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The Score Card

So yesterday was the deadline for applications, and here's the score:

Colleges she had chosen to apply for: 5
Colleges she succeeded in applying for: 4
Merit scholarship auditions she could apply for: 1
Merit scholarship auditions she did apply for: 1
Number of missed notes: 2
Number of people in the immediate household: 4
Number of highly relieved people in the immediate household: 4

Somehow, some way, whether by dint of nagging, by a number of very late nights, by parental out-stubborning, or by finally (dawn over Marblehead!) understanding where her self-interest lay, we got to the win-win.


Thanks to all of you for hearing my whine. Sometimes blowing off steam in an ancillary way prevents the full boiler explosion, and that would not have been pretty, and there's only so much looking at each other, shaking our heads, and saying "It's not just us, is it? It isn't just a hopelessly old fashioned outlook right? It's her attitude not ours, right? Right? RIGHT???!!!" that Beloved Husband and I can do.

I can report that there were no stranglings, no smacking around, no high-blood pressure mediated stroke events, and no words said on the parental side that we regret saying. Woot!

For those of you chancing upon this who don't know me and may be considering the necessity of contacting the authorities on an issue of child safety, please know that in the above paragraph only the last thing mentioned was in actual danger of happening. Child abuse is just as wrong as voluntary cannibalism, and we don't allow it here.


( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 16th, 2013 06:14 pm (UTC)
Here's hoping she soon develops the life skills that don't rely on others nagging to get important stuff accomplished.
Jan. 16th, 2013 10:06 pm (UTC)
Yeah, we get 18 years to teach them the best way to deal with the world and their responsibilities, and after that, if they haven't internalized that, it's up to them. My older two got most of that squared away by 16 or so. This one is a procrastinator. I hope she's just taking it down to the wire, rather than blowing off the eighteen year deadline!

Edited at 2013-01-16 10:07 pm (UTC)
Jan. 18th, 2013 04:38 am (UTC)
In the happily ending department, just thought you might like to know that as of last night, Middle Daughter has broken up with Totally Unsuitable Boyfriend (cheerfully renamed "TUB" by Lolmac) an is washing all his many borrowed t-shirts, sweatshirts, and blankets in preparation for handing them back tomorrow.

Hopefully she has learned enough from this experience to make a better selection the next time around. She may be very stubborn and a little young for her chronological age, but she is a smart little cookie, so there's hope.
Jan. 18th, 2013 06:36 am (UTC)
BIG SIGH OF RELIEF. He sounded like a jealous, controlling loser. She deserves someone brilliant & supportive.
Jan. 18th, 2013 07:01 am (UTC)
Oh, he was, he was! And he single handedly taught The Whirlwind, who had reached the age of nine without ever hating anyone how to hate by being vengeful and mean to her over and over again. Teaching a child how to hate. If ever there was a sin in this world, that is it.

It's a huge relief. I was so afraid that she'd tie herself to him. At one point she was talking all about being eighteen and being an adult and fully able to make her own decisions, and that she'd like to have a large family with him. This is a kid who barely tolerates children. I could see her biological family history repeating itself with her, and was helpless to stop it, because the person voted most likely to raise her hackles is me. Her biological father has her biological mother totally under his thumb, and she's had three kids with him that she never wanted to have.

I'm so, so, so relieved. Best of all, she did it herself. We didn't have to goad her to it, or beg her to do it, or immure her like Danae to do it. Phew!
Jan. 18th, 2013 07:14 am (UTC)
That's pretty heartbreaking, watching a child have reason to hate another human being because some petty, self-centered jerk couldn't pick on someone his own size. (Not that 'size' is a good reason to harass ANYONE.)

Also heartbreaking that Middle Child's sire manipulates & traps a woman via impregnation. Talk about disempowering. :(
Jan. 18th, 2013 07:41 am (UTC)
Middle Child's birth mother is broken. She (the mom) came from a family where she was the only child that was abused, emotionally, physically, and sexually. She no longer has the capacity to make normal human connections with anyone. Then again, I ask myself if there would be any way I could make human connections if I lay in my bed at the age of five and listen to my stepfather say that if a fire came he'd save all the kids but me, if I knew that my own mother had taken a look at me in the hospital and said "This one's ugly. Do we have to take her home."

Middle Child's guardian ad litem said of her, "I come from a very dysfunctional, alcoholic family with plenty of pathology. I've been guardian ad litem to a lot of kids, and I kind of thought I'd seen it all, but this kid's mother is scary. She's really unable to make connections with anyone, isn't she?"

