Sometimes I think that Candace and I have come a long way in our relationship. I know now that she does love me. She knows that I love her. I believe she trusts me to keep her safe and to stay with her always.
Then something might happen, like school starts. Things are "new". Different. Maybe a little scary. And all of our great progress seems to go right out the window. Back to the volatile behavior; "I love you, Mommy" one minute directly segues into a toddler-like wailing tantrum the next. It is so draining. And I frequently find myself responding in a less than positive way.
Time to remember that my sweet little girl is a work in progress. I tell people that my littles have been broken, and we need to help them mend. But it's so easy to forget in the heat of the moment and just be angry at what appears to be juvenile and manipulative behavior. Behavior that is really a cry for reassurance and structure.
The steps backward are discouraging, but I think overall we have gone mostly forward. I'm going to try to stay mindful... mindful of the needs of a little person who has had an awful lot of very hard things happen in her short life. To let her know it's okay to move forward, that I will be right behind her, every step of the way.