Friday, March 11, 2016

The More Things Change...

This picture of Evelyn was taken in her Kindergarten year. That was back when her father and I foolishly thought we could decide things like having her memorize poems and recite them back to us. Now, the issue wasn't with being able to find poems that she could memorize, it was't that she didn't want to do it, it wasn't that she couldn't do it.The issue was that she didn't want to do it when I said she should do it. And that up there? That is what I dealt with for an hour and a half. The poem was: Fee Fi Foo Fum I smell the blood of an Englishman. Be he alive or be he dead, I'll grind his bones to make my bread. Yes, I know-grim and weird, but she picked it and I knew that she was strong willed to begin with so I just let her choose. She learned the thing on Monday, knowing that st sometime on Friday I was going to ask her to stand before me and recite it. Through the week, she recited that little ditty so many times standing in front of me, at her request, that I thought I would run mad through the streets. Then, come Friday, when I asked her to do it?!?! That up there was the response. She eventually did it because, well, I don't negotiate with terrorist after all but my point is this, even though she has mellowed some and even though I have learned how to not set us up for this sort of thing (for the most part), sometimes we still end up here and she is A HAND FULL.

I have no clear idea how the best child on earth can simultaneously be the most difficult child on earth but my daughter manages it. She is cheerful, easy going, sweet, thoughtful, helpful, good natured, basically disciplines herself (and has since she was 3), looks out for all of us, does her chores, is no trouble for school (except for when she is), loves with no boundaries and no limits, has a smile that lights up the world but when she breaks bad-I'm in for it. She is about as stubborn as they come, she can nag at you and wear you down like the Colorado River carving the Grand Canyon. She's a force of nature. It's respectable. Her father and I do our best not to quash this in her, those warriors in her helped her survive her time in China without us, she needs them. She needs that inner iron. She is one of the most intelligent people I have ever met and I think she needs that inner strength to balance out all of her other qualities. Having said all of that however, some can be a little rough when she turns it on and I'm not quite ready to deal with it.

Yesterday she decided that she didn't want to have a Spelling test on her Review Unit. Now her Review Unit has 100 words in it because it's 5 lessons of 20 words a piece. We have never, ever made her test 100 words- who would do that to a kid? She got it into her head though that that was what we were going to do with her this week, despite the fact that I told her repeatedly that was not the case, despite the fact that we have never done that. So she launched a campaign. She was in my ear ALL DAY about this test. Blah blah this and Blah blah that but not ever really saying what she had to say. Finally, I just looked at her and asked her what was chapping her ass. I got the 11 year old version of the look above and she really laid into me about how awful it was to have to be tested on 100 words and why should she have to do that and how could she even write that much at one time and how was she supposed to keep it all straight and what if she failed and ...... so I grabbed her book and gave her the verbal test of what we usually do a written form of- a random selection of 25-30 words of the list of the 100 words. She got every one correct. I told her she had just had her test, to leave me alone and go do her Math.

Today she came to me and said, "Mama, that Spelling test was so fun yesterday! Can you test me on ALL of the other words today?!?!"

I died a little inside.