Living with my daughter is like constantly anticipating a rain storm.
When I was a little girl and the skies were overcast, I'd stand in the front yard of my grandparents' house and try to throw sticks in to the sky to make it rain. I'd hurl those silly sticks as hard as I could, convinced I could pierce the cloud and bring the rain myself. How silly but how fun those moments were for me.
As a parent, I feel like I'm constantly hiding every stick in sight and protect my storm cloud with every ounce of my energy.
If Trace takes the purple plate at lunch, will that be the stick that pierces our cloud? If Rory's blanket is missing, if a doll shoe has gone in to hiding in the disaster that is her room, if she can't find a nightie she was thinking about all day at school...is that the stick that finally pierces the cloud?
Somedays, the skies in our house go from perfectly sunny with big fluffy Toy Story clouds and a crystal clear blue horizon to a torrential Florida July afternoon rainstorm with no warning. Other days, the rain comes slowly...drip drip drip drip...faster and more intense until finally the dam breaks and out pours the rain.
My little storm cloud. My barely 4 foot tall, 35 pound little girl...she can bring the rain like no other. And I'm continually offering everyone around us an umbrella while simultaneously trying to catch all the rain drops with my bare hands.
Have you ever stood in the doorway, knowing you are about to walk in to a down pour with no umbrella, not even a hood? There are moments in my life where that is what I feel like. I can hear that first scream from Rory's tiny, pink, angel kiss lips and know. I just know. Here comes the rain.
Have you ever tried to catch the rain? Tried to hold out your hands and capture the drops, study them and learn from them? It's practically impossible. They rush through your fingers, on to the ground, spilling over your whole world, bathing everything in sight.
That is my life. On Rory's bad days, her moods and issue swirl around me so quickly, so incredibly fast that I am caught up in it and my entire world becomes Rory's world. I become desperate, offering punishments, alternatives, solutions, options until one of gets too tired, too emotional, too worn out to continue.
The difference between Rory and other kids? If she sets her mind on something, she will not stop until the gets her way. Put her in a room, she'll kick the wall or door until she falls asleep, you take her out or she kicks a hole. Give her a spanking, she'll laugh manically in your face. Take away a toy, she'll scream at the top of her lungs until the whole neighborhood can hear or she falls asleep.
On her worst days, her outbursts are truly like cloud burst. You can do nothing but stand back and watch the rain fall around you. How do you stop a rainstorm? How do you stop Rory?
You can't. You just get wet.