Great Expectations, Part 1
Posted by Casey
Photo by Sandeepa Chetan
Tonight ended with our girl laughing in uncontrollable hysterics. This is not normal, by any means. It’s what happens when she discusses emotions that are uncomfortable.
It’s also the result when the lens through which she views the world becomes a little fractured.
For instance, when life doesn’t meet her Great Expectations.
This morning, I was not laughing, hysterically or otherwise. Our boy has had a rough six weeks since my father-in-law passed away. In addition to the trouble he finds all by himself, some of his classmates have figured out that if they blame him for things, he’ll either get in trouble or blow his stack (and then get in trouble).
On Friday, he was blamed for two things I’m fairly (because nothing surprises me anymore) certain he didn’t perpetrate. I didn’t have time to talk with the principal after I found out, so I left him a message this morning before school.
Yes, I’m that parent. Luckily he’s very patient.
He called me back while I idled in the dropoff line in front of the school. I stepped out of the vehicle to speak with him. He agreed that the incidents in question did not sound like our boy and assured me he’d look into it further.
As I thanked him, bloody-murder screams of, “GET OFF ME, GET OFF ME!” reverberated through my tinted glass windows. In spite of the tint, I could clearly see Boy stretched across the back seat onto Girl.
Ensuring I’d pushed the off-button (because who wants the principal to hear you threatening your kids), I yanked open the door and climbed inside.
GET. IN. YOUR. OWN. SEAT.
I glared at my son. “WHAT is so hard about staying on your side? HOW many times do I have to tell you not to touch your sister? WHY can’t I have a three minute conversation without you two acting crazy? WHAT THE HECK???”
Our son, who is starting to get the idea that telling the truth might occasionally be a good idea, said, “I was trying to untie her shoe. I’m sorry.”
Frustrated beyond a clear mental state, I growled at him, “I am sick and TIRED of telling you not to TOUCH your sister. This is riDICulous.”
Then I noticed.
My daughter was cutting her eyes toward him with a smug little smile. She realized I was looking straight at her and the eyes went wide.
“How did this start?” I drilled her with my best Military Mama stare.
“Well…he was lying on the floor with the coat over his head and I was doing this in the air (hands waving) to pretend it was raining. I just did this (more hand gesturing) and pretended it was raining in the truck. (Pause.) It wasn’t really raining.”
I stared at her. “Of course it wasn’t really raining. You think I believe it would rain inside the truck because you waved your hands?”
She gave a little shrug. “Well…no.”
“So let me get this straight. He was in the floor, covered by a coat and you waved your hands in the air and pretended it was raining, and that’s all, and the next thing you know, he’s grabbing at your feet.”
“Yes,” she nods.
“And you NEVER touched him?”
“I just made my hands move like this…”
I cut her off; when she doesn’t answer the question directly and gives me that big-eyed stare, she’s lying 99% of the time. The other 1%, she’s thinking about lying.
“Did. Your. Hands. Touch. Him. Or. Any. Thing. That. Was. Touching. Him. For instance, the coat on his head?”
She blinks. “I tapped him a little. Like rain. And then he started pulling on my shoes.”
“She was LAUGHING,” he interrupts. “And then she started screaming at me!”
Screaming like he was attacking her.
Something still didn’t ring true. I made her tell me the story again, from the beginning, fast. Trying to tell it quickly sometimes trips her up. It worked. In the middle of her two-minute explanation, she said something about yanking the coat away from him.
I stopped her and told her she’d better tell me the whole truth the first time, or the consequence would double. She still had a couple false starts. Then I asked them to stop and listen.
“What do you hear right now?”
The boy said, “I hear that man walking across the parking lot.”
The girl said, “I hear cars on the road.”
I said, “I was standing right outside the truck. Do you think I can’t hear and see through glass? Tell me the whole truth, NOW.”
Turns out, she started the whole thing.
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Posted on February 13, 2017, in Adoption and tagged adopt, adopted, adoptees, adopting, adoptive parent, behavior, brother, frustration, he's on my side, lying, sibling rivalry, siblings, sister, stress. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.