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Thursday, February 22, 2007

I worry contstantly for my girls. I do. I worry for what lies ahead of them in this world (posts for a different time, I'm sure). Also, I want them to like me. But I'm not stupid, and I am their mother. Right now, Li'l ~j. is on her bed, where she was sent 15 minutes ago, mid-dinner, for teasing Curly. Incessantly teasing. It's painful even for spectators. D and I had HAD it, there was yelling (stop crying, Mom), and she was sent to her bed. One night of being sent to her bed will not kill her. And maybe she will THINK before she teases her sister again. Because I really, REALLY cannot stand it anymore. She has a bday party to attend on Saturday, and that privilege can be earned back, but if it's not, well, missing one party won't kill her, either.

Since I'm trying to convince myself of all of the above (I do, in fact, feel bad, but it's either now or later, you know? I'd rather have this teeny battle now than engage in combat when she's 16), I've decided to tell you a few annecdotes about my eldest:

~One Saturday morning last December, my girls 3 participated in an early-morning kids' fashion show at the Nordstrom. All three girls were troopers. Shortly following that, we had our friends come over to take some lovely family photos for us, and the girls were well-behaved for that, as well. I had been so pleased with their behaviour that I decided, whilst running errands at lunchtime, that I would reward them with McDonald's for lunch (yes, ~j., while you're working at not damaging your children, why don't you go ahead and teach them that food is a reward? Good job.). Now, we NEVER have McDonald's. Unless we're on a road trip. Don't believe me? Well, this is what happened on that day in December: I phoned home and told D, "I've decided to pick up some McDonald's for lunch for the girls. May I please speak with Li'l ~j.?"


"Hi, Honey."

"Hi, Mom."

"Listen, I've decided to get you some McDonald's for lunch."


"Yes, so, what would you like?"

"Mmmm...what do they have?"

Did you hear that? My 7&1/2 year old didn't know what "food" was available at McDonald's! Ha.


Just this afternoon, whilst I was nursing Bubby, I was also watching the Ellen show.

"Mom, does Ellen know you?"


"Oh. *disappointed* That's too bad."

Do you know Ellen's guest was today? It was Oprah. (If you don't know how I feel about Oprah, we should talk.) But I like Ellen, so I watched. And here was the conversation:

"Mom, who's Oprah?"

*tee-hee! 'Atta girl!* "She's a friend of Ellen's, Honey."

"Oh. [pause] Is she Dr. Phil's wife?"


[a minute or so passes]

"Mom, does she have a show, too?"


"Did we used to watch it?"

"Sometimes we did."

"I think I remember it...she had a show like Dr. Phil? With Dr. Phil on it?"

"Yes, Dr. Phil was on her show, and then she gave him his own show."

*lightbulb* "Ooooh, so her show was to help Dr. Phil get a show?"



And now I think I need to go to the store, because I can't be here. I want so much to go and get her out of her room. But it won't kill her. It might kill me.

Today's Yay: Lunch with great friends on a beautiful day.
Today's Boo: Forecast which reminds me that it is not yet fully Spring.


swampbaby said...

It is hard to be a good mom. :-) Which you are. I do not tolerate my boys fighting or teasing each other. You know that scripture about not letting your children go naked or hungry or allowing them to fight and quarrel with one another? I figure that atleast those things are spelled out for us and I can do them, even if I don't get the rest right.

PS Glad to hear you are doing better.

Elizabeth-W said...

Oh sister, do I hear you!!
Mine are six and three and they are either lovers or fighters. When they're fighting I send them to my closet which is just enough walk-in but not much more. There isn't much for them to do in there except either shout at each other (and then I don't hear them) or work it out.
We just read a book by Betty McDonald this past weekend en route to SLC calling something like The Adventures of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. It was written in 1947, and the illustrator was Hilary Knight, the same man who did the Eloise books. She has cures for all sort of things like not wanting to take baths, slow eaters, not wanting to clean room'ers, that sort of thing. Her cure for sibling fighting was for the parents to have basically the same fights the children have, in front of the kids. They get so freaked/annoyed/irritated that the sisters decide to get along. It's a really cute book. :)

QueenScarlett said...

I've been thinking a lot about how my daughters will be... great post. I see right now how much my little one lights up when she watches her sister dance and sing...even when it's not for her. I hope so much that they will be good friends...because it will break my heart if they hurt each other.

