Saturday, June 04, 2005

The Delivery

At dinner, we discuss numbers. The girls, the 15 but-not-really year old, and the 8 year old, have beliefs that are not correct.

They believe that at age 12 you can choose where to live, at 16 you not only get a license but a car, at 18 you can move out.

We try to set them straight. As usual, I take the lead; hubby is backup.

We get thru 12 ok. But at 16 we hit a wall. The oldest explodes into how she's leaving, she's getting an apartment with 1 or 2 friends from 'back home in Wisconsin,' & they are going to create their own Anime books. They will not have bosses, they won't have to answer to anyone. We try to explain how this is unlikely, how she hasn't thought things through -- this time we use questions.

How can they get an apartment? "Money from the book."

How are you going to get the book published? "I'll go take the pages to a place with the copier."

That costs money. "No it doesn't"

Yes, it does. :Pause:

"Well, then I'll get a publisher to print it."

Sure, but then they are your boss, they'll tell you what kind of book they want, how it must look - "No, it's our book."

Sure, but they will only print what they want.

This goes on & on, right, so I'll spare you the 45 minutes. Eventually we get to the facts of the reality that she may never live on her own. (A moment I have been dreading, but perhaps the time has come.) I am in the midst of explaining how she needs to learn how to be responsible, to take ownership of the things she does. How if she wants to live on her own, she needs to prove to us, to teachers, that she is responsible. And the best way to do this is to do what is asked of her. No arguments. No excuses. When the teachers say she is to do 12 math problems, to just do it. When hubby asks her to clean the litter box, to just do it -- She attacks, as a 5 year old will, absolving herself of any responsibility, 'I am embarrassed to be the child of a mom whose dad hit her mom.'

How's it out there in left field?

We are used to it however. And we proceed.

Repeating, hoping, as we have been told, that simple repitition (including the same words & phrases over & over again) is the key to garner understanding. There are tears on her face.

And then, it is over.

She jumps up, gives me a kiss, & heads to her room.
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