November 21, 2012

24 hours of childhood trauma

     Today I felt the urge to document the past 24 hours in my house. Panda has a three week track break from her school. Poodaloo will be off school starting tomorrow through the week of Thanksgiving. They are both going to a local gym for day camp tomorrow. Am I glad? You better believe it.

     Any change in regular routine is difficult for Panda (as with most kids who have experienced pre-verbal trauma). At school they have a set routine posted on the board. This is very comforting for Panda. I've tried doing the same at home. It does help her but I'm lousy at keeping it current. Posting the monthly school lunch menus in the kitchen is a stretch for me.

     During track break, multiple times each day she asks me 'what are we doing today?' If there is anything she especially likes on the agenda, it must be done NOW. She gets agitated with any delay. I attempt not to allow her to control when things happen but it is exhausting. We have been together for two weeks now, with another ten days to go. Twice a week she goes to the day camp so I get a break.

     Yesterday was a camp day with swimming at a local pool. When we arrived at the gym, Panda informed me she did not have her swim suit because I said I'd get it for her and I did not get it. Fortunately, there was time to return home and fetch the swimming suit before the campers departed.

     Poodaloo had not been feeling well and I let her stay home from school. She is a model sick kid and is perfectly happy watching TV. I worked in my sewing room and did laundry most of the day. I suspected Panda would not be happy to learn Poodaloo had stayed home with me. Boy, did I get that right. Panda complained about Poodaloo's sick day for (what seemed like) hours.

     Baba has worked late all this week. He gets home in time to see the girls briefly before they go to bed. This is another change of routine which has Panda on edge. As the girls got ready for bed, Panda realized one of the blankets was missing from her bed. (Both girls sleep on pads in our bedroom.) I said it was downstairs because I had used it to cover Poodaloo when she was cold.

     That was all it took to cause total dysregulation. She screamed and threw things around the bedroom. Baba ran upstairs to see what was going on. I asked him to bring up the purple blanket on the couch. He returned with the wrong blanket. Screaming and fit pitching again. Finally the purple blanket was upstairs for her but she could not calm down. Poodaloo was afraid to get into her bed (right beside Panda's bed). Baba offered to lay down between them. I read a couple chapters in a book, as usual. Reading has always been a resource we've used to help her regulate.

     The night was relatively quiet and both girls slept without waking. In the morning, Panda snuggled up to me for a few minutes. She then followed Baba about the house. Eventually, Poodaloo awoke. She crawled into bed with me. Then Panda came into the room and saw her with me. I scooted over so Panda could lay on my other side. Each of the girls tried to get more than half of my body space by inching out the other. This is not a relaxing thing so I quickly got out of bed.

     I went down stairs to make coffee and start breakfast for the girls. Poodaloo is not much for eating breakfast but she will always drink a cup of warm chocolate soy milk. I figure that is a pretty good dose of protein and don't worry too much if she doesn't eat anything more. Panda does not like to eat in the morning. She really NEEDS to eat a good serving of protein to stay regulated. I made sausage patties for them. There was a smidgen of hamburger in the refrigerator so I mixed it into the sausage meat before making the patties.

     When the sausage was cooked I called the girls to come eat. Panda wanted to know if the patties were sausage only. I explained about adding a tiny bit of hamburger. She would have nothing to do with eating because she 'hates hamburger'. It isn't possible to force her to eat so I asked her to please find some kind of protein she wanted to eat. (Yes, this is a common morning battle.) She likes to eat turkey pepperoni with cheese melted on it. She made herself a plate with a dozen or so pepperoni pieces on it.

     It was time to get in the car and take Poodaloo to school (we had not been ready to catch the bus because of the sausage fiasco). Panda carried her plate of pepperoni into the garage so she could finish eating in the car. Poodaloo followed behind her with her backpack. She accidently bumped Panda and it knocked the plate of pepperoni onto the floor. It shattered. Panda got hysterical. I remained calm though and asked her to please make herself more pepperoni. We walked back into the house together (I had to get the broom). Got it cleaned up and Panda came back into the garage, still muttering about Poodaloo bumping her on purpose so she would drop the plate.

     It is a few days after I wrote the previous part of this post. Surprisingly, not much has been said about the plate incident. I am certain it will be mentioned again at some point. Both girls have been home together for six days now. Today, the girls were really snipey and nasty to each other. I was tempted to leave home but couldn't think of anywhere to escape. 

    We had a plan to fetch J-Bear from her daycare and go to see a movie. I was not particularly in the mood for the outing, but staying home seemed a worse option. We went to the cheap theatre and saw 'Brave' because it had a family friendly rating stamp on the theatre website.

     Good grief - I cannot imagine the criteria for family friendly. It was very scary!! By the end, Poodaloo was in my lap crying, Panda was clinging to my arm and J-Bear was sitting on Panda's lap. Everything turned out hunky dory in the end so we gave it a 'so-so' rating. Then I delivered all three kids to my sister's house for the night. Yippee!!!!