"Mom, how does the Tooth Fairy fly through the air?"
"How do YOU think?"
"I think moms do it."
"But how can a Mom be a Tooth Fairy?"
"Good moms are lots of things, Princess."

Friday, May 21, 2010

Homework Shmomework

Just when I thought I had it. Just when I had freed myself from the chains. Guess what. Yep. Homework's done for the year. This news should bring me joy. Instead, I feel tired.

Oh, and now that homework's done for the year, guess who wants to read to me? Yep. Princess. I was doing my usual after school work-around-the-kitchen-talking-to-the-kids-while-they-acclimate schtick when Princess brought in two books and asked if she could read to me.

"Princess, you are not kind to me when we read together. I don't feel good when you yell at me and hit me."
"So... does that mean no?"
"That means you are welcome to read anywhere and however you want as long as you are not trying to bother someone. It also means that I am welcome to NOT do something that often ends with me getting yelled at and hit."

So she pulled up her princess throne and began to read. And I continued with my work, including taking the garbage out and conversing with the other children.

Harsh? Maybe.

Or maybe not. It's possible that doing something moderately difficult for her where she knows she might make a mistake with me right there breathing on her is too much. It's possible she wants my attention only on her terms and never on mine. I also don't think it hurts to (gently, oh, so gently) send the message that her actions hurt me- and others- and cause me- and others- to want to be more careful around her and less involved with her. After all, no one is going to send that message as kindly as I will. Her siblings don't. Her classmates certainly won't.

A while back I read Look Me in the Eye: My life with Asperger's, and found it fascinating. Princess does not have asperger's, but I recognized many of the feelings and much of the pain. One thing Robison indicated that's stuck with me is that the adults in his life did him no favors by pretending his interactions with them were normal and acceptable.

And, while I want my children to have a strong sense of honoring their commitments, I do NOT want them to grow up learning that when someone treats you horribly and continually takes their anger out on you, you come back for more. I love my daughter. I love her so much my heart is in constant pain. But how she very often treats me is NOT ok, and I want her and her siblings to understand that.

I stayed nearby. I engaged with her lightly when she commented, summarized, or wanted to show me a picture. When she was done, I said, "I'm really glad you enjoy reading, Princess." And it all must have been ok. She's playing teacher in the kitchen.


  1. You were spot on. It does sound like control....reading on her terms. I wouldn't have been reading to her either unless it was from a safe non-hitting distance.

  2. Yep, sounds like that worked out really well actually! That bit of distance seems to have helped.