OK I admit it M1 is many times the challenge in my world but sometimes, she does something that lets me know in there deep down and buried is basically a good kid. Yesterday was that day and here is how it unfolded.
I went downstairs to M1’s room to install the new baseboard heater. She immediately wants to leave with friends as soon as she is done “helping me”. Umm kid its noon, M2 did the laundry, helped with shopping and now you are still in bed. You are not “helping”. Of course she rages she was going to get up why don’t I ever believe her. Why am I always such a b***. I f***** hate living here. Sigh yep good morning pumpkin. I do what I came to do and make no conversation with her, there is no point since she is already at cursing she is not listening. I finish and go upstairs to look something up and she basically chases me up the stairs.
I tell her I am not talking to her right now as I have to look up how to install a thermostat and was otherwise busy. She screams and yells at me about how I never believe her, she was going to help, she wants to go with her friends to the fair and on and on. I say on and on because I tuned her out. I really was looking at how to install a baseboard thermostat. Eventually she calms down, I think mostly because I did not engage her. I look up from the computer and see her just staring at me, not glaring, no hatred just staring.
So I said “All right let me get this right. You want to go with unknown friends, to unknow fairs for unknown times even though you have not done diddly squat in the house. Did I get that right?” She nods. “OK no because ‘unknown’ is not a good plan so either figure out and give me the details or no the answer is no.” Suddenly she has all the info, when I point out how she just raged at me from her own failure to communicate with me she looked at the floor, translation, yay Mom I know. I let her know what has to be done before she leaves and she off to do it.
A bit later I am at the computer, ordering the thermostat I need for the install, and N comes upstairs. She says “M1 said I can go with her to the fair with “friends” if its all right with you.” Forgive me for not accepting this is a real story but I am going to go ahead and check it out because last time you told me M1 said something she really did not. Thermostat ordered I go downstairs and ask M1 what the story is, prepared for her to shriek that N is a liar
“Umm I asked “friends” if N could come with us to the fair and they said it was fine but that they could not pay so I thought I can use some of my birthday money and get us both in. I told her to ask you though.”
You could have knocked me flat with that response. I repeat it back to her because there is no way I just heard this and yet I did. Those were the exact words used. I asked her about how she would handle N’s behavior, gave some examples and reminded her that if she acted out like she usually does, her friends were going to think M1 is a jerk because N is clearly disabled. She got thoughtful for a moment so I said “I am not saying no. I am saying plan this a little better so the usual behaviors don’t embarrass you with your friends and in public.” I go upstairs and a few minutes later N comes upstairs and heads to the fridge.
“What are you doing?” She replied “M1 said we are not getting food at the fair so I am getting a snack to take with me in case I get hungry. M1 said I can put it in her book bag to carry if I need it.” Damn….my kid listened to me and is troubleshooting. M1 came up the stairs and said “OK we are going I told her she cannot talk about her birth family, Hillside or any sort of sex at all. I think we are good. We will be home around 8.”
My heart skipped a beat for a moment because for that brief moment in time, my kids were doing “normal” things that other kids there ages do. Fairs are huge by us and yes groups of teens regularly go it is a common sight. I offered a quick prayer it would last the whole time and sure enough it would turn out it would. I was soo excited!!!!
What happened with M2? No worries, I loaded her and my BFF up into the van and we went to a different fair so could have the one on one “Mommy time” she has been asking for. She loved it and smiled the entire time. Oh thank goodness, one who still likes time with Mom LOL