If I said she wasn’t driving me crazy, I’d be lying.

My eldest daughter is going to drive me bananapants crazytown if I’m not careful. Great googly moogly I wanted to throttle her yesterday. Or scream at her. Or guilt her so hard she’d cry for days and beg for forgiveness. Thankfully I remembered I’m the adult and and she’s only eight and something about loving the kid. Oooh, some days it’s a good thing.

So last night we were supposed to go out to eat at a local chicken place that is crazy good and a leetle hard to get into if you’re not there just before it opens. The girls and I have made it a tradition to have dinner there on the first day of school, but because I wasn’t feeling so great (and guessed there would be hours of forms to sign and paperwork to fill out), we decided to put it off. Or maybe I just didn’t mention it to the girls and then they were all, “Hey!! What about Babe’s Chicken?!” or something. I promised them if they had a good week and didn’t get into trouble, we could go Wednesday night.

The “don’t get into trouble” bit seemed like a necessary qualifier because we had a bit of a rough night Sunday. When I emptied the girls bag of dirty clothes that they brought back from their dad’s house, I noticed one of their CDs was sitting in the bag. “What’s this?” I asked them. “How did this get to dad’s house?”

“Gracie sneaked it!” Bee happily shouted. And indeed, Gracie had That Look about her. You know – the one that says Ruh-roh, I’m totally busted in a hang-dog kinda way.

So Gracie lost iPod privileges for the week for sneaking music out of the house, which was really stupid because if she had’ve asked, I would have said it was fine. But sneakery? Uh uh. We weren’t going to start that game. All that night Gracie seemed hell-bent on digging herself deeper and deeper into the hole – she lied about spitting her potatoes out in the toilet when she went to the bathroom, and lied to me about things so little I can’t even remember what it was about – only that the night ended with both of us in tears because I was frustrated beyond belief that a child of mine could care so little about lying to her mama, and her ashamed at her own behavior. Poor Bee was caught in the middle – she was in the bathroom when I went over the edge and when she came out she was all, “Why is everyone crying???” Apologies were issued all the way around, Bee patted my back, and Gracie swore she had learned her lesson.

Right. Well, she forgot it.

Yesterday morning Gracie asked if I would bobby pin an elaborate feather thingy into her hair. I told her I didn’t think it was appropriate for school – she would lose it after the 43rd time it fell out, or a friend would borrow it and she’d forget it and then she’d be crushed. It was a long explanation and Gracie stood there and listened to me, gave me a sad face, and then went to put it away when I asked. Or so I thought. Because when I picked her up from daycare last night, the feather thingy was looped around her neck. I merely raised my eyebrows at her and her face so clearly said Crap, I forgot to hide this before Mom saw it that I almost called her on it right then and there. But the folks at Casa de Katie don’t fight in public, so I calmly waited until we were buckling ourselves in the car before I started lecturing Gracie and explaining why we weren’t going out to eat. Bee and I were incredibly disappointed, but no way was I rewarding that behavior. And I told Gracie that she had also lost her later bedtime for the rest of the week AND she was no longer eligible to earn her ipod back – something she was trying to do with extra reading.

I know this is normal for an eight-year-old – right??? But feel free to chime in and tell me I’m not raising an anti-social, immoral sociopath. Okay, fine, I know that’s a little extreme, but I am feeling a little lost about this whole parenting thing right now.

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3 Responses to “If I said she wasn’t driving me crazy, I’d be lying.”

  1. Kathy Says:

    You are not raising an anti-social, immoral sociopath! You are raising a perfectly normal child who is going to push the limit on the rules until she has lost so many privileges that she figures out that her behavior is the problem. One piece of advice though – don’t start doling out punishments that punish you and Bee as much (or more) than they punish her. Once I revoked going out to eat for a month because of behavior in a restaurant. That about killed me, but didn’t bother the kid a whole lot. Oops!

    Hang in there momma – this too shall pass and then it will be something else.

  2. Agent Torklepants Says:

    its crazytown and THEN banananpants. but i get it was all so frustrating you went backwards crazy =0/. i think the best thing you could do now would be to get bee a piece of paper and pen because i think she could write a great story about this lol. and i think gracie should be fine. she thought the ipod pushishment was fine since she was earning it back so maybe taking the feather thing was worth the risk but now she knows better! she can’t earn out of punishment and the punishment is more severe=not worth risking it. and take comfort in the fact that at 8 her sneaky isnt too sneaky still =] & i agree with kathy! its too bad you dont have anyone who would leave her punished for the night so you could take bee out to eat.

  3. Gayle Says:

    Katie, I think you’re doing a great job! Keep on doing just what you’re doing.

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