On the final day of camp there was a performance by all the children. An acquaintance who has an eleven-year old daughter with a mild attachment disorder (the daughter, like Z, was adopted) was in the audience. Before the show, this mother and I sat slumped next to each other, sharing knowing sighs and stories of power struggles while our daughters prepared to rule the stage.
“It’s like with [her daughter’s name], we always say, if you ask her does she want an apple or a banana she will say, ‘Can I have an orange?’”
“Oh yes, I said. “That’s Z all over. And it NEVER ENDS. That’s what’s so tiring!”
“I know,” she replied. “And people will say, ‘oh, that’s just normal’ but it’s not; it’s so much more.”
I shared the story of being at a fundraiser where a friend was selling jewelry. We had gone to a previous fundraiser and the friend had been charmed into giving Z not one, but TWO beautiful and valuable Svarovski crystal bracelets. This time, as we approached the house, I told Z that she was not to accept any jewelry from my friend. I explained that Friend Ayi (auntie) was trying to raise money to cover her bills, which were mounting because of serious health problems. Z agreed.
“Since we don’t have enough to contribute to buy ANY jewelry,” I added, “we will simply make a donation and keep her company.”
Somehow, though, Z found herself with two bracelets in front of her. This time, at least, the bracelets were less valuable, less likely to garner real money for this family in need than the other baubles scattered over the table. It seems, unsurprisingly, that Friend Ayi simply could not resist the adorableness and apparent giftworthiness of such a fetching child. As my daughter looked winningly at me in front of a bunch of people, I finally caved in and told her she could make a choice of one of the two bracelets.
“Hmm,” she thought for awhile, tapping her chin. Then, pointing at a very costly, bedazzling necklace she asked, “Can I have that one instead?”
She and I had a good laugh over that one. We both knew everyone else at the party thought Z was simply being cute, and that is a part of it…said part being rooted in such Will to Power, such persistence…It was nice to just sit with someone who knows.
Wanna know someone else who knows? Z. She could persuade almost anyone about almost anything. Children are particularly vulnerable. In fact, one of her classmates last year informed his mother that Z knows “EVERYTHING.”
We were at dinner the other day with the Full Spectrum Grandparents and somehow the sentence “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dogs” came up. We talked about how it uses every letter in the alphabet and how great it was for practicing writing or keyboarding.
“It has to be 'dogz' with a 'z,'” Z informed us in a very confident, professional-sounding tone. “Because the alphabet does not end with ‘s.’ Everybody knows that.”
It’s a potentially perilous combination, Z’s desire for total control with her appearance of total knowledge. We just keep hoping she will use it for the greater good.
Over and out, dogz,
Full Spectrum Mama