Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Parenting 101

I'm so disillusioned with this kid right now. 
I'm frustrated and she has brought me to tears for 2 days now. 
To start, I am scared and unsure about Olivia's progress in 7th grade. She is failing Social Studies and it is because she isn't passing in work. She is telling her teacher she forgot it at home but when I ask it just isn't done. I tried to help her and she just looks at me and rolls right up and puts the "Closed" sign out and says "I don't know."
I am trying to quickly turn this around as it is only September. I am actively doing homework with her now and last night I got the "Closed" I don't know thing again so I emailed her SPED teacher. Apparently my freak out was evident in my email because she didn't just respond she called. She addressed my fear and walked me through directions for the English homework. Told me not to worry about Social Studies right now. She also has a book report due October 20th, reading to be complete by the 14th. I explained to her that I am the only homework support she has and I am leaving for a week on the 14th so we need to have it done a week early. I wanted her to know so maybe she could give some help.
After talking to her a few times in school and now privately by phone I told her I am also on a learning curve. I have a 5th grader who keeps telling me she isn't a baby, doesn't need my help and "I know". I have a 7th grader who now needs my help on a daily basis. I guess I am role reversing. I need to let the younger one get her wings and go back to the older one who needs me right now. She confirmed that is exactly what is happening and that I need to think of Olivia as a Kindergartner again.
Needless to say, this isn't easy. The 5th grader is disorganized, easily distracted (especially in the morning before medication) and lacks time management. Think 45 minute showers.
Yesterday I took a last second day off. I needed to get a handle on my personal life, I am feeling overwhelmed. 
To start the day, Ava misses the bus so I have to drive her. I have avoided driving for the last few years as this school is a mess in the morning but I also need to drop off medication for her Seashore trip next week. I drive home, make beef stew and proceed to spend over 2 hours cleaning and organizing their room. Particularly Ava's space to play with her Littlest Pet shops. This includes buildings, cars, figures, ect. I bring up a toy box from the basement to try to clean up that area and provide storage. 
And then I wait.
As soon as she gets off the bus she asks if we can go walk on Main Street. She likes to do this so she can collect stops on her Pokemon game. I agree because it gives Lilly and I a chance to walk and although distracted Ava walks too. Once we get in the house I tell her to go look upstairs because I want to get the attack over with and I am thinking when she is rude to me I am NOT going on a Pokemon trip. 
So far, so good.
After a nice walk downtown and homework the girls go out with their Dad for date night. When they return the first thing out of Ava's mouth is can we go see the sunset. I look out the kitchen window and finally there is blue breaking through the clouds which are a brilliant orange.
Off we go again. We head to Old Silver and the views are beautiful.


While here I again am just reminded of how much I love these kids and how grateful I am to live in such a beautiful place. This is a common feeling at sunset with my girls.
As we are walking back to the car together I stop, get down to her face and say Hey Av, I know we have been having a hard time with you  growing up and being independent and me letting you grow up. After talking to Liv's teacher today I am going to try to do just that. Liv needs a little more help in school.....
Yeah, I keep telling you that I don't!!!
Wait, as I try to get back on the supportive yet tough for me topic I continue. I am trying to keep us on a positive track. I was trying to validate her need and explain I am learning too and somewhere in here she just lashes out. 
"No, just don't stop. You never let me finish."
I am trying to not make this a fight and she just says "Story of my life" and walks to the car.
I am left there. Stunned.
She doesn't speak to me all the way to Dairy Queen. She doesn't deserve DQ but her sister asked and quite frankly she has done nothing wrong. We get home and proceed through the regular motions of shower and bed.  
This morning we wake up on time. People are pleasant and out of bed at first request. I make eggs and pancakes and all seem happy.
I have been holding this girls hand since she was born. There is an outfit on the arm of the couch. Cut out 1 possible bullshit issue of what to wear. I walk to the living room and say I understand you can handle it on your own but friendly reminder that if you care going to make the bus the TV needs to be shut off and jobs need to happen. After 3 more reminders to the girl that has it. I point out the clothes and she says-I don't need you. I gently say-You can't talk to me like that. Maybe just say, I would like to wear something else. She is now ironing a shirt with about 12 minutes left. I say - do you want your jeans? 3 times with no response. When I start to get angry she says well if I said no you would yell so I said nothing. I explain nothing seemed rude and again she could have said No thanks Mom, I have it. 
We now have minutes left, she is still in her pajamas but the ironed shirt, unbrushed hair and no shoes or socks.
I lose it. I say you are no longer able to do the jobs. I walk up and proceed to put socks and shoes on her. As I am doing so she snaps rude again at me and I smack her arm. DONE.
She proceeds to scream at me and I say I am going to work. You can stay here when you miss the bus and I walk out.
You know I can't do this and I start to walk back in and she starts screaming. All I remember is You are an Idiot.

