Aside from the obvious lack of blogging I've been doing it has seemed remarkably crazy this last six weeks. I have no less than 40 posts rambling around inside my head and I will do my best over the next short while for the few that read this to get it done!
Cat Lover has finally reached the important milestone (at least in her mind) of double digits. At the beginning of February, child #3 turned 11!
This child, without a doubt, is my fiery, full speed ahead, act then think (only intermittently and when it doesn't change the outcome), run don't walk, fast talking, sensitive, strong as an ox, bull in a china shop child that I wouldn't change one little bit!
This "spirited" child single handedly changed my outlook on parenting the "strong willed" child. She is responsible for my "attitude" change. You see before I was a parent of multiple children I can honestly say my judgement of other parents with "challenging" children was unfair and to be honest down right cruel. Thoughts such as "Get some control over your child", "If that was my child......", coupled with pat stereotyping of children behaving "that way" in public and therefore what kind of parenting they "had not received" had more than once been my response. Cat Lover humbled me within three days of being under my charge.
Cat Lover arrived at my home with a white bear, a garbage bag of belongings, gum in her matted curly thick hair, sad crystal blue eyes and a TEMPER!! She trudged up my front walk with her head down at the age of just three and entered our home. The worker gave me a brief synopsis of everything they knew about her and her five year old sister (Songbird), which was very little and left. I closed the door and found Cat Lover standing in the living room clutching her bear beside a bean bag chair she had carefully placed to hide the puddle she had just left. My heart broke instantly and this sweet child had grasped hold of it and now owned a piece of it forever. Within days what had started as withdrawn, quiet whispers had become raging, loud screams that were often accompanied by furniture moving.
Undaunted I forged ahead determined to make a difference and get things under control in short order. Our first outing occurred only two days later while Chief was at work. I had a few errands to run and afterwards decided to stop at a local coffee shop and take my three girls in for a treat. I was a "new mom" once again after seven long years of waiting and I was proud to be out with my children. I ordered coffee for myself and chocolate milk and donuts for the girls and basked in the many smiles, and nods of acknowledgement I got as the girls all held hands and waited patiently for our order to take their seats. We couldn't have been seated for more than a minute when the unthinkable happened. To this day I don't know if it was the wrong kind of donut, the temperature of the milk, the colour of sprinkles or the way the wind was blowing but Cat Lover burst into a rage and started punching and kicking me as I tried to lovingly scoop her into my arms to find out what had prompted her outburst. It didn't take me long to realize the entire coffee shop was now glaring at me with judgement bursting from their pores as I obviously had no control over the situation. As calmly as possible I gathered this flailing child in my arms and left praying that my then seven year old would have the presence of mind to bring her new five year old sister and my purse to the van. I thought I was going to die. The two older girls climbed in the van silently and after putting Cat Lover in her car seat, confining her in her seat belt ducking punches and kicks I pulled out of the parking lot in tears. What had just happened? Why were people assuming they knew what was going on. Didn't they understand what this poor angel had been through in her short little life? My embarrassment turned to anger as the picture of the sea of disapproving faces burned on my mind kept flashing in front of me. As I drove down the road trying to drown out the screaming with a Fruit of the Spirit Kids Cd, I was suddenly and irreversibly convicted of my own behaviour in the past. I had been one of those people. I had stood confidently categorizing and judging. I had determined on more than one occasion for sure that there was obviously no parenting going on. Surely they weren't doing their job! Never...........NEVER again would I stand in judgement of a situation going terribly wrong.
It's hard to believe isn't it! She is so darn cute!
Sorry for the quality and size of this picture but it's the best I could do. I think it still clearly shows what seems impossible. This child could move full five drawer dressers in front of closed doors while on a time out.
Now she is a beautiful 11 year old! She still has a really bad temper but daily is learning new coping mechanisms and has stepped outside of her comfort zone to take on...ballet, piano, and is becoming quite a good artist. Over the last seven years she has learned alot but so have I....who has taught who??
Active.... Accident Prone....
Happy Birthday Cat Lover!!!!!
You are a special gift!!!!