Sorry, there will be no Retro Friday this week, I sort of lost my funny around 5 pm.....
I spent the day mulling over a post about how Dumpling is adjusting to life as a big sister and then she brought the entire thing into focus while I was trying to make dinner: Most Fridays, my MIL comes over to have Shabbat dinner with us. She plays with the kids in the basement while I rush to finish making dinner, and then we eat (we being everyone but Dumpling) and she leaves. This afternoon, Dumpling fell asleep, so I woke her up about 15 min before her Bubby was set to arrive. She was cranky and out of sorts. Just a few days ago, Hubs remarked to me that she had been looking really unhappy, for no apparent reason.
Anyhow, she's downstairs with Bubby and BB, I'm putting the finishing touches on my first-ever duck and I go down to check on them. They are sort of playing on the floor, maybe tea party, it's hard to figure out what they are doing, but the TV is blaring and no one is watching. So I explain to Dumpling that I'm going to turn it off because she already watched her alloted time and it's soon Shabbat and we have to turn it off.
She totally loses it. Like crazy mad, kicking the floor, tries to bite my foot which happens to be right there. I try to calm her down and explain again why I'm turning off the TV, but she's having none of it. So I take her to her room, where I hope she will calm down and we can talk. On the way there, she hits me and scratches me, so Hubs takes over to try to calm her down, because clearly I'm upsetting her.
Fast Forward 10 minutes, I'm checking the food, setting the table, and I hear no noise coming from her room. No crying, but they are not coming back either. So I go see what's going on and find Hubs sitting on her bed, with a heaped Dumpling, shaking and sobbing. I look at him, puzzled, and he whispers to me that he asked her what was wrong and at first, she said the TV, then her shirt was wet, then it's something else. He told her he didn't think that was it and she said the following:
"I can't tell you"
"You can tell me anything, I'm your daddy"
"China" and then, she proceeded to weep and shake and just let herself go completely. We ended up spending about half an hour trying to just get her to let it all out. Needless to say, there was no cajoling or negotiating over food tonight, I didn't bother her about eating anything.
It's really the first time she's ever attempted to talk about her grief. She's asked a lot of questions, she knows the story of how we became a family and she'll sometimes ask us to tell her, but this was a totally new thing.
The last couple of months have been rough on her. She's a girl how likes routine, predictability, things in certain places, order. Beach Ball's arrival has upset the balance of everything. Also, she imagined getting a BABY sister, not a 20 month, 30 lbs toddler who touches everything, moves everything, wants everything. It's like the play-date that never ends. We ask her to share and be nice, but it's not for 2 hours and then the guest goes home. We call them sisters, but for now, they are two kids who happen to share a set of parents and a house. I'm sure sisterhood will come eventually, but right now, poor little Dumpling is feeling out of sorts.