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Stick A Fork In Me. I Am Sooooo Done!

So done I probably look like one of Jack O'Neill's blackened shards of meat.

Alternate Title For Post: You Can Lead A Teen To Water, But You Can't Make Her Drink

Middle Daughter believes that communicating with parents and teachers is for wimps. She believes that she must DO ALL THE THINGS herself without any grown-up type help. This gets her in trouble time and again BUT SHE DOES NOT LEARN.

We have been over and over what she needs to do to get her college applications done, and I have repeatedly asked for a list of what is due when. "It's okay, Mom. Stop freaking out. They all require the common app, I'm on it, and financial aid stuff is due Feb. 1st." I believed her. She is after all, a truthful kid. Oooops!

She informed me Friday that one of her schools requires the [major, major, major pain-in-the-ass] CSS Profile financial aid application by Jan. 15th. We don't even have W-2 forms back yet. No other forms either. I have to reconstruct everything from stubs, research, etc. I spent all weekend getting the PAIN IN THE ASS FORM done.

On the way I discovered that one of her schools has a merit scholarship for musicians (she is a gifted pianist, with a good voice) she can apply to, but she needs a CD of 2 classical pieces, unedited, from two different eras, and it has to be postmarked by Jan. 15th. She has great difficulty figuring out why her parents think a shot at $14,000 each of 4 years should be prioritized over seeing the boyfriend. To her credit she did practice before and after a shortened visit to the boyfriend yesterday, and spent hours practicing today, but only one of the pieces was mistake free and ready to be put on disk this evening. She'll try again on the second piece, a very difficult Debussy nocturne, tomorrow.

I discovered that one of her schools (application deadline with better chance of admission Nov. 1st, 2012, ordinary deadline Jan. 20th) doesn't use the common application. Oh, and it requires 2 essays.

I discovered that the application deadline for her only reach school was Jan. 1st, 2013, so that one's gone, although I chased down and entered extra CSS Profile info for the place, and paid for sending copies of her standardized tests to them before I knew this.

I discovered that she probably will not be able to audition at her first choice college, because she's late signing up for auditions, so most of the slots are filled. She needed to audition at the school that doesn't use the common app by Nov. 1st, so that's right out. If she gets in maybe she can audition for next year?

Two of the schools require a supplement to the common app. She didn't know that, and wrote a crappy last minute essay for one, because her physics midterm is tomorrow, but at least both supplemental applications can be faxed from Beloved Husband's office tomorrow and meet the deadline. The essay is about how she'd like to start an LGBT support group (the question is about what club would she choose to start at the college if she was going to start one). I certainly hope they aren't Very Conservative. Of course if they are, that college and Middle Daughter would not be a good mix, so there's that...

Now I'm tired, and grumpy, and have had no time to relax for 3 days. I've been spending my weekends with collegeboard.com, irs.gov., fafsa.edu.gov., and the websites of 5 colleges. I will say, that the FAFSA site is refreshingly idiot proof, and so is their help site. [There was a question of how to handle something that "must match your Social Security Card exactly" when it would not allow enough characters to do that.] Beloved Husband has spent his weekend researching things at our online banking site, and the bennies office of both organizations that he works for, and wrangling The Whirlwind.

We've both spent time arguing with Middle Daughter, whose attitude is "Look, I'm too busy to deal with this now. I'm too stressed. I can't do it. I checked the websites carefully. I don't know why Mom could find it and I couldn't. I guess she's just better at that sort of thing. Sorry. Anyway, I'll get to it whenever. It's just going to have to go in late." As if colleges would care that my Special Snowflake was too busy to make the deadline, and give her extra consideration that others don't get.

Maybe we should press gang her into the Marines. It might be the only way to get her to understand that Rules are Rules. They apply to you too. Even if you don't like it. No exceptions for being you. Not that we haven't spent 17 years trying to teach that.

I thought that 17 year olds, who spend their entire lives plugged in to the internet, who have no clue how to research anything in paper books or periodicals, who don't know how to use an old fashioned library file card system, and think all human knowledge is found on the web, were actually better at finding out info on the web than 54 year old homemakers, who did all their graduate research in a brick and mortar library, and only got on the web some 10 years ago.

I was wrong.

Can I weep now?


( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 14th, 2013 07:25 am (UTC)
Little Miss Can't Be Wrong will have to take classes at the local community college & hope that those credits transfer to her university of choice. Which might work out for the best if it incurs less student loan debt.
Jan. 14th, 2013 07:42 am (UTC)
Ah, but we were really, really, really hoping that she would be going off out-of-state to get her away from the Totally Unsuitable Boyfriend.

Also, if she goes to the local community college in a rural area, she's driving an hour and a half to get there. That's if she gets her own car and a driver's license in time to go.

Because seeing the boyfriend is more important than taking time with her dad to work on driving.

