Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Memories, or Lack Thereof

EN forgets everything and is frequently distracted by butterflies and shiny objects. It really shouldn’t surprise me to realize that his eldest daughter is EXACTLY the same way. Even after dealing with EN being that way and having been together for 14 years, dealing with this issue isn’t any easier. Having Sugar behave the same way makes me come unglued.

I picked her up from school yesterday and she was kicking up a fuss with the woman who runs the after school program. Sugar forgot her homework in her classroom and Colleen wouldn’t let her go get it without an adult with her. So we schlepped to her classroom and got her stuff, back to the gym to collect book bag and such. We were halfway across the parking lot when I realized she was shivering in her t-shirt. “Where’s your coat?” Apparently it was in the gym so she needed to go back to get that.

We get home and she shows me the items she bought at the book fair, even kindly buying something for Spice. I didn’t want to give her money for the fair, because she’s been losing so many items and forgetting so much STUFF lately, but to punish a child by taking away new books… that seems foolish. So the deal was that she could get some new books, but would have to find her music book when she got home from school.

Sugar started looking for the book after dinner. I could vaguely hear (it’s great to be hearing impaired sometimes!) her banging around upstairs, the occasional cry, yell, maybe an item or two being tossed around. I told her to simmer down, and maybe look for her misplaced eye patch too. Nearly an hour later, she’s back downstairs, borderline hysterical and obstinate, “I can’t find either one.” For her attitude alone I said, “Then we will need to find out what the return policy is for these books.”  Things got even worse when Sugar confessed that she had thrown the music book out over the summer. Why would someone waste all that time looking for something that she knows is no longer there? Why lie and put on a big show like she knows exactly where it is?

I was the Worst Mother Ever… and I yelled. I yelled because she lied. I yelled because she is constantly forgetting things. I yelled because it seems like she doesn’t value anything she’s given. And the whole time, she stood there with tears pouring down her face, looking at me, still loving me even though I was a raving lunatic.

The instruction manual I got when I became a mother makes no mention of when I can start to expect a child to take some responsibility for remembering things, keeping track of their own items, etc. Am I expecting too much? Not enough? Is there a switch somewhere within her brain that I need to set to “ON” so she can start remembering things?!

The bonus of this memory disorder? Sugar was as chipper as always this morning, smiling and happy. I’m sure she’s forgotten last night ever even happened. And me, I’ll be wallowing in guilt for days over this…  

Ice Princess

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