Tuesday, April 12, 2011

You don't drink, don't smoke, what do you do?

With the heartbreak open
So much you can't hide
Put on a little makeup makeup
Make sure they get your good side good side

I'll confess it here and now: I am a goody-two-shoes from way back. One day in sixth grade, a classmate named Debbie turned around in her chair, leaned across my desk, and said, "Claudia, you don't even cuss!" I don't remember my reaction but it was probably something along the lines of . . . "I'm supposed to be cussing? I'm eleven!" When the Adam Ant song came out a couple years later, some of my friends called it my theme song.

My mother tells people that I raised myself and that she didn't have to do much. I think it had a lot to do with me being the oldest child. There was a lot of turmoil in the house when I was growing up (until my parents divorced), and maybe I just had to mature faster than expected. I'm not fully certain.  Maybe this is why I act like a big kid at times now - I mean, I do get inordinately excited about cotton candy and festibuls.

When my middle sister came along (she is 4 1/2 years my junior), she was definitely more of a bad ass. Although she did graduate college and grow up to be an upright citizen and all, she gave the 'rents a run for their money during her formative years. Our stad used to joke that my sister was going to run off with a tattooed biker named Mildew. My youngest sister (11 1/2 years my junior) didn't get into much trouble.  I guess you could say she was more of a "head in the clouds" type.  If she didn't do her homework, it wasn't a willful act - she was merely thinking of other things.

My daughter and I share quite a few personality traits (despite the lack of any shared DNA), but she is not a goody-two-shoes.  She's actually quite feisty. When I was a kid and my mom told me to do something . . . well, I did it.  When I tell my daughter to do something (and it doesn't matter if I phrase it like a command or a polite request), she either tells me "no" outright or acts as though she's going to do it and then simply doesn't.  For example, the simple plea of "please put on your pajamas" can turn into a two-hour ordeal. It's almost like she's not happy until I'm sputtering the word "PAJAMAS!" at her like a crazy person. Meanwhile, she sits placid and naked, watching Spongebob Squarepants.

She gets a yellow warning almost daily at school.  Not getting a yellow warning is the exception to the rule. We joke that her teacher must be at Kinko's every night, making more yellow slips for our little cherub. She never makes it to red, so there's that. A's teacher tells me that even though my daughter is very chatty, she's not mean-spirited and doesn't exhibit personality traits that are much more difficult to correct. Most of the yellow warnings are for excessive talking or visiting at inappropriate times.  Last week she got in the yellow for slamming toilet lids in the girls' bathroom. Worse yet, she got a brand new student in trouble, too. She enticed this barely-speaks-English new kid into a life of petty crime. 

So yeah, I think I've got some challenging years ahead of me.  I figure her own version of Mildew is probably in the fourth grade right about now, sketching his future tattoos in the back of his spelling book. .

2 comments:

Elizabeth said...

My mom jokes that Awyn is payback for myself at this age, but I when I ask her how she got me to do anything, she tells me I just did it. I remember just doing what she told me, when she told me. Oh, I could wreak havok, but if she actually told me to do something, I did it.

Awyn, however, is constantly on yellow for excessive talking/chatting, and requires an act of congress delivered by special messenger (and he'd better have proof that the orders are real) to complete the simplest of requests. She does at least get her homework done faster than her brother ever did.

Kalinda said...

Ajay is on yellow quite often - however there are a few days when he makes it to red. Twice this week, I've been told. We have daily reminders of "Who makes your decisions?" and "What kind of decisions are you going to make today?" I remember doing what I was told for the most part, but I also remember my mom yelling "Why do you wait until I yell to do what I ask you to do?" - I've caught myself saying that several times the last year or two!!