Friday, August 20, 2010

Questions, Questions

I have lots of them today. Bear with me. Answer them if you can.  Offer humor if you can. 

1.  Am I unreasonable to expect my almost 16 year-old daughter to be responsible for her own laundry?  And to not let her go out in public with me if she is not clean and appropriately dressed?  This is Leigh we're talking about--  my RAD/OCD/PTSD/Depression/BPD child, who consistently has to be sprayed down before we go somewhere because she smells bad. 

2. Am I unreasonable to NOT allow my almost 17 year-old daughter share a bed behind closed doors with her girlfriend. (She's gay, so this is not a "just a friend," this a "we're dating" girlfriend.)  I'm opposed to any sort of spend-the-nights since they are in HS and I don't care if you're straight or gay, it is not appropriate to spend the night with the person you're dating.  My friend Katie, a lesbian, agrees with me, but she says she's so conservative she beats herself up in the parkinglot. 

3.  Am I unreasonable to expect my teenagers to complete basic housekeeping chores for the good of the family, even if they didn't personally make the mess in question?  My theory is that you ate the damn food that I worked to pay for AND cooked, you can clean up the kitchen. 

4.  And along those lines, if I ask you to do something, and you don't do it or half-ass it, I reserve the right to tell you no to something you want done, just on the backscratching principle.  Right?

5.  Is it wrong that we're still waffling about adopting the babies?  Is that a sign we shouldn't?  Or a sign that for the first time in our adult lives, we're looking at something long and hard before jumping in?

6.  Since Leigh has been off her meds, I have done a lot of thinking. Is it wrong that I plan to bully her into a birth control implant that she can't remove without pain and difficulty?  Is it wrong that I am starting to fantasize about spiking her food with Prozac?

7.  And am I wrong to be FURIOUS and HURT that bio-grandma called Danae's phone?  This is a violation of our agreement to move at our speed on bio-grandma's part; and for Danae, a violation of the promise she made to NOT give her cell number to her bio-family. 

That's all for now.  Thanks.


  1. I am weird; I would rather do the laundry. The various kids do put their stuff away, they do occasionally peg out the laundry or bring it in, but they are not reliable enough to not wreck one of the machines so they are off limits unless I am in the room.

    I think requiring sanitary hygeine is our role as a parent; it is pretty hard to function in the world if you reek. JOb interviews tend to be briefer, shall we say? LOL

    No bed buddies allowed in my house either. I don't care what your sexual orientation.

    I am a slider on the half assed chore thing as I remember being a teen and feeling I really had done it well enough and was always being picked on. I tend to judge it more by the effort I see put into it. I don't mind finishing up if it is just something I am anal about.

    Good to waffle; it is a big decision! We did a lot of waffling for some of our children too! Our first infant scared the heck out of me; I had never had a true baby (then he went and was a preemie to really freak me!) and I was so afraid I would not be good w/ babies. Ironically I find them soooo easy! LOL

  2. Sounds like you're the only reasonable one to me :)

  3. I think you need to ask your blog cohorts the big question about adding to the family.

  4. Laundry - I'm torn on this one. My 15 yr old daughter (with similar issues) does some of her laundry, but we have broken it down to small parts with me having control over all the parts. Her clothes are kept in our bedroom instead of hers because too much stuff is overwhelming for her, and we got tired of constantly redirecting her and dealing with the meltdowns.

    Not currently, but our daughter frequently has the "RAD stink" so I know exactly what you're talking about with the reek. It seems to be more related to being dysregulated than to poor hygeine, but I've supervised many showers and she's almost been sent home from school a few times. Did discover that the waterless hand sanitizer really cuts through the underarm stink better than covering it with deoderant.

    Girlfriend - I'm the World's Meanest Mom, but our rule is if more than one child is in the room then the door stays open. Kids of the opposite sex (if any of my kids weren't straight then it would be same sex), even if the kid is a friend of a sibling, are not allowed in the part of the house with bedrooms. They must always be where an adult can see them at all times (not necessarily line of sight, but easily accessible).

    Chores - in our house you do chores, even if you didn't make the mess. Everyone cleans a common areas so it's often others are cleaning up after you and you should clean up after them. Parents especially end up doing things for the kids that will never "even out."

    Turn about is fair play - absolutely kids do need to understand that if they don't do their share then we're expending our energy in fixing their mess or helping them to do it or regulate. Katharine Leslie (my favorite attachment guru) tells us we need to teach our kids the concept of reciprocity. In other words if a kid who is not pulling thier weight asks for something, she usually asks, "What's in it for me?" (and it better be something we the parent really want - not just a half-hearted hug from a kid we know is faking it.)

    Adoption - can't help you with the adoption thing, only you know what you guys can handle.

    Meds - I don't know why Leigh is off her meds (if this is your choice or not), but if you can find a way to do a birth control implant I'd say go for it. I'm guessing she has too many issues to be able to be competent to make this kind of decision. If she can't be responsible for laundry I doubt she can be responsible for a baby.

    Biograndma phone call - we frequently deal with this with our son. We finally took away his cell phone and internet access (he also ran up huge bills and did other inappropriate stuff with the internet - like giving contact information to a total stranger). He just doesn't "get it," so we decided he wasn't ready. I have confronted biofamily as well.

    Mary in TX

  5. My replies...

    Laundry-- I used to do all of it, but got tired of the crap she left in her pockets ruining our clothes. That and the fact that I'd wash them, fold them, hang them up, and they'd land on her floor, from her bedroom door. Like they were thrown. Which they were.

    Meds--Leigh is off meds because she decided she wanted to be. And apparently forcing a 15 year old to take meds is child abuse, unless it's court ordered, which we might be able to make happen. She's driving me nuts.

    Everything else... thanks for the input! I love blogging!! It's like therapy without the copay!

  6. (sorry if this comes through twice. i'm apparently an idiot when i'm alone for more than 24 hours.)

    you're asking the wrong person because i bow to your wisdom. if you ever figure out how to get yours to be clean and appropriately dressed, let me know your secret so i can force mine to do the same!

  7. OH, the meds bio kid has bipolar, ADHD, ODD and depression. He's now 22 and 6'3". I can't make him take them, but I've fantasized about grinding it up and putting it in something! And holy moly when he was off as a disregulated teen! I feel your pain.

    Laundry. Hmmm. My very neurotypical other bio son, 14, does his, but only when reminded. He also does his chores, but only as little as he can. I think that's a teen thing. And yes, you should have the right to say something. Your boss is going to call you on it, right? Bubba, who is 7, however, will never, EVER be allowed to operate my washer. He filled it with shampoo once. That was fun.

    Waffle away on the adoption thing. Better to think it out now. Lifetime committment, etc, etc. Everyone deserves a decision that you feel good about. And whatever you decide, you'll do it for good reasons.

    Persons with whom you are having a relationship have no business in your bedroom at your mama's house--especially if you're still in high school. Just cause you can't get pregnant don't make it okay! The only people in the house who are allowed to share a bed are mom and dad. And what you do there is your own darned business. Children, however, do not have privacy!

    Bully her for the bc. She won't thank you later, but you'll thank yourself. One less thing.

    Can't say anything about granny--no experience there. Yet.

    Hope your stress load lightens soon!


If you are an adoptive parent or have one in your family somewhere, talk to me. I could use some insanity that does NOT call me mom!!