Giving vent to frustrations

Lily screams during dinner. We don’t know why. She has one or two phrases that she yells out, suddenly and with (as yet) no detectable trigger. We used to think it was because of a dental problem that was detected late in the game. The behavior persisted after that was surgically corrected. I’ve thought it was during moments when she felt neglected by the other conversations or activities around her (and I think in some cases it is), but I’ve seen her do this when everything is quiet or when she’s being included. Everyone comes up with some new ideas and we’ll test them all, but so far nothing has worked out as an explanation.

Once she’s done and has made her way to the library or family room for after-dinner visiting before heading back to her apartment, she’s like another person. From grumpy eating machine to cheerful conversationalist in 60 seconds.

In the meantime, if I call “too early” to check in with everyone, normally interrupting some part of dinner (we’re currently dealing with a time difference that means I’m at the end of my day when they are still in their early evening), I find myself highly irritated, ignored in an effort to calm her, taken off speakerphone and sequestered in private parental conversation, or needing to terminate the call in order to give everyone space to settle her down. Invariably, this last option is the one that needs to be exercised when I actually have something I need or want to discuss with my parents. I know I’ve said that before, in conversations, in private communications with friends, and maybe even here. I will probably say it again sometime in the near future. It is what it is, though – Lily’s behaviors frustrate me, because they represent unhappiness of hers that I can’t fix, wear on my parents’ nerves, wear on my own nerves, and general unsolved mystery frustration.

I don’t know what to do about it all, so I’m just venting the fact that I Am Frustrated here. (I am cranky, hear me whine?) It’s not unfair of me to want quiet enough to ask my dad about a computer problem I’m having or (like tonight) the awesome new webcomic I sent him, or to talk to my mom about a recipe or teaching technique I’m trying out. It’s not unfair for Lily to need to blow off steam. I’m just hoping that there’s a happy medium somewhere. And that we find it SOON.

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