Our toddler is about to eat an entire pot of sudocreme.
Except she’s not really.
Because she’s knows she’s not allowed to do that.
So, technically, what she is actually doing, is pretending she is about to be naughty.
Safe in the knowledge she will be stopped before she goes too far.
Our toddler has climbed into our babies empty crib.
But, now bored, she's about to launch herself out of there.
Or rather, that’s what she would have us believe.
However, on closer examination, she's just standing there, dangling her leg over the side.
Eyeballing me until l come over and rescue her from herself.
Which I will. Every time.
Clarke is about to leave the room.
lt is always as he is about to leave the room.
”I‘m going to put that chat up now.”
”l’m going to ask them why we haven‘t been paid yet.”
I could keep going. But it is always variations on the same theme.
I respond with similar answers, every time:
”Don’t do it. You know we always wait until we get approval before a chat goes live.”
”Why? We aren't even due payment from that job yet.”
Then he pauses, mid-exit.
Did I say mid-exit? I really meant mid-scowl.
Powerless in the face of irrefutable logic.
I know l’ve done enough to hold his actions at bay.
l‘m also aware he will take us through the same routine again this afternoon.
And that the dance shall commence once again tomorrow morning.
If, in fact, we haven‘t heard from anyone to externally resolve this.
Although we almost certainly will have done.
Because I swear to you, Clarke has a spidey sense about these things.
He can feel when action is about to occur.
Which leaves me to suspect that he isn’t merely getting impatient.
And, since he is also the least controlling person l’ve ever met.
It's time to look back at his Cognitive Analytical Behaviour - Cycles of Behaviour Diagram.
1) Because l’m not a trained professional, so although l know my husband very well, it is inappropriate for me to do anything except use the guidance, or, in this case, the tools we have been given.
2) Because l know every example of his past behaviour, especially the stuff that pre-dates me, will be on there.
Do l find what l’m looking for? I surely do and quickly.
If things are going well, then they are going to end badly at some point, so l may as well do something to make it happen and get it out the way.
Ooh yes and here is another good one.
Things are flat and l am bored. Pressure is building in my head. Time to act out.
I should point out that, after working his ass off in therapy, Clarke does neither of these things anymore.
But that doesn‘t mean all his trauma responses have been totally eradicated.
Just like the rest of us, they will keep playing out.
In little harmless ways, like the daily dance of conversation we find ourselves having.
As far as l am concerned it's great progress.
Because, just like our toddler, Clarke is acting out cycles in an environment he is 100% confident is a safe space for him.
Where he is unconditionally loved, supported and taken care of.
And where he knows it is safe to fall, because I will always catch him.