Sunday, May 04, 2008

Ann's Story Part 17: The Honeymoon is over

Jan. 27, 2003
To the social worker:

Just thought I would check in. Ann has been getting more moody lately. She gets angry at people (mostly me) for not knowing things we could not possibly know. She does not stay upset long, partly I think because there are no teenage girls here reacting to her. Roland tried to help her print a drawing of a cat skeleton for her science project and it would only print the size of a large postage stamp. He finally said that it was not going to work and she got up, said she didn't even want to do the project anymore, went to her room and slammed the door. We did nothing and she came back out 10 minutes later. This was pretty typical of the weekend...get angry over something pretty small, put on a small display, get ignored, get over it. I understand the ability to move from happy to p*ssed quickly, but she surprises me in how quickly she can move from p*ssed to happy. I feel like our whole relationship is a game of chess. She tries out move after move to see how I will counter.

She has, by the way, decided that Brian is incredibly annoying. Brian can be annoying, although less so than when he was younger. When Andrew has friends over and Brian asks if he can play and then either fusses when he is turned down or complains about the game when he is allowed...Andrew finds him annoying, and I understand. Ann however is not being annoyed by anything that Brian is doing to her. She is annoyed at his existence. For example, the three of us walked to the library on Sunday. Brian was ahead and walking like an 8-year-old. Ann rolled her eyes and complained about how much he got on her nerves. (Note he was getting on her nerves by doing a silly walk some 30 feet in front of her). When Brian fell back to walk with us Ann ran ahead so that she did not have to walk near him. Part of this is the "sophistication" of budding adolescence: Ann does not want to be seen with a young child. Part of it though is also jealousy. Brian is Ann's main competition for my attention.

Ann had a tough morning. She did not get up when her alarm went off. Fifteen minutes before we needed to go I gave her a warning. She got out of bed then. When I told her it was time to leave she asked, angrily, if she could at least change her shirt. I told her that she could if she could do it in 15 seconds. After a minute I told her I was going to the car. I sat there wondering if I should drive up and pick up the other kids and then come back for Ann, but decided not to. Ann finally came out opened the car door and said, "Thanks for waiting!" Being sleepy I failed to recognized the sarcasm in her voice and said, "Oh, you're welcome." (After all, I had just been considering leaving.) She climbed in and slammed the door. She started complaining about everything...being told that she only had 15 seconds to change, not having time to comb her hair, etc. I said quietly that I understood that was upsetting, but those things were the natural consequences of over-sleeping. I reminded her that our agreed-on consequences was watching Buffy. She did not speak to me on the drive, but when I asked her where she wanted me to pick her up after counseling she answered me civilly.

I bought Ann a book this weekend "My Body My Self, for Girls." It has lots of interesting stuff for girls at her age...including a buyers guide regarding pads and tampons. She spent a good deal of time reading it.

Part 18

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