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.

17 Comments »

  1. It sounds like you and Zed did just the right thing to get her back on even ground. I hope the mentoring helps, too.

    Comment by Gypsy — November 21, 2006 @ 12:21 pm |Reply

  2. I can all ready tell that it will be too hard for me to have children. You want so much for them but you can’t supply everything. I’m sure she will be just fine.

    Comment by Carrie — November 21, 2006 @ 2:32 pm |Reply

  3. Oh, that’s so sweet. I am rooting for her. I know she is in good hands with you and Zed there to support her.

    Comment by Raehan — November 21, 2006 @ 3:33 pm |Reply

  4. Your ex sounds a lot like my father, or as I affectionately refer to him, the man who got my mother drunk and impregnated her. I’m sure Elle will turn out just fine. I’m OK (well mostly OK).

    Comment by Brian — November 21, 2006 @ 3:51 pm |Reply

  5. As an adult who was once a kid very much like Elle, I applaud you and Nick for saying all those wonderful things to her in the car. She is VERY lucky and that good stuff hopefully will stick with her forever.

    Comment by Karen Rani — November 21, 2006 @ 4:56 pm |Reply

  6. Sorry – Zed, not Nick…I’m blind tonight. 🙂

    Comment by Karen Rani — November 21, 2006 @ 4:57 pm |Reply

  7. I think she’ll be ok with you in her court!

    Comment by Rebekah — November 22, 2006 @ 1:32 am |Reply

  8. I agree with rebekah- sounds like you are doing all you can to support your lassy through this

    Comment by wisbo — November 22, 2006 @ 3:27 am |Reply

  9. Good for you for being sensitive to your daughter’s needs! That’s awesome. And the ex. Bleh. What is up with divorced dads? I have one and he’s no better. I think part of what attracted me to my husband, subconsciously, is that he’s the kind of divorced dad to his daughters that I wish mine had been.

    Comment by Suburban Turmoil — November 22, 2006 @ 10:22 am |Reply

  10. I am the most impatient person I know, so I know how Elle feels!!

    Comment by serendipity — November 22, 2006 @ 12:37 pm |Reply

  11. First of all, that’s pretty crappy customer service from the eyeglass place. 8 days?! They could’ve at least called you to let you know about the frame troubles! Keep in mind that I’m usually a patient person – still on dialup here you know!

    And secondly, that’s gotta be tough on Elle having her dad walk out even though he’s a jerk. I think it’s great how you and Zed built her up like that. The mentoring program sounds like a good idea.

    Comment by AbbyNormal — November 22, 2006 @ 3:00 pm |Reply

  12. Mentoring programs are great. Even if you think you have the most even keeled kid, it’s good for them to have someone who’s not family they can trust to talk too.

    Comment by KaraMia — November 22, 2006 @ 6:01 pm |Reply

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