Monday, December 13, 2010

The Bump for the Little Troop

My Gracie is quite the little troop.  In her short 4 years of life, she's been through 3 deployments.  I knew that as she got older, that each deployment would get more difficult for her.  She's close with Joel - they're best buds, and I have learned, that I'm no-where near as fun.  (I've been told.)

Grace has had some separation anxiety since the beginning of this deployment.  I've worked hard to be intentional about letting her know what I'm doing, where I'm at in the house, what the agenda is for the day and week...  These things all help her feel a bit more secure.  She sleeps in bed with me, follows me around the house (including the bathroom) and is a worrier.  Now, if Joel was here, I promise you, that she wouldn't be in bed with me and I wouldn't tolerate her following me into the bathroom.  But I've learned that you have to be extremely flexible when parenting during a deployment.  My main priority is giving my girls a sense of security when their daddy is away, and if that means that she crawls in bed with me every night, then so be it.

The last few months have been pretty smooth sailing for Grace.  As long as she knows what to expect and how many more months until Daddy comes home, she's pretty well set.  She's obedient and respectful.  Until recently.

I feel that we've taken a million steps back the last few weeks.  Grace is talking back, hitting me, coming out of her room at bedtime (like a thousand times a night)... she's crying about having to go to school, going to bed, going to the bathroom, taken a bath, going to Sunday School.  You name it, it's a problem.  I know what she's going through and why she's doing this - she's had it with this deployment.  She's finished.  Done.

But so am I.  If you've been through a deployment, you know there's a wall you hit after a certain point.  I hit it last month.  You don't think you can go on another day.  You feel that you're completely zapped of energy and emotion.  You don't want anyone to have any expectations of you whatsoever.  You just want to crawl in bed and wake up the morning that your loved one comes home.

Grace is there.  She's hit her wall and waiting for Daddy to come home isn't an option.  She's done waiting. She's done being good.  She's over it.  I am, too.

So, I give her extra hugs and kisses.  I put my to-dos aside and play princess one more time.  I read an extra book with her at night.  I let her pick out treats now and then when we're shopping.  I spoil her.  She deserves it and she needs it right now. 

I just hope and pray that the behavior stuff works itself out when Joel comes home. Please, Lord!


Michelle said...

I'm so sorry. I know how you feel. I have hit that wall, too. I think it's because of winter arriving. My daughter recently started walking, hitting, and whining A pulling at my pantlegs and crying to be picked up, or any time she doesn't get her way. It is so hard. I feel each day like I cannot go on any longer. And now we both have the stomach flu.

Jill said...

Michelle - The stomach flu on top of it all?! Argh! Not fun. Feel for you, girl!

Janet said...

She's a lucky girl who has a sympathetic Mom who even when she doesn't think she knows what to do...DOES! We continue to pray for you all many times a day!!
Love you,
Aunt Janet