Friday, January 15, 2010

in which my Bean is being impossible and I could really use a break

I'm having a tough time with the Bean.

She's 7 1/2, and she's insane.  She nitpicks and fusses and bitches and whines about every damn thing, and pouts and yells and cries when you tell her to quit it.  Then the next minute she is over the top silly, laughing this screamy, giddy, crazy laugh that goes through my skull like an ice pick. 

There is no middle ground.  She is hell to be around.

This morning, the n-thousandth thing she bitched about before we even got down to breakfast was that her sister didn't put the toothpaste back exactly where she wanted it.  And I said, "you know Bean, if you want to spend your whole life feeling upset about things that don't matter, you're off to a great start" and walked out of the bathroom.  And she said in the empty bathroom, "and if you want to spend your whole life yelling at me, you're off to a good start." 

Good one, Bean. Except:  I hadn't yelled at her.  It had taken every ounce of restraint I can muster before my first cup of tea, but I had not yelled at her.  Believe me, if I'm yelling at you, you bloody well know it. 

I sent her to her room.  Because not only do I not want to spend my whole life "yelling" at her, I don't want to spend one lousy minute yelling at her. She could stay in there all goddamn day as far as I cared, in that moment.  Shoot, she can stay in there till she's 18 and then move the hell out and quit making everyone else miserable.

The Peanut and I came down and made breakfast, and before long the Bean called down to ask if she could join us.  "Are you ready to be around people?" I said.  She was.  She came down and helped get breakfast and apologized for what she'd said.  All was well for maybe 20 minutes, and then silliness mode kicked in full force, and she's making nonsense noises and screaming that laugh again.

I can't stand it.  I have sent both girls outside, and I will throw something out the back door for lunch.  They will need to learn to pee in the woods. 

(Why aren't they in school?  It's a "professional development" day for teachers, so we have a four day weekend with MLK Jr. day on Monday.  Didn't we just have Christmas vacation?  Yes.  Isn't February vacation in just a few weeks?  Yes.)

And please, nobody say "just wait till she's a teenager, ha, ha."  Though it may give you some kind of joy, it's obnoxious and completely unhelpful. 


  1. In your heart of hearts do you feel she is normal, or are you having doubts. If so get her checked. Bouncing from hypercritical to effusive may be early sign of bi polar.

  2. I did think about that. But in my heart of hearts, I feel she's normal. When I say "there is no middle ground," I'm exaggerating, because that's how it feels to me, on those days when she's especially emotional and I'm especially weary of it.

    Mostly, though, she does not jump from one extreme to the other. Today has been very even, and when I get some perspective, I know that most days are fine, too.

    Thank you, really, for thinking of it. It's important to watch out for these things.

  3. I have been there. Teachers kept on saying must have ADD, turned out was an anxiety disorder. We knew it was something so we kept on checking--heart of hearts. We knew it wasn't ADD, and knew some of the teachers shouldn't be trusted with cleaning the black board let alone with children.

  4. She is being seven and a half. In my opinion, there are several age spurts.
    1) There is a reason why they call it the terrible twos. They are terrible.

    2) The terrible twos go until the child is 3 and a half. Then everything is fine until...

    3) The weird sevens. The act like miniature divas one moment and whine more than a rusty swing set.

    4) It all starts again at 11. Or so, I hear. Liv is only 10 and a half.

    Just my opinion....

  5. I think Maria has it - she's being seven and a half.

    I remember being that age, and feeling strange emotions I didn't know how to handle. I also remember noting as a teenager that the emotionally difficult years in my childhood seemed to be the odd years of my age... starting, to my memory, with 7.

    So the answer for me now: patience. Which, all parents know, can be hard sometimes.

  6. Hardest job in the world, this parenting thing. Client complains that his kids (divorce) want nothing to do with him. I say the fact that all you did with them on visitation was make them paint your house might have something to do with it. He thought they should have discipline by learning about hard work --I just shake my head, they were 8 and 10 at the time.