Tuesday, 13 August 2013

My delusional daughter

My delusional daughter
12 August 2013

I love my daughter.  I really, really do.  But here’s the thing – she’s wacked in the head.  As in completely and utterly loopy. 

Possibly even worse.  And more than likely beyond help.

We’ve been butting heads quite a lot lately.  And I can’t say I like it.  Not even one little bit.

But I’ve come to a startling conclusion – unbelievable though it may seem, she is completely to blame.  I have not changed.  She has.

It is a sign of the times.  As well as the harder times ahead.  Gone is the sweet and loving little girl.  Oh, she still rears her head every so often.  And lurks deep inside.  But mostly, she’s been replaced by a moody and often sully “little” girl.  One who finds fault with most of what I do.  And gives the term "demanding" new meaning.  Nay, scope and colour.

A friend of mine calls it “Mad-cow-disease”.  And it is a fate that befalls most eleven to twelve year old little girls.  They’re not quite teenagers yet.  However, they’re a huge big simmering pot of hormones.  Literally bursting at the seams.

I think it is an odd age.  Almost as if they’re caught between two worlds.  Not quite a child (much as I would still like her to be).  But not quite a teenager yet either (thank heavens!).

Possibly Amber’s safest outlet for these raging hormones, is her mother.  What safer place to experiment and flex your tween self?

Yet funny enough, she constantly bemoans the fact, that I seem to have changed.  She says I say “no” all the time.  And I’m not as patient anymore.

However, I believe there are mitigating circumstances.  Please hear me out.

Yes, I do admit to saying “no” a heck of a lot these days.  But perhaps that is mainly due to the nature of Amber’s daily requests.

Can she have another set of holes pierced in her ears?  Can we please build onto our home and make her bedroom bigger?  She needs a complete wardrobe overhaul.  And while we’re at it, can we please redecorate her whole bedroom too?  She wants to have her belly pierced (?????).  And how can I be so old fashioned and say that she’s not allowed to wear make-up yet, and have highlights put into her hair?  She needs nail extensions.  And insists on starting to shave her leg hairs.  We need daily cake-and-tea treats, at a coffee shop, if you don’t mind.  Her own TV in her bedroom.  A pretty pink laptop of her own too please.  A BlackBerry.  Hair extensions.  High heels too.

But sorry for her.  This parenting thing is not a popularity contest.  And her demands are unreasonable.  At least in my opinion.  I refuse to raise a Kardashian.  And so “no” it shall be.

Some of her requests would be more reasonable.  Had she been slightly older.  Like about 25 years old at least.

And when I say “no” I do explain my point of view.  Why something is inadvisable.  Not do-able.  Not practical.  And just plain downright wrong.

I think I’m in for quite a bumpy ride.  However, like the contestants on Survivor, I am completely prepared to “Outwit, Outlast, and Outplay” her.  She’ll have to buckle down.  Because I won’t.

The daily struggles however are tiring.  The near-permanently annoyed look on her face, most…..well, annoying.

Though for her beloved Daddy, she’s all sunny smiles and even sunnier disposition.

I think this is partly due to the fact, that he is at work most of the time, and therefore the constant minute-to-minute disciplining is down to me.  Had Daddy’s Little Princess, asked him any of these questions, he would have said “no” to her too.

I have explained this to her in detail.  And have told her, that I am not intentionally being spiteful and mean.  I’m just being a mother.  Hopefully a vaguely good one at that.

Giving in to her every whim, will spoil her, age me, and bankrupt us all.

I had a little meltdown to Grant the other day.  Bemoaning this ever so slightly horrible patch.  Complaining about how I missed the former closeness that Amber and I had.  How often we were at loggerheads. 

Luckily for me, my Grantie is a rather wise fellow.  He told me to harden up.  To not give in.  Kids are pro’s at manipulation.  And will milk you for all that you’ve got.  And he’s right.  Of course he is!

Still, I know that I annoy Amber.  It’s all part of the learning curve and growing up.  And so, in an attempt, to soothe fragile ego’s, and to show humility and approachability, I’ve asked her, what I can do differently to not annoy her so much.  Possibly slightly less.  This all to show my willingness to compromise and make allowances for her getting older.  All still whilst sticking to my principles.  In fact, I’m very aware of not appearing to be too inflexible and hard on her.

And with brutal honesty, my Berry declared – “It’s so hard, because you’re just to irritating”.

Be still my beating heart.  It’s a miracle the kid’s still alive.

Anyway, I’ve told her that I will promise to try harder.  To give it my all.  I will always be me.  The same mom she’s had for all eleven and a half of her years.  But that it is a two way street, and that she has to make the same commitment and promise too.

I am the adult, but I’m willing to listen to her point of view.  I’ll always explain.  With logic and reason.

However, I am dealing with an eleven year old.

And perhaps therein lies the flaw in my plan.

Why just tonight, when it was bedtime and I was cuddling with her in bed, we were snuggling and chatting.  She rattled off a whole list of demands for her upcoming birthday party…..the one in December…..  Her needs for a bigger bedroom once more.  Her desire to have later bedtime privileges.  Her wish to…..  Aaarghhh!!!

And then as a parting shot, she said to me, “I’ve thought of a whole bunch of ways you can win me back again, Mommy”.

I know – I’m being played by an eleven year old.

What can I say?  Mad-cow-disease strikes again.

And so I shall have to take my Grantie’s advice and harden up.  Possibly less explaining of all the “no” answers to her unreasonable questions.  And lots of practicing of my cross-and-determined face in the bathroom mirror.

Still every so often, that sweet little Berry comes out again to play.  Then she’s all over me again.  All loving and affectionate and super cute and sweet.

I’ve been down this road before with Luke.  And so I know, it’s quite a long haul.  This delusion will last for quite a while.

But here’s the clincher.  My kids are worth it.  And I’m blessed to be their mom. 

I can ride this storm.

My daughter may be delusional, but she probably takes after me.
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Having lots of dress-up fun with a friend - playing dress-up model at Precioux for a competition in the holidays
Loving all the funky clothes

My sweet little Amber-Berry



  1. Helene,my kids eventually caught on that "We'll see" is the lazy way to say "no!", to hopefully put an end to the long list of requests. But kids are tenacious, so then came the inevitable "No!" and after the predictable "Why? Its not fair!" came "because I say so", and finally "BECAUSE I AM OLDER THAN YOU!!" . Thats what Ouma Leen used to say to me, although I recall being a perfect 11 and half year old and a delightful teenager! NOT!!!

  2. Sy lyk defnitief na jou, pragtig!!Een van die dae is al die storms verby en dan sal sy weer terug na haar ou self wees!!Ons was maar almal so op daai ouderdom en dalk selfs erger hehehehe!!Liefde Estelle xx

  3. Mmmm, something about this rings a bell about her Mom!!