Monday, March 20, 2006

NOT the Mamma

Juliana. I swear, sometimes I just am at a total loss of what to do with her, how to respond to her, how to motivate her. It's like it physically hurts her to obey me. Like she'd drop dead from the pain of doing what I ask her to do. She simply can't accept that she's the child and I'm the adult. She has moments where she listens quite well because she cares what I think and she's feeling generous, but the other 85% of the time she disobeys or ignores me JUST BECAUSE. I'm starting to think there's an actual "something" in her personality that makes her oppose authority. I've been researching ODD aka Oppositional Defiant Disorder. I don't think it's quite as extreme as some of those articles say it can be but it's amazingly similar to how she behaves. She can be very passive-aggressive about it, but she can also be outright defiant.

Just as an example, it took several reminders to get her dressed for school. Not just reminders though, but "orders" or she'd be late. I got her clothes together after she refused to pick out her own clothes, and she then refused to wear what I chose. Ummm OK, this is productive. I finally said "Fine, you don't want to go to get dressed, you'll miss the bus." Instantaneously, she changes her mind and is dressed but "can't" find her backpack or shoes or jacket. The jacket and book bag are in front of her, but she refuses to "look" for them, crying that she' s going to miss the bus. She also spent 20 minutes walking around the house "looking" for her sneakers. I spent 20 minutes ACTIVELY looking and asking her to look too. Nothing. She followed me around, criticizing me for not finding them, but not actually looking herself. The bus comes and I wave the driver on telling her that I'm looking for Juli's shoes and will drive her in. No joke, the bus is passing the next house and I found the missing sneaker. That was funny, God, ha ha. Thanks for that.

So I called Manny because I still hadn't showered, Grace was nekkid, Anneliese was napping and I couldn't get Juliana to school. He left for the 1/2 day right then so that he could drive her in. Thankfully her school is only 1.2 miles down the road. I called the school to let them know she'd be dropped off late, as well as being a pick-up since we'd be at the school for that meeting. Now, while we're waiting for Manny to come home, don't you know that Juliana is standing at the door fully ready to leave, crying that Manny isn't there and crying because she missed the bus. Beating herself up for not being ready. Anyway, Manny walked to her room with her, and got to observe her do a task, which is something I'd love to do some time.

OK so he comes home, and Grace has freaked out because she gets out of control when she wants something. She gets soooooo focused that she can't just wait for something. Juliana too, they're seriously like rabid pit bulls when they want something. Grace wanted a shower. No waiting, no bargaining, just automatic freak out. And of course no time, so she ended up in the shower with me. One extreme to another. The girls were in the conference room with us, and were very good during the meeting, but of course Grace didn't want to leave. Juliana came to the room at the end of her school day and we all left to go to Walmart.

Now Juliana has this thing about winning, being first, being the leader, being in charge blah blah blah. She wants treats at Walmart, she wants to run off by herself, she's basically Going Diva on us. So she got nothing and had to ride in the cart like a baby (dictated punishment by Manny). She's insistant that she deserves a treat for being naughty and fresh, and even yelled at someone in the store for "cutting in front of us" and I had to apologize.

We get home and Grace decides nothing will be a good compromise over fruit snacks, although she did hang around while I made dinner. Chicken slathered in BBQ and baked; steamed broccoli with garlic; stove top eggplant casserole. Suddenly, dinner is on the table and I have 3 angel girls. Anneliese ate 3 servings of eggplant; Grace ate all her chicken and actually shouted through a full mouth "HEY WHERE'S MORE BWOCCOWI???" Ummm what? Did that child just ask me for more broccoli??? That has never ever in 5 yrs happened with any of my children. Broccoli is a tool of the devil, if I'm to believe Juliana the Diva. Yet some how, some of the Ranch Dip that they insisted they needed for the chicken got on the broccoli and they ate it all. Juliana only ate hers to try to show up Grace, but at least she did choke down a full serving. Grace asked for THIRDS of broccoli and 2nd on chicken. Amazing. She was so full her tummy hurt. ;-)

After dinner, I had Grace and Anneliese competing to sit on my lap. Screaming, crying, trying to shove each other away. Anneliese antagonizing poor Gracie. I finally just put Anneliese to bed and she conked right out, but Grace.... I have a migraine. Screeching and screaming "Moooooooommmyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy" while Juliana disobeys something or other that I've asked her to do. And then I find that she took the new box of 24 pencils I just bought and chewed the erasers off of at least half a dozen of them. And I find that she took the new box of 12 pens we just bought and uncapped them all, throwing them around the room. I lose track of what other mischief she "maliciously" did because she was upset that I told her she shouldn't have done that and to please clean it up. I made her clean it up and then sent her to her room. Four times.

Grace just fell asleep with her butt in the air on a dining room chair. I refused to give in to her tantrum to let her fall asleep on me (I'd never get out of this chair) so she tantrumed to sleep in an arm chair.

It's finally quiet. And I'm at a point in the day where I am NOT the Mamma. Well, once I carry Grace's cute butt to bed I'll be done being the Mamma. Which reminds me, Julaina and Grace ganged up on me and got me to agree to put Grace's bed back into Juliana's room. Juliana has decided that she no longer wants her own room, but to share it. Funny because she spends the day telling Grace not to follow her around, that she doesn't want to be near her, that she doesn't like Grace, etc etc etc and then bed time comes and she insists that Grace has to be there. Grace was only too happy to go along with that idea. So after having Grace's mattress on Juli's floor for a few nights to test this out, I finally brought the toddler bedrame into Juliana's room tonight and Grace asked me to set it up with sheets and a pretty blanket. Let's see if she stays the duration of the night in it though.

OK so this was a really rambling, long post and I'm sure I'll look back on it tomorrow and wonder what I was thinking. I know I was all over the place and probably didn't make much sense but I'm feeling some relief at complaining about my darlings. Whom I truly honestly adore. The sun rises and sets around them, but that doesn't mean I enjoy every single instant of motherhood.

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