This blog is my place to vent and share resources with other parents of children of trauma. I try to be open and honest about my feelings in order to help others know they are not alone. Therapeutic parenting of adopted teenagers with RAD and other severe mental illnesses and issues (plus "neurotypical" teens) , is not easy, and there are time when I say what I feel... at the moment. We're all human!

Monday, July 5, 2010

She's got Brattitude

Shh! I'm still at work. I'm hiding here because I don't want to go home. If I go home I have to deal with Bratty Bob. If I have to deal with Bratty Bob without a plan I will probably end up yelling at her. I don't have a plan.

For the next two weeks the kids are signed up to volunteer at Summer Camp at the therapeutic riding school. They loved Vacation Bible School so much that when we were asked, I rearranged my schedule and volunteered. I told the kids no aerobics while we're working Summer Camp (You probably heard the CHEERS!). We have to be there at 8:45 and it's about a 20 minute drive so I told the kids we had to leave the house at 8:15am (knowing we never get out of the house on time).

Last night I let them stay up late and watch fireworks from our front curb. I'm still not their favorite person because fireworks scare me (I will not post all the pictures I have of people with various body parts blown off by fireworks- You're welcome), so I didn't let them have any. Even sparklers (they're dangerous too. Really!). They couldn't go near the neighbor's house until they were done setting off their illegal fireworks and had used up all the sparklers they generously offered to share with my kids.

I went inside early because the dogs were terrified and I found the animosity annoying at best. I let in the dogs and discovered they needed major brushing. Which I did. Poor prince left a pile of hair. Princess (being short haired) appreciated the brushing so much I went ahead and brushed her for awhile, even though she didn't need it. Scarlet the long haired Husky didn't really need brushing, but she looked like an old stuffed animal. You know the kind you've brushed so much that it's fur is stretched out and kind of matted? It's no longer soft, and you keep thinking if I just brush it longer it will go back to being soft and smooth (doll hair does this too). She hates fireworks the most and loved laying on the cool tile floor. About 1:30am she decided she was ready to go back outside so I put them all out. (Caty, you don't have to worry about her, I really am watching out for her).


This morning we all got up early and left the house. No worries. Until we got there. Bob has always said all she wants to do is work in the office (or stay home). That day they actually had something for her to do. For three hours Kitty and Bear walked with the horses, Ponito and I mucked stalls, and Bob sat in the air conditioned office playing with file folders. About 1/2 an hour before we were scheduled to leave I decided it was time for Bob and Ponito to switch places. He deserved a break (he's such a hard worker!), and she needed at least 20 minutes of activity to make up for the missed aerobics (she's my tater tot, she'll sit all day on her tuckus if I let her - won't even go swimming! She's actually sat in the van, in TX heat!, and read books instead of swimming!). I am a couch potato (makes sense that I'd have a tater tot right?), but I need her to at least move a little.

I told her she needed to switch places with Ponito (the office ladies were willing to supervise them - otherwise they have to always be in my sight). She refused. I told her she HAD to switch. She refused. I reasoned, I argued, I fussed, and I threatened. She refused. Finally I walked out, after telling her I didn't want to make a scene in the office where people were trying to work. I did stick my head back in and tell her she would have a FAIR Club assignment when she went to work with me that afternoon.

A minute after I started mucking stalls alone, Bob came out and leaned against the stall door. Apparently the volunteer coordinator had told her she had to listen to her mother and kicked her out of the office. Of course all Bob did was lean against the wall and complain. She refused to pick up a rake and help of course!

15 minutes later it was time to go. I talked to Grandma to let her know we were on our way over as soon as we changed. Grandma told me that if the kids worked on their workbooks, and Bob did her homework (poor child has homework over the Summer before she even starts classes!), every afternoon for the two weeks we had Summer Camp, then as a reward Grandma and Poppy would take them to the beach. Kitty and Bear have never seen a beach and Kitty was stoked. Ponito is up for anything. Bob didn't want to do that.

The minute we walked into Grandma's house, Bob was whining to Grandma. She was never going to get her work done and she was going to fail Social Studies and Language Arts because she "can't work at Mom's office," because, get this, she needs a comfy place to study and I don't have that. She can't work unless she can do so on a bed. Hmmm... wonder how she does her work at school?

Grandma took pity on her, and tried to work it out so everybody would be happy. Honestly I knew I wasn't getting Bob in my car without a fight, and then she'd whine all afternoon and I wouldn't get any work done. I let myself be "talked into" the compromise Grandma came up with. Bob could lay on Grandma's bed and work (supervised by Poppy), and all the other kids would go out and do fun stuff.

The problem is, this starts again tomorrow morning. Actually tonight because I have to tell her her consequences and think of a good threat to get her to comply tomorrow. The office ladies at the volunteer center said they really could use her in the office tomorrow. I was fine with her working there as long as she did a little bit of manual labor. Since she's refusing the labor, and refusing to go if she thinks I'll try to make her, I don't know what to do. She's too big to physically force (5'11+" and 176lbs last time I checked!).

Her birthday is in two weeks. I could probably allow her to invite all the friends she wanted to instead of the 2-3 I've been insisting on if she's compliant. Or I could cancel the party entirely if she refuses.

I could make her (and Hubby) get up at 5:30am and do the treadmill (which he'd offered to do in the past with Bear when he was refusing aerobics). I'd feel bad about that though because he's teaching scuba all this week.

I could let her work in the office or stay home and drag her with me to work every afternoon somehow and make her write FAIR Club assignments.


Did I mention she's my "neurotypical" child? She's just being a typical, rebellious teen, but it still stinks!!! And the other kids are still watching.


GB's Mom said...

"The other kids are watching" is key. I would consider telling her if she wants to be treated as the NT kid, it would be a good idea to act like it.

If it were all NT kids (Are there families like that?), I would just tell her if she's going to do as she pleases, I was only going to do what I please and that she would be surprised at how little it was.

But I should warn you, MK is off and running, I am 1000 miles away, and my patience isn't at its best! So feel free to ignore me.

Anonymous said...

Can Bob swap volunteer office time for any non-physical household chores, so that she can have time for physical exercise?
Finding something she likes to do is key. Even NTs can have sensory issues that get in the way of, say, swimming . If you put on dance music she likes, could you require that she be dancing for 10 minutes? (While doing chores would be even better). Does she like using her arms? Get her to bake bread from scratch (kneeding). I wonder if there is a book "100 different ways to exercise" and she could do one each day ...

Well, you know me. I just toss out whatever is bubbling 'round in my head in case something makes sense. (Don't feel obliged to explain to me why my ideas are so not realistic...)