Tuesday, June 09, 2009

And so it begins.

The Girl Child? Had a huge, major meltdown last night. Because of a plastic cup in our yard.

She and the Boy Child have chores. One of their chores is to take the trash outside on Sunday nights, place in the bins, put the lids on, and place the bungee cords over the lids.

On Sunday night, the Girl took the bag outside and, instead of placing it inside the trash bin, placed it in front of the bins. Sitting on the street.

Before Jason and I went to bed, he went outside to the porch and found trash strewn about the road.

The next morning, I told Girl Child she had to pick up the trash before we left for camp. She was huffy, but complied.

Last night? Jason told her to put the lids on the cans and pick up any trash that she missed (or, more likely, that the sanitation engineers let fly when they fling the garbage into their truck).

She complained. She whined. She was tired. She didn't feel like doing it. She didn't know why we always make her do so much.

She didn't pick up the plastic cup.
Jason told her to go to her room and said, "Girl Child. Stop being lazy."

She wept. She sobbed. She wailed. "YOU JUST WON'T LISTEN TO ME!"

I told her I would listen to her and she tearfully explained that she didn't pick up that cup, BECAUSE IT WASN'T OURS.

It wasn't ours. We don't use Solo Party Cups. We don't have parties. Our neighbors, who routinely have eleven cars parked in their front yard, were the likely culprits.

But the cup was in our yard.

I patiently explained to her that it was our property. That even if it wasn't our mess, it was now our responsibility because it was in our yard.

She wept. She sobbed. She was SO HURT that Jason said she was...LAZY.

And the thing is? She's a bit lazy.

She's smart. I'm not saying this because she's my child. She's really, really smart. She makes straight A's in school and it's fairly effortless for her to do so. She's quiet at school. Everyone likes her. She never gets in trouble. All her report cards indicate that she poops ice cream.

So at home? She coasts.

Because she has this brother who really has to work hard. Who is always the first one up and doing any chore, whenever it needs to be done. Who is continually the first in line to do whatever needs to be done.

Who has to try a little bit harder.

Who, also, loves her to pieces.

So. We talked. And talked. And talked. I don't have any idea if what I said did any good at all. But I talked to her. Because I don't ever want her to feel that she has no one who will listen.

This mothering stuff is hard, y'all. I have this horrible, terrible feeling it's going to get even harder.


Amy W said...

Wow. You just explained my twin brother and I growing up - except opposite. I was the hard working one, Mike was the straigh A lazy one.

Betsey Booms said...

Girl Child sounds so very much like my Monkey.

Oh the drama.

AndreAnna said...

Oh geez. My future. I see it.

kristi said...

Oh and it will...get harder I mean. As you know, my daughter is wonderful! But a bit lazy. And add an autistic little brother to the mix and she can totally feel sorry for herself...making it hard on this Mom!

M said...

Oh hell.

You? Are a good mama.

Kimberly said...

She is so lucky to have a mum like you to go through all this with. You might feel overwhelmed/inadequate at times, but you really are amazing.

Crystal said...

You really are a good mama. I don't have kids, so I can't say anything about parenting, but I had a good mama, and I was a pain in the ass as a kid, but I know without her I would've been a lot worse off. One day Girl Child will thank you for always taking the time to talk to her and more importantly, for taking the time to listen.

Denise said...

Such a cute post. Oh the drama. Sounds like my Lexie Belle.

Roxanne said...

One word: puberty

Midlife Mama said...

Oh honey, you have no idea. You have no idea. God help you.

Stephanette said...

Sometimes the hardest things to hear are the ones that we know we need to work on the most.

Someone told me that I was selfish the other day. It broke my heart - repeatedly, but I know that there is a part of that that is true.

I'm glad you talked it through. I needed that at that age.

Anonymous said...

I am seeing my future flash before my eyes... and already I'm tired.

Anonymous said...

... and thanks! For opening up your comments to Wordpress users!!

Patience said...

You're a good mom! Maybe dad was a bit hard on her, but she probably needed to know that life just ain't fair and she needs to take responsibility anyway!!

ohthatgirl said...

You two sound like me (when I was younger) and my Mom. And my Mom is awesome and we have a great relationship.

I just got warm fuzzies!

Anonymous said...

OMG I dont have a twin my my little bro is the smart lazy one and I was the had to work harder always the responsible one.

SJ said...

I'm sure Boy Child & Girl Child balance each other out and without a doubt I know you love them with all your heart (and fingers & toes).

But damn, mothering IS hard.

You got that right!