Saturday, November 11, 2006

Psycho Kil1er

(Yes, I know this post sounds like a cross between an Ask Moxie question and a Wednesday Whine. If you don't already read these blogs, you should because they, quite frankly, kick ass.)

I am worn out.

My lovely and wry brother-in-law, Y, is here. He lives abroad but swings by a few times a year as his business travels send him this way.

We are always happy to see him. And when I say we, I mean everyone except for Miss M.

Since she was very little, she has been nutty around Y. We've exhausted every possible reason in the past two years: stranger anxiety, separation anxiety, looking-like-Abba-but-not-exactly, sometimes wears glasses, has a goatee, was born in February. You know, the logical stuff.

Now it's just obnoxious. She screams and runs away when she sees him, cries when she even hears his voice. It would be heartbreaking it if weren't so damn annoying. She knows exactly who Y is, points him out in family photos, talks about seeing him after the fact. The crying is just wrenching, because Y is a really nice guy who is great with kids. His little boy, our nephew, is just 10 months old than Miss M, so he's got a lot of patience for the typical behaviors of the age.

Y's workweek is Sunday to Thursday, so the original plan was that he would entertain Miss M and AM on Friday while I ran to the kosher grocery to pick up some things and then cooked for Shabbat. My week had already been trying: a time-crunched freelance assignment, Miss M sick with a fever and out of school for two days, the usual sleeplessness (now with middle-of-the-night Motrin breaks!).

But with Miss M's freakout in full swing, we all--Miss M, AM, Y, and I--made our way to the kosher store. Where she proceeded to cry piteously the entire time. I didn't have a fleshed-out menu plan (after the week I had it should have been "pick up takeout," but the prepared foods are expensive, salty, and, in my opinion, mediocre at best), so we wandered the aisles for a bit. But the hysterics were getting to be just too much, so I decided to figure it out at home. We left with two huge packages of chicken legs and challah rolls.

I didn't sit down for a several hours--except to nurse or change diapers--but somehow I managed to get everything made, including cake and brownies, using the chicken and things from the pantry and fridge. (Thankfully neither Y nor Taxman are fussy eaters.) Y graciously kept AM entertained in an entirely separate room from Miss M, who watched videos and cried intermittently.

Shabbat was more of the same, although at mealtimes Miss M consented to be in the same room as Y. She did, however, attempt to eat dinner and lunch with her eyes closed (or with one hand over her eyes) so as not to have to look at him. She wound up with split pea soup in her hair. She seemed to call a truce after lunch today, and allowed Y to hang around as she played and read books. But then her nap seemed to erase all the progress and there was screaming with redoubled effort.

Somehow by bedtime tonight they were friends again, but I am already dreading tomorrow morning, when she wakes up to find that he is still here.

Did I mention I am worn out? But also sad that my little girl was so troubled. I took her to the park this morning to get a little sun and exercise, and she was so happy jumping and sliding and climbing. She fairly sparkles when she's happy, but when we got home the clouds descended again.

But mostly I'm stumped. We just cannot figure it out her aversion to him. And when the hell it's going to stop.

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