Must come down. Sometimes it crashes and breaks into pieces and you left wondering where you went wrong. How did I not see this coming…
I have been so excited to see Isaiah (not his legal name) attaching (or so I thought). Today, however I realized that what I thought was signs of attachment was really more manipulation. Sometimes we want something so badly, we see it when it isn’t there…
This morning he was particularly clingy and saccharine sweet. “momma I love you…” “momma hold me…” but I as soon as I walk out of the room he turns into a tyrant and becomes very angry with anyone who gives him direction. In his mind if mommy is on your side you can do whatever you want.
I am still recovering from my week of fevers and just felt a little tired and a little overwhelmed so I asked an older child to watch him play on his mat while I took a bath. I had a lovely break planned complete with a lovely book and some lovely music. I was halfway through the first chapter when I heard BAM! BAM! BAM! Slinging water every where I jumped from the tub into my robe and rushed out into the dining room to find my child slamming his head into the wall repeatedly and screaming bloody murder at everyone within earshot while in time out. It was crystal clear what I had been seeing for awhile if only I cared to look: If I can get mom on my side the rules do not apply, and any one in the house that I see as a threat to my desire to get what I want will pay. He wasn’t attaching as well as I thought, he was trying another route to control me.
So I am revisiting attachment, well re-focusing actually. I am reading blogs and thinking things over, again. Not everything is a loss of course, we have been making progress, it is just that we have so far to go and I am so new to this with so much to learn. We spent many months of their time with us weathering the storm of foster care, parenting visits, court dates that attachment fell by the wayside and honestly new relatives would pop up here and there so we were never quite sure if working on attachment would be good or harmful.
So we are redoubling our efforts. If you see me out with my darlings (yes, they are very cute) please don’t offer them treats or ask them if they would like to sit with you or be held by you. Right now we are going to focus on helping them attach to mom and dad and that means that they need to associate all good things as coming from us for a bit. Please don’t tell them they are cute. Cute is a tool to manipulate and they need to learn that their value goes beyond how they look. Tell them they are precious if you would like, because they are and so much more but keep in mind that they don’t need your attention, they need mom and dads. Please support us by stepping back and letting us cocoon our little ones while they grow their wings.
If you have been where we are (or if you are there) I would love to hear any suggestions or resources. Let me know what worked for you…and what didn’t. It always helps to know someone understands, someone else has been there.