The biological dad's father used to put him on a running motorcycle at 8, and if he cried or tried to get off, he'd beat him. His step dad put him up three stories in a cherry picker and shook it, because it was so amusing to watch the boy cower and jibber in fear. His idea of toddler taming, and he actually said this at table with us is "I get the parents to bring them in overalls, and if they misbehave, I take a sturdy wooden hanger, hang them on it by the overalls and close them in the closet. They soon learn to mind me!"

It's not surprising that they've had three kids taken away from them due to abuse and neglect. Middle Child, their eldest, was taken by one year. They moved to a new district, and although our district would have taken a second child at birth, the new district didn't take the second child until the age of five, and by then there was a three month old third child. We and her birth aunt begged that district to act, and they kept saying that the parents were "making progress and learning appropriate behavior." We had kept our foster parenting license open for eight years and it was only after we already had taken on The Whirlwind and adopted her that the produced their second, and the district would not act. By the time they took those kids out of the home and called us and begged us to adopt them, second child was likely to be sexually reactive and a danger to The Whirlwind. We couldn't take them. The three month old would not have graduated college until Beloved Husband was 73. We just couldn't.

Vermont is a small state, and generally our foster care system works and does a good job of doing its statutory duty to put the primacy on the safety of the child. But not always. It's heart breaking.
Jan. 18th, 2013 03:15 pm (UTC)
I keep asking myself what would motivate someone to DESTROY a child's psyche to the extent Bio Mom had been treated. I mean, I can understand getting angry when a kid misbehaves, but JEEZ, it sounds like several generations of dysfunction, abuse AND poverty create some of the worst tragedies in society. Middle Child is blessed to have escaped that cycle.
Jan. 18th, 2013 03:25 pm (UTC)
In this case there was no poverty in the mix. Middle Child's great grandfather invented the Tonka truck, and when Middle Child was in foster care the family (the rest of which is healthy and normal, if tending towards alcoholism, depression, and bipolar disorder, but what family has no biological-tendency type skeletons?) flew up to see her in the family jet. The grandmother got pregnant at 16 in a day when that was unacceptable, and married her alcoholic boyfriend, had three kids with him, and then divorced him in favor of an ever worsening series of husbands, in a lifestyle fueled by alcohol and valium, which eventually finished her off. Disastrous.
Jan. 18th, 2013 03:30 pm (UTC)

Oh man. Addictions. :(
Jan. 16th, 2013 06:28 pm (UTC)
Jan. 16th, 2013 10:07 pm (UTC)
Jan. 17th, 2013 01:38 am (UTC)
Sounds like a pretty good outcome, all things considered! Maybe she will have learned something from the process. I hope you have a few hairs left on your head and didn't pull them *all* out!
Jan. 17th, 2013 01:55 am (UTC)
Nope, no hair pulling. That's The Whirlwind's job (she has a hair twirling habit that we can't seem to break even with short haircuts and all that time to grow it out to twirlable length). Besides, like the fellow in the icon, I spend a fair amount of time in a baseball cap. It's my method of keeping my hair out of my way. I just French twist it up, and plonk a hat down on it. Instant hair storage!

Less steam coming out of my ears though!
Jan. 17th, 2013 02:42 am (UTC)
onward to the next challenge :)
Jan. 17th, 2013 02:51 am (UTC)

You mean this isn't where I get that "happily ever afterwards" I ordered?

Jan. 17th, 2013 02:52 am (UTC)

..think how boring that would be after.. oh.. say.. 6 months
Jan. 17th, 2013 02:59 am (UTC)
Yeah. That's always been my problem with heaven. Dante's Inferno? Reasonably interesting (especially if your edition is generous with the footnotes explaining the personages). Dante's Paradiso? Dull.
Jan. 17th, 2013 03:08 am (UTC)
and thence we find a likely explanation of all the chaos of human society.. unconscious work to avoid something we know we couldn't handle.....depressing thought
Jan. 17th, 2013 03:37 am (UTC)
I'm inclined to see that as more the result of having a certain amount of abuse and neglect in a certain portion of the population, having a certain proportion who simply are not all that bright, or who are educationally/culturally disadvantaged, all mixed up with a certain number of people who are by nature aggressive or highly territorial, and you let all that loose in the world at large, and it creates chaos, especially in a species that is as by-nature-social as human beings are. And that doesn't even cover the folks that are born with wiring that is simply not functioning correctly.

Basically, there is only so much f*ckwittery that we can correct for, and it's the remainder that causes so much trouble.
Jan. 18th, 2013 01:46 am (UTC)
well, if you want to be logically analytical about it, you could put it that way too.. ;)
Jan. 22nd, 2013 10:29 pm (UTC)
Hooray! Wonderful news, and congratulations to all of you!
Jan. 23rd, 2013 12:53 am (UTC)
Thank You.
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )



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