Let me start by saying that I am not a morning person.... not really an early afternoon person either. A good time for me is around 10 to wake up. I stay up late processing pictures, chatting with friends, catching up on housework and cooking dinner for the next day. The house is quite, I turn off the TV and turn on the radio and it's very peaceful. Most nights, I am up until 2 or 3 am so for me to wake up at 10 works well. The kids are all old enough they get themselves dressed and off to the bus. They eat breakfast at school while they socialize because the bus gets them to the school with 20 minutes to spare before class starts.... so it works out well.
This morning I was woken up to two girls fighting... not your typical fighting but all out war with kicking, screaming, scratching and punching. I yelled from the bed "what is going on" as I started to get up. Our 16 year old flew towards me and screamed "she stole my chap stick and it's strawberry". When I walked towards the bedroom door, it was slammed and "get out... quit staring at me...creeper" was yelled by our 13 year old. The mom in me took over and I started saying things right out of the parenting books (of what not to do). "This is my house and if you slam the door one more time I will take it off the hinges" and the ever so popular "knock it off or neither of you will get the chap stick" followed up by "it's too damn early in the morning to be fighting like this so knock the crap off". I used to tell the kids that I was going to sell them to the gypsies if they did not stop... worked until my son handed me the phone book and said "call them"... he was 5. So, no more gypsy threats were able to be said from that day forward. He really ruined a good thing for me too because the girls (who were older than him) used to back down to me and start to listen.
After 10 minutes (and I started to wake up) the girls were at it again with the yelling and fighting. The girls (16 and 13) usually do not fight and argue like this so I knew there had to be more to the story and this was serious... I was wrong. The following is how the conversation went:
16.5 year old - "she took my chap stick and it's mine and I've had it for weeks".
me - "you mean the chap stick I found in the living room two days ago and tossed at you... you said 'who's is this and I said "yours now"... that chap stick?"
16.5 - "yes, it's that one... BUT it's strawberry flavored and my favorite"
me - "do you have anymore chap stick"
16.5 - "well... yes I have a couple"
me - "then give your sister the chap stick"
16.5 - "okay"
I thought that went pretty well myself until a few minutes later "I said GIVE ME MY CHAP STICK that one is strawberry flavored". Good Lord... are they eating the chap stick.. is this why it's so damn important?
Well, all of this had nothing to do with the chap stick but rather the 13 year old taking her sisters things without asking. When the 16 year old confronts our 13 year old she always say's "I don't have it" even if it's in her hand... she always says she does not have it. She panic's, hates confrontation so she lies about having the item thinking her older sister will just walk away... it only causes more problems and did I mention I am not a morning person?
So... obviously my first two amazing parenting attempts did not work so now I actually had to wake up, listen and have a logical conversation with my two teens. Ugh... did I just say "logical conversation with teens" what in the hell was I thinking... like this was going to end well. The 13 year old was sitting on her bed (oh, did I mention that they share a room) and I explained to her that she can not take her sister things, that she must ask first and she would not like it if her brother (11) came into her room and started taking her things. To the 16 year old, I said that I will speak with her sister more about taking her items because no one has a right to take someone else's property without asking BUT to have outburst like that in our house was unacceptable. There are better ways to solve a problem.
Better right? Well, the 13 year old left the house for the bus and slammed the front door (taking the strawberry chap stick) while the 16 year old told me every single item her sister had touched, taken, looked at or moved in the last 13 years. Awesome... why in the hell do those books tell us to 'listen' to our kids? I understand the problem was over her feeling like her sister was invading her privacy and not respecting boundaries... I get that... i really do... BUT it's 6:30 in the morning!
Holy crap! This is why mom's start drinking in the mornings... and all those jokes about me having a glass of wine (which all of my friends and family knows I drink maybe 4 or 6 times a year and I HATE wine) is no longer a joke. I may HATE wine but I'm going to learn to like it now!