Ruthie grew up. After the temper tantrum yesterday, the baby talk disappeared. Not entirely. She had two ways of thinking in her head, baby talk and normal language, and she kept choosing the latter.
“Am I still Ruthie?” she asked me.
“Do you feel like Ruthie?”
She thought so. She wondered if she had blended with someone. “Does it feel that way?” No, she just felt different inside.
She felt worried I wouldn’t take care of her anymore if she grew up. I had to reassure her. I will always take care of you.
“You’ll still help me find my teddy bear when I lose it?”
“Of course, I will.”
Of all the parts, I feel the most protective of Ruthie. I wonder sometimes what will happen with this when it registers more deeply that this is me, that I am being protective of myself. I can’t adopt a grit-your-teeth-and-get-through-it approach to anything anymore, because Ruthie is there, and I can’t do that do that to her. How could I?
What will it be like when I can’t do that to myself?
Ruthie still regresses if something frightens her. She feels scared, and the baby talk comes back. It’s not a stable change. It’s sort of both here and there, still mixed and waiting to solidify into something.
Anyway, it was an interesting day.