So far, she still has a shot at 4 of the 5, so we'll cross our fingers and hope. Whatever happens, we'll be paying full tuition (doctors make too much to get need-based aid, and as a kid who needed it on my dad's professor's salary, I think that's only fair) minus the limit for Stafford Unsubstantiated loans, which she will assume, so enough of our assets can be preserved for The Whirlwind. I wouldn't mind paying $14,000 less though...
Jan. 14th, 2013 07:56 am (UTC)
Ah yes, the farther away she is from Totally Unsuitable Boyfriend, the closer she'll be to Potential Boyfriends Earning Degrees. The commute to the CC sounds pretty awful.

UGH I remember the whole admissions process. What a stressball.
Jan. 14th, 2013 08:38 am (UTC)


I perscibe wine. ( for you obvs)
Jan. 14th, 2013 08:48 am (UTC)
I'm diabetic and probably should forgo. I'm prescribing sleep (just as soon as I can get 2 pills down our cat). And a run tomorrow to shake off the last of the grrrrrrs. Then a good read.
Jan. 14th, 2013 08:55 am (UTC)
I'm sorry it's so stressful! I hope it all works out soon and that you make some of the deadlines!
Jan. 14th, 2013 08:02 pm (UTC)
We will make the deadlines for applying to 4 out of the 5 colleges. That last college is a goner.

She'll make the postmark deadline for applying for the musical scholarship. Whether it will be with two clean playings is unknown, and definitely not a sure thing.

She'll probably get in somewhere, and all the choices are out-of-state, so if she gets in, she will be away from Totally Unsuitable Boyfriend.

She's just not likely to be in a music program, unless she gets that scholarship, or chooses that school, and yet she wants to be a musician. She argues that you don't need to major in what you do.

The real frustration is that we, as parents, are very good communicators. We are very good communicators in the real world. We are generally good communicators in the real world, but we can only communicate with someone who actually desires to communicate. Middle Child does not, AND IT HURTS HER, which, of course, hurts us. Grrrrrr.
Jan. 18th, 2013 04:48 am (UTC)
I know you are having a rough week, so I thought I would share a bit of good news chez-nous. Middle Daughter has broken up with Totally Unsuitable Boyfriend, and is currently washing all the clothing he has loaned her over the years to return to him tomorrow. Hopefully she has learned, and will not be doomed to repeat history with a new Totally Unsuitable Boyfriend. She's a smart cookie, if still a little young for her age, so I am hopeful.

I'm also hopeful that by now Small Person has turned the corner, and has graduated from tea and toast to real food, and will be up and about tomorrow.
Jan. 14th, 2013 12:14 pm (UTC)
You are a good Mom and one day your daughter will be very thankful that you were so persistent.
Jan. 14th, 2013 08:07 pm (UTC)
Ye-e-es, but I sure do wish I'd been so persistent a few months earlier so she could have made all the auditions...

Oh well. Life is not about what happens to us, it's about how we react to what happens to us. So we pick up, we shake off, we move on.

Jan. 14th, 2013 01:42 pm (UTC)
truthful =/= accurate
*great big hugsssss*

Truthfulness breaks down when truthful person is lying to herself first.

Yeah, at $14k a year, getting her away from Totally Unsuitable Boyfriend will be one of the best investments EVAR, since he's probably a key element in her slacker attitude. As long as she doesn't then acquire a new TUB in her new locale.
Jan. 14th, 2013 08:24 pm (UTC)
Re: truthful =/= accurate
Yeah, that's why I hope that the relationship, which is showing a few signs of fraying around the edges (her face book status changed recently to "in a complicated relationship with [TUB]" from "in a relationship with [TUB]") Those who don't learn from history are bound to repeat it, and she needs to internalize the lesson that "very manly" and "inclined, when given the opportunity, to be a total d*ck" are not the same thing. Otherwise she will always manage to find those guys who are too controlling, who go through life encouraging conflict and anger, who make their paths through life more difficult day by day. He has Borderline Personality Disorder. It shows.

The real irony is that she has a splendid example of how to be a man without being jealous or controling, with genuine gentleness, trust, and communication in her own home in Beloved Husband. But she doesn't want that. She wants a controling guy just like her biological dad, who is so much so that he won't let his wife out of the house without him. She only had two weeks short of a year with him, and yet it left such a deep imprint.

I think the problem with the application process was that she found a site that listed schools that take the common app, and then did no further research. Since my other two older kids are naturally inclined to do the further research, I guess it didn't occur to me that she wouldn't, and that she would assume that what she ran across was TRUTH. She learned a hard lesson about the dangers of a lack of curiosity, and about GIGO.

Re: Your icon. Isn't it lucky for me that I've reached the age where I appreciate the gift within and the intent behind it more than the box it comes in!
Jan. 14th, 2013 10:17 pm (UTC)
Oh that sounds like a stressful weekend! I hope you found some way to unwind after all that. *hugs*

I'm afraid I have no advice as I was the Leave Everything Until The Last Minute teenager getting yelled at by mum for not doing the paperwork/whatever I needed to do. My Student Loan application went in late and I had to wait two weeks longer than everyone else for my first cheque. That is when I learned the lesson! And yes, there was also a Totally Unsuitable Boyfriend who skewed my university applications towards staying in the same town.

