Friday, March 9, 2012


Five-year-old Violet has discovered writing as an outlet. I couldn’t be happier, because, let me tell you, that kid is frustrated. She’s been talking a lot about the divorce again. And, I’m on my second week of homerest. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the reaction little kids have to a sick mother, but they typically join the rebel army in the face of weakness.

Here’s an example of what I’m dealing with. On Monday, thinking I might be returning to work the next day, I took Daisy on a thrift store tour in search of a Princess Di-esque gown. She’s going to be Diana for a live wax museum the third graders put on at her school.  Of course, Violet was along for the shopping, which meant I would be purchasing two evening gowns. Little Violet found the dress she wanted at our first stop. I was firm, “If you get this now, when sister finds hers, you won’t get another one.” She agreed, but I knew I was a sucker.

A few stops later, Violet was pissed when she saw the sparkly off-the-shoulder gown her older sister was smiling about, “It’s not fai-yah! I hate you sis!” As I was paying, Violet took off in a huff out of the shop. We ran after her. Then she realized . . . why run from your problems when you can attack your sister? She did a tight U-turn and came at her sister with fists flying. Family streetfighter style, I blocked her and grabbed her as she fell backwards. She howled in frustration as I carried her to the car. It was the worst case of dress envy I’ve ever seen.

The kid’s got feelings she doesn’t know what to do with. I recognized a teachable moment after another recent sister altercation at home that ended with Violet punching her sister on the side of the head. I sent her to her/our room, and she grabbed poster paper, markers, and tape on the way in.

Let me translate.

Everyone hates me. Nobody likes me. Nobody understands me. Nobody come in.

When we debriefed, I gave her props for writing about her feelings. Obviously, she needs to write in her journal instead of punching her sister. Per Daisy’s counselor’s recommendation, the kids write me notes in their journals, which I read and respond to.  The journals are meant to be a place to put their concerns and questions they might be hesitant to address with me directly. So far, Violet has used her journal only to express her mama love.

The evening of the Princess Di dress incident, Violet brought me her journal when we got home. I was putting my feet up, spent from a long and unexpectedly painful doctor’s appointment earlier in the day followed by an afternoon of rebellion and dinner that began with another meltdown.

Violet wasn’t a fan, “I don wan dat in my love book.” OK, well, don’t act like a maniac. I took her on my lap and hugged her tight. Even though she’s a fighter, she’s mostly a lover. She eats this stuff up . . .


  1. Daisy's dress kills me! I want it for myself haha. She's gonna be adorable as Princess Diana.