Saturday: part II

Fenner and Ellen made it to sewing class without any reminders on my part, and only ten minutes late–not bad! When they were getting ready, Ellen said, “Fenner you always care about me. You don’t have to help me you know.” I’ve noticed that when I stop bossing Ellen, Fenner starts doing it for me. Interesting.

So there we were, on Easter eve, living in a disaster area:

Aftermath of week 1

Aftermath of week 1

So day seven of do nothing/say nothing would have to be be cut short. At about 5pm, we got the family together and said: “Girls, look around you. For this past week, it has become very clear to us that we have not trained you to clean up after yourselves. We’ve been doing it for you and you can see how much work it is. It’s too much for us, and we need your help. Plus, you’ll get in the habit of it, so someday when you have a house of your own, it won’t look like this!” Fenner chimed in pointing to the puzzle pieces spread all over the floor, “Well, Charlotte just made that mess today!” I kept going. “So now we’re going to team up as a family and clean this up! We’ve got three major areas, the dining and art table, the living room, and the kitchen.” “I call the kitchen!” said Fenner. “I’ll take the dining room!” said Ellen. “Uuuuuhhh….I don’t want to clean up!” said Charlotte. “Maybe some fun music will help, who wants to put on the music?” “I will!” said Fenner. And we did it! With minimal complaints, we cleaned it all up. Ahhh. (And I learned that one of Charlotte’s favorite chores is to wipe the dust off the flat-screen TV.)

Later on I warned them that we would indeed have regular bedtime tonight even though it’s still the seventh day because the Easter Bunny has work to do. (One of the only rationales that gets them skipping up the steps.) Charlotte went upstairs with us but then morphed into noodle mode. I hadn’t confronted that in so long, I couldn’t think what to do at first. Finally I said, “Charlotte, I will be in your room in 5 minutes to read a book, and if you’re not there, I will leave.” That got her moving, but it also had her rushing to get her teeth brushed which is not so good. I’ll have to think about that one.

After the book she went into cling-on mode, holding onto my body in any way she can to get me to stay. I kept my eyes forward and pulled myself away. She followed. I went into our bedroom and had to push the door closed against her. I locked it and held the knob (she knows how to unlock it) and stayed quiet. Then I heard her say, “Alright!” and then a scraping sound on the door. Oh, jeez, I thought, is that a pen? Is she writing on the door? … And then she moved to the wall next to the door. I had to look. I opened the door and stepped out. No. It was just a chopstick. She dropped it and reached for me. I picked it up and closed the door again. Then she started banging the door with some hard object. And then the wall. Bang, bang, bang. Pretty hard. I still don’t know what it was she was banging. After several minutes of this, I heard her move away. I opened the door and walked up to the third floor to Fenner’s room and closed the door behind me. Charlotte’s footsteps soon followed. “Mom! Mom!” I opened the door. “Charlotte, show me you can stay in your room at bedtime and I will come say good night.” I closed the door. “But I have to tell you something!” Through the door I said, “Tell me when I come to say goodnight.” I heard her walk away.

A bit later, when I walked into her room, she was tucked into bed. “Look at you all cozy!” I leaned over with arms wide for a big hug. Then she looked at me intently and said, “Mom? … You know when I yell and I hit you and then I miss school?” “Yes,” I said. “Well, when I do that, I still love you…” “Oh, Charlotte, thank you for telling me. Me too. I love you no matter what.” Then we did kisses and said good night one last time.

Explore posts in the same categories: Week 1: Do nothing. Say nothing

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