Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I worry.

I worry about Iris. I actually worry about her quite a bit, but tonight, I really caught myself realizing it. Although she seems to act like she is all grown up and independent, she really isn't. And I forget that. I forget that at the times when I expect more from her than she can deliver. Because she's four. And a half. She's so little. She absolutely puts forth bravado of being much more mature, but you know, being four, it's pretty easy to see through the paper thin facade that she is trying on for size.

I worry about how much she worries. For a little girl of only four (and a half) she talks about death an awful lot. And about being sick. And scared. And what will happen if Matt or I die, or god forbid, both of us should die. Talking about death and illness has become regular, daily conversation in our home. It's hard because those are two things that I don't really want to come to terms with, but there it is, staring me in the face every day, in the form on a tiny child sharing her thoughts and fears and questions. I have very few answers. I make most of it up on the spot.

Iris is extremely sensitive. She gets her feelings hurt incredibly easy and lashes out at anyone, or anything, that hurts her physically or emotionally, intended or not. We are told that she hates us or that we are idiots more often than I care to count at this point, often over minor infractions. It's because she truly feels wronged. Like we didn't bring her the snack, or whatever, because we were really trying to hurt herand so she needs to get back at us.

She is desperate for friends, but has a harder time engaging with other kids due to her desire to really control the play and also, what I just mentioned, how easily she gets hurt by people. She's not a girl whom let's things roll off of her back.

Iris also feels her emotions physically. Ever day her tummy hurts. I can relate to this because as a child I had the same thing (and still do as an adult). Every day we have to talk her down from her fear that she has fallen ill, when all it is, in my opinion, is her nerves.

So because of all of this, and much more, I struggle with what is the right way to parent Iris. And the right way to plan for her future. I will probably elaborate more on this another time, just wanting to brain dump for a moment on what was swirling through my head tonight.

4 comments:

  1. It's so hard to ever worry about your child and their emotions. Iris has you & Matt, though, and I know you guys will figure it out. If the things she goes through are familiar to you then she is already way ahead of the game. xoxo

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  2. you started twittering! oh no, I am so afraid of that.

    (is it fun?)

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  3. GraceAnne acts grown-up, too. And most of the time we treat her as such. Then we discover in a fit of emotions and laughing hysterically during discipline that ONCE AGAIN we were wrong to assume she was actually old enough to handle things. My mom pointed out to me when we were in Wisconsin that she shakes. I don't know what that's all about, but my guess is it's internalized stress. She gets tummy aches, too :(

    I think bottom line for us is she desperately needs a routine, (so did I growing up...it's why I was going to join the USAF), and I'm not structured enough to give her one. *sigh* maybe one day I'll just grow up, get over it and realize my kids need me to be an adult. Can I do it after we are back in the big house???

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  4. Iris is only four and a half, but some kids begin understanding and recognizing the uncertainties of their world earlier than others. I think that Iris is just very, very perceptive... which is not an easy way to be, but is also a richer and more rewarding way to be in the end, if that makes sense.

    Nico, at four and a half, is also starting to ask philosophical questions about death and existence. The other day she asked me if the days and nights will still go on and on after all the people and animals in the world have died. I paused for a second, and realized she just asked me if time continues after there is nothing alive to experience it. What a thought for a four year old.

    I worry too, but ultimately try to be thankful that she is an interesting little person who really thinks about things and feels things deeply. It's hard. (Sigh).

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