Sorry I’ve been incommunicado for the last few weeks. It didn’t have much to do with Ana; life just got crazy. Ana is still Ana. She is still raging daily, laughing uncontrollably, wanting desperately for our attention and doing horrendous things at dad’s and school. What has changed is me a little. I’ve always accepted Ana for who she is but for the last month or so I’ve been trying to get inside her little head some more.
It also helps that I have Baby Gabriel in the house. He and Ana are at about the same place emotionally speaking (developmentally). I remind myself hourly that Ana’s acting out for my attention is no different than Gabriel’s random crying for me to pick him up for a snuggle. It’s just that when Gabriel does it no walls are damaged and he is super darn cute. But that is not Ana’s fault. Entirely.
We celebrated Ana’s 11th birthday recently. Knowing her tendency to sabotage good times we didn’t tell her when she was having her out-to-eat birthday dinner (2 nights before her birthday) and simply surprised her with a sombrero and “Feliz Cupleanos”. I wish I could have caught her on camera. She was genuinely happy – huge smile, laughing, loving her life. That is such a rare sight!
On her actual birthday we don’t make a big fuss about it because of her discomfort with such ooey-gooey feelings. I called her teacher around 9am to give her that advice but it was too late. They had made a big deal about her birthday and paid dearly for it. After my phone call they nixed the birthday talk and she calmed down.
Once home from school I made her favorite dinner (I didn’t ask her what she wanted. I just made it) and cupcakes. We have a birthday routine in our house and Ana is comfortable with it. Nothing too big or too fancy. But very comfortable for Ana which is the goal.
Other than that I’ve been trying to see Ana’s behaviors less about combativeness and more about being in the moment and lacking self-control. Yes, she is manipulative. Yes, she loves to spread her misery, but most of the time she takes advantage of what is happening in the moment to express herself. Kind of like Baby Gabriel does….
So the end result is less time away for Ana and more time with mommy doing chores. She dislikes the chores but she calms down quicker when she is in the room with me, so I’ll take that as a win-win.