Monday, December 5, 2011

Oh,Christmas Tree You Fall-A Down

I get the "Bad Mother of the Day" award today for running my child from store to store when we were supposed to have gone to church and then decorated the Christmas tree. Unfortunately, during the night, gravity or the cats, or both, toppled our undecorated tree. The stand was one I've had for years, supposed to hold a tree up to 8 feet tall, but the physics of my 7.5ft tall tree disagreed so we had to go in search of a larger stand.

I've always been attracted to noble fir trees that were skinny and now I know why. I have to get the tree off my car, up the stairs and into the stand, so that it will stay there, all by myself. This year, in honor of it being Jie Jie's first Christmas, I found a noble fir that was wide at the base and full all over, a very perfect tree. I forgot it would weigh a ton and that I'd have to get it into the stand and centered all by myself.

So, at our third store, T_rget, I get Jie Jie into the restroom and we're greeted by two electric hand dryer machines going full force with jet-like engines. People were talking, toilets were flushing and I scolded Jie Jie for jumping out of the stroller without my permission and into a puddle of urine in front of the toilet that I was trying to mop up by putting several seat covers over it. I was feeling like I'd have rather been anywhere else, but failed in that moment to realize Jie Jie felt the same, only a hundred times more. She sat on the pot and did her business, then touched the seat with her hands, something I have taught her not to do. Then I scolded her again and told her not to touch anything, not even me, until I could wash her hands. I stood her by the door of the stall (we were in the largest one) and took my turn, but before I could even sit down, Jie Jie went into "post-orphanage stress mode" and started crying. This cry breaks my heart because it's a total stress cry, not the usual child's cry. If you've heard it, you know it. I knew I goofed bad and I couldn't finish fast enough so I could get us out of there.

I sat down in the food area, which was rather calm and just held her. The cry subsided fast, but not the little stress sound she makes when she's just overloaded. I apologized, explained that I made a mistake to not be more careful with her, that I forgot she's still so new here, and held her and got her to look into my eyes and come gently back. Back in the car, I realized she needed food, so we ate at our next destination and she began to feel much better. Back in the car again, she told me that the hand blower noise had hurt her ears. As I drove, I reflected back on the visit to her SWI and quiet and calm it was there. Remember, she didn't live in a room with a ton of kids, but had one caretaker and only a couple babies. The Christmas hustle and bustle must be awful for her and I've really kept it to a minimum, so it felt to me.

Jie Jie also loves our home. When we've been out, and we're nearly home, she cries out gleefully, "Yay, home!!!" Today she made sure to tell me again that she likes being out only a little (for a short time) and likes being home a lot (most of the time).

The tree is still undecorated since Jie Jie opted for snuggle time on the couch with mama and a video instead. Tomorrow, we'll skip academics during homeschool and work on social studies only, the topic is the traditional western holiday ritual of decorating the Christmas tree.


Anonymous said...

doesn't make you a bad Mother. Hey, you are learning too!


Karen said...

Our daughter still struggles with certain noises. When she was younger, if we were in a restaurant, and there was lots of voice clatter, she would cover her ears as if it caused her pain to hear the muffled voices. She was 5 before she stopped covering her ears when we flushed a public toilet. And she still runs away when the vacuum starts up. She still says sometimes that the noises hurt her ears.
Apparently, it's common for children who have spent time in orphanage settings, to have audio sensitivity. As you know, our daughter was 16 months old when we adopted her, so I would assume the longer a child spends in an orphanage, the more susceptible they would be to this kind of thing. Oddly, white noise, such as a fan, does not bother her. Nor does the TV or radio being on in the background.
We all "lose it" once in a while. You were successful in realizing it, and THAT is the important thing. I also have to remind myself sometimes of how my daughter started out in life, and even though she is happy where she is in life now, she has to experience certain losses her entire life.

Karen said...

BTW K, you might want to consider buying an artificial tree at the end of the season this year. They are SOOOO much easier to put up, and cheaper than buying one every year. The only real difference these days, is that you don't get the "pine" scent in your house, but you can make that up with a few clippings that you can turn into a wreath from almost any generous lot owner/manager who has cut trees.

K said...

LOL! This was the first year that I seriously looked at the artificial trees. I enjoy picking them out, but haven't enjoyed the high prices of year's past. This year, the price was so low (plus I had a coupon) that it was a blessing to get such a nice tree. I am going to keep my eyes open for the sales on the fakies, though. I need one bigger than 7' and smaller than 8'.