Jan. 14th, 2013 10:45 pm (UTC)
Alas, there probably is no advice anyway. It is one of the hardest things about parenting that you can't do the growing up for them. After all, you the parent have mastered that. You know by now how to do it right, and would do it with a certain panache. You'd know just to zone out and let it slide off your back between the ages of 11 and 14, and then you would understand, as the other kids did not, that high school was just a prelude to what is to come, not a judgment on your value as a human being. You'd know what things are important, and what things are momentary things that too will pass. But all we can do is stand on the sidelines and offer advice. They have to do it themselves, and sometimes they insist on "doin' it rong".

So it's not the irritation and the stress that's the hard part. *shrugs* That's part of life, and comes to us all. It's the fear. What if she persists on doing this time after time? What if she doesn't learn?

I woke up this morning, and the sun was shining brightly, and I got out and got some great exercise, and realized that yeah, this weekend was a corker, but it means that other weekends to come will be free. A truly unpleasant task that will probably be an annual thing for this year and the ensuing three is done for this year. What a truly attractive silver lining that cloudy weekend has!
Jan. 14th, 2013 11:13 pm (UTC)
She will learn. It's just unfortunate that it's so often mistakes that we learn from.

I'm glad your Monday was better than your weekend and that you found the silver lining. :)
Jan. 14th, 2013 11:58 pm (UTC)
sympathies :(

as a positive thought:
My little (26 years old) brother, who was perennially getting in screaming matches with my parents (about money, school-then-work, common sense and a bunch of other things he should have been over by now), right up to last year, suddenly seems to have matured this year.

He apparently called at some point a couple months ago and had a long apologetic talk with them and has been a Good Son since.
There is a Girlfriend in the picture that one might be tempted to thank for maturing him, but hey, whatever works....

so even if they sometimes seem to take forever... there is always hope they will change.

lol, read your comment about pills to cat... and I'd just watched the ep where Riker got savaged trying to feed Data's cat.. :D more sympathies?

I prescribe boxing gloves and a 100lb bag. though I know beautiful fresh air and quiet (natural) nature does as well for you :)

and no, spending time online.. doesn't mean spending time researching. the skills are not related. She will likely have a rude shock when she hits college and needs to figure something out for herself...

The one that shocked me more was to discover people who knew one program on the computer (say, Word) but had no notion of Windows Explorer, folders, file organizing: you know, the basics of computers. Couldn't conceive how you could use a computer all day and not pick that up.....
Jan. 15th, 2013 12:44 am (UTC)
Fortunately the cat in question, when she is healthy and full of ginger feels no qualms about biting anyone in the household. Except me. She doesn't love getting her pills. It often gags her. She's cooperative, however. I think she's figured out that it helps.

I know that Middle Child will probably grow up eventually. There are some signs even now, although she is young for dates. To some extent I think that this is because that's the way she was designed. Some kids walk at 9 months (Eldest Daughter is a case in point) and some at 14 months. They all get there eventually. I think Middle Daughter is a little slow to grow those parts of her brain that think out consequences. Or maybe she's closer to the normal end than I think, and Eldest Daughter and Only Son were ahead of the curve and spoiled me.

The real issue is not "Will she grow up?" as much as "Will she keep hurting herself by insisting on doing it the hard way, or will she learn from this and do it the easy way from now on in?"

It's the hard part of parenting that we are, in the lives of teens, largely relegated to the sidelines cheering them on, because they have finally reached the age where you have to give them enough rope to hang themselves and then stand around hoping to cut them down in time, so that they will make that mistake while you are there to fix things, and not when they are out there on their own with no one watching their backs.

And yeah, the ability of people to be willfully ignorant about how computers work is... disturbing. Some of them seem to think it's a magic box, and that's fine with them. I always wanna find the Wizard of Oz behind the curtain, myself.
Jan. 16th, 2013 03:08 am (UTC)
good luck.
Jan. 15th, 2013 05:15 am (UTC)
*hugs* Ah,college applications. So not fun for anyone involved. My parents had to do quite a bit of nagging with me too. It's just lucky I'm good at pulling it all together at the last minute! I hope Middle Daughter will also prove to have this skill, which will serve her well whichever college she ends up attending. The dread of a rapidly impending deadline can provide some pretty intense inspiration, and I hope that will be the case.

Sadly, that probably doesn't apply to financial forms, so I'll wish you and your husband the best of luck with those. Sending good thoughts for all of you!
Jan. 15th, 2013 06:08 pm (UTC)
No, see that's the problem. There was (at least as far as we can tell) no dread whatsoever of the rapidly impending deadline. There was some degree of dread concerning the rapidly impending parental freakout, which threatened to include... *gasp*... *shudder*... actual yelling.

In any case it's all done but the shouting (as they say ;)...) and the only thing that has to happen is that one of her teacher's (already written) recommendations has to be electronically forwarded to one of her colleges, and then we will be all set until admission/rejection letters start coming out.
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )



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