A few days ago I wrote about how angry and upset M gets when she doesn’t understand or can’t do something (see Anger Management). We’ve had two more of these episodes this week.
Firstly, when I tried to show M some number sequences. Now M has always adored maths: when we made a cake this week I asked her all sorts of mathematical questions surrounding cakes (if we split each quarter into 3 slices how many slices will we get out of the whole cake; if we eat 2 slices a day, how many days will we take to eat it, etc etc) and she was asking for more and more questions. I know she loves number sequencing and I thought she’d be interested in the Fibonacci code but we never even got that far because she was reduced to angry tears after we’d gone through a few questions on a worksheet together.
The second upset was when we were having fun together just before bed and I was making her little teddy do exercises which was making her giggle. She wanted to make her teddy do the same but couldn’t manage it because her hands aren’t big enough. She dissolved into angry tears again and each time she calmed down she would start to well up when I tried to say goodnight. It brought back memories of when she was upset about school and I ended up going to sleep with her as it was quite late by then anyway.
We held hands in bed together and I chatted to her about how I could help her when she’s feeling upset. She did tell me that she isn’t angry with herself, or with me (although I must say that is what it feels like), but just with the thing she can’t do. We established that when she feels like that she doesn’t want to be on her own (although she does often stomp out of the room) but she would like me to sit next to her and hold her hand.
So that is what we shall be trialling over the next few weeks. Let’s hope it helps. I do wonder if these outbursts are linked to residual feelings from school as I do not remember them happening prior to that. I asked M if she remembered feeling angry when she got home from school and she had no recollection! In fact she looked completely blank! I felt a bit outraged about that to be honest. Anyone who knew what I was going through last year would be amazed to hear that all the turmoil had been forgotten (it felt like “I” at the time because I was the dumping ground for all M’s angry feelings at the end of each day, but of course she was obviously going through hell too!).
I think M is like an onion (maybe not so much a sausage after all): there are lots of layers to peel back and discover; and they sometimes make me a little weepy.