Monday, November 02, 2009

The Daily Grind

This parenting gig is hard. I mean, I had a suspicion during the first twenty odd years. But, with this second group of kids (ages 17, almost 10, and 9), I am certain.

'Course, there are a few differences with this second group. The most glaring being that I am now twenty years older. Initially, I thought that should give me an edge. You know, I know the little ways kids try to manipulate you, have all the pat parenting answers down -

But these three defy my mom logic.

They aren't logical at all.

When you take three "damaged" kids, with a variety of issues and stir them all up in one household what comes out is a complete crapshoot. And by crap I mean the other word. Take Kameron at this very moment.

We have an ongoing power struggle between Kameron and Kobi over who opens the gate on our way out to the bus stop. They were alternating days, but believe it or not, that got too difficult to keep track of. So, in my infinite *cough cough* wisdom, I came up with alternating weeks. Mon/Wed/Friday one week, and Tues/Thursday the next.

This seemed to work for awhile. Kam just required one or two reminders, "What days do you have this week, Kam?"

"Oh. . . (insert correct days here)".

But lately he's been slipping. This morning, he argued for a good ten minutes that Kobi had Monday/Wednesday/Friday last week (which he didn't), and that Kameron himself was Monday/Wednesday/Friday this week (again). Evidently, he's wised up to the fact that Tuesday/Thursday is not the greater deal.

It went like this:

"Mom, can I open the gate?"
"No, Kam, Kobi is Monday/Wednesday/Friday this week."
"EHHHHEEAAAA!! Kobi is NOT Monday/Wednesday/Friday, I AM!"

"What days were you last week, Kam?"
"What days, Kam?"

"I was NOT Monday Wednesday/Friday!!!"
"It's MY day to OPEN THE GATE!"
"Kam, what days are you this week?"
"IT's MY DAY! I am NOT Tuesday/Thursday!"
And so on, for about ten minutes. While I'm trying to get him on and off the toilet (I know, TMI) and get his AFOs on and get his teeth brushed and get him in his wheelchair. He also has this endearing habit of stiffening his entire 75 pound body when he's yelling. This makes all of the above ever so much easier.

I finally wised up and said, "Hey Kobi, you get to open the gate all week! Kam doesn't want his Tuesday/Thursday!"
"I do TOOOOO!"
"Oh, so you want to open the gate Tuesday/Thursday?"

Peace is momentarily restored.

This lasted until it was time to turn off Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and head out the door to the bus stop.

"EHHHHEEAAAAAAA! Do NOT turn off Mickey Mouse Clubhouse!!!"
"Okay, I'll just let Teacher Parnell know you aren't coming to school today, then. I'm walking Kobi to the bus stop, see you later, Kam."
"Oh, you're coming, then?"

And once again, peace is restored. Just like flipping a light switch, he's happy and deceptively compliant.

This crazytown adventure in parenting goes on every day in some fashion or another. Kameron and Klaryssia
can pick the most seemingly unimportant, random thing and escalate it into a UN-sized crisis. My "normal" bag of parenting tricks applies not at all. And when the two of them feed off each other and Kobi thinks it would be fun to stir them up . . . I'm thinking 7:00 am is not too early for a glass of white wine.

I guess the biggest thing is that while engaging in power struggles with them obviously won't work, often neither does trying to twist their logic around. These kids have stubborn down to an art form - it's why they've survived so long against all the odds - and when they bring it to bear on me. . .argh.

Once again, the inmates are running the asylum. I think I need a vacation. Is it too late to turn these kids in for some nice grandchildren?

BTW I am having trouble with the new Blogger Editor - it's not formatting the text like it should,  I do apologize for the odd layout!

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