Friday, September 20, 2013

Samantha had her 8-year well visit check today. I sat in the waiting room beforehand filling out the general "well-visit" questionnaire, for lack of a better term. I was checking off the discussion points I'd like to have with the doctor:

  • anger
  • behavior
  • development
  • sibling issues
I'm sure you can see the pattern. I realize kids fight and siblings get in each other's face--I was the older kid, too. I just don't remember spewing so much venom and hate--maybe it's because we were the opposite sex. I can feel Alyssa's hurt and it bothers me. 

Just yesterday Samantha mumbled that she wished she was an only child. My issue was that Alyssa simply climbed into the car for school, unprovoked. And it's like this most days. I'm sure it's all normal, but my parenting brain is telling me to find a way to calm Samantha, to guide her in the right direction. 

When we were in the exam room the doctor came in and talked about what makes Samantha happy and what makes her angry. And instead of looking away, Samantha looked him in the eye and told him about how she gets angry and how sissy doesn't give her space. And the doctor talked about negotiating with Alyssa rather than just slamming a door in her face. They had a hypothetical conversation about how Samantha could say, please give me some space now and in an hour I'll color with you. He asked her how she'd fell if the tables were turned. 

I sat back the entire conversation and said nothing. I watched Samantha, suddenly very grown up, discussing her feelings and emotions with the doctor. And she understood what he was saying and later told me that she'd give his methods a shot. 

I came out feeling very encouraged and amazed at this child sitting across from me. Lately all the frustration with sibling rivalry and dealing with hurt feelings has been overwhelming and consuming. I've failed to see this child in front of me growing and changing, trying to keep up with the changes inside her and around her. 

Today, thanks to our wonderful and encouraging doctor, I was able to take a breath, step back and see this amazing child I helped create. She's thoughtful, curious, and very articulate. And I'm so proud of my Bug.

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