My child is easily frustrated. If she can’t figure out the puzzle in 10 seconds, she is prone to throwing it across the room. She also prefers to use one crayon in her coloring book, filling the page as fast and furious as she can, instead of using many colors and filling in different elements on the page.
She used to take pride in doing things herself, now she screams “I CAN’T DO IT!” and bursts into tears if her sock doesn’t go on smoothly. Her emotions go from angry to sad, from crying to giggling uncontrollably within minutes. Sometimes I catch her rolling on the floor laughing, the tears she was spouting moments earlier, still visible on her cheeks.
Typical 3-year-old? Typical Gemini? Typical child from a broken family? All of the above?
Grandma Roofie asked to spend some time with LB over the weekend, and I dropped her off for the afternoon. Blondie Jr was already there. Grandma used to be LB’s primary caretaker on the weekends, when Rooferman was “figuring his sh*t out” and was gone from our lives. LB and Grandma Roofie were very close, and I valued the time they spent together. Now that Roofie have solidified their relationship, Grandma has become the drop-off point for Blondie’s kids, and the time spent with LB has vanished almost completely.
Grandma is sad about this, but she also wants to support her son and his new “wife.” His requests to watch Blondie’s offspring have become more and more frequent. With Baby Roofie coming (I’m guessing February or March), I predict Grandma Roofie’s free time being all but consumed.
During the short time I was there, Blondie Jr was too busy bouncing off the walls to impart any further gems of what her mother thinks of me. Grandma Roofie looked exhausted already. Even Grandpa Roofie whispered into my ear, “Lord, she wears me out.”
“LB’s preschool teachers say she sleeps for 3-4 hours during naptime the monday after she comes back from their house,” I told Grandpa.
Grandma told me when Roofie and the kids are around, “It’s constant. Every second, ‘Don’t do this’, ‘sit down and eat that’, giving orders and telling them what to do. I forgot what it was like to have kids that age.”
I looked at Grandma Roofie sadly. I ask LB to do lots of things, but I don’t think I yell at her ALL DAY LONG. Does she consider that normal? Unfortunately, I don’t have a say in what goes on at Roofies. I just have to live with the effects of it.
All I know is that my kid gets stressed. She’s having trouble dealing with frustration, solving her problems and calming down. I watched Blondie Jr pick up LB, toss her bed, start jumping up and down on the mattress, and sardonically wondered why.
How can a 3-year-old compete with the energy level of an attention-deprived 7-year-old? How can she even get a word in between Blondie Jr’s cavorting and Roofie’s constant ordering?
When I picked her up a few hours later, LB had soaked her pants with urine. Her eyes were wide, as if she’d been on a rollercoaster for the entire afternoon. I wonder if there is no down time at all at Roofies? I wonder if it’s just constant, screaming, yelling chaos, where LB is so overwhelmed, she can’t even focus enough to take a potty break.
LB’s teacher said to me, “Older kids have a knack for getting younger kids into trouble. We think that’s what’s happening at LB’s dad’s house, which explains why she’s insistent on being right all the time when she comes back to preschool.”
I hate to think of my kid caught in a sandstorm of tension and stress, totally powerless as to what happens to her. Where her opinion means nothing to the people around her. Where is expected to stay quiet, play nicely and take orders, nothing else. Like puppies leaping up on their master’s leg at feeding time, the kids at Roofie’s house are irritatedly kicked off and told to shut up.
Maybe my imagination gets the better of me, but that’s my perception.