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Monday, April 18, 2011

Digression... or How I lived through Monday and learned to defuse the grenade.

It started, like most morning skimishes, over cereal.  Naturally it was Cookie Crisp.  It was purchased during the middle of last week.  My daughter had one bowl the day after purchase.  When she awoke, rather nicely to start Monday after Spring Break, she asked for a bowl of cereal.  Soon I had to tell her the cereal we purchased was no longer in the house.  I had pretty much devoured the entire box after the concert the other night.  Wonder why so hungry?

Well, this sent my darling girl into an uproar.  Back upstairs to scowl at the Mrs.  Door closed and pouting for a bit.  We managed to talk her off the cliff long enough to enjoy, ick, Frosted Flakes.  But it speaks to a much larger issue.  As I sit down to write this we have just spent an hour with her, again imploring her to relax.  She wanted one of us to lay with her in bed for a bit.  That could have been arranged earlier in the evening.  But she was determined to complete a report of her spring break (which is not assigned btw.)  I would help her download pictures and there were some editing issues.  All of this took us to bedtime.  And once again we are the wardens billy clubbing Andy Dufresne back into Shawshank.

The Mrs gets grief for wanting to watch the Flyers on her couch after a long day.  I get yelled at from rooms away:  "Dad I am not going to sleep with that typing sound."  Everybody's a critic.  Weird though how energetic, happy and engaging she was from school pick up to 9pm.  In fact, she was downright jumpy.  I played hoops with her.  Prepared a nice dinner.  We all went out for ice cream.  Good day I thought.  She even proposed a kitty that she could build on if she behaved well.  This is an intelligent girl who feels real guilt and understands she says hurtful things to us.  Manic maybe?  And it is a real concern.  She lashes out one moment and hugs and kissed you the next.  "Sorry, dad.  I love you.  I don't know why I get angry."  Immense highs followed by brutally low lows.  I am convinced a majority of teenagers are less emotional.

And you look back at your actions.  Your parenting tactics come into question.  Then, therapy gets discussed again.  Just as you think you are out...

But something has to give.  This is an 8 year old girl here.  One who should always be happy.  One who should not know the word therapy.  She should not be telling me I do not want medication to be happy.  "Who does that?"  she asks.  Good question.  Try everybody.  Maybe the gym is your vice?  Booze?  Online shopping?  It's all out there.  Cleaning?  Running?  Smoking?  Caffeine?  All of the above???  Geez, do they have 12 step programs for "everything disease?"  Do they have them for men wearing capris?  skinny jeans?  mustaches?  I digress.

Legitimate questions remain.  Clarity becomes more distant as this young girl matures.  Pretty evident I am not adept at handling adults of this gender.  Goes without saying the younger kind presents a litany of issues out of my scope.  Guess I will keep working on it.  What other choice do I have?

That is tomorrow though...  for now I have got to explain the numbers on my cell phone to my wife.  Want her to know who to ask for when she calls them.

Hmm, could this cathartic rambling be my vice?  And if a word is typed loudly on a computer and no one reads, has it really be written?

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