Yesterday I saw my therapist and he TOTALLY validated me in my struggle with Ruthie. She is, officially, a Strong Willed Child (heretofore to be referred to as the SWC). She is the one people write books about, he says. She is the one I will often feel like giving away, he says. She is the one who requires strict boundaries, he says to the Queen of Grey Areas.
But before I consider giving her away, he suggested I try to work though my own issues to see if that alleviates her behavioral issues. Damn that man is smart, and worth every penny.
But in all this therapy I think I may have cracked the secret code to my toddler-like fits of screaming and throwing things: I have a fear of not being taken seriously. I’ve realized that I take it personally when Ruthie continually disobeys me because I see it as her not taking me seriously.
Maybe it’s because I’m the youngest child in my family. Or maybe it’s because I’m the “oops” child who came eleven years after my brother. Or maybe it’s because I was assigned to a TV tray at Thanksgiving dinner while the rest of the family squeezed around the dining table. Or maybe it’s because Gordy once crafted a hand carved bird house for all my married siblings’ front porches while I, the single sister who rented an apartment, received no such special carving.
Maybe I’m just a big sissy and need to get a grip. Who really knows?
The point is, I’m the grown-up and Ruthie is the child and now is not the time to be re-living past insecurities. Ain’t it a BITCH what parenting brings out in us?