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I love you, I love you not

October 11, 2007

Why do I have this bitter love/hatred toward my daughter? Why does she push every single button I have ever owned? I always thought parents were the ones who made all the moves. Really, not so much anymore. I feel kind of lost lately with her. Like I don’t know how to connect with her and what to do to make her understand how much it pains us when she is rude and sassy. She just doesn’t seem to care. She laughs. She thinks its funny. I think she gets embarrassed and then acts like an even bigger tool.

Like tonight. She goes to grab the giant cup of water we are all sharing and she holds it carelessly, doesn’t watch what she is doing and BONK! into the side of her plate and she drops the giant cup of water everywhere. I don’t yell. I don’t scream at her. Truly, it is just a cup of water and no big deal but she does it like 4 nights out of 7 at dinner and it is just carelessness. I tell her that she is not being careful and Spawn pipes up and says, “But its okay sister because it was just an accident. Right mama? No big deal, right mama?”

I am mad at her for making a mess she could have avoided and now I feel like the largest piece of shit on the planet because I have to be reminded by our 6 year old that it really is no big deal.

I want to adore her again. I do adore her mostly. Mostly. When we are alone and out and about she is always a peach. She is totally sweet usually and lovely. Usually. Hmm. I don’t know but I don’t like myself for being so frustrated with her. I don’t want her to feel like we hate her but sometimes we do. She is whiny, demanding, obnoxious, likes to rip and break shit and doesn’t care and in fact laughs at us when we yell at her or get upset. Grrrrrr.

She is this lovely little sprite full of energy and kisses and silliness most of the time. It is like when she is bad she is really, really bad. She is the 100% girl for sure. In everything she does.

Tonight thinking about her makes me miss my mother so much. She would probably tell me I was just the same or what it is like to parent a girl. D doesn’t get nearly as twisted up about her behavior as I do. He is somewhat oblivious.

I just don’t get it. I feel like supermom when it comes to Spawn. He is lovely and delightful and sweet and loving. And he is always defending her against us and making me feel like the meanest mother on the planet to her.

How do I break out of this cycle? I don’t want to break her and that is what I am afraid of. Who is she? Where did she come from? Why is she like the way she is? What is her personality? Why can’t I figure out what makes her tick?

All I have so far is she hates veggies, loves anything baby, pink, purple, gum, candy and ice cream. She loves animals and to dance and make up silly songs. I just can’t figure out what makes her tick.

Hopefully I will not have to dismantle her to figure it out, although some days I think that may be my only option. PCS…I mean this metaphorically. Really.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. October 11, 2007 1:33 am

    I don’t think it’s the boy/girl thing, I think it’s just the mesh of personalities. At least, that’s what I tell myself when I’m ready to dismantle my own hard-to-handle child.

    I just stared at this comment for a few minutes and realized that yeah, I’m no help at all. I can just commiserate. I hope it gets easier!

  2. October 11, 2007 5:41 am

    Personalities have something to do with it, but the girl-girl thing does too. strange example, maybe, but some steps in the separation between mother and daughter feel like a painful ovulation – a fight between the need to stay bonded and the need to break apart. the distancing is easier with boys, in my experience – which is maybe why we say boys are “easier” to raise than girls? (and yeah, the difference in the behavior one-on-one and that in a group can REALLY blow you out of the water, sometimes.) P.S. you’re doing WAY better than you think, don’t ever forget that.

  3. October 11, 2007 2:59 pm

    I can receive mail and internet is still running. I can’t mail out, for some reason (maybe two different French unions for “mail-in” and “mail-out” functions? Sorry about that.

  4. October 11, 2007 11:54 pm

    Sister, I feel your pain. I’m raising umpteen children and by just about any measure could be a bona-fide parenting expert. Enter stage left: Our Three Youngest Girls. They taught me I’m no expert. :o)

    They’re fire, they’re spit, they’re sassy and they ROAR; they wrestle like dogs or wild boys; they crash into things; they are all born in fire signs (and it shows). I have sons and daughters and hands-down, girls are so much harder to raise, and these three youngest are impossibly alike (two are identical twins), making it even more of a challenge.

    My youngest is the walking disaster: she chips plates, breaks cups, spills the water (just the same way). As a result, we have lids on cups; we give her plastic plates; she does not carry breakable items; she does not get her own cookies (well, she does it anyway, and two days ago dumped the entire cookie jar out accidentally).

    This child is 8 years old! She’s brilliant and beautiful, but exasperating and exhausting. (And, yes, I’m older now than I was when I first started parenting.)

    Lucky for her (and me) she is not my first or second child, she’s my umpteenth. The others wore me out and that’s how I learned I could not change her, but I could train her. I could direct her in ways of not growing up to be a pain in the ass that’s so huge that she’ll be hated and loathed. That’s your job. Your job is to slow her down just a bit as she careens through life, teach her how to do it with grace and power.

    Which takes a lot of effort, patience, and time, which means you’ll have to be well-rested, strong, and pace yourself. I hope you’re getting a break.

    A lid on the cup might be a good start in terms of preserving your sanity and inviting the good parts of your daughter to win out over the ones that can make life more difficult for others (and, thus, for her). Make that a metaphorical lid, if not a real one; I hope that makes sense.

  5. October 12, 2007 1:14 am

    I have the same thing with my middle daughter. We’re just way too much alike.

  6. October 12, 2007 10:14 pm

    All boys. Wished I’d had girls too. Sort of.

  7. October 13, 2007 9:36 pm

    Personality is a huge factor, I’m sure (says the gal with no kids), but that love/hate thing between mother & daughter goes both ways you know… something to do with the one identifying with the other.

  8. October 14, 2007 10:16 pm

    I have four grown daughters. The oldest was the most challenging because: our personalities are so different; she is a genius at discovering my buttons and bouncing on them; my expectations were so unrealistic. At 34, she is absolutely wonderful. Watching her mother my five-month -old grandson gives me absolute joy. So far we haven’t locked horns since he was born. Often, she has been the teacher and I have been the student.

  9. October 15, 2007 8:19 pm

    OMG, yes, and if they are anything my like my girls- stubborn beyond belief, have to do it their way- instead of mine… I always think of it as the way it;’s supposed to be- the whole matriarchal thing. Adolescence is going to be a peach, don’t ya think??

    And just for the record, I am so with Eve. All of my kids eat on plastic and I won’t let them graduate to cups without lids until 4 ish. And there is absolutely no carrying cups around, period. And, Eve, if you have some advice about how to complete the whole “not growing up to be a pain in the ass” I’m all ears.

    Oh, and one last thing Cole, I get the whole “she’s going to kill me ‘cuz I spilled thing”. It drives me bonkers when they spill because they are screwing around, not when it just happens. I explain that to them, a lot.

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