human, being

That’s it. I’ve HAD it.
April 20, 2009, 6:39 pm
Filed under: Parenting & Co-Parenting | Tags: , , ,

This morning as I was trying to get us out of the house and to school on time, Little Miss Stubborn stood in the entryway in her flip flops with her arms crossed and a scowl on her face. Once again, we were fighting the battle of I Refuse to Wear Socks with My Sneakers.

“No, no, no, no NO!” she said.

“Fine, then no gym for you today, because you are wearing your flip flops or your sneaks with socks. Your choice. And flip flops means sitting on the sideline in gym, and probably getting in trouble at school.”

“Fine. I’d rather get in trouble.”

I counted to 10. I counted to 20. I felt the steam coming out of my ears. I briefly thought of murder, not because of the socks, but because of the fucking defiance.

I told her to get in the car, and then I proceeded to ignore her the whole way to school. I dropped her off without saying goodbye. I drove away without watching to make sure she got into school OK. It felt good and sucked to give her the cold shoulder. But I am pissed! She needs to understand her place in the world. She needs to be a person who minds her mother.

When I picked her up tonight I told her that all privileges were suspended. She would not have any choices in anything for a while. I will pick out what she wears, what she eats, whether she watches TV, what she reads. She is to go upstairs and do her homework when we get home, come down for dinner, take care of her dishes then go to bed. It doesn’t matter if it’s only 730. She couldn’t go outside and play with her friends tonight. Tomorrow is Pajama Day at school, and she will be the only kid in class wearing normal clothes. If she is going to act like a toddler I will treat her like one.

If I would have mouthed off my mother when I was her age the way she mouths off to me, I would have gotten my face slapped and been grounded from everything in the world. I can’t intimidate her with “the look” because she laughs at me. I can’t spank her because she laughs at me.

I know, I know, it’s only socks. But I’ll be damned if I’ll pamper blistered heels and then go drop another $25 on a pair of shoes because these ones (which are very cute, pink plaid Converse low tops) stink to high heaven. Have you ever smelled the feet of a 7-year-old after they’ve marinated in shoes without socks on a hot day … on a GYM DAY?

I’ve treated Lauren as if she were a lot older than she is, giving her lots of freedom of choice. Now I think I’ve made a mistake, because if she is this defiant over something little when she’s 7, what will our life be like when she’s 15?

I mean, seriously, shouldn’t every parent be able to scare the shit out of their kids? Isn’t that part of our job? Right now, I’m not scary.


1 Comment so far
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I have your back sister. You have to draw boundaries, clearly and early in their lives or you are royally screwed when they get older that is for sure

Comment by Jessica Bern

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