Tuesday, December 7, 2010

He's Making a List...

I have a cold and I am not feeling well today, but I was determined to soldier on and keep cleaning and doing all of those things that got neglected over the last few months as I navigated homeschooling and work and other responsibilities.  Things like laundry and organizing bookshelves and closets and cleaning under couch cushions and beds.  All of those out of the way things that no one sees, but we know is there, just waiting for some down time to address them.

When I brought A's desk down to our classroom it was first of all to give her space for a reading nook in her room and also so that I could use the desk for school and she could use the desk for jewelry making and clay art.  I allowed her to use some of my craft supplies.  I gave her some of my craft supplies and said that she could use them if she showed that she was responsible.  Several times we have had to address what being responsible meant: cleaning up after yourself, making sure lids were on tight so that things don't dry up, putting things away neatly and in an organized fashion.  There have been a few times of: you can't use this space for x days because you didn't take care of things the way I asked you to.

I asked A on Friday, again on Saturday, again on Sunday and AGAIN yesterday to clean the top of the desk and to organize her clay drawer.  She never did.  Today, I got angry.  Really angry.  I lost my cool.  Completely.  I called her in.  She said P made the mess.  I had not seen P ever sit at the desk.  But I have seen A sitting there.  I asked P and she denied it.  I told A that it was her clay, her tools and she needed to clean it up because I had asked her to.  She got angry right back.  My mother always told me that whatever energy you put out, you get back.  A yelled back at me that she hated me and that I favored P and that I didn't treat them fairly and she wished I was not her daughter.  I walked away, not wanting to say anything that would make this worse; my heart breaking.

I came back and calmly reminded her that just this past Sunday she and I spent the day shopping.  We had fun, we went out for a treat, she talked me in to buying her some things.  We chatted and enjoyed each other.  She threw back how I cuddle and baby P.  I tried to explain that they each have a different personality and that I try to meet each of their needs.  She screamed how unfair I was.

I gave her one more opportunity to clean the desk.

She didn't take it.

So I grabbed a trash can and swept everything on the desk into it with my arm.  That was when I realized that a) the chain and lockets and beads that we had bought together on Sunday to make special Christmas necklaces for her and her sister and myself, were all out of their packages, the chain had been cut and was now in the trash; I had expressly told her THREE times that while I knew she was excited and eager to make the necklaces, I HAD to make dinner when we got home and maybe we could work on the necklaces later that night or on Monday or Tuesday and b) some of my craft supplies, GOOD craft supplies, things I keep in a filing cabinet that the girls are not allowed to go in, were also now in the trash; these were all things I NEVER said anyone could use: stamps (that were crusted with ink) and stamp pads (whose tops had been left off); scrapbooking embellishments that had been peeled off, used, cut, etc. ; silk flowers that were cut up; among other things.  I lost it.  I asked her where she got those things.  She knew she was caught.  She started again with how I love her sister more than her and how I wouldn't be mad at her sister if her sister did this.  I reminded her - not as calmly as I would have liked - that her sister has been yelled at several times, once just the other week for going through my jewelry (and losing something precious to me, but I didn't get in to that).

So, then she decided that it was not fair that I have things that she and her sister can't touch.

I didn't like the way she was talking to me, so I sent her to her room.

I called my mom, who calmed me down; then I called Jason at work, who agreed to speak with her tonight.  We also agreed on a punishment: she can't use the desk, make clay art or jewelry until further notice.  I feel bad leaving a creative child without a creative outlet, but right now I am really upset by her actions.
Here is a photo of A doing her math while eating breakfast the other morning.
My girl, don't ever doubt my love for you!  It's deeper than the ocean, taller than the redwoods, bigger than the world....you are my heart.