(Photo copyright: Shrinky)
Looks like butter wouldn't melt in her mouth, doesn't she?
My eldest daughter is the one who keeps me the most on my toes, the only one I've ever had to ground, she appears to accept school detentions as nothing more than a badge of honour.
Fourteen going on forty, I choose my battles with her carefully, bite my tongue when I can, and purposefully seek out reason to praise, rather than to criticize - believe me, it's not an easy task. If I came down hard on her every transgression, I'd run the danger of alienating her altogether, something which I am trying hard to avoid. Much as she causes me the odd heart-attack, at least she still talks to me a little about what goes on in her life (even if there are some times it would be so much kinder for me to be kept in blissful ignorance)!
So I try my best not to sweat the small stuff, and focus more on the good - but she pushes the boundaries constantly, and there are times I could cheerfully choke her. My other kids don't challenge our authority, act out, or place themselves in danger, as she does. I almost died when I saw her face-book page (thanks Chewy), and so did she when she found me reading it. Suffice it to say, it's long since been taken down.
Likewise, after tucking her up goodnight the other month, I had no idea she had snuck out of the house - if it weren't for some sixth sense of hubby's to go back to check on her again, we would have had no idea she was out way after midnight. Thank God for mobile phone's - knowing she'd been well and truly busted. she did at least have the good sense to answer hers. She was grounded for weeks over that little caper. It wasn't until later my youngest finally grassed up she's been doing it for ages, tapping on her (Abby's) ground floor bedroom window, waking her up so she can climb safely back into the house again. Beccy sleeps on the top floor of the house, no coincidence, it's the safest place for her, or so I had thought. Poor Abby has been told she will find herself in the deepest of deepest do-do, should she dare to to aid and abet her anymore. Beccy goes nowhere at all now, not until I check with the parents of her friends first. I need to confirm she is actually where she claims to be at, shepherding her there and back, taking nothing on trust.
Her big brother helps greatly to reel her in, phoning me if she turns up at any of his mates parties, or chasing off any older lads that might cast their eyes over her at school. I'll be lost when he leaves the island for university next year! (She, naturally, is loudly and vocally counting down the days, and has offered to throw him a party to see him off.)
Her grades are acceptable, but all her teachers agree she is under-achieving, Miss Popularity at school, she is far more focused on holding court than to worry over serious study. The most frustrating part of all is, her IQ scores are far over and above the majority in her year, she chooses to coast because she can, and no amount of carrot and stick from my end appears to motivate her. As for home, we are only there to serve as her personal chauffeur, chef or money-lender. What is mine is mine no longer, make-up, clothes, even my shower (she has her own, but prefers mine) is used and abused with careless abandon. She collects towels in her bedroom, in multiple soggy heaps on the floor.. I curse every time I realise (too late) my supply's been plundered yet again.
Yup, much as I love her, the girl is driving me nuts. She is a teenager with a capital "T". Guess what she bought me for my birthday? Get this; a toiletry set with the brand name, "Bad Momma" stamped all over it. Thought it was hysterical, so she did. It really hurt my feelings.
Out of them all, she reminds me so much of me.
(Wry, sheepish grin.)