Friday, September 10, 2010

Turn It Around

This morning began the same way yesterday ended. Daughter promised she was getting up, but was still in bed 30 minutes later. She didn't bring down her linens, and when I insisted she do it, she didn't start the washing machine. She knew I was frustrated when she left. When I went to bed last night, I had realized there was a light on in the guest room (which is directly across from my bedroom. I investigated, and discovered she had left the closet light on and had spread the contents of a footlocker I had filled with her keepsakes and pictures all over the floor. I lay in bed seething for a while last night.
The bus picked her up at 8:00 this morning, and about 9:30 I got a text. "I am so sorry."
"Thank you. Turn it around."
She then decided it was safe to call. I said, "I'm busy. I love you. We'll talk later."
She hasn't called back. I feel like she's working against me. We finish the basement, and she trashes the guest room. She needs to be watched 24 hours a day, and right now I don't want her in the same room with me.
I'm going to get some things done today, and my hope is that by the time she gets home I'll be ready to deal with her. I'm going to limit her opportunities for defiance. I will give her a list tonight. It will have her instructions for the evening, with a reward for completing them and a consequence for failing to complete them. She can then decide what she wants to do. Hopefully I will have my buttons well protected.


Miz Kizzle said...

Ack! Did you imagine when you adopted her that you'd have to watch her every move when she was 23 years old?

maeve said...

I wonder.....would it help to make the "chore issues" her issues and not yours. If the sheets don't get washed she'll smell bad; if the clothing doesn't get washed or put away she won't have anything to wear. "so sad, so bad". You could positively reinforce the good stuff and ignore the bad, counting on natural consequences. Oh, and alarm the off-limits places so you don't need line-of-sight supervision.

Sorry -- my "advice button" is out of control. The social worker in me just needs to escape.

As for the intrusive phone calls --does she really need to phone when she's at "work"?

I find that I use completion of the chores as a way to have K earn privileges. It's blackmail for sure but it works for me. She wanted to go to a friend's house after school the other day and she did the litterboxes that she'd refused to do earlier to earn the privilege.

You are so sensitive to her needs to be cuddled and you're such a great mom. Don't you just hate this anxiety/power/control stuff?

Reverend Mom said...

Miz Kizzle, If I'd known what I was getting into, I would have run screaming in the other direction. I'm glad I didn't know, because I'm grateful to have Daughter in my life-- even when she's being a huge pain.

Maeve, She'd leave the sheets on the bed and sleep on the floor and soak the carpet.... As she told me the other night, she'll win. I have a list to help her turn it around when she gets home. I'm not going to engage her about it. She can deal with the paper. I'm going to cover my buttons as carefully as I can.... Your advice comes from hard earned wisdom, so I'll always appreciate it and occasionally follow it!