I think it's called the 7 rule. You can break a habit in 7 days, 7 weeks, 7 months...7 YEARS??? In my house, the years have it. My children have been home for 4 years and 9 months. I realize we haven't yet hit that magical time of "you've been in our family longer than you were not in our family" - BUT I do believe that 1,730 days should be enough to prove a thing or two.
However, my daughter has spent over 24 hours worrying about something. I know that traditional parenting models would say that I should know what she's worrying about. I should take interest in it and try to alleviate whatever I can to help her feel better. But, DD likes to take tiny things - that are completely non-essential to life - and blow them into life altering reasons to worry. Part of this is her attachment issues and part is her OCD...part is just her. She's a worrier.
I went to bed early last night - even before she was in bed. I was watching tv and she came in for hugs and kisses. She was walking slowly, eyeing me...twisting hands. I gave her big hugs and kisses and our typical good night routine...then said, if this is something that matters, let it rip.
She said "No, I'm just being a worrier" and walked out.
This morning I could tell she hadn't slept much. Her eyes were bloodshot and she was dragging. She walked straight up to me and said "when is assessment day?" Assessment day is a day at her school that she doesn't actually go to school all day. Each child goes for a short amount of time to be assessed...tested, prodded, poked...I don't know. I had mentioned assessment day when we discussed my new job and let her know that we'd have a plan for that afternoon.
Apparently my track record of having her where she needs to be is not long-standing enough. She had thoroughly decided that I was not going to remember her assessment day and she would go to the bus stop that day and the bus would never come. Maybe by then I would have run away from home so when she got back I would be gone (the bus stop being a whole 5 houses away)...then our garage door would be broken so she couldn't use the code to get in the house. After scaling walls and picklocking her way into the back door, she would find that our phone system was down and she couldn't call my cell or dad's work to let us know what a let-down we are as parents...
I'm sure the story in her mind went on and on.
I point out to her (for the millionth time) that she has NEVER missed anything...she is always where she is supposed to be - most of the time early. Just the other night I took her with me to run errands before cheer...she knew that I desparetly needed to beat a cut off time at fed-ex. And, I missed it. I realized I'd be cutting her to close to missing the start of practice so I took her first. She was saying "It's ok, I'll be late...I can do the extra work for being late" and I was saying "no...I'm not going to make you late for me...I'll pay the extra to still get it there on time".
She was there with 4 minutes to spare.
I'm not complaining...that is my job and I love that part of my job. I can make jokes and laugh about running all over town. I'll open my calendar and realize that nothing written in there is about me specifically...but it's my life. I like my kids being active...I love watching them do things and succeed.
Apparently, that 1730 day track record just does not speak for itself.
My daugher believes that I'm simply lying in wait for day 1750...that is the day that I'll become my true self...the witch will come out and suddenly she'll never be where she needs to be...she'll never get to classes, gym, etc...she'll have to hitch-hike with very bad men. On day 1750 I will show my real identity...and it won't be good.