Oh For the Days of Toddlerdom

When the girls were toddlers, they were quieter, better behaved in public, they put their toys away, and kept their room clean. Yes, for the most part, they did that themselves. I miss the quiet.

Now, at pre-puberty, getting them to shut their mouths at home, let alone in public, is a near impossibility. They didn’t run in stores at 3, and yet now…at twelve…Rhi runs. In fact, the two of them were playing hide and seek tag the last time I took them with me to the “big” store in town. It’s been a non-stop struggle with them to simply behave in public. Thankfully, school has started and I can go and get the groceries without them. By next summer, I can do that even if they are home…Rhi’s old enough now to leave alone, but I’m not sure I want to.

I have to admit, they are better behaved than some of the kids the same ages I had in the Summer Programs at CFDC. But those kids were excited to be going out digging for fossils (not dinosaur, but marine reptile) and reacted accordingly. Most of the time, we ended up misbehaving together. What, oh what is making my kids excited all the time. They can’t be that happy to be awake and mobile. Can they?

When I ask them, they tell me they don’t know why they behave like they do, in public – and at home for that matter. They just “have to”. If one person reading this tells me ADHD; I’ll smack them – these girls have the longest attention spans ever, when they want to. If it’s something they like. Besides, Rhi is already taking a prescrip for ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder).

Ok, yeah, I know. That could explain her behaviour, and in fact it does. The frightening thing is I’m starting to think Care is behaving as she is either because she’s ODD too, or because she’s so normal, that she has to do something to stand out; she’s possibly emulating Rhi’s behaviour. Better that than emulating Rhi’s CP.

Actually, Care is very worried right now that she’ll end up taking care of Rhi all her life, and won’t be able to do things that she wants to. I can see where she’s getting this from; my mother is practically a self-made invalid. She uses her Fibromyalgia as an excuse to not do anything, constantly telling everyone no one ever does anything for her, no one cares about her, blah blah blah. Well, since I’ve actually watched her yell at my brother to pick up a pen she dropped RIGHT BESIDE HER OWN CHAIR, right where she could have leaned over and picked it up, and I know the boys do more in that house than she’ll ever get off her ass to do when they finally move out…she’s going to die in a house laden with old newspapers, garbage and candy wrappers tucked into corners and under mattresses.

Anyway, I digressed into my own maternal loathing. What I was getting at, is that Care sees my mother doing this, and sees how my brothers and I do for her (when she’s fully capable, just too damn pathetic) and sees the similarities between Rhi and my mother. If Rhi can get someone to do something for her, she won’t even try. And that sums up my mother as well.

I told Care she won’t have to be with her sister all the time. To my knowledge, Rhi will be perfectly capable of having a driver’s license, doing her own laundry and washing her own dishes. She may have speed and eyeglasses restrictions put on her license, but lots of people do.

I suppose, all in all, they are normal kids. I just wish they’d get out of this particular phase, and into the next. I mean, how many teenagers still have tons of toys laying around everywhere? Oh please tell me there is a magic birthday where they start becoming little women, and not the tornadoes they are now!

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