Friday, January 16, 2009

Who Was the Brat? Me, or Her?

I had a rough morning with Aubrey today. 

She was fine until she went to get dressed. She came back down half-dressed and said,

"You got my clothes all wrong!"

And here is where I first erred. I said,

"You said you wanted a shirt and skirt and a pair of pants to wear under it."

"No I didn't. I said I wanted a shirt and pants." (Note: she came down in shirt and skirt -- not the pants I had also laid out for her.)

"I remember you said skirt, because I thought that different than you normally wear." I smiled and held out my hand to help her off of the floor. (The floor is where she flops when she does her passive aggressive thing.) She pulled her shirt over her head.

"Fine. But how can I help you now?" I said. She groaned under her shirt. I didn't have the patience for this. The carpool would be here in nine minutes. 

"Ok. Get ready yourself then. Your breakfast is on the table and I made your lunch." And I sat down again to my computer and continued my project.

"I'm going to go upstairs and I'm not coming out until tomorrow morning!" Stomp, stomp. (Though quietly 'cuz her brother and our roommate were sleeping.)

"No," I called after her. "That's not possible."

Ahem. What I should've said WAY back at "You got my clothes all wrong" was: "Oh Well." or "Oops." None of this banter back and forth. You said, No, You said.

And the drama continues:

I went upstairs to find her after a couple of minutes because the carpool was due any time, though frequently late. I found her sitting on her bed; the only concession to getting ready for this morning was one sock on that wasn't before.

"I just want to remind you that when she gets here, you are leaving as you are. It's one thing to make yourself late, but you can't make others late." I turned to walk away.

"She doesn't have to pick me up," came her sullen reply. Now she was sitting on the floor with one sock in her hand. I turned my head back.

"Yes, she does. That is the arrangement we have." (She drives in the morning, I pick up after school -- because she works a full day out of the home and can't pick up after school.)

"BEEEP!" she said, shrilly.  She's taken to saying this in place of swear words. I suppose I should be thankful.

Aubrey eventually came back down stairs fully dressed. I offered her a scarf and hat to wear over her wet hair. She wanted a different hat. Ok. I managed that. (BTW, she lost her hat after two days of having it, so I was loaning her a hat from a stack that I didn't mind terribly if they didn't return. She picked the one I'd most hate to lose from that pile.)

Then she wanted gloves.

I buy her gloves. Like, three pairs a year. Even Santa put gloves in her stocking this year.

Still, she has no gloves.

"I don't know where your gloves are. I don't know where you put them. I put mine in the pockets of my coat. They are always there. That's where they go. I don't know why you don't put yours there." A bit self-righteous. But what can I truly expect from myself without my coffee.

Aubrey flopped on the floor again at the door and went all weepy. She looks through her lunch box I have sitting by the front door and removes something.

"I don't want this over ripe banana!" (It was the second time I had slipped it into her lunch. For the record, it is not overripe. And I know that bananas are not her favorite, but it's food and it's what we had.) I went and looked for gloves.

I think I'm noticing a trend here.

Just yesterday, Aubrey said that she wanted to start making her own lunches and she wanted to make them at night. Maybe I'll let go of that responsibility and let her. (But what if I forget to remind her the night before and she -- and I -- don't get up in time for her to make it in the morning? Won't she just slip back into her -- and me -- expecting me to do it?)

And usually she picks out her clothes, but since I'd gotten her up late and she still needed to shower, it usually works -- in these cases -- to just grab something and start the water for her. It helps wake her up and she's usually in a much better morning mood on mornings when she showers.

So let me finish the morning scene for you, so I can say what prompted me to write this post this morning.

She sits at the breakfast table, staring at the cereal boxes. I am waiting by the window to see when our neighbor's car pulls up so that her son doesn't knock on the door, get the dog barking and wake up my home-schooled son. (On mornings like these, I want him to sleep llaaattteee.)

I am always worried that when my neighbor is late picking up Aubrey for carpool, she has forgotten her. Even though we are pressing six weeks now at this arrangement. I still worry. So I'm at the window fretting about the consequences to Aubrey when she's late for school-- that I feel a little powerless to control (other than driving her myself -- but then there are two cars being driven all the way across town and I'd be responsible for more global warming than their could be). And I'm again wondering if the carpool forgot her. 

Aubrey walks in the office holding out a frosted mini wheat. A peace offering.

"Do you want this?"

"No. I can't. It's got gluten." She droops.

I offer her a prime spot.

"Here. Stand here over the vent. It's blowing hot air. Warm, huh?" I smile. She smiles.

She sits down to do something and pretty soon I see the car drive up.

"She's here," I say and hustle out of the room.  I grab her banana and put it back in her lunch. She didn't have a breakfast -- a few dry mini-wheats is not a breakfast -- and I thought that if she was really hungry later in the day, she'd be thankful to have it.

"She's here! Come on! What are you doing?"

"I'm coming!" she growled. I handed her her lunch basket. She took the banana out and thrust it at me.

"I don't want this!" She walked off to the car.

"I just thought you might want it later when you got hungry!" I yelled out. I truly was trying to be helpful. Though I can almost guarantee you she thought I was being an ass ... ah, I mean, brat. "Bye," I said to myself and closed the door. After I rolled my eyes.

So, it has been an hour now since she left and all I can really think of -- thus this post -- is that I didn't give her a hug.

Yeah, I told her to have a good day and that I'd see her later when I picked them up ... and come to think of it, I don't remember if I said I love you this morning either. And I didn't give her a hug good-bye. Or a hug I'm sorry. Or a hug I love you anyway. Or a hug I love you just the way you are. Or a hug I love you even when you don't love me.


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