So, last night I took Hope to a work event. My little lady was poised, charming, conversational and gracious. I am so ridiculously proud of her! I knew there were moments when she was very overwhelmed with all the new people, the fancy-schmancy environment and food and just the overall new experience. And yet, she positively rose to the occasion. I was ready to leave at any moment to save her from the mayhem. But the quick escape wasn’t necessary. But she was just awesome.
Grammy decided to stay home last night, so Hope and I had some solo mother-daughter time, which was a good thing.
It also served as another validation moment for me and Grammy and our ongoing discussions.
So Hope and I jetted off for our little outing, and before we could get to the condo elevator good, Hope started confiding about some things that Grammy had done or said that upset her over the last few of days. At the top of her list?
“I am NOT a baby. I am a pre-teen. I know that it’s awkward to call me that, but I’m not a baby. It irritates me and I don’t know what to do.”
Ah yes, you see ,Hope has had so many things snatched from her that are a part of her identity; her chronological age is not “snatch-able,” and her identity as a soon to be teenager is so serious! Now, she does like to be babied, but just don’t call her a baby. She hated the idea of being tucked in every night until she came here and then begged me to do just that.
Hope’s list of Grammy-related irritants was lengthy, but she was adamant that she really likes Grammy a lot, but she just didn’t want to be upset by some things. A lot of the little irritants may not seem like a big deal to other kids but they are a big deal to her.
So, her little vent session concluded after a few minutes, and I asked her to give me the top three things that really bothered her and she rattled them off. I explained that I would talk to Grammy about it.
Ha! Hope’s list? Oh yeah, it mirrors my list of things to know that I repeatedly tried to explain to Grammy over the last few weeks.
You want to know why?
‘Cause I know my kid. #yeahIdo #whatchoutnow
I get her; I know what upsets her. I know what motivates her. I know the limits of her coping skills right now.
And Hope didn’t feel like she was heard or ‘got’ or understood. And she didn’t have a voice with Grammy, so she just pulled out her silly putty and tried to be patient, polite and gracious until I got home.
So then I had to talk to Grammy. Oy vey…It went ok, but I know she didn’t like it and I’m not sure she got it either. I know it was uncomfortable. I know that getting her to understand that this wasn’t an ask, but rather this was an expectation that some of these little things just don’t happen again was hard for her. Hope will grow into all her fantasies about grandkids, one day, but not this visit or even the next one.
It’s hard to have that talk with a new Grammy as a new mommy. I could see and feel the sadness and frustration in knowing that her fantasy grandchild complained about her. I could see and feel the hurt and defensiveness when she said it wasn’t that big of a deal, so why couldn’t she do blah, blah blah? Well, um, because you can’t, it causes drama that we don’t need.
Today’s check in call, Grammy sounded a little tired and a wee bit frazzed. Didn’t I say that Hope would be all the way live by Saturday? Yeah…#Iknowmykid
This week has been a good experience for all of us. Just a few bumps in the road with a lot of lessons learned. It’s been a good week that included me being able to have my wine outside of the house, served in a glass instead of a tumbler with the benefit of adult conversation. So glad Grammy is here!