Thursday, January 04, 2007

Allow Me to Save You a Few Bucks in Therapy

It actually isn't all your mother's fault.

Here's how I know.

You'll recall that The Child has some organizational issues. Some of it owes to her dyslexia and the generally messy way her flawed but brilliant little brain works. Some of it is just pure cussedness. Plus, like most of us, she applies herself when inspired but pretty much ignores that which she deems pointless or boring.

You'll also recall that after last year's academic performance we told her that she was going to have to step it up and since she's perfectly capable of C work or better, that was what we expected. Further, she was told, a D or lower in any subject would result in the loss of any extracurricular activity in the following trimester. We were clear about this. It was repeated throughout the summer and the first trimester and even as recently as Tuesday morning on the way to school because report cards were coming out.

Yesterday she came home with a flyer for a month long after-school music program that she really, really wants to do. And I said, "No".

"But why?" she asked, a long, mournful, protracted whine on the "why".

"Because there are 2 Ds on your report card".

And then it started. Oh my yord. There was yelling. Acrimony. The accusations flew. Here's a short list of my failings, as hysterically expounded to me yesterday:

I'm not fair.
I expect her to be perfect.
I'm focusing all my attention on 2 "little" Ds and not celebrating all the other good grades.
I don't understand.
I don't want her to be a good singer.

And then, because we just hadn't had enough drama, she gave me a look which managed to be both tearful and scathing at the same time and cried, "You know, Mom...maybe you just need to accept that I'm not like you! Why can't you just accept me as I am?"

Because apparently I am the one who is confused about perfection vs making a frakking effort.

Thus it's entirely possible that someday she'll be blaming me for holding her back from what would have been a brilliant career as a blues singer because all I "cared about" were her grades. I'm just going to have to live with that.



Blogger Red7Eric opined...

Good for you.

As I blogged a few days ago, Moms are Moms before they're buddies. If you can be buddies with The Child at some point, bully for you; some Moms manage it and some don't. But when being buddies interfere with being a Mom, I'd say defaulting to Mom behavior is always a good idea. Just about everyone else in the world can be her buddy, but right now, I'm betting she only has one Mom.

(Of course, I have three Moms, but I need extra attention.)

January 04, 2007 11:31 AM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Well, that sort of response isn't going to score you any points with her but I sure find it affirming!

January 04, 2007 11:49 AM  
Anonymous the neighbor opined...

Dearest Nayb,

Allow me to tell you how proud I am of you for holding your ground. This is exactly the sort of thing that can change D behaviour into B behaviour. Plus, without all the extracurricular stuff, the extra time at home studying can only help turn those grades around. This could be the exact motivation needed - GOOD JOB MOM!

XO nayb

January 04, 2007 12:02 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Thanks, sweetie.

January 04, 2007 12:03 PM  
Blogger Seattle Coffee Girl opined...

I agree wholeheartedly with red7 and your fantastic, gorgeous and amazing Nayb (hi, nayb!)...WTG all over your bad mommy self, LT.

Oh. My. Yord. Tweendom makes for interesting reading, but I Onesinglebit.

Snaps on holding your ground, and just keep on being fabulous.

January 04, 2007 12:27 PM  
Blogger jLow opined...

First, I must apologize for laughing while reading this post. I'm sure the Child sees no mirth in the situation whatsoever.

But can I tell you how much I LOVE the fact that I can read about her pink tweenager angst knowing that the only hystrionics I have to avoid are those regarding trucks and tractors that have gone missing?! (And I'm sure you don't envy me my almost weekly task of flicking dried boogers off the side of the rocking chair.)

Keep up the great job, Mom!! I can only hope to be half the parent you are.

January 04, 2007 1:30 PM  
Blogger jLow opined...

By the way, Seattle Coffee Girl needs to get to posting. If we all have to humiliate ourselves out here, so does she!

January 04, 2007 1:31 PM  
Blogger Evangeline opined...

Derned if ya do and derned if ya don't. I still blame my mother for not caring ENOUGH about my grades. It does matter. Parental involvement in a childs education is the matteriest matter of them all. Well, and hygiene.

January 04, 2007 1:59 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Your day will come, SCG. And I'll be right there with plenty of "remember whens". (And Jlow wants you to start posting).

Jlow, Laugh away. I wanted to.

Eva, That reminds me. I need to make sure she takes a shower today...

January 04, 2007 2:05 PM  
Blogger Seattle Coffee Girl opined...

Oh carp. A blogger challenge from jlow. I'd better get the creative juices flowing so I can start posting ASAP... :)

January 04, 2007 2:42 PM  
Blogger Edy opined...

Hey, Lo, (halo, get it?????)

Anyways, my youngest not only did not get to play summer soccer or fall soccer in seventh grade, or eighth grade, or ninth grade, or tenth grade...because, as yet, she has not made ot through a year without d's, or, on occassion, no credit at all. First things first. If she were Pele, or Beckham, or whoever, it might be different. And yes, I do accept who she is. That is why the standard is a "C", regardless of whether she is capable of A's or B's in some subjects, during some periods of time.

January 04, 2007 3:53 PM  
Blogger Iwanski opined...

I'm nor expert, but I say you're on the right track.

My dad had a rule. Any D's and I was grounded until the next report card. I thought this was incredibly unfair at the time, and gave him a similar speech to the one the Child gave... but yes, the old cliche proves right in the end. I am glad he was so strict about my grades.

Once, I did get a D and I was grounded and I was PISSED AT HIM.

God bless him for making me so pissed. I learned more discipline and I got an academic scholarship.

I plan to pretty much follow his example. He wasn't mean and nasty about it. He still laughed with me and even gave me weekend passes from the grounding as a reward for improvements. He was loving, but he was firm and strong.

January 04, 2007 7:18 PM  

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