Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Allow Me to Introduce Myself

I'm the bad cop. Er, wait, maybe I'm the good cop. What would you call the person who looks out for someone else's best interests but makes that person hoppin' mad? Oh, wait, you call her a nanny.

Frank has always been a fairly compliant child, which is probably what makes what's happening now, which is that fun thing we call adolescence, more difficult for everyone. She is not used to being punished much, and we are not used to the hormones. Oh, the hormones! DEAR HEAVEN, HELP SAVE US FROM THE HORMONES!

Frank has taken a pointedly disrespectful tone with adults lately when she is asked to do something she doesn't want to do. Up until last night, we rode out the storm, and she eventually apologized, and all was well, except for one thing, that thing being that she'd put everyone through a lot of stress and not had any negative consequences besides possibly feeling a tiny bit bad about it until she apologized. Which is when the slate was wiped clean! How handy for her! However, now it's become clear that it's not just a once in awhile thing when she is too tired or stressed out, and the axe must fall. This is classic adolescent boundary testing, and it's time to make the line she's not allowed to cross perfectly clear.

Last night I made the general announcement that summer is here, and thus we will be applying sunscreen every day, so please be ready for it, thank you very much, continue eating, please. But Frank didn't care to just continue eating. She decided she'd rather argue about having to wear sunscreen and then assert that she wouldn't be wearing it because (oh, this reason just kills me) she doesn't like it! I know! The humanity! I told her that she would be wearing it, that it's not negotiable, that skin cancer is not something we just pretend doesn't exist. I told her that she would have to wear it at the club with her friend today, and she refused, again, because she doesn't like it. Her dad told her that if she wouldn't wear the sunscreen, she couldn't go, and still she asserted that she wasn't going to wear it because, newsflash, she doesn't like it. Her dad gave her a time limit for changing her mind, she didn't change it, and so I called her friend's mom and told her that something had come up, so we wouldn't be going to the club today after all. Consequence threatened and brought to pass.

Later she did what she always does, which is to apologize sincerely for being mean earlier. I told her that it was forgiven. And then I braced myself in my sleep last night for what I knew what would come today when she realized that, even though she'd apologized later, she was still reaping the consequences of her choice. So here we are in the house today, enduring each other's company. I refuse to let her treat me with disrespect because her actions had a consequence, and she refuses to be nice. Really, I think it will be a wonderful day.

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