Wednesday, November 25, 2009

War Status Update

I was told that I needed to provide an update on how "the war" is going.

There seems to be some sort of a cease-fire going on. "A" has been diligently showering everyday and paying for underwear. We did drop the prices like she asked since she has not been arguing or complaining.

Mostly, she's been wearing "B"'s clothes.

I was so ready for more tantrums about the loss of clothes, that I really wasn't prepared for this truce. In fact, I had to ask my husband how long we were going to make her pay for her clothes. We hadn't really discussed it.

This morning the question was asked:

"So, if I wash my clothes do I have to give them back to you and pay for them again? or do I get to keep them?"

"Um, yeah, you can keep them, you paid for them."

No yelling, no fighting, just an eerie calm.

She did break down and pay me $5 this morning for a whole new outfit: pants, shirt, undershirt, socks, underwear.

Do I pay tithing on that?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

This Is War!

Ok, so that title might be a little much. But that is basically how I was feeling earlier this morning. You see, I have a 13 year old daughter. Enough said? She is a really good person. We just have this problem with discipline. I remember going to a class once that was on How to Discipline Your Toddler. And I remember the speaker saying, you're going to need to remember this, because toddlers and teenagers are not that different. Boy, was she right. So I was trying to remember what my teenager was like as a toddler. She was usually really good. The problem of course was when she wasn't. It was hard to discipline her because she didn't care about anything. It was hard to take things away when she didn't care. And when we would get mad at her she thought it was a funny game. The smirk on her face made us even more insane, causing her to smirk even more. Totally vicious circle. Well, now she's a teenager and guess what, she still doesn't care about much. But I think I figured something out. Here's what I got on my pillow this morning:

Dear Mom & Dad,
I am sorry about yesterday. I made bad choices, but you did make pretty violent punishments. Is there any possible way that we could lessen these punishments ever so slightly? It would make it easier on both of us. I mean, you guys have to enforce these punishments.
(it's so nice that she cares about us)
Ok, so I don't care about the no reading, no computer time, no watching other's computer time, and all that. At the moment, I think that's for the best. (so glad she agrees)
I will not rush through jobs so I can read and end up forgetting my homework. (totally not the problem) I can work on my pillowcase embroidery. I can write letters to my Lehi friends so we can be pen pals.
But the other part of the punishment is the "violent" part. Sneaking into my room and taking all my clothes while I shower is a bit overreactive. I know I showered disobediently
(we gave her the choice of showering now or in the morning, when she refused to decide we said - morning) and I'm sorry, but taking my clothes and making me pay for them is quite drastic.
(I know, awesome! and it just came to me)
I'm not going to try to persuade you out of making me pay for my clothes, I'd just like to tweak the payments a bit. (I'm glad she's not going to try and persuade us)
I'd be much more willing to pay for the clothes this way. I have 3 choices:
Option A: underwear, socks, bras, undershirts - 50c each; shirts, pants - $1 each; church outfits - $3 an outfit; school outfit (this includes undershirt, shirt, pants, socks) $5. I also get 1 article of clothing of your choice every time I do 1 extra job without complaining. This means complete and well done.
Option B: This option is just the prices lessened as show above.
Option C: This option is the job - clothes option only
These options would increase my willingness to help and pay. By the way, the prices before are way too expensive.
Happy Anniversary!

So is anyone else laughing hysterically over this letter? She is a really good writer. This letter just made my day. But here's the deal, instead of having to pay for clothes this morning, apparently she had a pair of jeans in the bathroom with her that I didn't get. And her sister, who according to her, is mean to her and annoying, let her borrow some clothes. She thought she had totally got us. The smirk was back.

But one thing I learned from her toddler years, I cannot get angry. Well, I mean I cannot lose it. I will just proceed and see how it all goes. She will get extra jobs, she will not be allowed to read. And she will have to pay for clothes to wear. And I'll also make sure that her love bucket is full so she'll want to be good.

But can you see why it's almost like war?

Thursday, November 5, 2009


I was reading the scriptures the other night and came across Matthew 7:7-11:

". . .what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?

. . . if ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?"

I remembered that before our move I had prayed very hard that we would be led to where we needed to be. To go where it was best for our family.

Reading those verses made me realize that even if I think that my life is hard right now, this is not a stone where I am. The Lord has actually given me bread.

That's my new mantra for a little while; this is not a stone, it is bread.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Birds and Bees

This is one of those topics that is never very easy to talk about - but I think it needs to be.

I've heard that the top 3 reasons people get divorced are due to problems in communication, money or sex.

There seem to be lots of classes and suggestions about the first two; but what about sex? No one wants to talk about it (which is reasonable due to the private and intimate nature of it).

But what happens if there is a problem in your relationship in that area? Who or where do you get help from?

There have been LDS books (my favorite) published recently that address this issue and they have been hugely popular. But I always think if I check one out of the library eyebrows are being raised. Especially in this time of rampant pornography it makes it more difficult to seek answers without seeming perverse.

Of course, the most important thing is to be totally candid with your spouse. But what else?

This should be the role of the parents, but how many of us are really comfortable talking about this with them, or they with us. (Luckily, I could talk about this stuff)

I am a very open person (probably too open) but I feel sorry for these young newlyweds who may not know where to turn to.

I've often wondered if there shouldn't be a Relief Society lesson on this subject at least once a year; or a more frank discussion about this in pre-marriage counseling.

There definitely is a line to draw when discussing things so they don't get too personal, but I am believer in how important this part of a marriage is.

Anyone else out there feel the same way?


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