Friday, December 12, 2008

The past few days have been difficult, partly due to not getting enough sleep and having a cold, but mostly because I'm worried about Sula. She's still not her usual self, and a few times lately I've felt like I'm losing my connection with her.

She's usually been pretty well behaved with me in the past, but now she'll use a tone that's blatantly rude and downright insolent. It's like she all of a sudden lost her manners, like she just doesn't care. I find myself reprimanding her all the time, and I find myself feeling apprehensive about dealing with her: will she be happy and normal, or will she be unpleasant and difficult? It's like she's regressing, but in truth she never was as bad, in the past, as she is now.

The school situation is not great--she doesn't seem to have bonded with the teachers and kids there yet--so Johnny and I are wondering if she's going through a delayed reaction to the switch from the old school, where she was so happy and comfortable. If this is the case, I'm sure she'll get over it soon enough, and I'm sure she'll be happy and probably stronger for the experience in the long run, but I can't help having pangs of regret at having moved her.

Tonight I picked her up from school and when she told me in a surly voice that she wanted to stay and finish watching the movie, I told her to say it again pleasantly, with "please" and "Maman" this time. She did, but then she was surly and demanding again while we sat on a park bench eating french fries, watching the dogs run around, and then again walking back to the car. When we got to the car I lifted her up and told her I love her, and that she needs to talk to me like she loves me too. She looked so tired, with her fingers in her mouth and gray shadows under her eyes, I didn't have the heart to go on, making her feel bad for making me feel bad, so when she nodded yes I just brushed her hair back from her eyes and gave her a kiss.

I was looking forward to having some alone time with her, to getting back on a good level and seeing her happy and herself, but as soon as we pulled into the driveway the neighbors invited her to go look at Christmas decorations, and that was that--they piled into their big car and took off. I walked into our dark house alone and, purposely leaving the curtains open, turned on all the lights so Sula would see a cozy, warm-looking home when she returned.

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