I say no.
They want to know why.
I give them concrete reasons (because they don't understand the abstract ones. Plus, if I give too many reasons they have a meltdown because they're overwhelmed).
I say no.
They fixate on one concrete reason and somehow manage to improve it (for Bear it was his failing grades, for Kitty it was the fact that she was refusing to do chores - actually it was the constant meltdowns most of which were provoked by chores, but like I said they fixate).
Now I have "no reason" not to let them go.
They argue ("but Mooom, you did meet her and her mother. Once. A year ago. At a school event. You did talk to her, you said, 'Hi.' You would too recognize them.")
I say no.
They argue ("but Mooomm, you can talk to them on the phone.")
I said No. ("but Moooommm, you can talk to them when they pick me up.")
I said No.
"You never listen to me."
Me: "I listen, but the answer is no and you don't want to hear that so you keep asking me over and over."
"Mumble. You hate me. Mumble. Everybody hates me."
Me: "Hmm? Were you talking to me? Sorry I couldn't understand you."
Me: (If I bother to answer.) "Sorry, still didn't understand you."
I ignore them a lot too, usually because I don't want to answer the question (or I already have a hundred times). If they persist, I'll eventually respond, "Hmm? Were you talking to me? Sorry I assumed you were ... talking on the phone (Bear loves to talk to me while he's on the phone, he has no consideration for the person he's on the line with)... talking to the cat (Kitty loves to mumble in the cat fur about how nobody loves her)... talking to yourself (both kids like to mumble nastiness to themselves and Bear seems to enjoy snapping at me that he wasn't talking to me anytime I ask him to repeat himself- so I might as well take advantage of it).
I'll admit sometimes I get tired of repeating myself and I do cop out and say things like, "I'll have to talk to Dad about it." or "We'll talk about this later."
Bear loves going to dad to see if he can get a different answer. Tonight Hubby called him on it. Bear insisted that I hadn't ever given him an answer. Luckily, Hubby knows BS when he hears it. I think it's interesting that both kids called him tonight. Usually it's the kids calling me when Grandma is watching them. I guess that's part of the "grass is greener" philosophy they tend toward.
Friday Kitty wants to spend the night at a friend's house and Bear wants to go to a football game. Friday night I'm getting together with a group of RAD moms in a nearby city and Grandma is out of town so Hubby has all 4 kids. Usually the rule is we don't do much when we're "single parenting." Especially not things that probably wouldn't happen on a "normal night" anyway.
Saturday morning Bear is getting some dental work, we're helping my sister move, and Bear has therapy in the afternoon. Grandma is out of town so we can't drop any kids off at her house (normally we do this so Hubby and I can both go to Bear's therapy). Sunday is church and unloading a semi full of pumpkins at the church. This is just a crazy busy weekend.
So when both kids started asking to get to do stuff like sleepovers I just said NO. As you can see- they argued. A lot. This made my PTSD flare which makes me less tolerant. I don't yell at the kids, but I also don't back down or help them regulate. This has been happening more and more frequently with Kitty and I need to find a way to stop it, because this makes her meltdowns worse. Tonight she escalated past screaming defiant cussing to kicking things (nothing broke) and threatening suicide. I put her on Soup Kitchen and invoked the Four Foot Rule.
While she's screaming and begging on the floor, Bear starts up again. One I can handle. Two, not so much. I gave him some straight talk and told him some things he didn't want to hear (Basically it boils down to - I don't trust him.). He stormed out of the house. I called poor Hubby - who'd already had to talk down both kids once, and told him I needed him home now.
The good news is, everyone is fed and in their rooms. We didn't start dinner until 15 minutes before bedtime, but we all ate (I think. Bear was insisting he wasn't hungry so he could escape to his room, but I believe Hubby made him stay and eat). Kitty had soup. I had coconut shrimp and quiche (long story!). Bob and Ponito had leftovers (which they could have had at a decent hour. *sigh*).
Gotta put the food away and go process with Hubby. Night all!