Yesterday Hannah told me she sometimes wonders what it is like to be someone else. I was super excited to hear this because it means one of the big lessons I am trying to teach my children is starting to sink in, empathy. I always try talking to them about "the other persons view", it is important that they learn to think about others besides themselves. Rachel has a more difficult time with this concept, as someone on the autistic spectrum it is a big leap to jump into another persons shoes when half the time she is still searching for her own pair. My little one, Shayna, is still in preschool. She is still blissfully enjoying the fact, at least in her mind, the world revolves around her. So when Hannah shared with us her thoughts on how important it is to think about others, I beamed with pride.
The odd thing is that though she is compassionate and gentle towards other peoples circumstances, I find the exact opposite in the home. I think I have Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde living under my roof! Maybe it is a "tween" thing, but when we are out she is the poster child of good manners and compassion yet when we enter the privacy of our own home she begins to contort and writhe thus being transformed into what can only be described as "scary"!
Jekyll Hannah is fantastic, she helps with her sisters when we are out, she gets raves from all her teachers, and often is lauded on how well she speaks to adults. I could not be more proud of Jekyll Hannah. However, when Hyde Hannah comes out, beware. She will antagonize her sisters, and demand immediate tasks from mom and dad. The other day she wanted me to paint her nails, It was seven in the morning and I hadn't even finished my cup of coffee. When I agreed to do it later the Hyde Hannah came out in full force. I am pretty sure there were physical formations, she became more hunched over with eyes bugging out. If it were not for her braces I think her teeth would have gone crooked as well!
I have been sorely tempted to record Hyde Hannah one day to show to Jekyll Hannah, but I am afraid this might actually encourage Hyde Hannah to make her presence known. So, until her two personalities morph into one ( hopefully Jekyll will win this battle) I am constantly on guard for the "transformation". The first sign of a "change" appears in the eyes (think Incredible Hulk), then she will begin to huff and puff ( it must be hard on the body), and finally there is a full on crazed mode. At this point she is often sent to her room, I don't usually get to witness the change back to Jekyll Hannah.
Is this a phenomenon among tweens? Do other Tween Jekyll and Hydes exist? We really cannot know how many walk amongst us. I propose a support group, H.E.L.L. (Hyde Epidemic Let Loose).