Limits and Lies

January 3, 2012

I had been thinking about a post about some recent (as in, past week or so recent) struggles with Mouse.  Thinking about it, in relation to what’s hers v. what’s mine to blog about, etc. It’s one thing to ramble on about my kids’ amazingness, but to make a laundry list of their failings in a public realm (that people we know could very easily stumble upon), seems wrong. Here’s a try at it without too much detail:

Mouse has been falling down on the job a good bit since just after her play ended (mid-December).  First, it was relatively silly struggles about getting her room clean. But her attitude was a little more extreme than usual.  Then, she lost a couple of relatively meaningful items, still with attitude, and with a good bit of indignation over that fact that I was upset about this.  Then she started pushing some boundaries.

To put things in a bit of context:  We live in a relatively urban area.  We are in a walking community.  Mouse has a friend who lives directly across a narrow street, another who lives on the other side of a well-maintained toddler-heavy park, another who lives around the corner.  Her school is 3-4 blocks from our house, and it takes literally 4 minutes to walk there.  Since she was in at least 6th grade, she and her friends have had the freedom to walk to one another’s homes, to meet up at parks, to go to the pizza place on the corner and order a slice of pizza, all without an adult.  Now that they’re in 8th grade, they are allowed to (occasionally and with much discussion) take the T (i.e., the subway) to the movies (not quite all the way into downtown Boston), and to walk to other parts of our town for shopping, lunch, or other activities.

She has a lot of freedom.  In the winter, her hours of freedom shrink because of darkness, but she still has a lot of freedom.

Last night, there was an Incident.  It did not involve her out-of-the-house freedoms, but rather an inside-the-house freedom (called Netflix streaming).  Perhaps, during this incident, an outright lie was told.  And so a relatively mild (yet meaningful) punishment/consequence was meted out.

Today, the punishment/consequence was given the figurative finger, and a follow-up lie made things a little more interesting.

Now Mouse is in her room, doing her homework.  She’s come twice to say she’s sorry.

It’s cute, really, that she thinks that being sorry makes things better.

I have her phone and her touch, and she doesn’t yet know that she is going to have the first thorough and complete grounding of her life.

I expect many tears.  Many declarations of how I’m RUINING HER LIFE. Potentially some yelling.

I’m not a happy mama, right now. This is by far the most severe infraction that one of my children has ever committed.  Once, when Lemon was younger, we had a computer incident.  But she was very young, and it was much more of a learning experience than an instance of defiance. I’m sure this won’t remain the most serious, but for now, it is the most serious.

Fortunately, I do feel up to the task.

Poor Mousey.


Updated to add:  she actually didn’t yell or complain.  She did cry.  But she’s taking her lumps and isn’t in a snit at all – she was her normal laughing and joking self at dinner.

Of course, this makes me think that perhaps we can loosen up a bit.  For now, that only means I may give back the phone/computer in time.  But if she stays okay with this, and doesn’t dip into snit-land, I may let go after the weekend.  But I still think there’s no impact without a weekend.



  1. I wonder if she’s taking it well because the full impact hasn’t settled in. Perhaps by the weekend she’ll realize that life without computer/phone/iPod is hard.

    I’m glad it went relatively well.

  2. […] daughter is Mouse’s best friend.  When I walked in, Mouse’s friend said, “When is Mouse free again?  Monday or Tuesday?”  I said, “Tuesday.”  She said, “You know, she said you’re a good […]

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