We took Lucy to a licensed professional counselor today. She does something called PCIT, Parent Child Interactive Therapy. The way I understand it, we will "play" or interact with Lucy in a room while a therapist observes from the other side of the glass. We will have an earbud in so that the therapist can teach us tools encourage good behavior and discipline bad behavior.
I realize this sounds elementary. And it kind of feels weird that I am asking for another person to help me parent my child. But I am. I am asking for help. We have spent 2 years waiting for her to outgrow these tantrums. So I am not too proud to say I don't know what the hell I'm doing wrong. The therapist did say that the tools she will teach us are not intuitive. They have to be practiced and they don't just come to you. So that makes me feel a bit better about asking for help.
I described it to a co-worker today as a bomb sitting in front of you. It will explode if you do nothing. It will explode if you cut the red wire. It will explode if you cut the blue wire. It will explode if you cut the green wire. There is nothing I can do. I have felt helpless and hopeless for so long. But now we are getting help. I need someone to teach me how to diffuse this bomb. For all our sakes we have to figure this out.
We did talk about how we didn't learn all that much from parenting our first child. We didn't really come away from child uno with gobs of life lessons that we could apply to the second. She explained that we think Lucy is abnormal because all we have ever known was Emma Jane. But she thinks Lucy is closer to the norm and that we had our abnormal child first.
Anyway, I will keep you posted on the progress. As for today, on the way to the therapists office I told Lucy that we were going to see someone who would help us be less frustrated with each other. I said you know how you get frustrated with mommy and daddy and they get frustrated with you? Well we are going to see someone who can help us be less frustrated with each other.
She played in the floor while we talked. She seemed absorbed in the toys and seemed to not even notice the 3 of us. She started to cry when it was time to put away her toys. She exhibited a little piece of the defiance she gives us.
When we got home our nanny Madeline asked her how her doctor's appointment was. She said "I didn't go to the doctor. I went to see someone who could figure me out. So I can be nicer to people."
She is way smarter than we think.