Tuesday, April 24, 2012


So my 16-year-old nearly missed the bus again this morning. I'm sure I'm the one to blame.

After all, I didn't  start trying to wake her up until 5:17 a.m. And I only told her to take her shower about every five minutes. I made sure there were frozen chocolate chip waffles for her breakfast, but I didn't cook toast them for her. I didn't pre-chew them (a la mama bird) so they could slide down her throat - oh, no, she had to chew them herself (which took what, 20 minutes for two waffles?).

I didn't scrub her back, I didn't blow-dry her hair. In fact, when she started blow-drying her hair (11 minutes after I told her it was 7 a.m. and she was still in the shower until 7:10 - her bus comes by 7:15), I yelled that she didn't have time to blow-dry her hair, pounded on the wall between my room and the bathroom and then, when I saw the bus, pounded on the bathroom door and screamed "The bus is here!"

I did take her oboe out to the car, but not her backpack. I didn't dress her and carry her out there myself.

I asked her, "Are you doing this to punish me?" She replied, "Why do you think it's about you?" I said, "Because I'm the one paying the price."

I've considered letting her miss a day and not calling her in sick. But I'm not sure what the consequences would be for me - I'm sure the school system would blame me for her truancy. And since I'm the sole support of this family, I can't afford to risk that.

I'm trying to think of what I left out - what step I missed that would get this child out of bed on time to get ready for her day. I'm at a loss. I used to get up at 4:30 a.m. to get her going, but that's awfully hard on me. I guess I'll have to do it, though, if that's what it takes.

Then there are her extracurricular activities ... I think if she doesn't start getting up and getting ready when she's supposed to, those are going to have to be curtailed. I don't want to say, "You can't participate in Junior Civitan" when it's a worthy cause and will improve her high school career (and look good to prospective colleges), but something has got to change.

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