Sunday, December 17, 2006

It's Getting to the Point Where I'm No Fun Anymore

I am ever so weary and now I'm going to tell you exactly why. I did something that I don't recommend anyone do unless they are feeling mentally, emotionally and physically very, very strong - I got into a struggle of wills with a thirteen year old girl that lasted almost the whole damn day. Yeah, I know you're all admiring my bravery, but if I have to engage in another battle royale tomorrow, I'm sure I'll crack.

As those things go, it was all over something as ridiculous as making a certain slobby girl clean her damn room. It wasn't like I wanted it spotless, I just wanted it so that I didn't need to get a tetanus shot in order to walk through her room and kiss her goodnight. Stinky told me she didn't feel like it, so I laid it out for her; If she did her chores, she got cash, and if she didn't she got grounded. I gave her until the end of the day. She wasn't allowed to watch TV, get on the computer, hang out with her friends, go with me and Coadster to the mall or talk on the phone until it was done. So, for the first couple of hours, she colored in her Mythical Beasts coloring book. I went into her room and told her what she stood to lose if her room wasn't clean by the end of the day. She would be grounded for the rest of the week and if it wasn't done by the end of the day on Monday, she wouldn't be able to have her friends over for a New Year's Eve party. She said, "Whatever." and continued coloring.

I went running and when I came back, I found out she had jumped on the computer during my absence. She was then grounded for a week and on top of that, if she didn't clean her room, she would have to stay at her Dad's house for the next week where there are no snacks and almost nothing to do. During this conversation she said, "Whatever" about five times. When I asked her to quit saying that word, she switched to smugly saying, "Okay".

By three o'clock, Coadster and I got ready to go to the mall. As we drove away, I saw Stinky peek through the blinds to make sure we were gone. I quickly drove around the block and parked the car on the street and came back into the house. She had been dialing the phone, but threw it on the couch when she heard me enter.

Me: That's it. Are you going to do your chores or not?

Her: I don't know. I haven't decided yet.

Me: Well, decide right now. If you're not going to do them, I'm taking you over to your Dad's so he can make sure you don't do any of the things you're grounded from. If you're going to do your chores, you can stay here so you can finish them.

Her: I guess I could make an effort to try to get something done...

Me: No. You're not doing me any favors by doing your chores, those are your responsibilities. So, you either tell me you're doing your chores or not. You know how much I hate being a hard-ass. I really don't want to make you miss your party, but if you don't get your work done, you also know that I'm going to stick to what I said.

Her: It's just so boring and I don't care what my room looks like, so I don't see why I have to clean it.

Me: If you never do anything you find boring, you'll never work a job and I'm sure you won't care how tidy your space under the railroad bridge is either, but there won't be any place to store all your shoes there. Plus, if you don't do your share of the work around here, then I become your maid and you'll start having huge entitlement issues and nobody will want to hang out with you. So, we're not having all this conflict because I think it's a lot of fun; it's to make sure you grow-up to be a functional, compassionate adult with at least a little bit of a work ethic.

Her: Okay, okay. I'll clean my room and vacuum the living room.

Coadster and I went to the mall and Stinky's room was clean by the time we came back and not only was the living room vacuumed, she actually used the attachments to get behind the Christmas tree. It was so annoying that we had to go through all day drama for less than an hour's worth of work. The good thing about having two children, is that I've already gone through this stage with Coady, and I'm getting better at sticking to my guns and not screeching the way I'd really like to. It also blows me away that after living with me for thirteen years, they still think they can out-stubborn me. Silly teenage girls.

Here is a list of seven things I'd rather do than get into a battle of wills with a thirteen year old girl:

1.) Go to a crowded mall the weekend before Christmas.

2.) Eat a lardsicle.

3.) Get my eyeballs pierced.

4.) Have Baptists who don't know me come to my door after a tornado hits my house, and tell me it's my fault for all the sinning I've been doing.

5.) Go on a date with Rush Limbaugh.

6.) Drink hotdog water.

