Saturday, September 5, 2009

Houston, we have an attachment therapist

Well, Sergeant officially has an attachment therapist. Happily, the therapist thinks things are going to improve rapidly. She showed me how to do "holding time" - in fact, we did it in her office. I still have a lot of questions, but luckily, we're going to visit on the phone on Wednesday. Sergeant's reaction during the holding time was sooooo much like her typical "tantrum" or, as she likes to call it, her "fits." While Sergeant was screaming and yelling her head off in the therapists office, Sunny and Smartie were mere feet away in the waiting room. I had warned them that Sergeant might get upset, but I was really worried that they were out there flippin' out - at one point, I think they were right outside the door. But, when we were finally finished, they were much more concerned with how bored they were in the waiting room and how we'd been there, like, five hours, and they were ready to go swimming. So, typical kids - torture my sister, if you must, but please do it quickly and don't let it interfere with my day. Then, in the van on the way across the city, they did ask exactly what I was doing to Sergeant in there. I told them I was just holding her. One of them said, "I hope you don't ever hold me like that! How were you holding her?" And Sergeant piped up, "Like a baby!" I told Sunny and Smartie that they would like it if I held them that way and offered to show them how I held Sergeant when we got to the hotel. As "big kids" who don't get much baby cuddling anymore, they did like it! Anyway, I tried holding time later yesterday evening when Sergeant tried to insist that I was sleeping on the side of the bed without the lamp and started melting down when I didn't comply with her instructions. It went okay, although I kept expecting a knock on the door from a social worker or the police, asking what I was doing to the poor child. She did eventually calm down and we snuggled and she slept on the right side of the bed. I slept great! This is completely off-topic, but I love the Hilton Garden Inn - the beds are so comfy and it's so blessedly quiet. But the holding time wasn't the most exciting part of our trip. This morning, I took the girls to swim in the hotel pool. I was dressed for the day, with hair and make-up done, so I put Sergeant life jacket on her and let her swim with the big girls. She's done this quite a bit and I'm always right there watching (you know where this is going, right?) After an hour or so, Sergeant decided she was done and took off her life jacket and was bopping around on the pool deck. I told Smartie and Sunny they could swim for 15 more minutes and we would leave. So, Sunny decided she would do an IM before we left (that's a race where you do each stroke, successively). So, I'm watching her and thinking how awesome her breast stroke is, when I realized that Smartie, who was also out of the pool, was yelling, "Sunny - get her! Sunny - get her!" And I realize that Sergeant is in the pool, head submerged, little hands flapping. I yelled, "Sunny, get her!" But she couldn't hear me. So, I jumped in the pool and scooped her up. She was fine - I don't think she was under the water for more than about 8 seconds, but it seemed like forever. I have to qualify that the hotel pool is tiny - it took Sunny on two butterfly strokes to make it across. And I was sitting right there and I didn't notice that she had jumped in. Smartie said she jumped in on purpose because she thought she still had her life jacket on. Thank God Smartie was watching her. I'm sure I eventually would have noticed, but Sergeant was so, so silent. Which is what I've always heard about drowning. Kids make very little noise. There was a guy sitting eight feet away in the hot tub and he didn't notice either, until Smartie started yelling. Anyway, Sergeant was fine and I tried to make light of it so she wouldn't be forever afraid of the water. I joked about how I'd jumped in the water with all my clothes on, but then emphasized several times how Mommy had saved her and how she needed Mommy to jump in and help her. She really was not upset about it - she just said she couldn't get to the ladder to get out. It happened so fast that I didn't have a chance to get scared. I saw her struggling in the water and then I was in the water and she was clearly fine. But, I had brought only one change of clothes and was wearing the only bra I had. So, I dried my undies with a blow-dryer, ironed my dirty dress from Friday, and went bra-less until I picked up another one at the mall. So, now we're home. The girls went to have dinner with their dad, and I'm having a dark beer. I'll go pick up Sergeant in a little while - we'll see how bedtime goes tonight.


Ms. J said...

I am exaling to hear that you seemed to have found a therapist who is capable of assisting you and Sergeant in getting back on track. Whew, that's definitely good news! I know there is still a lot of work to be done, but it's such a positive step and start.

La La said...

How scary about the pool! It is true about how quiet kids are when they drown, which makes it even more terrifying. A few years ago our friends were having a pool party and a bit group was in the pool playing volley ball. Our friend's two year old had been swimming and then got out and took her water wings off. I was watching the game (same thing, SMALL pool). Next thing I know my husband is dragging the water logged two year old out of the pool. NO one saw her get in, no one heard a thing. Thank God she was fine...but I was WATCHING the pool, the pool was stuffed with adults...eeps.