Giving her Grace
Thank you to all of you who offered advice and encouragement a few weeks ago when I published this post. I’m happy to report that things are getting much better with Charlotte and Grayson’s relationship. It’s not perfect, but I’m no longer hearing “mean” words from her on a daily basis, and she even told me today, unprompted, that she likes Grayson. I’ve been heaping on the praise when she helps me with him or gives him a toy and letting her have it (instead of ignoring) when she says something mean or rude about him.
I’ve also started talking to Charlotte quite a bit about why Grayson is different. We’ve talked about her brain and what it does- tells her legs to walk, her mouth to talk, and her tummy to hold food. She now knows that Grayson’s brain has a Boo-Boo and it doesn’t tell his legs to walk…etc. The biggest Boo-Boo that she’s had is when she fell and split her lip/chin open and had to go to the ER, and she talks about that a lot, but she also always says that “I got better.” I’m not sure if I should or how to tell her that Grayson’s Boo-Boo isn’t going to get better.
Every day, I have to continually make a conscious effort to give Charlotte a lot of grace. Age 3 is all about BIG emotions, and they can easily exasperate me. But that little girl has had a LOT to process in the past year: her Mommy got pregnant and was sick for 9 months, her big brother had major surgery, her little brother was born and cried and cried for months, and then her schedule was thrown into chaos with our house being on the market. All this has nearly driven ME insane, and I have a lot more emotional maturity than a three year old. Poor baby.
And now we are about to subject that little girl to the biggest change yet: we are moving in a few weeks. We are so excited and grateful that this is finally happening and are hopeful it will mean a much better quality of life for all of us. However, this current house is all Charlotte remembers and she tells me (in tears) whenever I bring it up that she doesn’t want a new house. She’s been to the new house twice now and her behavior was horrible- silly, disobedient and angry. I’ve been trying to get her excited about a backyard with a playset, a play room, and the sidewalks and cul-de-sac where she can learn to ride a bike. We’ve been to the new neighborhood’s playground quite a few times now, and she does love it, but so far it’s not been enough to convince her that leaving this current house is a good thing.
This girl. She’s stubborn, opinionated, hilarious, and smart. She has her own style (wear a party dress and tennis shoes to the park…why not?) and wants what she wants. She makes me crazy some days, but I love her so and am so glad she’s mine.