Therapy 101: Happy Birthday Nadine!

15 April 2013

Dear Meimei:

Happy Birthday my pretty princess! Today we celebrate you! Everything that you are—who you’ve become, what you like, the things you say, stuff that make you laugh, stuff that make you cry… we celebrate you today, dear Nadine!

I remember when you were a baby. One of the easiest babies in the nursery. You cry only when you’re hungry, or when the diapers are soiled. You never fussed, never whined. Everyone and anyone could carry you, it was really such a breeze to take care of you.

When you were a toddler, you would be at the dinner table with us, sitting quietly feeding yourself, or waiting to be fed. There was never a time of throwing a tantrum, never a howl and certainly never a meltdown.

Everyone, and I mean everyone who knew you said, you were a good good girl! And you are! You were never difficult, always around, waiting patiently for the next event, for the next to-do activity.

But that meant you didn’t talk much. When you were frustrated with Nicole/Nathan for not sharing the toys, you came to us with tears welled up in your eyes. When the tummyache/finger pain/eye itch etc came, you only had tears streaming down your face. We asked and asked, tried to wait and wait, but you won’t say a word. The result was always a frustrated “why are you crying?” and we would smother you with kisses and love. but rarely did we find out what made you cry.

When we are at dinner, we ask what you wanted. You think hard and are unable to tell us what you want. We guessed and gave you three options, and you always took the first. Because of time and hunger, we always never waited to hear what you really want.

Meimei, I’m sorry I didn’t try hard enough to find out your becauses when you cried. I thought showering you with loads of assurances, checking that you weren’t hurt physically was sufficient. I got into the habit of thinking that you are just whinny and being difficult. I forgot, you were one of the easiest babies around. I’m sorry I didn’t wait long enough to find out your favourite food. We’ve been ‘shoving’ the options to you.

Today, Mummy promises to try harder. I want to know why you are sad, what made you cry, what you really like to eat, what you really want to do. Mummy is going to stop guessing and not giving you a chance to think about it. Mummy wants to know what you love and like, what irritates and frightens, what comforts and assures you.

We want to know you because we love you and want to be there for you. We are going to slow down and wait. No more running in circles guessing, no more cutting short the wait time for you to speak. We will wait. We can’t wait to hear what Meimei has to say. Love you baby!

We pray for God’s hands to always be on your life, His wisdom & favour to follow you. You will grow up a mighty woman of God—strong, healthy & always aware of His presence. The year ahead will be filled with much much love and joy.

Happy Birthday!!!

Lots and lots of love,

Mummy

Mummy and Nadine

This is part of a series I’ve started – Ther­apy 101, to doc­u­ment Nadine’s devel­op­men­tal strug­gles and vic­to­ries, and to jour­nal my own learn­ing expe­ri­ences as she goes through hers.

Therapy 101

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