For my birthday (which was yesterday) Mr. Sexy sent me to my girl friend’s house for a night of some R&R. (More to come later because I have amazing friends and family.) The visit was much needed and while I got to hang out with her beautiful girls, my kids were nowhere to be found. I missed them – sort of. But then when their baby wouldn’t sleep or their toddler happened to throw a tantrum I remembered what I was getting a break from. This meant Mr. Sexy was home dealing with all that mess. By himself. It was fun for him- I think -sort of. But it also had it’s difficulties as Mr. Sexy saw firsthand many of the difficulties I face with Marie every-day-all-day.
We are getting off the homeschool roller coaster.
This was Mr. Sexy’s idea and I agreed. I have been feeling like nothing has been accomplished in our school day lately. Perhaps it’s because the relationship between Marie and I is so hot and cold. It can change even by the minute. Needless to say, we’re a hot mess. Marie is about to undergo some testing under a new set of counselors/specialists. We are hoping to gain some insight into Marie’s world and make some wise choices on her behalf. It feels like we are currently walking blind through the world of parenting Marie.
So, until further notice, school is over. But what to do with all that extra time? I could easily just set her up with books so she can read and pick her nose all day. However, I’ve decided to try something different.
I gave her the details this morning: “School is over for now. We are not going to do school anymore. Instead, we are going to practice being friends. This means we practice doing nice things for each other. We will practice talking to each other out loud and we will practice not hiding.”
I plan to invite her to participate in housekeeping activities with me and she can be involved however much she decides. I’m going to practice giving her a bit more freedom with things like getting dressed and ::gasp:: chores. (This will be difficult because I care about appearance – and clothing and cleanliness have a lot to do with that appearance. But my issues with appearances are for a discussion on another day.) I am going to attempt – yes, attempt – at doing one fun thing together every day. Like nails, or dancing, or coloring, or stickers, or hair, or a puzzle. And the goal will be FUN. Even when she does it all wrong. It’s going to be fun. If I can’t seem to get a handle on my frustrations then the “fun” will be over for the day because we can always try again tomorrow.
I’m really stretching myself with this lofty goal of becoming friends with
Marie my daughter. She is, after all, my step-daughter. Isn’t friendship usually the first step in that relationship anyways? (not that I have any idea how these things are supposed to go) I just skipped it and became the parent who is overly concerned with discipline and perfection. I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound like a great parent.
Today, Marie has already cleaned the TV room and vacuumed it (even though there was no bag inside). She watched Denai fall and bust her lip and I calmly instructed Marie to take care of her. Every movement, every kiss, every touch I instructed Marie to give to Denai. While Denai wasn’t completely comforted, it was something.
So there you have it. We are practicing relationship so that perhaps down the road I can teach her a few things about laundry, cooking and maybe even a little math.