Interstellar Adventures

November 21, 2006

A Frustrated Little Girl

Filed under: Elle & Zed,Mom Life,The Ex Files — by InterstellarLass @ 11:24 am

Patience is not one of my virtues, so I don’t suppose I passed that gene on to either Elle or Zed. Along with pre-disposed impatience and today’s hurry-up attitude, instant gratification seems to be expected. So, I sort of have an attitude of “Think positive and hope for the best, but always be prepared to be disappointed.” My kids seem to sometimes leave that first bit out.

Elle still hasn’t received her glasses. I could have taken the damn things to LensMasters or EyeCrafters and gotten them in an hour or so. But, the doctor’s office that did Elle’s eye exam also has a lens shop, and so we used them. We expected 3-5 working days to get her glasses in. Including the day we went in for the exam (in the morning), today is now working day 8, and no glasses. Last Wednesday she started asking, and pouted when I said they hadn’t called. By Friday she was crying. She wants her glasses. Understandable. They’ve been hyped up to be wonderful and to solve several problems she’s been having, namely with reading and depth perception. I finally called yesterday after no communication from the doctor’s office. There was a defect with the frames in stock. So they ordered new frames. Lenses are at the ready.

Now, I could call and rant and complain, but I’m not actually paying for anything. My insurance covers the exam, lenses, frames, coatings, AND that special stuff that turns the lenses dark in the sunlight for ‘instant sunglasses’.

So, last night, again, she cried. I don’t know if she was already in a bad mood or what. But her after-school director said that she’d complimented Elle on her hair and was ignored. Another coach complimented her as we walked out the door, and Elle ignored him. I made her come back and say thank you. OK, say it again, without the sarcasm this time. Poor thing is frustrated, but she still must be gracious under fire. Then, last night over dinner, Nick was recounting how he used to get in trouble as a kid. Zed brought up an incident with The Ex, which Zed now refers to as ‘the worst day of his life’. He was four at the time. He’s now eleven. And this memory will be etched in his mind forever. My Ex is an asshole. While on the subject of bad memories, Zed also said he remembered when his dad left the first time, when he was five.

Then Elle piped up. A few weeks ago she was sad because The Ex had to work on one of the nights he’s supposed to take the kids to dinner. She asked me that night why her dad ever left. I told her she’d have to ask her dad, because mommy didn’t have an answer (that she needed to hear). Well, anyway, she said last night that she had asked her dad. His answer? Ask your mom. I was floored. He infuriates me with his refusal to step up and act like a parent. You can’t walk out on your kids and pass the buck and not offer them an answer. I realize you’re tired of them asking the questions, but they’re just a couple of kids, living with someone else’s choice for their life, and they deserve a response.

So, she was feeling down. And so while we waited in the car for Nick to get garbage bags from Target, we talked. I came up with all the wonderful things there are about her. And then Zed chimed in about all the things he likes about having her as a sister; things he’d miss if she wasn’t his sister. I’d say something, and Zed would say something, and we kept building on it. Eventually she was smiling again, and feeling good. She has a thousand wonderful things about her, and yet that sense of rejection from her dad pains her so much. I know the impact of it all too well from personal experience, and it kills me that she’s hurting over this.

Her teacher identified her for the mentoring program at her school. Students from the jr high, high school, former teachers and other volunteers serve as mentors for the elementary age kids. They get about 30 minutes of one-on-one time each week. The purpose is to build self-esteem. When I first heard about it, my first reaction was “My kid has plenty of self-esteem!”. But then I really thought about it. And I realized she’s like me. She puts on more of a front than she lets on. And so I signed her up for this program. It doesn’t cost anything, and she can learn something and benefit from it. And if this is something that can give her the confidence and self-esteem to be happy and healthy, then I’m all for it. I have high hopes for her. Like most parents and mothers, I don’t want my kid to repeat some of the mistakes I made.

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