DD used to be the girl who cried wolf...now, she's the girl who cries "sorry". I had been noticing the pattern for a few weeks (ok, maybe a couple of months) and now it's front and center. Yes, we are say 'sorry' at times when something else should be said, we all say 'sorry' and don't mean it...I even say 'sorry' to my kids when I mean TOUGH LUCK. But, hanging out with a person who says sorry at least 500 times a day (and those are the days she goes to school) becomes incredibly annoying. You know how you listen to a public speaker and they might have a tic...something they repeat - even the way they breath. My DD's tic is to say sorry every few seconds. Telling a story "so, I played at recess with XXX and YYY - sorry (apparently she moved an inch during her re-tell) and we played puppies under the slide - sorry (she dropped a paper)...you can see where this is going. The final straw was apologizing to the dogs for walking past them - not bumping them, not stepping on them - walking past them...and I might point out that they had planted themselves in a bad place in the traffic flow. Some folks might be thinking - how sweet she's apologetic. But, we are back to control. I discussed that apologies are supposed to have meaning behind them - you say you are sorry when you feel badly that you hurt someone (accident or on purpose)...you do not apologize after someone has told you to stop doing something - that isn't being sorry...it's getting caught. Apparently, she is pulling the sorry act at school also and her teacher had told her the same thing - without us even talking about it - scary? We must now communicate on a higher level! We both said - don't say sorry...just fix it (meaning the behavior she's apologizing for). Last night I counted the sorry's in one story and calmly asked her to do a push-up for each time (without telling her what they were for). It took her 6 times to understand why she was being consequenced. SIX times. She'll have quite the upper body strength from that little workout! And, I kid you not - within two minutes of our hug and restating what she was to work on...she pulled back and my hair was stuck to her button and she says "sorry". Ugggghhhhhhh!
I have decided to put her back in tumbling/cheer classes. You know what, she's talented and loves doing it and really - it would be nice for her to have something to be proud of right now. I feel like there isn't a lot for her to glom onto in the self-esteem category. So, I called a much smaller gym than her previous place and I actually talked to the instructor she'll have and she actually listened to me explain how she'd need to be taught. No hugging and kissing, not letting her manipulate the class into what she wanted, etc. This young lady (all of 19 years old) listened and asked great questions and wrote it down. She said that should I chose that gym, she'd find me before class for an update of anything going on with DD and check in with me after class. In one of the classes DD will be the only one for right now - that should be great for her if the teacher really stands firm. Yet another chance to see that someone can be in charge without her getting hurt. She'll start next Tuesday and try out both classes. She's estastic and started stretches last night to be 'ready'. I'm happy for her! DH and I will have to rearrange schedules for awhile as we want someone there for the first 6-8 weeks with her. I began feeling overwhelmed last night looking at my planner...a lot coming up in the next few months. Every day scheduled. As long as I stick to a regular homework/dinner schedule - we should be ok...but spring is often a tough time for the kids - lots of transitions back into the more busy, but laid back, summer schedule!
DS1 is playing basketball at the middle school while in the middle of baseball season. Wouldn't you know that his practices are mostly on the same nights - he'll be at basketball from 3:30 to 4:45 - baseball from 6 to 8...I guess eating and homework will fit in somewhere within that evening. I'm seeing a lot of tiredness and complaint...but, we've made it clear that basketball will go bye-bye if he makes it that difficult on us. He has made a committment to a competitive baseball team and needs to hold up that end of the stick. Isn't it sad that he has these decisions to make at 12?
DS2 is still excited for track...the parent meetings are coming up and I sincerely hope that we find a program that works for him and us. I would HATE to disappoint him right now. I'm liking one club way over another and wanting badly for the head lady to be as nice in person and she is in email! The travel will be tough - how can one be away and leave the other 2 kids with one parent during this busy time? I feel like a wimp - other families do so much more than this...I think it's the added stress at home with attachment that makes me nutso!
Do we do too much? I don't know the answer - I do love seeing the kids in activities - I feel like it brings them a physical outlet and hey, obesity in kids these days!
Parenting a child with attachment disorder is like completing a puzzle that's missing 10 important pieces. Should I stop trying to get her to learn what sorry means? Should I stop being annoyed that she doesn't know what country she lives in now? Does she know and simply wants attention? There are so many questions and not enough answers! I really am trying to figure out a way to create expectations that are attainable for my children (heck, all 3 of them), while still staying true to what I believe they need to learn to become adults. Tough road some days.
Today's worry de jour is that she only has $4.15 in her lunch account. I said "I'm betting you'll burst into flames at any moment - I can see why you are so worried...they might even kick you out of school" - she laughs. She knows it's ridiculous...but tomorrow it will be something else crazy to worry about! I kissed her head while doing her hair just now and she said "yeah...I love getting kisses"...I guess I should step it up a bit in that category!
I watched Supernanny last night (yes, it was on days ago...) and kept thinking "at least it's not that bad" - but then I wondered...if you came into my house would you call that English woman to help me? Huh? Maybe it would look bad - to us, it's just reality! Not reality TV...