The other day I shared with you some of Big C’s thoughts on being a military brat. And I realized that I didn’t even attempt to ask my 3-year-old daughter her opinions on the subject. I guess I figure she’s too young, that she doesn’t understand enough to even have thoughts about military life. But lately I’m realizing that she DOES have thoughts about her daddy being gone. She just doesn’t have the ability to verbalize them.
Little C is an energetic, funny, affectionate, stubborn little girl. And when she gets in a bad mood, you better leave the room because there’s no negotiating with her. Unfortunately, it seems that lately she’s in a bad mood all the time. And I can’t help but wonder if this is her way of expressing those thoughts about her father being gone.
For the past month, every now and then Little C would call out for her daddy at home when she was tired or upset. But now she’s starting to scream for him at school. When I was picking her up the other day, I could hear, “I want my daddy back!!!!!” before I even turned the corner of the hallway to her classroom. The teacher couldn’t calm her down, and only after a 5 minute bear hug with me did she stop sobbing.
Little C has also started begging to sleep with me, something Miss Independence has never done. We cuddle in my bed before we head over to her room for lights out every night, but lately she’s been asking for sleepovers. Last night she asked again, but I said no because she slept with me once last week and I don’t want it to become a habit. She miraculously went to her own bed without a fight. But an hour later when I went to check on the kids, her bed was empty. Surprised, I tiptoed over to my room. Sure enough, there she was, cuddled under my covers, sleeping soundly on her Dora pillow.
And now as I write this, she is crying in her room after slamming her door in anger. I’ve learned from experience to give her a few minutes to calm down before trying to console her. She is screaming for her daddy again.
Big C never behaved like this, and I’m at a loss as to what I should do, how I should handle her. I keep telling her that her daddy will be coming home soon, but 3-year-olds have no concept of the word soon. It breaks my heart.
Have your military brats acted like this before? What did you do to help them through it? What are some other ways you have helped your children cope with military life?