I will start with a confession. Almost every day, I dread Janey getting home from school. It's not that I don't want to see her, but the roughly two and a half hours between when she gets home and when Tony gets home are an extremely tough time.
I try, very hard, to figure out ways to make this time better. I've written about that before, quite a few times. I think hard about what to do to improve the time. Lately I've been giving her a verbal schedule as soon as she gets home "First a snack, then play toys, then read books, then watch a video, then Daddy home" Janey is really only interested in two of these things---the snack and Daddy getting home---but I try hard with the other things. When the weather allows it at all, we spend time outside. This spring, I plan to add a nice long walk to the daily routine.
Today, it all went downhill quickly. We had the snack---lots of leftover Chinese food. We played toys. I had gotten Janey some new-to-her My Little Ponies at the thrift store, and we played with those for fifteen minutes or so. (Actually, I played with them and she watched---that is how most of our playing goes) I read her a book about Little Ponies, and she sort of listened. Then we put on a video. She has enjoyed some Weird Al videos lately. She did today too, until one came on that bored her. I tried to find something else she'd like. I took a chance on "Dancing Queen" by Abba, which she seemed to like at first. But then she stopped liking it.
I knew she'd stopped liking it when she kicked me, hard. As I got up and started to lead her to time out, she reached over quickly and smashed my nose, hard enough that it hurt very much. I cleared away quickly enough so she wasn't able to bite me, as she was trying to do. I shouted for her to get on the bed. I try to stay calm, but I wasn't feeling calm, and yes, I yelled. She got on the bed, in a fury. She tried to get up immediately, and I told her to stay where she was. She lunged at me. I walked away. She got up. I stopped trying to get her to stay on the bed. I didn't want to be bitten or hit again. She asked for strawberry milk. I said no, not right then, not the way she'd been acting. She decided to fix it herself. As I ran over, she spilled the whole canister of powder on the floor and grabbed a glass of water and poured it over the pile of powder.
At this point, my mind just kept saying one thing, a not very useful thing. I was thinking "This isn't fair" I haven't really thought that in that particular way before. I've had, of course, a few moments of thinking that other people do have it easier, but I very much believe that oft-repeated phrase "Life isn't fair" What I was feeling right then wasn't that, though. It was feeling that the relationship between Janey and me isn't fair. I try, I try so very hard. And she seems to try not at all. I always struggle to be positive, to make her life better, and I was feeling right then---she never tries to make my life better.
Of course, I realize that isn't fair to think. Janey is not capable of seeing things from my perspective. She isn't purposely trying to make my life hard. I am sure she doesn't want to be the way she often is, angry and destructive. But damn it, it gets hard sometimes to be her parent. It gets hard to see the silver lining.
Lately I have very little energy. I am not sure why. I am tired all the time. Some of this might be depression, or hopelessness, but a lot of it is probably physical. It's been a few years since my thyroid dose was adjusted up, and I recognize a lot of the tiredness as how my body feels when my thyroid replacement is not enough to work. Or it could be one of the two or three other autoimmune waiting in the wings, the ones blood tests show I have although my body doesn't yet show all the signs. The tiredness, whatever the cause, isn't helping matters.
Still, things are better in a few ways, I realize even on my worst days. Janey is crying less and sleeping better. She is calmer overall, for sure, than she was during the dark days in November.
It's when I write entries like this that I hope all of you who have told me that even the discouraging posts I write can be helpful are telling the truth. I don't like to be downbeat. It's something people point out to me a lot, how I will complain a bit, but then add in something positive to the conversation, even when it's not really warranted. I'm trying to work on that---on feeling like I have to be upbeat when I'm not. So---no cheerful ending, although I'm fighting the urge to include one pretty severely...