Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Adjustments

You know how when you get a new cell phone, the new charger that comes with it doesn't fit the old phone? And when you get a new cell phone, the guy in the cell phone store can add your address book numbers to the new phone, but only ONE number per person? If you have more than that you have to look it up on your old phone and enter it manually into the new one. Except when your old phone is completely dead and needs a charge. You've just moved: where is the old charger?

That's been my morning so far.

After that, I get to go pick up the cat poop that sits just outside the litter box. I get to do that every morning. There are three, newly-washed-in-mild-soap litter boxes in different locations that are filled with sparkling, unscented, clean litter; all of which get pooperscooped daily. Yet, the damn cats are STILL. PICKY. OHMYGOD! It's driving me nuts. One little kitty needs to spend more time outside, and that is OH's cat, Rum. My guys are old, long-haired cats who get along with each other but not with Rum. She is grumpy. She needs to go outside during the day.

Today has got to be better than yesterday. Yesterday was not my most favorite day ever.

I've made efforts to carve out a schedule, both for myself and for OC. This, so that we both know what to expect each day, don't feel overwhelmed, and have time for fun things. Great idea, right?!?!?!?!? I know. I thought so, too.

It has worked and it has not worked. The part that's worked has been for me. It does help to have a plan for the day, to know that I don't have to do everything that day. I don't do the floors and the bathrooms on the same day, for example. The variety makes it less dull (if cleaning and housework can ever NOT be dull) believe it or not.

(I know this sounds terribly tedious, but if I don't schedule myself like this, I never feel like I can leave the house for something fun because I haven't finished my work yet. In my head the world will end if I do something fun without finishing work!!! I'm thinking my head sucks.)

What hasn't worked has been for OC. She is still anxious about spending time with me. Yesterday, I told her we had half an hour to play anything she wanted together. We had a tea party, put together a puzzle, and then we ran out of time before we got to throw the frisbee around like she wanted. I said we could throw it a couple times since I had to go outside anyway, but then after that, she needed to play on her own. You'd think I told her to clean the oven by licking it with her tongue.

She loved the time we spent together, and when it was over she got sad, needy, and whiny. It killed me, both with frustration and empathy.

At first, she played outside a while, then came in with a red mark from bumping her head. It wasn't bad. That's what always happens when she plays by herself when she doesn't want to: injuries. Lotsa injuries. I gave her ice while she talked about wishing we could play frisbee. Then she followed me around. I was so annoyed by then, because I just wanted to think and do what I was trying to do! Then I could be done, not be irritated, and spend time with her. We never got to that point.

This is my problem and not something OC is doing wrong. She is a good girl: she listens (relatively) well, and tries her best to do as she's told, she wants to help, she wants to be a part of things. It's me that doesn't know what to do; how to handle this, and how not to get irritated with her when all she wants is my attention.

I thought the schedule would work, but maybe I need to do more. I don't know what, but it's my problem to solve and nothing she's doing wrong. Maybe I need to give it more time so that she knows we'll have time, but that she'll have time on her own, too.

The thing is, I'm mom. I'm not daddy, who, with his deep voice and stern tone make her snap to attention right away when he's being serious. I'm mommy; squishy, nice mommy who cares about her feelings but sometimes yells when I just can't take it anymore. I don't want to get to that point anymore. I want her to pay attention and be serious before it gets to that point. Maybe what's wrong is my expectations? But I remember being serious when my parents said something. How to achieve that?

After her bath this morning, we're going to the library. Maybe today will be better.

3 comments:

Andrea SK said...

I'm sure you're doing a great job... Don't worry!

Wendy said...

One of my cats does the same thing, although I think she goes in the box and then kicks the litter too hard.

Does OC like to help clean? When I'm busy doing things around the house, I give J a floor swiffer. He's doesn't really accomplish much, but it entertains him enough to let me finish what I'm doing.

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

I have the why-don't-you-take-me-seriously problem, too. Hoo boy. I have thought the exact same thing: I obeyed my mom, why can't my kids obey me? So I have no answers for you, just commisseration.

They (the media) seem to think it's because we're lenient indulgent parents who spend too much time on how our kids feel. Maybe. Maybe we didn't obey our parents as well as we think we did?