Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Jayden is finally gone.
A moment of silence, please. Our dearly loved (not) imagninary friend Jayden has seemingly left the Windhams forever.
Since Abi was a baby (and yes, I mean baby), she has had two imaginary friends. One is Scruffy (also known as Snuffalupagus from Sesame Street) and the other is Jayden. Apparantly Jayden is a boy, Abi's age, who is basically on this earth to take the fall for all of Abi's misdeeds.
My child is brilliant.
I mean, you gotta admire the creativity of a 2 year old who will blame all of her disobedient acts on a freckle faced, red headed, overall wearing little boy... who is never seen by anyone but herself.
A few of Jayden's "actions" are:
*trying to flush Abi's jeans down the toilet when she was 2.
*calling me stupid when she was 3. (so weird... his voice sounds JUST like Abi's)
*sticking stickers all over Abi's playroom door when sweet, innocent Abi was 4.
*saying "I wish you had other parents" when Abi was 5. (again, it's so uncanny how much his voice sounds like my daughter's...)
When Jayden did mischievous things, we would "send him home" to his mom. We'd insist he wasn't welcome at our house unless he could behave. But somehow, he'd keep coming back.
Rod and I have been really drilling home the fact to Abi that she can tell us ANYthing, and the repercussions will be much less than if we find out some other way what she's done. We tell her, don't think there won't be consequences, because there are consequences to every poor choice. However, we stress that honesty is a very forgiving prequel to those consequences. We constantly say things like, "You can tell us anything, anytime." And, "We will love you even if you did the worst thing ever." And then we give her chances to test our word.
Many of you have seen on facebook how Abi has recently had an obsession with her middle finger. I'm talking about a real, bonafide obsession. Well, not long ago, I was in the kitchen, and I turned around to find Abi, looking very suspicious and nervous, standing beside me, looking at me.
ABI- Mom, I did something. At school.
ME- (gulp) What's that?
ABI- Well, I don't want to tell you.
ME- Yes, you do, or you wouldn't have brought it up. What's up?
ABI- Will I get in trouble?
ME- I don't know the answer to that. But it won't be as bad since you told me the truth.
ABI- Ok. Well, today, when no one was looking, I stuck up my middle finger. On purpose.
ME- ( a silent whew) Abi, thank you for being honest with me. If I had found out from your teacher that this happened, it wouldn't have been good for you! But, we have talked about this. It's really rude to stick up your middle finger. Since we've already told you that you aren't allowed to do that anymore, and you did it anyway, no coloring for you tonight.
ABI- Is that all?
ABI- (big hug) I thought you would be SO mad at me. Thanks, Mom. (runs off)
Now, there was a time when Jayden would have told her to stick that middle finger up. I know, I know. Part of the deal is that Abi is growing up and doesn't need imaginary friends quite as much anymore... but strangely, Scruffy (the sweet one) is still around. I don't find it a coincidence that as she has learned to trust us with her faults, she has less of a need for Jayden.
On a daily basis, I have to remind myself that Rod and I will do a million things wrong, and a million things right. So will Abi. But love covers a multitude of wrongs. If I teach her what my parents taught me... that there is no sin too big to change my love for her, she'll find it easier when she's 15 to come to us with the big stuff. If we foster an environment where she can come to us about anything, all three of our lives will be better for it in the end.
Oh, and speaking of the end... Once, Jayden fell into a crawdad hole and died, then became a Zombie in Africa with Shannon and his missions team.
But I like this ending much better. Abi has discovered that she doesn't need Jayden anymore. The end. *happy sigh*