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.