Screaming Banshees

1 09 2009

It’s been a while since we posted. The last few weeks have been hard work. Little Sis has settled in really well and has attached to us better than we could have expected. Where we have had to work hard is with Little Miss Loud, who transformed from the beautiful, funny, cheery child we knew so well into a relentless and merciless bully. Slapping, kicking, shouting and jumping on Little Sis at every opportunity she created a tension that has made each day a trial, a battle of wits, as we have fended off the blows and comforted the often screaming Little Sis.

It was distressing to see that one of the first things Little Sis learnt at her new home was a flinch reflex.

This has tested the Mostly Functional parents beyond anything they had anticipated. It has been hard to provide rational, thought out responses, to LML’s behaviour when Little Sis was in tears for sixth or seven time in an hour.

So what has changed?

The mostly functional parents have got better at heading the more serious confrontations off, Little Sis has toughened up (a little) and LML has started to enjoy the company of new sister. The random attacks haven’t ceased, they’re just less frequent, with less intent to hurt and are now interspersed with play between to two siblings.

For the fist time in weeks the Mostly Functional parents feel able to leave the children in a room together with some confidence that LML will not be making an immediate attack on Little Sis. They still listen for the tell tale sounds of LML’s rushing feet, but they no longer have to hurry to get back in the room, with the cloth or snack that they wanted; they no longer have to remove Little Sis every time they want to do something in another room and are getting better at reading the warning signs or stress and irritation in both children.

It’s been hard because LML’s development delay means that she doesn’t have to spoken or emotional language to express her feeling about this interloper in her world. The problem parents have had to find ways of communicating with her which acknowledges her feelings and reassures her that their love for her has not diminished. They are still learning this, and are beginning to think it may be a lifetime’s work.

It feels like progress is slow and painful, and the Mostly Functional parents need to remind themselves that Little Sis only came home 2 months ago, and just a few despairing weeks ago, they couldn’t see how things could improve so much in such a short time.

There are unanticipated consequences to the glasnost that is developing of course. Today Crap Dad was woken by LML and Little Sis playing their new favourite game with each other at the bottom of the stairs – screaming at each other at a tremendous volume. It’s not the most pleasant way to be woken up, but it’s so much better than than the wailing wake up call of just a few short weeks ago.



One response

1 09 2009

Wow, no wonder you haven’t been writing! It sounds like what you’re doing now is doing both girls a lot of good. Congratulations on figuring out what they need from you!

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