Today Braska had physical therapy relating to her urological issues. Kinlee went along because I didn't plan well enough to have coverage for her. She took a book and generally is fine in those situations. She's kind of used to it.
While we were there, all of us in a room with the therapist, Kinlee wanted to answer questions and interject as part of the conversation. I asked her politely to please read her book and let me deal with Braska for right now. She started to argue, and I asked her again, a bit more intensely, to read her book. She asked to sit on my lap, and I said this wasn't a good time, that she needed to stay in her chair. She got very upset and pulled a bit of an attitude with me which brought a quiet but firm reprimand that made her cry a little to herself. I don't like that, but yet she's struggling with the fact that not everything is about her, so we're working through these moments. She recovered well, and when Braska and the therapist were out of the room for a moment, I explained to her again that this is a time when I need to be paying attention to what's happening with Braska and I need her to help me by doing what we've brought to occupy her quietly.
The rest of the visit was better, and Kinlee cooperated with the plan well. I tried to include her when I could--watching the biofeedback screen to see the smiley face frown or smile when Braska tightened or relaxed her muscles, etc--and she didn't interrupt again. She mentioned at one point before we left that she wanted me to take her to the bathroom. I asked if she needed to go or if she could wait til she got home. She said, "I don't need to go potty. I just want you to take me into the bathroom." I wasn't clear what that meant, and Braska was heading for the door, so we decided to head home and deal with whatever it was there.
When we got home a few minutes later, Kinlee said, "Remember, Mom, we're going to go into the bathroom." I went along with it, and once inside the house, she prompted me again. We went in, and I started to take Braska's padded ring off the toilet assuming she needed to use the bathroom, but Kinlee said, "I don't need to go, Mom. I just need to talk to you." She went to both doors in the bathroom and closed them both all the way. She came back and reached up, so I set her on the bathroom counter.
She began with, "I wanted to tell you that I felt very left out when we were at the therapy. When we go to Braska's therapy appointments, I feel sad that I can't do the things, too. Because you just pay attention to Braska there." She was speaking very calmly, sincerely, but not getting teary like she often does. She seemed so grown up. "I try to talk to them, too, so I don't feel embarrassed that I'm not getting therapy with Braska. And then when you told me to stay in my seat instead of sitting on your lap, I got embarrassed again."
I talked to her very calmly, telling her it was so nice that she was talking to me with calm words and explaining how she felt. That I was proud of her for doing that. We talked about how sometimes it is just necessary for me to be focused on Braska's needs. And she said she understood that Braska needs more help with things sometimes, so it's ok. I reminded her that there are lots of times when she and I do things together and Braska is not involved. She said she understood.
I gave her a big hug and said how proud I was again, that I liked her choice of talking to me like this instead of throwing a fit or being disrespectful with her tone and attitude--which is not uncommon and brings consequences each time. She smiled real big and hugged me a couple more times. "When Daddy gets home, we can tell him that I did a good thing and told you about my feelings and didn't whine about it, right? I think he'll be so proud of me, too." Of course, I assured her that was true.
Oh how I hope we can continue to utilize chats in the bathroom or wherever she chooses, to diffuse her strong emotions and reassure her of her valued place. It's odd to balance in my mind that a child so advanced in many ways, so intelligent beyond her years, is so aware of her feelings and can recognize insecurity. We are so proud of her for so many things, and she knows that, but everyone needs a little reassurance and reminder of their value.
She's 5 years old. Going on 15 some days. Lord, continue to equip me with what I need to be able to pass on to these precious girls.