The issue is.... the problem is... I don't even know exactly how to phrase it. The truth is my kids are extremely independent. They know what they want and the ability to see that reaching that goal can come in many forms is just not within their realm of acceptance. They see the process of going from point A to point B as a straight line and words like compromise, alternative, and "outside the box" aren't something they are willing to work into their vernacular.
Let's take G(8). When he was 3, he had his first set of tubes after a long series of ear infections and medications. He had his second set shortly before he turned 5. By 7, they were out and we were told he has a perforation in his left ear drum that will require a surgical patch sometime between being 8 - 10. He also has a hearing loss in that ear that we monitor on a yearly basis. He. Hates. This. And I understand that. It's not fun to have a hearing test when the headphones pinch and it's terribly boring, but the reality is it has to be done. Part of me wants to tell him he's lucky he doesn't have to have spinal taps and bone marrow transplants and in the whole scheme of childhood illness, he's really getting off easy. Suck it up, little man. This is life. Welcome to it. Now get in to stupid booth, put on the headphones, stop whining, and shut your pie hole, Momma can't deal with your BS today. Only I don't do that because I know my kid and if I go the tough love route, he'll completely shut down and we won't accomplish anything. So that's Wednesday. Or as I'm currently referring to it "5 Days Until". I am steeling myself for the battle of wills over the hearing test and praying that he just does what he's told.
And then we have K(12). Short of writing an entire novel on the joys of raising this child, let me just sum it up... K is the Burger King of children. She wants to have it her way. Always. And that's been K since she was born. If we put her in her crib and she didn't want to be there, she'd scream until she threw up. I remember at one point, she was 18 months old and her older sister fell down and really banged up her knee. I had to put K some place safe for 2 minutes while I helped J... and the next thing I knew I was dealing with a bloody knee AND vomit on the wall and the carpet and the bedding. She has been like that ever since. Today, for instance, she wants to go to the mall. At 7 Days Until, the last thing I want to do is go to the mall. I'd rather run my foot over with the van. She wants to look at video games and earrings. Well, I need groceries. So the compromise is for me to not go to the grocery story, but to go to WalMart instead. (I hate WalMart almost as much as the mall.) K can look at earrings and video games at WalMart, I can get groceries, and everyone gets *almost* what they want and that should work, right? I can see the vomit on the wall.... she's going to pout and be angry and most likely refuse to go. Then I'll leave the kids here, because after all, J is 15.5 years old and can babysit without a problem, right? Only K will be beastly the entire time I'm gone and I will probably get a crying phone call from someone because of it.
So they're stubborn and difficult and their inflexibility makes it extremely hard to make plans. But then they do something like this and I realize their determination makes them who they are... and for better or for worse, who they are is pretty damned amazing.