Every fucking morning. I am going out of my mind. The Husband and I are at our wits' end dealing with this particular form of torture. And our torturer is short, and cute, and seven years old. She is in league with the devil himself. This is Small, ladies and gentlemen, Small only in name. She has the unique ability to ruin my mood before I have one, the power to overturn an entire household with her fury inducing ways. It is now 8:09, and she is FINALLY the fuck out of the house. I am watching her walk to school with The Husband, in the clothes she had to choose, the sneakers she had to find, and that distinctly Small sour look on her face.
And she does all this by refusing to get up.
That is a gross understatement, really, because that is not all she does. She has brought in the fine arts of whining and disagreeing as well, but it starts pretty much the same way every day. The wake up process starts an hour before school starts. The house is not (or is it ever) quiet, of course, with Medium singing his Guns n Roses and picking out his rock t-shirt du jour, and me cursing and wrestling with Large's abundant hair. The dogs bark at every dog walking by, The Husband has left the radio on downstairs, and my ubiquitous space heater for my feet is humming in my office. And so the robotic repetitions of "GET UP" begin. Small, it's 7:15. Small, it's 7:20. Small it's 7:22! GET UP! Large gets on the bus, Medium flees to school to meet his friends and avoid the drama he knows is coming. So it is US vs HER. Alone.
By around 7:30, when my blood pressure has already started to make it's climb, the whining begins. That is always the first sign of life, that she has acknowledged that there is an expectation that she is going to get out of bed, get some clothes on and go to school. But the whine--god, the WHINE--makes me want to bypass the gun and manually push the bullet into my skull. It sounds like Charlie Brown's teacher in a higher pitch and equally incoherent-wawawawaWAAAAAAAAAAAA.
"What are you wearing?"
"Oh, my god, WHAT???" until I lose it totally, throw some clothes at her, which she then refuses to wear, and I start in on my morning speech. We can't go through this every day, Small. Every day! I am starting out my days in a very bad mood, and you are late. EVERY DAY! I know you don't like to wake up in the morning, but you HAVE TO. That's IT. There is no CHOICE. And we can't do this every day!"
And we do it EVERY DAY.
So, yes, eventually, she agrees to put something on, I brush her hair while she whines, and sometimes brush her teeth unless she deigns to do it herself. Eventually, she gets out the door for her death march to school. And she invariably turns into a ray of sunshine for her teachers and friends, while I am at home six cans deep by 8:30.
Now, I know there are many of you reading this and saying that there is too much negotiation, (which is what my mother says,) that therein lies the problem. And, no doubt, there is. Every year of her life,a billion times a year, when she had enraged me yet again, I would say to myself, "She is 2 (or 3 or 5 or 7) years old! Why am I having this DISCUSSION with her?"And it made me feel outwitted again. And made me feel like a bad parent. And made me cry. But fundamentally, this is Small. She has always done things her way and had a mind of her own. She cut her own hair and refused to admit it even after we found the scissors. AND THE HAIR. She wore a tuxedo as a flower girl (which indicated, to my mother, that she was going to be a lesbian), and a shirt and tie to Large's bar mitzvah. Her goal is to be in the X Games and she plays the drums and the bass. She is bright, clever, independent and misses nothing. There are so many things to love about her, and I do. When she is not making me wish for my own death.
Yes, she is EXACTLY like me, snarky readers. And maybe it is karma, both for being the child that I was and for being the teacher that judged other parents with children I labeled as "spoiled". Blah blah blah. The universe's big fucking jokes aren't helping me get this child off to school in the morning. I need a PLAN, people, a PLAN that WORKS. A certain friend recommended Wake 'n Bake, and while I dismissed it, it is starting to sound like an option. Wouldn't this fall into the category of medicinal use?