I'm drawn to write, but sadly, I can't be too thrilled at the content of our life at the moment. What's there to say? Sometimes I wait for something fun, or light, or positive to share.... but sometimes life is hard and made of grit and grunt, and that's pretty much it day to day.
I'm struggling with Missy. She's been on a downward spiral, and we've been desperately trying to stave off the ultimate smack at the bottom. We'd like her to hit "smack" somewhere sooner than the bottom as a wake-up call, if that were possible. Yesterday, I spent all day trying to give her that opportunity.
I'm struggling with myself, with my lack of desire to continue trying. . . It's not good when you dread weekends because there is no school, dread crawling out of bed in the morning because it's a fight to get her to school, and dread 3 PM because that's when the bus returns her from school. It's bad when you dread the Sabbath because there WILL be a dreadful, horrific, all-out-rage just before you leave for church, just because.
The battle to delay getting on the bus in the morning, and the sure, all-out tantrum when she misses it in her game of chicken has reached a zenith. Her mouthiness, whining, faultfinding and brutal arguing from dawn till dusk has us all on edge. The self-pity is never ending. I rue the days we made so much effort to teach her to talk.
We walked all over the countryside yesterday. She missed the bus and the spewing was bad. So bad I put a end to her right of free speech until Friday. She is allowed to say "yes mom", "thank you" and "please". Keeping her to it is harder than you think, but I hold up a hand and say, "You want to go for another hike in the deep snow?" She doesn't. According to my fitbit, we walked 28 thousand steps (around 9 or 10 miles). She arrived at school by 2 PM. She raged. She spewed. She pushed. She bullied. Sometimes I was patient. Sometimes I wasn't. I sang. I told stories. I recited scripture. I even yelled, "STOP! Just STOP your mouth". I prayed out loud, and I prayed silently with tears. Once or twice, we made a breakthrough and hugged with tears, but the commitment to love never lasted more than 5 minutes. We kept walking until she decided to get her attitude together. We had arrived back home through the orchard in the deep snow around 1 o'clock in the afternoon. I made her a raspberry, almond yogurt shake and had her change her wet socks and boots, and we started off for the school again. This time she kept her tongue in check long enough to get in the door.
I had been communicating with the school all morning. They knew what I was dealing with. I put in a plea for help - for tips, suggestions, anything... I don't know if they understood my need to break the chain of negative speech or my bid for respect, but when we arrived at the office, little Miss met a scowling secretary who took her to the teacher who got in her face just a little. When Missy arrived home, she came in the door, looked at me, and said, "My teacher was really MAD at me". Then she burst into wailing, picked up her cat and went downstairs to have a good cry all by herself (phew! genuine tears and real emotion!). I picked up the phone and thanked the school for finally making it clear that it's as important to them as it is to me that she gets on that bus in the morning. (Enough of that syrupy voiced, "Oh, sweetie, we are so glad you finally arrived. We missed you!" stuff.) They said, "Tell her that we don't really want her to have to go to third grade again next year, but if she misses much more class-time it is a real possibility (kind of a mystery to me as she is not 3rd grade material to begin with), and tell her the next time she misses the bus someone will be showing up on the doorstep to get her."
This morning she did not miss the bus. It's a good thing. The school called early to find out how it was going. They were prepared to take action - As in, sending someone out to physically take her to school.
She did manage to make the bus driver mad though. Sigh. "Get off the road kid, and stand where you have been told to and not in the middle of the single lane bridge over the irrigation ditch putting you and the bus in danger on the icy roads."
There's a reason we are in this fire. Whether for her or us or both. It's kind of hard to say in the midst of it, but here we are.