Last night Hannah was avoiding us. At one point in the evening David asked me why Hannah was so mad at me, because it was THAT obvious that I had wronged her in some way. Hmm...could it be that I yelled at her all weekend? Could it be that I have criticized everything she has done the last three days? The cherry on top? I walked upstairs last night to hand her the Squirrel buffet and complimented Hannah on having Chili and Pepper out of their cage, only to find out that C & P had ransacked her closet and had found her stash of pine nuts (aka sugar glider candy). The rascals had the top off the container of pine nuts and were gorging themselves while she sat and read her book across the room, oblivious. When I alerted her to the situation she deflated because she had done something wrong. Again.
How do you tell your child that she is a wonderful, beautiful, smart, exceptional teen but never listens to a damn thing I say so is always being yelled at or criticized? I actually said those exact words to her yesterday, followed by, you are bringing this on yourself! Change your ways and you will not be criticized!!!
Friday I ran errands and came home to find a trail of debris throughout the house. I grabbed her by the hand and gave her a tour. I explained that I knew everything she did while I was out because of the trail she had left. I walked into my room..."Let's see, you went into the cedar chest and got yourself a pair of capris, because the pillows on top of the chest are thrown on the floor." We move on to the bathroom, "You came in here and borrowed some lotion because your math calculator is here on my countertop." We move to the mirror in the foyer, "You stood here and applied the lotion, because the lotion is here on the foyer table." Move into the kitchen, "You fixed yourself some toast and a bowl of cereal because the bread, toaster, cereal, and milk are still littering the counter." "Then you had yourself a few cookies, because there are crumbs everywhere." Of coarse I was right. It doesn't take a trained CSI to figure the trail out.
The final straw yesterday was the few times I told her not to touch her brother's ipod. When Bubba complained last night that she had hacked into his ipod and gotten the high score on the game he was playing, just to piss him off, I asked if she had done that after I asked her not to touch the ipod. She said she had, so without making a yelling match of the situation, I asked for her ipod and took it away.
I try telling her everyday that I love her and I try to give her 10 uplifting comments for each negative comment, but THAT NEVER WORKS! My ratios are reversed. I am communicating the best I can, wearing my heart on my sleeve, and she callously takes my heart and squeezes and wrings it out like a sponge. I don't want to be the parent that always yells and finds fault.