Cameron and I are wondering if what we are seeing in Abbie lately is a sign of attachment, a desire for control or something else . . .
Last weekend, Cameron, with one of our good friends, took Anna, Jonas and Abbie to a baseball game for Jonas' birthday. About 2 days before the "big day", Abbie broke her "good" streak and started to act out. I now have a new routine and will just flat out ask her what is bothering her. She told me, "I am mad because you are not coming to the baseball game." I was blown away by this confession of hers. She was not only able to put into words why she was mad she was able to see a connection between her feelings and behavior.
I reassured her that she would be safe and everything would be okay. It made me begin to think that maybe she does have an attachment to me. She was anxious about going some place without me. Am I representing safety to her? However, her great anxiety about not having me around despite Cameron's presence made me wonder if she is not attached to Cameron quite yet? Her bad behavior continued up until the game (She was fine at the game) and resumed the minute she came home from the game, as well as the next morning! I asked her on Sunday what was wrong and she said, "I am mad at you because you didn't come to the game." I talked to her again about her feelings and I thought everything would be okay. However, later that day, as she continued to act-out, I told Abbie that she needed to get over the fact that I didn't come to the baseball game, but she said that's not what was bothering her. As I probed deeper, she told me she was mad because it wasn't her birthday (that was the actual day of Jonas' birthday and we were celebrating with some friends for dinner at our house). I asked her if it was about not getting presents, not being able to choose the special food, or the attention Jonas was receiving. She immediately said it was the attention. Again, I was surprised by her insight. We talked about jealousy and such and then she was fine.
Well, this morning Abbie began acting out again. I immediately tried to nip it in the bud by confronting her. Abbie told me that she was mad because Cameron was on-call last night and didn't come home. This never bothered her before. It caused me re-think my earlier attachment theory and wonder if all of this behavior was driven by her need to control us. Maybe it is about her not wanting us out of her sight because then she can't control? All I know is that she really never cared before whether I came to an event as long as she got to go. She also never seemed to care if Cameron was home or not. Before, as long as she got to do the "fun" thing, she didn't care who was around. Now, our absence is bothering her. Is this a sign of attachment or a need to control?
At least we are continuing to still see good days.
In Christ, Laura