Sunday, July 13, 2008

Haley

Since I wrote one about Riley, I suppose it's only fair I write one about Haley.

I really lucked out with Haley. When she was born, she came 5 weeks early. At the time, Marci and I were enrolled in a birthing class for the Bradley Method. The plan was to have the baby, named Marvy at the time, without drugs. We took these classes every Monday from about 6 to 9 or so for several weeks.

The trouble with taking the classes was by the time I got there after work (and dinner, I suppose), I was in no condition to study. In fact, the book I borrowed from Alison (she delivered her kids using Bradley) was filled with doodles and scribbles by Yours Truly.

Anyway, with Haley coming early, and being a C-section to boot, that meant all of my inattentiveness during our classes wouldn't matter. All I had to do was stand there and take pictures of my precious daughter being born.

I guess I was kind of hoping for a girl. I grew up with 2 brothers and, even when I worked at the Y, I always enjoyed the girls more than the boys (does that sound creepy?). Though I would've been happy with a boy, having a girl first really made me happy.

When she was first born, we didn't have a name picked out. After a few hours, Haley was what we came up with. We were also going to give her a Chinese middle name and asked my parents to come up with it for us. They gave her a name that meant Heavenly Fragrance, which phonetically pronounced, is approximately Tien Shing. We were set to go with that, but my brother Knight said, "Why don't you translate Tien into English?"

Brilliant!

So, "tien" means "sky" in Chinese, and, with that, Haley Skye was named.

Over the years, as Haley got older, it became apparent to us and our family and friends that she was the type that was "always on". She had a motor and had limitless energy. I was always proud of the fact that she seemed further ahead with her physical skills. She was more daring than her friends. She could do a lot of things that the other kids had problems with.

When Riley came along 2 years later, Haley was a great older sister. She and Rye hit it off really well. She was never the jealous sibling. She really cared for him and nurtured him along the way.

Haley did really well in preschool. She got along with all the other kids and seemed to be quite popular with playdates and such. She got her alphabet down and numbers, too.

This past year, Haley had kindergarten. She seemed to do pretty well, but as the year progressed, we noticed she didn't handle certain things very well. To me, Haley has always been a kid that needed a nap, but once she decided she didn't need them, she just stopped taking them. This has caused problems because when she gets tired, she can be quite cranky. Add in going to half-day kindergarten (at 7:50am) and we had many mornings with emotional drama.

I thought it would get better as the year progressed and Haley got used to things, but it didn't. In fact, it seemed to get worse towards the end of the year. There were many times in which Marci would take Haley to school and have to leave her there crying with the teacher. Other times, they wouldn't even get out the door for the car and Haley was already a crying wreck. We chalked it up to her being tired.

Well, more recently, maybe in the past few months, Haley has upped her game considerably. Instead of just being tired and inconsolable, she's turned into a smart mouthed little monster. She seems really fed up with Riley (even before we received the ACM diagnosis). I don't think we give more attention to him, but out of necessity, we do have to do certain things for him that we don't for her. She goes from one extreme to the other. We'll ask her once to stop what she's doing to help clean or something and she'll go, "FINE!" and throw whatever she's doing aside and come "help" us. She'll do something she knows she shouldn't, then apologize immediately for it with an insincere, "Sorry," and think it's ok. She will talk back to me and Marci (and now her grandparents). Every day there seems to be an epic battle of some sort.

What makes it worse right now is I'm at home and they're all in California still. Now, they will be home in a week, so Marci and I will be able to pool resources, but it's getting ridiculouser by the day.

Tonight, I got on the webcam to see them. Haley was fine and we were talking about their trip to the zoo today. Riley sat up and I asked him if he saw monkeys. Then Haley started whining about how Riley wasn't letting her talk to me. She started crying and sobbing and I kept telling her that no one was telling her she couldn't talk to me. I guess she wanted me all to herself of something.

After that, I got to talk to her a little as Riley was taking a bath. Haley's turn was next and that's when it all went to hell. She said she didn't want to take a shower. Marci said she had to as they got all gross at the zoo. Marci put Haley in the shower and Haley immediately turned off the water and got out. What made it worse was Haley's behavior. She was parading around saying tauntingly, "I'm out of the shower. See? Ha ha ha!" So, at this point, Marci said Haley was done with the shower.

Even though Haley didn't want to take a shower in the first place, she lost it. She begged and pleaded to take a shower. She screamed and yelled and slammed doors. I was yelling over the webcam. Marci was controlling it on that end. Haley ended up without a shower, but with an enormous tantrum, complete with rude comments and unacceptable behavior.

Now, I understand they're in California, and have been for going on 3 weeks now. They're in a place that is kind of small, with very little for the kids to do. Having said all that, Marci is busting her butt to engage the kids with activities and cousins, but Haley seems to find something to complain about every day. Not only that, she's playing the victim, claiming that no one likes her and we want to "throw her in the garbage". We tell her all day long that we love her, and that it's her actions that she needs to change, but she just starts going on again about how no one likes her.

I'm not even there and it's incredibly tiring and frustrating to deal with. I am totally looking forward to them coming home, though, so they can get back to their regular lives, and so Marci and I can join forces once again.

People tell me she's going through a phase, that she'll grow out of it. I sure hope so, but I also doubt what they're saying. I'm thinking there's something deeper at work but I don't know what it is. I think Haley has learned some of the behaviors from Marci and I, as we have had arguments in front of the kids, but I find it hard to believe that she'd act like this on a daily basis.

I also get concerned about Riley as when Haley is freaking out, Riley is usually who she blames. When I ask Rye if Haley is like this, he'll nod and say, "since she woke up," or something to that effect. Thankfully, he seems to take it in stride. I think he knows if she's being stinky and he's good, that just makes him look that much better.

Anyway, if you've made it this far, congratulations. I just needed to vent and the good ol' blog's as good a place as any.

I miss my Haley S.