I made my daughter cry. Well, we made an agreement a bit ago and I’m sticking to it and that seems TOTALLY UNFAIR to my daughter and she’s crying because I’m being consistent. Specifically: chores. We had a long time where the kids were allowed to have screen time as soon as they were done with chores.
This drifted because I’m pregnant and apathetic and spaced out as shit. So eventually EC was just sneaking on to the computer early in the morning and then spending a bunch of time whiiiiiiiining about how it wasn’t fair she had to get off the computer to do her chores.
I was asking about the same (not that long) chore list upwards of 15 times a day. When I’m using hyperbole I like to say I was asking 90 times a day. I doubt it was ever actually that high… but I’m certain there were days when I got up to 30 asks because I had to ask about each individual chore several times. “Are you sure you’ve brushed your teeth? Come here and let me look” kind of bullshit.
So I told her that I’m tired of playing this game where I am spending the entire day begging/demanding that she do her chores. If she asks for screen time and she hasn’t done her chores then she doesn’t get screen time today. Because I’m sick of you irritating me and wasting my time and acting like it should be my job to hound you all fucking day to do your chores. This isn’t ok.
So yesterday she did all but one chore. And then got REALLY MAD at me for pointing out that she hadn’t done her chores and so the answer for the day is no.
THAT’S NOT FAIR.
Actually, when we sit down at the table and discuss how we want to handle this ongoing problem and we agree to a solution in the cold light of day… and then I enforce the agreement…
That’s kind of the definition of fair, kiddo. We discussed this and agreed that you are having trouble building consistency/responsibility and it should be on your head not mine to get your stuff done.
But me remembering and actually enforcing these limits is terrible.
Well. Stop fucking trying to get out of doing your stuff. You know what your stuff is. We’ve talked about this chore list a lot. We negotiate about everything on it. Fair doesn’t mean you always get what you want.
We also tried for a while that she could earn chore points by building things/using programming languages to create her own games… but that morphed into her playing other peoples games and bitching loudly about how she should get points for that.
Right. No more points for building games because you are exploiting the system.
I realized this moment that by the time future youngest child is ready for academics… EC will be 17. Oh god. That’s a lot of fucking years of home schooling.
Can’t think about that yet.
I got to see Pam yesterday. She had a layover in the bay area and she drove around spending a few hours with her Important Peeps. I’m really glad I made the list. It was so nice to talk to her and hug her. She’s one of the more touchy/huggy of my friends and that felt absolutely lovely. It’s hard having her on the wrong coast. But, she’s doing something that is important to her and the only reasonable response is, “I support you and good luck.”
I am afraid of showing favoritism between my kids. I have this horror of it. My mom played her kids off of one another. I have different things I like about my kids and they have different traits that irritate me. I try to give them different experiences and I end up wondering how they will perceive this in the long run. Like: FMC has had way more traveling/exotic/interesting birthdays… and fewer in town birthday parties. I think they’ve only had two birthday parties with friends. EC hasn’t had the traveling birthdays but she’s had more parties.
They get different toys at different times and I’m never sure what “fair” even means. I feel really guilty that I gave EC a doll for Christmas and FMC didn’t get a similar kind of present. Even though FMC has a huge stack of dolls they are being petulant about. And FMC got another damn doll from grandma for Christmas. EC just got the one from me. (For the record: FMC was freaked out by EC getting a doll for Christmas and has decided to “share” their dolls now because they are afraid that EC won’t share her one special doll. It’s… uhhh… interesting.)
I’m watching FMC go from being fully in their Id to having a little bit of an Ego and the barest hints of a Superego. I feel like EC went through this transition much younger. But I can’t tell because with the two year age gap I get hella fuzzy.
EC was good at sharing her stuff from absurdly early. She’s generous by nature. She’s not a grasper. She’s not one to hoard her shit. FMC on the other hand…. is all about MINE!!! FMC will only consent to share if they can see a clear benefit to themself coming any minute now. I think I judge this more than I should. I’m a sharer. I think I have a hard time with the hoarding. Because to me, in order for the hoarding thing to work out you either have to have WAY less personal stuff or you have to be ok with storing multiple copies of everything to be “fair” and neither sounds great to me.
I forced sharing for years because that way we got to have a reasonable variety of types of toys in a small space. Now they are getting too big for that. So they are each culling like mad down to having just a few things they want to hoard and be selfish with and… I’m not sure how this is going to go.
I can hear a child up and wandering around… but no one has come in to see me yet.
Oh hey. I typed too soon. And she walked in and stepped on my ankle. Awesome.