The other day I wrote about the challenges of raising girls and their associated drama.
Someone left this comment in response to that post on the facebook page about Number 4:
…Where does number 4 come up with this stuff? I know it would drive any parent crazy, but she’s good. She’s going to give people a run for their money for sure…
My sentiments exactly.
While Number 4 can be draining, I don’t worry about how she will handle herself when she’s older.
I don’t worry about her standing up for herself.
I don’t worry that she’ll develop an eating disorder.
I don’t worry that she’ll end up on MTV’s 16 and Pregnant.
I think she’s going to be just fine.
Number 3, on the other hand, I worry about.
He is so anxiety ridden and unsure and, at times, socially awkward that I feel like there is a tremendous amount of work to be done in order for him to be a healthy, confident, and self-sufficient adult.
And all of this was illustrated in a recent exchange in the car.
The other night I took Numbers 2, 3, and 4 to the Y with me.
I went to a spin class, Number 2 played basketball with his friends, and Numbers 3 and 4 went to the babysitting room to hang out with their friends.
On the way home I had to stop to get gas and diapers, both of which we were out of.
So we didn’t drive home the way we usually do.
This, of course, sent Number 3 into panic mode.
He’s got some significant OCD issues when it comes to car and bus rides.
Taking a different route home than usual upsets some of the rituals that I’ve recently learned he performs in the car or on the bus, silently, in his head.
“Why are we going this way?” he yelled.
“I have to get gas. Relax,” I told him.
I came to a stop sign.
“Are we going to die?” he yelled.
“Oh My God! We are not going to die!” snapped Number 2.
At 13, he can be a little short on patience with his younger siblings.
We drove past a Dunkin Donuts.
“Hey Mom!” said Number 4.
“There’s a Dunkin Donuts…
ARE WE GONNA DIE?” she yelled.
She and Number 2 got a kick out of that.
Number 3 and I have lots of conversations about how the thoughts that OCD puts into a person’s head don’t come true, and what kinds of things he can say to himself when he has those thoughts.
Number 2 and Number 4 aren’t quite so understanding.
“Okay, don’t tease,” I said.
“They are just trying to say that maybe those are silly thoughts, and not things that will actually happen.”
He paused for a couple seconds, and then…
You pick your nose and eat it!” he said to Number 4.
That was the best he could come up with.
Number 4 was unphased.
“Only on the weekends,” she replied matter-of-factly.
“And besides, you’re afraid of Nanny McPhee.
So don’t judge.”
Number 2 turned to me.
“That was a pretty good one,” he said.
He was right.
It was a good one.
Like I said, Number 4 is going to be just fine.
But Number 3 and I are going to have to work on some comebacks.
I’m not sure how well the picking-your-nose-and-eating-it reply is going to work for him when he’s in high school.
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