Resistance; that’s it, that is Kimani’s word. It is with her when she wakes up and it follows her all throughout her day.
All. Day. Long. She resists. She even resists the things she wants and likes. This is not an exaggeration. I could write pages of examples starting with her wanting to get up in the morning and then immediately turning around and trying to get back in her crib rather than head to the potty, to her screaming “no bed” all the way back there at bedtime. From asking for a certain food to spitting it out all over herself and the floor two minutes after she gets it, to insisting that she wants to go out on the swing and then fighting the whole time to sit on the lawn and eat dirt.
All... day... long.
It is as if the urge to do it is immediately followed by the urge to undo it. There seems to be nothing that holds her interest long enough to entice her to participate in any meaningful way in anything.
Here she is eating berries. She loves berries. She has a mouthful of berries, is crying for more berries, and is upset because some are trying to get away while she cries. She can’t just enjoy the berries. I don’t know why.
She is frustrated. I am frustrated.
The girl has about a 30 word vocabulary, and a third of it is made up of ways to say no. It is hit and miss with bribery... M&Ms no longer work, nor do cookies. The promise of a bath, or music, or even “no bed” only seem to fuel a desire to get that reinforcer without doing whatever it is I am asking her to do first. The threat of time out or even a spanking is not enough to override whatever destructive thought she has on her mind. The only thing that stops her is a loud, startling “NO!” which is probably why she enjoys handing that one right back at me.
I wish academic learning was optional, crayons were designed to be eaten, and play-doh was as good for you as peanut butter. I wish diapers were magic mini toilets, ceramic and glass didn’t break, and ingested dirt didn’t cause diarrhea. I wish there was a drug that turned thoughts into words, frustration into focus, and resistance into motivation. I wish I could figure her out... because it feels like I am constantly failing her.
I just want her to be happy. I don’t care if she ever counts to five or spells her name. I just want her to be peaceful and safe. And right now, even with my great imagination and all the hope I can muster, I can’t see that future for her in my crystal ball.
I hate the cards she was dealt. I hate them. I fucking hate them.
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