You're smart about handling it now... that teenage stage with girls...terrifies me.

I'm with you about Oprah... LOVE ELLEN... especially the dancing... and jokes...and her personality. Oprah seemed as she always does... full of herself.

I was just thinkign today that I want to keep my daughter unawares of McDs... today she was watching Little Einstein and there was Ronald McDonald in a commercial ...she's said "Who is that?" I was like YAY...she has no idea who that freakish clown is!

Glad you had lunch with friends... you deserve it...hope you're healing well!!!

Carina said...

I love the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books!

You are a perfect example of love and logic.
I hate enforcing the rules, but it has to be done, it's my responsibility. Sometimes they force our hand and we have to let the consequence follow. It would be so much easier NOW to give in and let them always have their heart's desire, but it will destroy their future.

It's sad that she made that choice, and wonderful that you made yours (to be a PARENT.)

Guileless Mom said...

I HEART Mrs. Piggle Wiggle to the MAX!!!!!!! Awesome series. (although I do remember picking up a naughty phrase from the girl who wouldn't stop talking back: "I'll do it because I WANT to, not because you tell me to" yah.. that just about got me a slap across the face...and it DID get me sent to my room. Never said it again. ;)

I hate Oprah.

I'm glad you are an AWESOME MOM.

Hope you are recovering well!!!!

dalene said...

Ditto to much of the above. I feel what you are saying.

Here is an excerpt out of my head regarding the mothering of my pre-teen daughter:

Somehow mustering just barely enough composure to withstand the cruel and angry outburts of a hormonal pre-teen who loathes me and truly believes I am the worst mother in the world. Please, God. Help me endure the next five years without saying something I will regret forever and without turning my back and running out the door. I don't know if I can do this.

Not to scare you, or anything. I have known since she was only 5 that this my only daughter will be the biggest parenting challenge I will endure.

Thanks for letting me hold Bubby yesterday. I needed that.

sue-donym said...

You absolutely did the right thing. Growing up, I was NEVER allowed to fight with my little sister, and we grew up respecting each other, and respecting our parents for enforcing it. Looking back, I do not remember the times my parents got mad at us (I am sure there were tears and frustrations) but I do remember the love and respect that was in our home.

Good for you!

(did she crawl in your bed last night?)

Lyle said...

Enforcing the punishment is usually the hardest part of parenting. Better to stick to such rules than letting it slide. As much as she may resent having a grumbly tumbly, a lesson will become ingrained within her that can only help her as she struggles with the demands of civilized society and future parenting.

Bek said...

You are a good mom. I am proud of you for doing the hard thing.

My kids not only know the McDonalds menu, they have up to date knowledge of what toys they are giving away. oooops.

We had that same show on yesterday (the Ellen/Oprah thing). Lauren walked in and said "Is that Oprah mom?" I told her yes and she said "I like her new hair". :-) ????? Hmmm. We never watch it but Lu noticed the hair. She isn't quite as observant as Little J--that Dr. Phil reference was awesome!!

P.S. I hear it doesn't get easier w/ the girls and mom battles, but I do hear that it is worth it. I worry about that stuff too.

i i eee said...

What a good mom. :)

~j. said...

Thanks, everyone, for your support. It all worked out, things actually went a LOT better today.

swampbaby, when I first read your comment, I misunderstood and thought that the scripture said it is better to let them go naked and hungry than to let them quarrel or fight. And to THAT, I thought, PERFECT because I sent her to bed hungry (mid-dinner), and, at least for awhile, naked: IN DEFIANCE OF MY NOT LETTING HER OUT OF HER BED SHE PEED IN HER PANTS. Too bad, I said. Stay there. I gave her a new pair, which she put on, and some new jammies, which she eventually put on. Imagine my feeling of "oooops..." when I realized that I'm not supposed to do that either. Eh. I'm learning.

b. said...

I would frequently have to leave the house/room when my kids were little so I couldn't hear them cry over their consequences. Now I totally get that they are just workin' me....parenting is hard. Keep up the good work, you're doing great!

Sister Pottymouth said...

Good mom! It's so hard to discipline, but you're right. It's better to do it now than when she's 16.

I snorted out loud at her comments about Oprah and Dr. Phil.