I have once again, in complete error, created a new behavior in Bridget. Bridget likes things a certain way. It’s easier to go along, than to fight all the battles. Take for example Fig Newtons. What could go wrong with a Fig Newton, you ask? They are after all one of the healthiest snack food Bridget could want to eat. They are compact, not really messy and healthy. What more could a mom ask? Then this happened:
We were going into the car, I didn’t want a mess so I put them into a container. See how there are 4 perfect cookies? Guess what happens when you put 3 in the container instead. (Sorry I needed to do a grocery run!) Better yet, try handing the child a cookie when it is not in the container or (gasp) the square “little” bowl.
Sigh. Not worth the battle, I gave in. Every freaking time she asked for a Newt.
But it took the counter to make me begin to understand in how many ways Bridget is becoming uncompromising. I’m not even sure how it started. One night Bridget ate at the Island counter. She began having breakfast there, which made sense. She ate her muffin while I made lunches and ran around like a crazy person trying to get everyone ready for the day. Pop Bridget’s pill in her mouth, make lunch boxes and brush her hair. (I can take multitasking to a new level)
Slowly it began. Bridget began eating a meal with eating at the counter, alone. The three of us ate at the dinner table, Bridget ate at the counter. By herself with her IPAD. She will not even let Abby sit next to her. Bridget began eating at the “counter” more and more.
Before the counter, the bun obsession began. If I did her hair it “has” to be in a bun. She seems to understand that if I’m not home David & Abby have no clue how to do one. Which makes me believe this is totally behavioral and not a fashion statement.
Then the dress obsession started. She wants to wear a dress every day. Some weeks it is the rain boots obsession, others the cowboy boots and sometimes it’s just being naked while she makes her bed. It’s having Bob the bus driver and being upset when he has a day off.
We have been lucky up until this year. Our home is not on a schedule. We have never kept Bridget on a strict regimen. If there is no swim on Friday, she has no clue that it’s not Friday. We just tell her she can swim in the little pool next week.
Yet slowly her “habits” are affecting our lives. I’m not sure how to stop them or how to reverse her sitting at the counter for meals. But I know it has to stop because we determined a long time ago that our children are born into our lives, not that we would adapt to them. I mean think of it, if we let Abby rule our lives! We would have a stable full of horses and more cats than there is flea protection.
I keep resisting home services. I know I shouldn’t. I know that Bridget (and we) need help with transitioning her skills from school to home. Truthfully home services mean I am not doing my job. Yes, stupid reasoning. I should know how to teach Bridget. Her sister is an almost fully functional teen. I’ve done it before. Yet for some reason I am unable to force independence on Bridget. I pick the wrong battles. I give in too easy because I am tired or working too much or over-committed or insert whatever excuse works to get me out of purgatory.
I don’t know how to stop Bridget from forming habits that constrain her life. I just have to be more vigilant and keep her on her toes.
Now that is something I can do. After all, much to my mother’s frustration, I never plan more than 3 days in advance!