I say you have lost TV and your phone. You will not get them back until I am no longer an idiot. She storms out the door and runs screaming down to the bus.
I drove right by her and left her standing there without even a good bye. 
I am panicked because I do think she missed the bus and I can not leave her on the corner. 
After confirming she made it on the bus I am a shambles. 
I am tired of holding my tongue until I scream, feeling like she speaks to me like I'm a piece of shit, explaining how hard I work to support our family, waiting to be attacked by her or riding the roller coaster of laughter to rage. 
I do not know what to do except cry today. 
I hate this feeling. 
I am sitting here at work and work is also a point of contention for me lately. I am so far burnt out over taking care of people, not being appreciated for my effort, listening to complaining, ect, ect.
So a work issue just came up where I asked my boss to handle something not done properly. He immediately looks at it from a different point and I say forget it. Why am I even bothering? I sort of decide that from now on when people come to me and need something done that isn't done properly I will just send them to him. I'm not the boss and clearly have higher expectations than I should and that is making me disenheartened. 
So I am thinking about Ava, thinking about work and as I type out this epic crying rant of a post I am nudged with a feeling. 
I am explaining because I am still thinking I am not doing a good enough job.
I do double duty at work because I can't make mistakes.
I am letting her do this because I am an abused woman. Go back and read how I wrote-I waited for Ava to flip out over me cleaning her room. 
Wait what??? I just cleaned your fucking room for hours. The only thing that should happen is Thank you Mom or even better Mom, go look at my room THAT I CLEANED.
The night before I threatened to take everything if she continued to disrespect me and her answer was - Go ahead. Take everything. You don't care. 
My response was angry. That isn't the answer but I am so raw and hurt. 
I can't command them to respect me. It doesn't work that way. I also don't know how to do it. I did what I was told as a kid out of fear. I don't want to be that parent. Earl is that parent. Angry, empty threats.
I do not want to parent like this but I am realizing I just don't know what to do. 
Today I will say no TV and No Phone, Pokemon, video games. 
This will be a battle in many way because Olivia isn't punished and will be allowed TV. This starts the whole Olivia gets everything. She is perfect. An issue I know too well from my childhood and another I don't know how to dispel. 
I am going away this weekend to hike. I can already see that I will be buried deeply in my thoughts and tears in the woods. It will be raining so that will help. 
I am aware of so many changes happening for me and this is a reoccurring one. It may be the last big one to make peace with. Sometimes they come from directions you least expect. 
Peace.

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Race Results

09/07/07 Main Street Mile 11:44
05/18/08 YPD 5k 52:57 17:05
06/14/08 Walpole Village 5K 35:27 11:26
06/21/08 Mashpee Fun Run 34:21 11:05
07/19/08 Mashpee Woodlands 36.49 11:52
08/10/08 Falmouth Road Race 1:29:31
08/25/08 Women Running Wild 35:40 11:30
10/25/08 Mashpee Firefighters 37:47 12:10
05/02/09 Cape Abilities 5K 34:59 11:17
05/17/09 YPD 5K 36:41 11:50
08/09/09 Falmouth Road Race 7mi 1:37
10/31/09 Mashpee Firefighters 5K 37:15 12:00
09/11/11 Main Street Mile 12:31
10/29/11 Screech to the Beach 5K 39.13 12:20
08/12/12 Falmouth Road Race 1:34:24 13:29
05/18/14 YPD 5k 44.25 14:17
06/1/14 June Jog 4mi 1:04 16:00
08/17/14 Falmouth Road Race 1:42:04 14:35
09/27/14 Girly Girl 5K 37:24 12:02
10/26/14 Pell Bridge Run 4mi 48:41 12:10
11/27/14 Turkey Trot in VA 5K 35:22 11:23
12/06/14 Jingle Jog 5K 34:42 11:11
03/29/15 Thomas Guinta Memorial 5K 34:14 11:03
04/19/15 St. Margaret's 5K 31:11 10:21
05/17/15 YPD Blues 5K 34:58 11:17
06/07/15 Newport 10 Miler 1:56:09 11:36
06/20/15 Mackenzie's 5K 33:55 10:54
08/17/14 Falmouth Road Race 1:33:51 13:24
10/31/15 Screech at the Beach 36:19 11:40