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.