covers and went back to sleep as well.


The Drama Queen and I mailed her letter to Santa today, she is excited for him to get it, and hoping that he will bring her all she asked for.  Santa e-mailed me two videos from his Portable North Pole console today, and I will show them both their videos sometime this weekend, in an attempt to keep things "normal" and build excitement for Christmas.  The Drama Queen told me today, "I just love December, and the snow."  I am happy that she is happy.  The therapist said that she will be the one we have trouble with in later years, and she may equate sex with love.  I said, "what can I do to prevent that???"  The therapist told me I may not be able to prevent it, but we will do everything we can, and she will work hard with her.  I don't want that precious little girl to grow up and not realize how worthwhile she is and how much people will just love her for that special person she is, as much as I don't want the Vampire to grow up being a bully and hurting other kids. 

This morning was the meeting with the daycare director.  As I feared, this is the last ditch effort they are making.  The teacher of the class is pretty much done with The Vampire.  The director is giving her 5 bites, then she is out.  The catch is that I have to pick her up and take her home after each bite, and she is not allowed to come back the following day, so I can "work with her on her behavior".  I know she will bite 5 times in the next two weeks, and I will be trying to find more child care before Christmas.  The girls' therapist met me for this meeting.  I can not express in words, how thankful I am that she was there.  I felt so much stronger having her sitting there beside me, backing me up, and seeing things in a light I didn't because of my emotions.  The director asked me if we had the Vampire tested for autism, and it is hard to think clearly when someone is trying to gently tell you that there is something very wrong with your child.  Autism, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Bi-Polar Disorder, Reactive Attachment Disorder, there have been so many labels dropped in regards to this cherub-like three year old... that it is staggering.  Sometimes it is hard for me to stay focused on any one of them, and more importantly, to fully understand any of them.  The whole time these labels are dropped I'm thinking, "what in God's name did my sister do to these kids...."  While the nurturing side of me that loves this child and wants nothing but her success in life is screaming, "HOW selfish of my sister to do this to these children..."

I question things I will never get answers to.  But I can cling to this explanation, and have peace of mind.  My sister is an addict.  She is addicted to something, be it alcohol, or drugs, and she does not have the will power to pull herself away from it.  She didn't chose a man over these kids.  She chose alcohol and drugs.  Sure... she ran off with a man, but she was chasing the promise of doing alcohol and drugs without having to deal with kids in the mix.  I complain about all the labels dropped on the Vampire... yet I sit here and drop one on the woman who gave birth to her.  She is an addict. 

Emotionally for me, there is so much to come to terms with right now.  The therapist is going to work a couple of avenues to help the Vampire.  I think it was good for her to be at the meeting, because she realizes the severity of the Vampire's issues now, and maybe we will start getting to the bottom of it all.  She is going to look at pursuing formal testing, for Autism and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.  She is going to see if there isn't someone who can shadow the Vampire at school all day long to keep her negative behaviors in check, and help her to overcome this.  The therapist is also going to try to get her bumped up on the waiting list at the special needs daycare I have been trying to get her in at.  I'm just going to keep plugging away at the 1-2-3 Magic, dragging her to appointments/testing and helping those who are trying to help her, and hoping/praying that the aggression will begin to fade, that the Vampire will feel more secure with us, and that she will stop biting soon.  She has to stop someday.  It might as well be today! 

Aunt TT

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