Sunday, August 16, 2009

Family Feud

When my father came to visit last month to meet Piglet, I waited and waited for him to get here. My dad and I counted the days until his vacation would start and he would be on his way to visit. But when he got here things changed a bit.

My dad has never been a very patient man, so Teenybop's ADHD is a huge challenge for him. He is very negative toward her and rarely seems very glad to be around her. I realize her behaviors make her very hard to deal with sometimes ... But I also see a little girl who is five years old and wanting desperately for her grandpa to find joy in her.

He doesn't seem to see any good in her, and it is heartwrenching for me to see her being rejected in spite of how badly she wants to bond with him. But why is this a problem right now? Well, my dad and I have been talking about him moving up here for years and when he was here he decided to finally make the move. I offered to let him stay with us until he is settled into a new job and his own place ...

But it is only day two of our little arrangement and in some ways I am sorry for getting myself into this. Had I known how hard he would be on Teenybop for behaviors she can't control, I don't know if I still would have offered my place.

And I think the hardest part is the fact that he thinks she is spoiled and undisciplined. He thinks we aren't hard enough on her. He seems to think she should be seen and not heard ... Like an old loyal retriever content to lay by the fireplace. But my daughter is not that retriever. She wants to run and jump and play, to sing the songs of her heart, and to dance with them too. She wants to be cuddled on grandpa's lap for hugs and stories, she wants to wrestle and enjoy having a grandpa.

I fear she will never have that ... She may not even try much longer with him because even she can feel his attitude. She almost didn't even bother to kiss him goodnight today. And when I saw his complete lack of response to her, I began to wonder if I haven't messed up.

But my real worry is for what will happen later when little boys begin to pay innapropriate attention to her, and she will be weak to them in her need for male attention. I wonder (and completely fear) what she will be willing to do for approval.