Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Worry Doctor

I finally got Violet to the worry doctor yesterday. She’s been vehemently opposed to the idea for months now, but the kid is a little too angry about it, if you know what I mean. And sometimes, she becomes hysterically giddy and can’t seem to calm herself. She talks about Younger Uncle when she’s having her maniacal giggles. She loves his jokes and goes over them again and again, “Memba Uncle twied to race the car. Udderwise, he was joking. He couldn’t wun faster den a car. Dat was so funny . . .”

I broke the news of today’s worry doctor appointment to Violet during pickup at her dad’s this morning. She immediately started sobbing, “I’m not woowied! I’m don wanna talk!” Really? You don’t sound worried at all. I asked Violet if she was afraid the counselor wouldn’t understand her. She nodded. She’s recently become more self-conscious about her speech impediment.

When it’s just Violet and I, she talks every second of every minute. So, I don’t always remember that she’s less verbal than Daisy. With Daisy, I can reason with her, talk her out of a meltdown. At some point in the process, talking has to happen with Daisy. What Violet needs is something to destroy – a box, packing material, paper, a phone book, whatever. It’s the quickest way to turn that frown upside down. And talking isn’t just optional, it’s ignored. Unfortunately, beating something down and ripping it to shreds doesn’t really work in public, even if the beatdown involves an inanimate object. The method is limited.

So Violet, meet Worry Doctor. Violet inserted herself next to me on the office chair, intertwining her limbs tightly around mine. “Mama” was the answer she gave to several of the counselor’s questions. I saw her being her charming, upbeat self, denying anything being wrong in her four-year-old world . . . wait a minute. I’ve had it with everyone acting like everything is fine and then as soon as the door shuts behind the last neighbor kid, we fall apart. I told the counselor about the anger and hysterics. Violet blushed and hit me nervously, giggling.

During the rest of Violet’s appointment, I took Daisy to a store across the street so she could pick out a few things like shorts and sandals. She obviously needed a little something for spring. She found a dress too. She slipped on her dress and sandals in the car on the way to dinner, announcing “Ah, it’s good to be me.” That's a good outfit.

When we picked up Violet, everything was fine. She had played several games with the counselor. She seemed happy – if for no other reason than she had confronted her fear and made it through. The counselor looked slightly frazzled and pointed to the large stack of games next to Violet’s chair, “We played ALL of them.” Violet agreed to start rotating weekly appointments with her sister – it’s all my budget and schedule will allow.


  1. It will all work out. But don't be surprised if there's a few more driftwood posts. So relaxing.