Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Biology of Divorce

Cinderella is thirteen... and all that that implies people!
That should be enough to explain the current challenges and changes to the dynamics of our relationship.
(Oh and what changes there are! Someone should have warned me that the aliens would snatch her up in the middle of the night and replace her with a snarky, lazy drone with horrible B.O. matched only by her sense of fashion. GAH!)
Our relationship has turned a corner. A blind corner that I am sure any BIOLOGICAL parent would have recognized but one that took me weeks to realize and stop second-guessing my parenting of her. (Yes, after 10+ years of being a Stepmom, I still do this. *sigh*)
I am not Cindy's BioMom and the sad truth of that fact was recently (and quite cleverly) exploited by my darling as she turned weeks of her own idleness and disrespectfulness into a shitstorm nightmare that involved her law guardian, school counselor and threats of CPS being called.
Weeks of asking her to "please do your chores" and "please don't speak to me that way" led to that straw-that-broke-the-camel's-back moment that every parent experiences at least once a MILLION times in their lifetime.
(You know the one where you head spins around 360 degrees and your brain explodes and you say things like "wipe that smirk off your face or I will wipe it off for you" but in my case it was equating her sour-puss to a plate I knocked off the table and that subsequently broke?) (Oh YES. I. DID.)
I'm not proud. I stumbled as we all do. And, as we all must do, I admitted my mistake, apologized and moved on.

Did you know that Cinderella has a law guardian?
Uh-huh. Yep. She does.
This law guardian was put in place to protect her from visitation/custody issues between her mother and Dad. We've encouraged her frequently to call the LG if she felt she needed to and could not speak to any of us about it.
Guess what? SHE DID.
Uh-huh. Yep.
From her MOTHER'S the NEXT DAY during her scheduled 3 hour mid-week visitation. And she related the story of our exchange as only a thirteen year old drama queen can.
"I'm afraid to go home, can I sleep over at Mom's?"

Can you guess what happened next?


Chickie said...

I'm guessing the shitstorm nightmare?

What a mess. What a brat. How awful for you!

Maria said...

You have my sympathies. I'm a bio Mom and have sons but I got the same deal where my kids once actually called the cops because I was "being mean".

I learned an invaluable phrase from all the chaos though. You just have to bide your time and wait until she wants something. Then tell her "Sure! you can have/do whatever that is JUST AS SOON AS you do your chores/take a shower/homework, etc.". The operative phrase is 'just as soon as'. That puts the ball completely in her court and gives HER control over her decisions.

Good luck. This lasts for another six years or so.

Anonymous said...

No she did not! I am so sorry this is the time she turns into a teenager, it's hard enough for your as it is right now. You have to know its nothing you've done, but likely just that she is going through a second divorce, and all the chaos that implies in her mind.

loonyhiker said...

My SD called DSS because I took away the TV in her bedroom as punishment for not doing her homework. My heart goes out to you. Hang in there. When she gets older, she will be horrified about her actions. Mine is now 35 and wonders how in the world I could love her through all that when she wasn't even my biological daughter and I told her that is how you know that I truly loved her.

Eyes Wide Open said...

Oh, it starts. Ours turns 13 in 4 days...and he has suddenly cleverly figured out that he can get away with much MUCH more if he plays whole "I don't want to go to mom's" game, or vice versa. Teenagers are a nightmare; teenagers in a hostile divorce/custody situation are far more difficult. I hope this doesn't disrupt your life too much, but I'm sure Maleficent is reveling in the drama.

The Evil Step-mom said...

This kids get away with way to much. My Mom would have been like, " You say you are afraid, I'll give you something to be afraid about!" and then beat my ass until I stopped being stupid. I hope the LG saw through her nonsense!

Stepped in H-E Double L said...

When did parenting become abuse? That is the question I've been asking myself lately? How can our kids have so much power over us that we can't tell them no anymore without some authority figure stepping in to save the child from not getting their way?

This world is getting crazy.

And welcome to the teen years! I've got myself a whole mess of it too.

Linda said...

Let her use that "I'm afraid of my stepmom" bullshit and stay at her "real" mom's house. She'll be reminded very quickly to "be careful what you ask for" after staying with that looney tune for even a minute. Sometimes they just have to lie in the bed they make to realize just how good they really have it.

dragonmctt said...

Hang in there! We had a similar situation where we asked SS to bring in some wood for the stove, he had just come back from a week at BM's and didn't "feel like it" so he called his mom and said he'd kill himself if she didn't get him out of our house. Of course, BM didn't bother to tell DH that SS was "suicidal" (which he wasn't), but she did manage to call CPS. A couple days later, after SS had long forgotten about having to do the wood, CPS interviewed him at school and said living with DH was a 7 out of 10. Not a bad rating for a parent of a teenager! CPS didn't even come to our house or talk to us, case was dropped.

Absolutely agree with Maria's suggestion - hopefully the law guardian has a brain and can figure out what is going on!

Talia said...

Goodness, I am sorry. It sounds to me like she is a spoiled brat. Well, I hope she gets what she wants and that is to stay with that nutcase she calls mother.

She should be careful what she wishes for...

Don't be too hard on yourself. Raising kids is not for the weak of heart...

stef said...

Arrgh... teenagers suck. I'm glad the child is still six but on the other hand know that unless the situation with her parents turns around that life is about to get ugly.

I suppose one bonus with the law guardian is that at least they've known you forever but we wait for the resolution of this story

stef said...

Arrgh... teenagers suck. I'm glad the child is still six but on the other hand know that unless the situation with her parents turns around that life is about to get ugly.

I suppose one bonus with the law guardian is that at least they've known you forever but we wait for the resolution of this story

Marty, a.k.a. canape said...

And with this, I'm going to walk down the hall and thank my 13 year old stepdaughter for not being this way yet again.

I am so sorry.

Anonymous said...

I think each and every one of these comments are very one-sided. Yes, it's natural for children to become rebellious during their teen years; what is not natural is these teenagers who are forced to live with step parents. Let's face it - if you have children, you owe it to them to provide a nice, normal and intact home. If you don't provide this, then it's up to the parents to make sure that they end up marrying someone who is capable of lovingly parenting their children. The best way to deal with a rebellious teen is by NOT acting just like they do. No parent should lose their temper to this extreme; this only reinforces the fact that the teen's behavior is acceptable. As you can tell, I'm not a fan of step parents; they need to learn to keep their mouths shut and realize that they will NEVER be the parent. They should simply be there for support. Period.

amazed said...

well Anonymous
you do talk utter crap
are you some sort of expert on parenting, i do love people who have all the answers