I dedicate this post to my Gram, Merlin Lorene Cunningham Shaffer, 10/20/17-5/22/13. The giant rocks on her tiny fingers from her adoring husband were the LEAST spectacular thing about her. Love you, Gram.
Z has a history of jewelry…interest.
So, when my favorite talismanic rhinestone necklace disappeared, I had a pretty good idea of the perp. I also knew it would do exactly zero good to question said individual. Like, have you ever tried to convince a narcissist of something that doesn’t fit their view of reality? Or tried to get your Tupperware back from – oh, wait, you don’t know her…
Z is the most convincing person you may ever meet. Unless I have 100% conviction to back me up, I don’t even broach any marginal subjects.
In fact, I almost took her to have her hearing checked out because girlfriend is so convincing she doesn’t even hear you if she isn’t tryna hear what you are saying. Over the course of several days her ignoring me and then saying, casually, “Oh, sorry’ [but being, definitely, not sorry] happened so frequently that I became concerned. Schedule a hearing test? Sure, until I realized she was testing me. Cheeky.
Had I asked her about my necklace, the conversation would have gone like so:
“Say, Z, you haven’t seen my special blue sparkly necklace have you”
[Possibility that cat has batted necklace behind shelf enters mind of mother.] “Okay.” [Result: Daughter knows Mother is not omniscient.]
For contrast, let’s examine an interaction wherein FSM knows the facts with certainty:
The setting is the walk home from school last Friday.
Z announces, nonchalantly, “Mama, Mrs. S said we should tell our parents we are supposed to go to pizza night tonight.”
“Oh, really?” I query, knowing that the event in question is entirely optional – and geared toward the upper elementary classes. “Should I speak with Mrs. S about that?”
“Well, she didn’t really say…I’m not sure what she said, exactly.”
“Did she say you should go to pizza night?”
Did she feel like she was telling the truth when she told me what her teacher said? No. Z admitted she hadn’t been thinking about that (truth), just wanting pizza.
We don’t want our families to live in a climate of suspicion. This is a struggle when a family member has an attachment disorder! I do want to show Z, though, that lying is something that will be discovered and is not an effective means of communication. So, in this sort of context (grey areas of truth) I only want to ask her questions to which I basically know the answers. I don’t want to teach her that she can successfully fool her mother and take things with impunity.
Also, gimme back my necklace!
Not only was this necklace Most Spectacular, it had been given to me by Swan Ayi to remind me of her friendship during a thorny time. I’d clutched that necklace through a series of “Clutch Pearls!” moments, trust me.
Figure I – Most Spectacular Necklace (circled)
I searched far and wide. I can find anything at any time. Because my house is soooo clean. Not.
It is tiny, though, so there’s not that many places to look.
One day my precious necklace suddenly appeared on my (locked) closet floor, where it had decidedly not been before – and precisely where it might have been slipped under the door by small fingers.
But, meanwhile, we’d begun a conversation about the existence of “Finding Fairies.” Z’s eleven-year-old brother contends that, “fairies aren’t real, except the tooth fairy,” but we gals felt pretty confident about these FFs.
I decided to do a little experiment.
Z wrote a note to the FFs about my necklace and how it had disappeared. We put it by her bed with some little gifts – flowers, sparkles, etc. The very next morning, there the necklace was!
What does this all mean? Like some other Z/truth conundra, this feels like a grey area I am unqualified to elucidate.
The whole thing, though, did feel a wee bit…fun.
Confrontation avoidance? For once not feeling obliged to Lecture? Something about magic and second chances?
Full Spectrum Mama