Those who know me, know that I'm a sucker for my children and I find it really hard to enforce truly heinous punishments on them. However, this week I struck a personal victory!!
Baby Girl has been the WORST teen lately and has really challenged both my patience and my resolve. She had worked very hard to recover from the rough school year last year and had got her F's up to respectable C's, with just a couple of D's. Yes she had A's and B's as well, but those were in Band, which she loves, and Math which she rocks at. She still finds the written classwork difficult. I don't whether it's laziness or actual difficulty. Once she gets it done, she rocks it, so I'm going with just lazy... She also failed to do her chores, has lied repeatedly and is being just generally unpleasant to be around. So, as punishment, I told her absolutely NO trick or treating.
Now, here's the kicker. Normally I would cave at the last minute. It was starting to gnaw at me throughout the day. I spoke to my sister, she reassured me. Firefighter even understood my dilemma, but reminded me that I NEED to start sticking to my guns. Now, he has seen some of her behaviour lately, so he knows what I'm going through. On top of everything else I'm dealing with, I worry constantly about Baby Girl. She only has me so when I have to play Bad Cop, I hate it. She is going through puberty which is difficult enough, but she rarely talks to anyone, so I can't tell if she needs anything. Emotional support. My sister has said she will step in and try and call her one day, just to make sure she knows that she can call her or my mum any time and my neighbour, NY Cop and his wife always offer to let her come over. They are fabulous and are almost like surrogate grandparents. The only concern there is that Douchebag also talks to them, so Baby Girl knows to be careful what she tells them.
So anyway, yesterday evening I arrived home with a witches hat as I planned to dress up a little to give out the candy (I really just wanted to wear my leather skirt...) and she actually thought it was for her. Kudos to her for not sulking when I gently reminded her that she would not be partaking in the festivities this year. Now, I could have been really mean and made her stay in her room, but I allowed her to come out on the porch and hand out candy and when a couple of the neighbours snuck her some, I pretended not to see. I only stepped in when she got brazen and tried to take it right in front of me.
So she still hasn't washed any dishes in a while, but maybe I can start to switch up the chores and share it with her brothers so that she's not doing the dishes everyday... Now that I have successfully enforced more than just losing TV privileges (which she still doesn't have back), maybe the kids will begin to take me seriously. They know that I am having a really tough time, and I hate that I had to tell them how bad things were, but I was making it tough on myself by pasting on a smile and pretending I'm ok. Ms Olivia Pope has reminded me that she's there for me, which I really appreciate. I've tried to be a friend to everyone else and forgotten that I need help too. The next couple of months will really try my strength, but I have people in my corner... I'll get through it.