Someone please tell me that you have raised a
insane psycho clown... hellcat...Strong Willed Girl and she turned out alright. A nice girl who grew up and was sweet and kind and didn’t have a tantrum at her high school graduation (because she actually made it to the high school graduation instead of incarceration at juvie) and she went on to have a nice, normal life that didn’t involve too much screaming or scaring small animals or showing up on COPS.
Because this child is killing me.
Generally, she is a good kid. She does have a
raging case touch of whineywhineritis, but that’s pretty normal. She goes to preschool and daycare and gets along with everyone. She comes home from visiting with friends or relatives and I get reports of how wonderful and helpful she was.
But like a lot of kids, she has her moments. And on Sunday she had ONE HELL OF one those moments. And by “moment”, I mean hours and hours of everyone within earshot being licked by the hot flames of Satan’s flaming pitchfork of misery and death.
These things don’t happen too often (though more often than I would prefer), but when they do, you better get yourself some earplugs (for the screaming), shin guards (for the kicking when you carry her - hanging in front of you - to her room), a flak jacket and helmet (to protect yourself from jamming a sharp item into your own body to just get away from it) and a big bottle of patience (I imagine Xanax would work).
This particular episode was extra special. It went on and on and on (and – God help me – ON). It started because I told her she had to clean her room. Her immediate reaction upon being told to clean her room is the helpless act (“I neeeed heeeeeeeeeeellllllllp!!”). And I understand that she is only five and does actually need a little guidance when it comes to cleaning. So I told her that I had a few things to doand I wanted her to get started and I would come in and help shortly. Or maybe I told her that I killed her dog. By feeding him all her toys. And then used the dead toy-filled dog to beat Santa to death. Or at least, that’s what her reaction would imply.
I managed to stay calm and not yell at her. I gave her specific instructions – pick up all her dirty clothes that she had been neglecting to put in the hamper and put them in and put her stuffed animal on her bed. Then let me know when she was done and I would come in and help her.
I KNOW!!!!! I am a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad mother! I can’t even imagine a worse mother, can you? She proceeded to scream and cry and stomp and roll around and throw things. It went on for hours. She screamed at the top of her lungs until her voice was hoarse. She made an even bigger mess with all her carrying on.
I ended up taking stuff away from her. I called my SIL and cancelled this week’s visit (it’s her favorite thing). All to no avail. When she finally started to calm down, she cried because her throat hurt. She needed “something cold” for it. I told her when she stopped crying I would get her a cold drink. But no – she wanted ice cream. Ummm…HELL NO! I told her that her throat was hurting because of the screaming. So she screamed some more. And so it started again. And on and on with the screaming, crying, kicking, stomping, yelling nonsense. And then her head split open and seventy-three of Satan’s most evil minions came out and set us on fire and chewed our faces off and then we all died. True Story.
Eventually, she Very Sorrowfully and Dramatically started picking up clothes and putting them in the hamper. She finished up with the things I asked her to and sniffled at me that she was done. I went in – as promised – and helped her finish up, but by this time, we were all drained and the day was pretty much ruined for everyone. My favorite part was when she hugged me and said, “I’m sorry I said you were a terrible mother,” which I hadn’t even heard her say anyway (which, whatever, I don’t get all het up about that shit anyway).
But when this happens, it tears us all up. I try very hard to be patient and not rise to the bait, but sometimes it’s really hard. And mr b has no patience for it whatsoever. His fuse is about one billionth of an inch long and so I find myself in the position of trying to deal with her psychosis, keep myself sane, and keep him fro making things worse.
And make things worse he can definitely do. Because he can’t stand it and just wants it to stop. So if I let him, he will step in and give her what she wants, which trains her to keep doing it. The thing is - if he would get up and help her clean the first time she asks, it wouldn’t bethat big if a deal – it would be a parent helping a child. But instead, he lets her go crazy first, and then when he can’t stand the screaming, he gives in, stomps in and says he will help. This is not acceptable. Not only does it teach her to lose her shit to get what she wants, but it then secures his spot (in his mind) in the martyr hall of fame, since he quit whatever “important” thing that he was doing to do what is (also in his mind) my job. He does this shit not because he feels bad for her but because he feels bad for him. (It’s a totally separate issue that we need to work out, because as long as it isn’t interrupting his game/book/guitar he doesn’t give a shit, but when it does, he lumps me in with the kids. I can yell at them for something they TOTALLY need to be yelled at and he will say something like, “I am sick of all the yelling in this house!!” Nice, huh?)
Anyway – back to the issue at hand. I don’t make idle threats – I follow through. And unlike someone who shall remain nameless, I don’t make threats that are obviously not follow-through-able (like not going on vacation, etc).
Even when we show a united front, though, we have yet to find anything that works on her. Ignoring her does nothing –she just keeps on going, like a tiny energizer bunny of misery. Taking things away from her just enrages her – she’ll panic and plead, but then she will simply try to tell you that she will do what you are asking after you give back whatever you took away.
Nothing seems to phase her.
There are times when I find myself worrying that there is something wrong with her and should I call a psychiatrist or and exorcist? And yet she’s very bright, articulate, otherwise well-behaved, and has no obvious triggers or health problems. Other than being STUBBORN AS ALL HOLY FUCK.
So someone please – PLEASE tell me about your evil crazy little strong-willed daughter who turned out to be a lovely young woman. Lie to me if you have to.
See - when she looks like this:
I forget about this shit: