Thursday, April 14, 2011

In which Kate returns her official Mama badge and runs away screaming expletives






I am SO done with my 10 year old.

In fact, maybe I won't return my official Mama badge. I'll just return Emma.

If any one of my four blog readers can explain the ten year-old mind and provide me with an in-depth manual on how to handle her, I might reconsider.

MIGHT being the operative word.

So here's what I'm up against...

1. She's a tornado. She whirls around the house, active and busy. And in her wake? Trash. Shoes. Paper. Lunch box. Chapstick. Jewelry. Blankets. A stupid blue rollie chair I wish I'd never bought. Bathing suit. You get the picture.

And it never occurs to her to pick anything up. I truly believe that it's not that she's being lazy, but this is just her personality. Her room is a wreck. She leaves clothes on the bathroom floor. Even her seat in the car is generally trashed.

I know this sounds completely typical. And generally I can handle it. But when you consider that Hayley likes everything in it's place, Emma is just the polar opposite.

2. Her handwriting is scribble scrabble. It's horrible. And she just doesn't care. Not in the least. She can write very nicely if she tries. But she can't be bothered. Why? Why? Quite frankly, I'm embarrassed by her handwriting and she is going to be spending a lot of time this summer learning how to write all over again. 'Cause I'm sick of the chicken scratches.

3. If someone slowly pulled my fingernails out one by one with a strong pair of pliers, it would be preferable to getting Em to do her homework. Again, it's not that she can't do it. It's that she can't stay focused. Then she whines that she wants to be like the girls at school that get everything done in class and have no homework. If she would just focus, she'd have so much more time to play!!!

I've recently instated a 60 minute homework rule. If it's not done in 60 minutes, it doesn't get done. And she has to turn it in unfinished. Oh, she doesn't like that one bit. I'm not seeing any repercussions at school, though, so I don't know that it's making a difference. But my sanity is benefiting. I cannot continue to sit there next to her and say, "Emma, focus" "Emma, work" "Emma, math"...

ARGH I'm getting upset just thinking about this!

4. Why can't the kid just spend 20 minutes a day practicing her violin? Huh? Why? How is it so hard to stand there and play a few songs, go over a few of the rough parts, and replay the songs? But again, she can't focus. Apparently the air is too fascinating and she must play with it. I spend between $120 and $150 every single month for her lessons and I feel like it's all wasted. I've talked to her music teacher and she has very little to say about it. I don't know what to do.

I was talking to Scott on the phone earlier and expressing my frustration over Emma's non-existent violin efforts. I was not sugar-coating it. Of course, she heard me talking. And I didn't care. She was pissed. She ran upstairs saying, "I don't want to be around someone who treats me like crap!"

Yup, she really said that. Needless to say, there were consequences.

Maybe she just needs a healthy dose of reality instead of mollycoddling. I admit, I praise her way too much. And as I told Scott, I'm done doing that. Praising her is fine, but I'm not going to applaud her half-hearted attempts at... music, homework, whatever. She wants to use the "c" word? Fine. Crap is crap and I'm done trying to find things in the crap to praise.

So, Delicious Readers... advice? Please? Pretty please with sugar on top?


D said...

I hope you counted me as one of your 4 readers! Anyway, 10 year olds are a mystery to me. Girls are a mystery to me. I do have an 8 year old who keeps telling me I play on Webkinz all day long (Um, I do go to school) and when he comes home he has to do all the chores and all I ever do is boss him around. Then I really give him some chores, so he can see what really doing something entails. Advice? I have none. When I'm in doubt, I assign extra chores. Hey, at least my house *should be* clean, right?

Kate said...

Thanks, D! You are definitely one of the Fab Four! LOL

Yes, I also assign a lot of chores. Funny how the house is still never clean!

Kate :)

lnlake said...

Hi Kate, I get quite a kick out of reading your stories. Makes me realize I'm not the only one out there. I am a single mom going to school full time with a 14.5 yr old daughter, 11 & 3 yr old boys.
As for driving me crazy - they do a good job, thats what kids do best.
My advice is when your daughter leaves "her" stuff around the house, you can pick it up aput it in a box in your closet and she doesn't get it back until it is earned. Mess in the car - put it all on her seat so she has to sit in it. She will eventually get sick of it and clean it up. Seriously put all trash, clothes ect. in her spot and shes not aloud to sit any where else in the car.
My daughter is a freshmen in HS and has played the violin, flute, guitar and participated in marching band and changed instruments almost weekly. It has to be fun or it's boring.
Rolly chair - in my house would magically disappear, until she lerns to sit correctly.
She will constantly battle with you. Just pick the battles worth battling.
Good luck and hang in there. :)

Kate said...

Bobbie, thank you so, so much for your advice! I'm definitely going to implement your ideas. I did take away a bunch of her clothes a few weeks ago and she threw a HUGE fit. She earned them back after a couple weeks and they're still sitting in her closet in the bag I put them in. Hhhmmm. And the funny thing? They were all clothes she never wore anyway.

The past few days have been better. Not ideal, but I think maybe Scott and I got the message across this weekend that she's got to grow up a little. At least act like the 10 year old she is.

Thanks so much for reading my blog!

Kate :)