Sunday, January 4, 2009
I spoke too soon.
Just when I thought we were making progress...
She slaps me with a deep sense of reality.
Maddie is at it again.
We went to a big family function last night and she took full advantage of my distraction.
It was the annual S~ family Christmas dinner. We have a HUGE extended family, so once a year over 150 of us get together, rent out a hall and eat, chat and eat some more.
Its tons of fun...and something Shad and I have missed out on the last 17 years. None of our kids had EVER been to the dinner. So it was a first all the way around.
Shad was on call so I took the kids by myself.
Can anyone say, 'Red Flag?'
We usually tag team these things...taking turns keeping an eye on her so the other can visit.
My backup was pulling a calf.
Alek, Anya and Nick did great. They met a bunch of new cousins, made friends real quick and started running around, playing just like like a bunch of kids should.
But Maddie...oh, Maddie...
Its my fault really.
I should have sat on her.
Maybe put her in a headlock...
I know! I should have bribed her to stay with pizza and bananas!!!
But after the progress we made in the last few months, I made one fatal mistake.
I let my guard down.
Maddie LOVES my parents. Anytime we are with them, I disappear...well, figuratively anyway. And I don't mind. They're her grandparents, she needs to have a special relationship with them. But unfortunately, my parents aren't as used to Maddie's wiles. The haven't learned the the lessons Shad and I learned in the first few days after we brought Maddie home.
- Hold her if possible...its less dangerous that way.
- If you are tired of holding her, make sure you hang on to her hand with a death-grip. And whatever you do...
- Don't get too close to the object of her attention - she'll lean in for the kill.
Mom and Maddie walked up to my cousin, Dennis. He must have said something about how cute she was because when he bent down to say hello, she THREW herself at him.
I flew across the room...but it was too late. She had already put him in a strangle-hold hug and smacked him on the cheek.
I tried grabbing her back, but Maddie wasn't having any of it.
'No,' she kept telling me as she cried her pitiful tears.
Finally, I insisted...mumbled my apologies, left my mother to give the explanation and carted my whiny, squirmy daughter to the ladies' room.
'Did you know him, Maddie?' 'Have you ever met him before? That makes him a stranger doesn't it? Are you supposed to talk to strangers? Are you supposed to ask strangers to hold you?
ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO GIVE STRANGERS KISSES?!
Who knows how much she really understood from our conversation. Some days I don't think anything sinks in. But I definitely learned three things in the last 24 hours...
- My daughter still has Odessa Orphanage #1 deeply embedded in her soul. I know it, but am constantly getting reminded - it is going to take a long time to get over these (and other) survivor behaviors. If she ever completely gets over them at all!
- She's still a charmer. Again, I know it. And just because Shad and I aren't falling for her powers of persuasion anymore, doesn't mean she doesn't still remember how effective they are.
- I have a lot of educating of my extended family to do. My parents and brothers get it and are incredibly supportive of the no-holding policy. Family members. That's it. They've explained stuff for us before. But this time we all were blind-sided.
How could they.
Unless I educate them.
And here we thought she was doing much better.