Running out of incentives to induce good behavior, this morning, as she tore the house up and berated me because she wouldn't get out of bed in time to catch her ride, I calmly informed my daughter that although her replacement Converse Hi-Tops would arrive today, she would not be wearing them until she made it on time to jazz band practice for an entire week.
"You made a commitment to be in a band and that means attending practices," I stated emphatically.
"You made a commitment to be my mother and that's not working out so well, is it?" she screamed in my face.
Her words bite me still even as I type. It may be easy on the outside looking in to agree with her and tell me that this messy relationship is indeed my fault. If only I would handle things differently, lay down the law, spend more time with her, etc... I already get that from a couple of people in my ward (lesson #1: never judge a mother through the eyes of her 12-year-old daughter) to whom she is nothing but sweet and respectful and fun, and who, frankly, would be shocked if they witnessed one of her too-frequent tirades.
Sure there are days when I could handle things better. But I think the fact that no matter how bad it gets I don't usually yell back; I haven't smacked her across the face; I continue to calmly tell her "You're Welcome" and "Bye, I love you. Have a good day," as I drop her off to school (even on mornings when she's at her worst); and I haven't, as of yet, left home or wished the same upon her when she is a mother, speaks volumes about my commitment to be her mother.
I only hope I can see this through and that my commitment (unless she gets her way--which she doesn't always, because that's not always what's best for her--she chooses to not see the love) will be enough. On days like today I honestly wonder...