7.) Have a heart to heart talk with either K. Fed or Paris Hilton.


cathrina said...

lol..fantastic blog..get some pics done when the room is not clean and then cleaned..she will love the difference..

Churlita said...


Thanks for the suggestion. She always insists that she likes her room messy, but once it's clean, you can tell she's proud of how nice it looks.

Bice said...

Thank you for reminding me - again - why I'm so glad both my daughters are grown and gone.

The oldest is now a clean-freak but the youngest NEVER grew out of being a slob despite my best efforts. But at least I don't have to see it or live with it anymore.

#4... no way this really happened?

Trevor Jackson said...

"you won't care how tidy your space under the railroad bridge is either"

That made me laugh. It's such a parent's line, and I'm taking notes. It'll be a few years before I have to use it, but use it I shall.

michelle said...

God. Sounds so much like my house! In fact almost exactly word for word.

booda baby said...

THIS one sounded wayyy too familiar and I don't have a 13 yr old daughter, so I had to open the door of my memory and sort of squint while I started picking thro -YAH! I live with a man who's JUST like her. JUST like her. Possibly worse since he literally can not walk from the front door to the kitchen without conjuring a mess out of nothing. Even HE's amazed at his talents.

I'm going to watch your situation closely and hope for an education. I've pretty much exhausted everything. Except the grounding bit. It's kind of hard to ground a grown man. Impossible to ground a musician. They just bring in their guitars and amps and noodle the same frickin' tune to death.

Churlita said...


I'm sure Stinky will never grow out of it either, but until she moves out, I'm going to still try my damnedest to get her closer.

And yeah, the Baptists came in right after the tornado and gave us pamphlets telling us that it was all our fault and also told a 10 year old girl she was going to hell because she was a Methodist.

Trevor Jackson,

Just wait until that baby gets born, you'll find yourself saying all kinds of things you never thought you would. Lucky for you, you're having a boy. Boys can be trickier at first because they're all over the place when they're younger, but when they're 13 you won't have the same kind fo drama you get with girls.


At least I'm not alone. Maybe we should form a support group.

Booda Baby,

Maybe there's hope for Stinky to find a guy just like her and show her what it's like.

He's a musician, huh? He wouldn't be a drummer by chance, would he? In my experience, they're the worst for messiness.

Margaret said...

not so much looking forward to the teenage years...

broinlaw said...

Thanks for the enlightening tale...
I've just decided to drop both of our kids off at the orphanage this afternoon.
Better nip this one in the bud!


Churlita said...


I hear boys are better. My friends with teenage boys complain that they don't talk much, so they don't know what's going on in their lives. I think that sounds so refreshing.

Bro in-law,

I keep looking for that mythical place called puberty island so I can drop them off for a bit and pick them back up once they're back to normal and their heads stop spinning.

Remiman said...

I'm glad this issue was resolved amicably.
We raised 1 girl and 2 boys. One sex isn't easier than another, just different.
I always found that in a true power struggle ( i wanted the task done more than they feared the punishment) both sides lose.
Sometimes you just have to assert your self: and Stinky did. ;-)

Religious zealots are such a loving sort. NOT.

Keep the faith'll be worth it..believe me. Your girls will turn out just fine. They have you for their mother.

Churlita said...

Thanks, Rel. Stinky has always been a boundary pusher, so I do have to stick to my guns. If she sees a crack in the armor, she picks at that spot. I am very careful with her about what I say "no" to. If it's not really a big deal, it's usually easier to let it go.

Brando said...

I also LOL at the railroad bridge line. Great post.

Churlita said...


Thanks. It's always funny until someone lives underneath the railroad bridge.

kathleen said...

this is the best! can i start using it? it sounds way more sane than "i'm not your fucking maid!" of course, i will be using it on a 36 year old, so i dunno if he'll believe it.

"Plus, if you don't do your share of the work around here, then I become your maid and you'll start having huge entitlement issues and nobody will want to hang out with you."

Churlita said...

Do you want me to call him and tell him that for you? Sure, he'll just flip me off through the phone, but it would still be funny.