My husband, the Original Obnoxious One, and my son, the Obnoxious One, are both extremely stubborn, but my daughter, The Demon Child is in a league all of her own. Ever since she was a baby she has been…well…challenging. She has never believed that no actually applied to her…more that it was suggestion she could take into account.
- no, don’t put the dirty old toilet plunger on your head
- no, don’t stand up on the paddle boat in the middle of the ocean
- no, don’t slurp your spaghetti, especially when you’re in a restaurant
- no, don’t touch the poisonous frog, especially when we’re in a boat-access-only location on the east coast of Costa Rica
- no, don’t take off on your own and try to get back on the ginormous cruise ship without your ID
The first objective confirmation of my daughter’s character came when she was in Grade Three. The Head of her school called me in for a meeting to discuss my darling Demon Child. When I mentioned she was rather stubborn, he said:
Mrs. R., your daughter is the most stubborn child I have ever come across in all my thirty years of teaching.
I had always longed for a sweet, attentive and malleable little girl I could dress up and take shopping. Never, ever happened and never gonna happen. Some mothers take pride in their daughter’s stubborn nature – not me. I can honestly state that I think stubbornness is an over-rated trait. Yes, as everyone insists, it might help her in the long run…but what about me in the short run?! I always figured my job was to get her through school while the two of us remained in one piece. Sure enough this project has proven to be the most demanding, the most painful, the most ambitious and ultimately, hopefully, the most rewarding one ever I have undertaken.
I’ll let you know how rewarded I feel – next year!
By the way, there is a reason that boarding schools exist — so that mothers and thirteen old daughters can one day have a reasonable relationship. But that’s another story…
Fast forward to now that my darling angel…
has just turned eighteen.
As I mentioned in a prior post, she went to Nicaragua on a school class trip for three weeks in March. Unfortunately the Demon Child did not enjoy the experience - to put it mildly – because of warring personalities, challenging conditions, but especially the hypocrisy of rich white kids performing “make work” projects in a third world country. She decided the class was beyond stupid so she tried to drop it…at the beginning of April with only two and one-half months left of school. Heck, the last two and a half months of her high school experience! Of course I told her to suck it up and finish the course…her dad, her brother and her teacher all gave her the same advice. Finishing it meant cranking out a couple of reports, showing up to class occasionally and checking in with her teacher from time to time. Could she please do that? - absolutely NOT, apparently.
So, we had a couple of disagreements followed by several all-and-out
wars battles fights. We met with her guidance teacher who also encouraged her finish the course; however, when he confirmed that she didn’t actually require it to graduate from Grade 12 (she has enough credits without) and the university of her choice doesn’t require it…it was game over. She politely thanked him for his time, and then told me there was absolutely, positively, no way she was ever going to that class again or completing any reports for it.
I tired to reason with her…not a chance
I threatened her…I’m not proud
I tried to bribe her….yeah I know, I’m such a great mother
But in the end I had to stop because I still have to live with her until September when she goes off to university far, far away.
then I can do my happy dance. In the meantime, I’m the one that has to suck it up. I’m the one that has to pick my battles. And I’m the one who has to survive in one piece.