Monday, March 19, 2012

Klepto Kid

So Dotty has officially become a kleptomaniac. She has once again stolen a toy.

At this point I am thinking of signing her up for a 12 step program.

All kidding aside...I realize that some kids do this as a way of getting attention. It is just another form of "negative attention is still attention". However I worry.

Yesterday when we took Brittany and Dylann back home from getting the girls pictures made with bunnies Dotty took me into her room to "tell me the truth" as she put it. I was at a loss until she pulled a purple ball out from underneath her puffy pink Easter dress. She had taken the ball from the studio.

I was at a loss for words for a minute. Then Tony came over and together we tried to explain to Dotty how wrong it was to steal...even if it is just a toy. We told her she must know it was wrong because she had hidden it. And we asked her if she knew it was wrong...a bad choice...she nodded. We told her that this was the second time we had to have this talk and that we did not want to do it again. If she stole again she would be punished. Tony asked her what she thought should be her punishment if she steals again (I thought that was a great idea on his part) and she said she needed to have a toy of hers taken away.

So her "tab" (a.k.a. Leap Pad Game toy) is up on the blocks. If she does it again it will be taken away for several days.

We also told her we were glad she told us the truth...that we loved her...that everyone makes mistakes...and that she would have to take the toy back and apologize as a way of fixing her mistake. (I plan to call ahead to the studio to fill them in on the details and to ask them to be firm but kind to Dotty.)

I am not "Mother of the Year" by any means...and a I learn daily how to be a better parent but I am at a loss on this one. I can only hope that some day when she is running for public office or something that this incident will be a humorous story and will not keep her from winning any type of election.

In reality...I hope to nip this thing in the bud to keep her out of jail!!! I don't really care if she runs for any kind of office or even if she votes for that matter...but I do want her to not be banned from voting due to a criminal past!!!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

And Then There was Silence

I just spent four days with Dotty. Based on how Tony and I now work our schedules of being with Dotty a time span like that is rare. Neither of us want to go very long without her.

The past four days and nights were awesome! The best yet I think. Dotty didn't cry for Tony. She was too busy. We saw Memaw LOTS! We had people over to visit like Papa and Brittany and Dylann. There was school and work. There were events and such. But overall it was just great.

It even rained which we sooooo needed (and which Dotty prayed for). Of course rainy days with a 4 year old stuck in a house can be tough.

I remember yesterday thinking as 3 different tvs were going on with 3 different cartoon shows on them and Dotty was dancing and singing and asking me to "flip her" (our newest trick that is threatening to throw my back out) that I just wanted 5 seconds of silence. Only 5 seconds to clear my head and have a single uninterrupted thought.

And then there was silence.

It came when I walked in the door after leaving Dotty to stay the night with Tony and Brittany. It hit me in the face so hard that I physically cried from the pain.

No distraction at all could fill the silence that had crept into my soul.

It happens every time Dotty leaves. It has not gotten easier and I am sure it never will.

The silence reminds me that a piece of me is gone when Dotty is not here. She is the part that completes me.

I know a lot of parents beg for and seek out silence in the crazy would that is that of raising a child...and I am no different at times. At times I get annoyed with the same questions from Dotty. At times I lose my patience. At times I forget that the time I have with her is getting less and less each day.

And then there is silence.

With each moment of silence I crave to hear Dotty's voice...her laughter...her soft breath as she sleeps...and yes even her fit throwing would be nice too.

Lots of parents don't get the "silence" until their children go off to college or wherever they go after high school. But I get it over and over again.

Luckily with each stretch of silence I pray to God that I become a better mom and cherish Dotty all the more. I pray that I will enjoy the "noise" each day that is associated with Dotty. And I pray for strength to endure the silence.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Losing Marbles

I read an email from "All Pro Dad"...a Tony Dungy website that I just love. It was talking about all the time we sacrifice with our kids. It mainly focused on what we give up in order to make more money but it applies in all areas of our lives.

The last point the email made really hit home with me. The author said to figure out how many Saturdays you have left with your child from now until they turn 18. Then he said to buy that many marbles and place them in a glass jar. Every Saturday night throw one marble away...because you will never get it back.

That explanation really hit home to me and made me cry. As a divorced parent I get only about half those Saturdays with my kid...same for Tony too. As best I can figure it...and I am not great with math...Tony and I have roughly 680 Saturdays or so left before Dotty turns 18. When you divide that by 2 because we share weekends with her that means I only have 340 Saturdays left to spend with her. (And the truth is...when she starts driving I might not even have that many because she will rather be with her friends more than likely.)

I know I spoil my kid. I know I do. But my time with her is limited and it is precious. Every parent feels that way I know but I think divorced parents feel it even more because we don't even have the option of having our kid every day if we wanted them. That is a luxury we will never get.

I feel guilty leaving Dotty for even an hour when she is with me. I want her to know and to feel my love and I want to cherish every moment with her. I do try to share her with my family and her friends and let her grow up to be a normal kid. And I truly don't want her to be spoiled or to think she must have my constant attention because I know that is not healthy either. It is a fine line all parents walk...and a fine and wobbly line that divorced parents must walk.

Trust me...I know all parents have troubles and trials. I in no way think I have it worse than any other parent. I just have it different than those parents who are both living in the same home as their child. This is the only life I know so of course it is the one I most understand and feel the most passion for.

Like I have always said...Tony and I don't have the typical divorce. We get along well. We always try to do what is best for Dotty above all. But there are sacrifices that come along with that way of thinking. I pray to God every day that Dotty will grow up happy and healthy and will not be scarred by coming from a "broken home" so to speak. I pray that she will know how loved she is by so many people and she will never feel cheated by the life she was dealt.

However, in trying to give all I can for Dotty's happiness I must lose some of my own. I lose weekends. I lose days. I lose nights. I lose moments. I lose time. I lose memories I will never be a part of. In a way I lose marbles so to speak. But I would lose everything for her.

I don't plan on buying any marbles to do what the author said. Trust me...I know my time is precious...and it is fleeting. But I thank God every day for the time (for the marbles) I do get to spend with Dotty. For she is my greatest blessing!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Parent/Teacher Conference Spring 2012

So the other day Tony and I went to have our parent/teacher conference at Dotty's school. They have two each year. One in the fall and one in the spring.

Here are some of the "highlights" from the written report we got from Mrs. Grace...

"Sprinkling her knowledge to others throughout her morning and whenever someone is 'sprinkled' they are better for it - adult and friend."

Translation - Dotty likes to tell people how to do things. There is "her way" and the "wrong way"...classmates can choose but beware. When you get "sprinkled" again it rains down a bit heavier and with more force!

"Great manager in the best sense!"

Translation - Dotty is bossy.

"Extraordinary understanding of how the English language works in her world."

Translation - Dotty talks a lot.

All jokes aside...Mrs. Grace said Dotty was a great kid. And Dotty LOVES Mrs. Grace and Ms. Connie!!!