Sweets is struggling. She gets along wonderfully, and then she snaps. Today Miss M took Sweets, Buddy, and BB swimming (yes, the pool was heated). They all had fun, and BB is remembering being in a pool again. On the way home Sweets and Buddy got into an all out fist fight in the back seat. I arrived home shortly after they got home, and Sweets is complaining about Miss M because she took away swimming for the next two days.
I took the kids out to dinner with a friend tonight. First Sweets wouldn't get out of the car. I finally told her to stay in the van; I would lock and alarm it and come back and get her later. Then she wanted to come in with us. I told her she had to behave, and she agreed. For the most part, she did fine during dinner.
After dinner, as we were preparing to leave, she laid down in the booth, claiming she was tired and refused to move. I told her she could go straight to bed when we got home. She huffed and puffed out of the restaurant and then fussed about where she was going to sit in the car. Finally, she got mad and said she didn't want to be here, to just take her back to her dad's house.
She went on and on about how she didn't care if she missed things. She didn't care that she wouldn't go to my sister's, because her dad wasn't going to sign the paper anyway. She didn't want to be watched by Miss M. She wasn't going to have any fun. She should just go back to her dad's house.
First, she never said take me home, only to her dad's house. I found that so sad, but yet so in line with her thinking. Home is with me, but her dad calls the shots.
Second, I told her I wasn't taking her home or dealing with her dad tonight. I was too tired. I said we could call him tomorrow, knowing full well she won't want to.
Finally, I told her that I was sorry she had to feel so frustrated. I was sorry that she often didn't know what was going to happen. I was sorry that her dad hasn't signed the paper yet. I was sorry that he didn't do what he promised more often than not. I was sorry her life was hard. [Don't think this is harsh; these words are less harsh that what she says about her dad.]
I told her that I did care and that I would continue to care, even when it was hard. I said if I wanted easy, I could have stopped fighting to make her life better a long time ago. I was going to keep on trying to make her life better. I was going to continue to care for her. I was going to keep trying to do what was best for her, whether she liked it or not.
Sweets got quiet for a little bit. Then she told me she was sorry. I asked her, sorry for what? She said she was sorry that she was making me frustrated! I told her thank you and gave her a big hug. I said we should start over, and she agreed. She did great the rest of the night.