Despite my best efforts, last night was an emotional train wreck for Jacket. Mind you, she was already a wreck, but I’ll get to that.
We had dinner, and by ‘we’ you can assume from now on that it means Jacket, her mom and grandma- my new pathological family by unhealthy choice. No mention was made of Jacket spending the night until late (8ish) when I (incorrectly?) sensed it was Jacket’s mom’s preference. Jacket asked to start a big project and I told her it was too late, but if she’d like to spend the night we could do it tomorrow. She said no. I dropped it. But her mom didn’t.
For about an hour Jacket’s mom tried all kinds of bribes and weird manipulative statements to convince Jacket to stay- or so it seemed that was her goal. I told Jacket it was okay to go home, she could always come visit again, and I repeated out loud a few times that it’s hard for kids to have last minute changes. Finally, they all got ready to go. Jacket did the whole I-don’t-want-to-put-my-shoes-on thing but said she wanted to go home. I was intent on getting her shoes on her and getting her out the door smoothly because the back-and-forth was palpably dysfunctional for all of us.
On their way out the door Jacket said she wanted to go to the movies. Aahh, so they were going to the movies tonight and she didn’t want to miss out. Jacket’s mom promised her that I would take her to the movies. Not cool, but at least it wasn’t Chuckie Cheese or Mount Kilimanjaro. We all paused to suss out if Jacket’s new plan was going to stick. After a lot of questioning, Jacket told her mom emphatically “I only want to stay TWO DAYS” and we all agreed that was perfect.
Jacket’s mom and grandma left and Jacket and I started the bedtime routine. Shoes off, pajamas on, we were talking about tomorrow and…..knock, knock- grandma’s at the door saying that they forgot, Jacket has an appointment tomorrow morning.
Jacket FLIPPED OUT. It was such a genuine what-the-fuck-people?-how-much-chaos-can-a-4-year-old-take-be-clear-for-one-fucking-second-and-just-say-what-you-want-from-me cry. Totally heartbreaking. I tried to stay focused on her but grandma was telling me to call her mom- she was downstairs and refusing to come up to help with the transition. She probably expected me to call her on the bullshit 6am Saturday morning ‘appointment’ and couldn’t face me (which I wasn’t planning on doing).
So OF COURSE, next grandma and Jacket’s mom begin a fucking screaming match in my apartment lobby as neighbors stare on. I tell them their shouting in my building is unacceptable, I sent them outside and I went back up to my apartment to work on getting Jacket to agree to let me put her shoes on. I reassure Jacket that we’ll play again soon, I tell her I love her, that I’m proud of her and I tried to talk about how I know it’s hard to have changes in where you’re going to sleep tonight. More I love you’s - in a non-sappy and confident, ‘you can do it’ way. I gave her a book for the bus and a box of her favorite goldfish crackers.
I get what’s going on now. Jacket’s mom understandably, but damagingly is cycling through putting Jacket through choose-me kind of issues while trying to please me at the same time of probably not knowing whether or not she even wants Jacket this weekend. The dynamics are soo fucking with Jacket’s head.
Is there anything I can do to prevent this kind of situation in the future? If not with me, will her mom just be doing the same thing with Jacket, possibly leaving her with some godforsaken person? It seems like banning over nights is the only solution but seeing as my goal isn’t to change Jacket’s mom, I’m thinking there’s got to be another way. Ideas?
Recent commentsBlog comments powered by Disqus
- 122782 said: Ugggggh. They’re messing with her head nonstop. Hits too close to home. Has to stop.
- apostrophiee likes this
- burningtoemerge reblogged this from fosterhood and added:
- kellybarbieri likes this
- annaliselearns likes this
- get-started said: If a schedule is too much, Could you include mom and grandma in schedule convo even a couple days ahead? Maybe an chat about “what r u doing Saturday” could have helped… Tho w/ grown ups desire to hide things from you… Hard to know.
- mamato2boysand1girl likes this
- handknitbyafailedfeminist said: You can have schedule & expectations but you can not make impaired people follow it. have expectations& track outcomes. I am a school social worker @ therapeutic school. when Jacket goes to school the impact of the environment will matter.
- sweetpeafairies likes this
- relovingit likes this
- harrenhalsghost likes this
- meggnyc likes this
- alinalogic likes this
- gavinandxandersmom likes this
- hit-my-gspot likes this
- librarianpirate likes this
- bujnik said: Is a schedule completely out of the question? Seems like Jacket’s mom could use a little consistency herself.
- fosterhood posted this