My relationship with Ainsley has never been at one speed. We move from gentle moments to funny ones, then struggling. The struggles are hard for me.
At the beginning of January, she experienced a time when “no” was the only word she knew. Everything was no. But it wasn’t just willfulness; she would say “no” to something she actually did want and then cry, confused by her own answer. All I could do was be there and not allow her frustration to frustrate me. My sister helped me re-center and concentrate on being Ainsley’s constant source of peace and acceptance.
I speak only in French to her and I love to read her books. I also love to roll around on the floor and make her giggle. I love to feed her freshly made, organic foods of many cultures; I laugh and comply when, after dinner, she repeats, “cookie? Cookie? Cookie?”
But our relationship is still far from ideal. She cries when Daddy isn’t in the same room. Last night, I took a running leap into Carlton’s arms. She cried; I got down to include her in a three-person hug. She only wanted Daddy and pushed me away. We realized that she was jealous that Daddy was holding me, not her.
She also delights in pulling my hair or scratching my face. We do gently but firmly correct her, telling her it isn’t acceptable, but she is still doing it.
It’s very hard to write this. Being a parent is my number one job, and my client doesn’t like my work. I guess I’m writing this so that other mommies out there who may struggle similarly can know they aren’t alone.
Every day with her is a gift. I’m not shallow enough to let her rejections harden me against her. The moments when she is the most difficult are the ones when I most need to be caring and loving. When I am alone with her, we have wonderful times and I get to see her sassy and sweet little self. She’s comprehending English and French; she speaks words clearly and is stringing together ever-longer sentences. She is wonderfully compassionate with animals and children. She is excelling at learning to dress herself and excitedly helps put on her “show-sooorss.” I love watching her clean her tray or sweep the floor carefully.
My dear sweet Ainsley, I love you more every day. I hope that my constant love and acceptance now will help you understand you can always rely on me.