The Journal

The Rantings of an Insane Woman

So, DH and I had a conversation again last night about my "over-lecturing" my SD15.  Let me explain what happened, and you can tell me what you would have said or done.

Thursday, SD comes home from school, and she tells me that she has to go to school early on Friday morning to work on an Exam Project for English class.  Ok, why?  Well, the teacher let them work on it in class, but the computer wouldn't let her log into the program because it said she was logged in somewhere else which wasn't the case. So, she spent most of her time running up and down to the library trying to get the IT person to fix the problem.  Finally, they assigned her a user ID and new password, but she only had 10 minutes left to work on it. 

Why didn't she stay after school?  She says she didn't have a ride. 

Did she call to find out?  No. 

Can she not make it up during class?  No, the teacher won't let her because they will be doing the presentations. 

What if I couldn't take her to school in the morning?  She wouldn't pass her exam. 

Was this all the time they had to work on the project?  She said yes.

I hadn't said whether or not I would take her to school.  I decided to wait until dinner to ask DH what he thought should happen.  Here's why... I had been asked to sing the National Anthem at a welcome home ceremony for some wounded soldiers that had recently returned from Iraq on Friday morning.  My plan was to wake up, get the baby ready, relax, and warm up my voice.  Having to take SD to school was not part of the plan and would not allow me to relax and warm up my voice as needed.  However, when discussing it with DH at the dinner table, he told SD "okay".  Which meant to her, that I was going to take her.  WHAT????

The next morning I wake up super early, get my shower, fix my hair.  I have to wake the baby early which is NEVER a good idea.  He's teething and is VERY cranky when he doesn't get enough sleep.  He cried the whole time we drove her to school.  I asked her to please have her teacher call me because if SD didn't have the same amount of time to complete her assignment as everyone else did, then we needed to find out why.  I asked her if she was exaggerating, omitting important information, or even lying because if I was going to bat for her, I wanted to have all the facts.  She said everything she told me was true.  I also told her she better get an A on this exam, or I would kill her. 

I got home fed the baby, tried to calm him down.  He was not having any of it.  I did my make up, got dressed, and TRIED to relax with a screaming baby.  I could feel my throat was extremely tight, and now I was nervous that I wasn't going to sound very good.  We went to the ceremony.  I sang, and it sounded HORRIBLE.  I sounded like a frog.  I should have croaked... it would have sounded better than trying to sing.  When I walked away from the podium, I walked away from the entire ceremony.  I was completely embarrassed.  I wasn't able to give 100%, and I felt horrible.

I left the military post, and that's when I got the call from SD's teacher.  I simply asked her to give me all the particulars of the assignment ie: when was it assigned?  were they given time in class to work on it?  could she have worked on it at home?  etc.  The teacher said they had the assignment for two weeks!  She had given everyone 3 days in class to utilize the computers and they could do it at home by emailing their presentations to themselves or saving it to a memory stick, and most students were completed with their assignments prior to Thursday.  However, SD did get her project finished that morning, and she did make an A. 

So, SD comes home, and I told her what the teacher said when she asked me if the teacher called me.  And, she said that wasn't true.  The teacher wasn't able to get the computers until Thursday.  I ask the SD why would the teacher tell me a lie?  Her response... "I'm not lying.  I didn't have the same time as everyone else," and she ran upstairs to hide.

I dropped it, but it was just bugging the hell out of me all evening especially since my baby had taken TWO 3 hour naps on Friday and was still cranky when I laid him in bed at 7:30 for the night.  After dinner, SD asks DH if we can light the firepit and make s'mores.  We did.  While we were sitting there, we began discussing the exam project.  I congratulated her on getting an A, but I also tried to get her to understand what she did to herself, her teacher, her baby brother, and me.  She still denied everything even though the facts were staring her in the face.  As I was trying to just get her to apologize for basically ruining the day, my DH tried to hint to me to drop it.  But, my emotions were still raw, and I wanted an apology... at the very least.  But, all I was getting was denial.  I didn't raise my voice to her at all.  I just tried to get her to understand that she can't keep making excuses when there aren't any.  That teacher had no reason to lie to me.  I didn't call her on the defensive.  I simply asked a question, got an answer, and hung up the phone after finding out I didn't have all the facts from SD.  Finally, we wrapped up the evening and went ot bed, but still no apology just tons of excuses.

DH got on my ass last night about not taking his cue and just letting the conversation die.  He said sometimes you just have to let the conversation die and give her time to think about it, and she'll probably change.  I asked DH if that hasn't worked for him in the past on the same issue with her, so why would it work now?  I also reminded him about all the anxiety she put me through for the day out of her procrastination and selfishness.  She painted a story where she was the victim, so she wouldn't get in trouble, I would take her to school, and I would even try to defend her to the teacher.  When in all actuallity, all she did was lie and get busted. 

She does this time and time again, and I just wanted her to realize what she was doing.  I wanted an apology I never got.  And, most of all, I wanted to sing nicely on Friday for those soldiers and make them proud they served and suffered wounds for what that song symbolizes... when instead it sounded like crap and I looked like a fool.  Plus, I had to deal with a baby who was completely pissed off all day long... not DH, not SD... ME!! I had to deal with him all day, nobody else!

So, I over-lectured.  I was mad, and I wasn't seeing any progress with her so I kept talking.  I ignored his hint to shut up, and kept trying to make my point.  Sorry, but I needed some kind of resolve, and I NEVER got it.  I STILL haven't gotten it.  I went to bed last night really upset after having this discussion.  It's not that I want to disregard what DH is saying.  I just want SD to own up to what she's doing, and I felt like she wasn't doing that at all.

What would you have done?

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Jun. 3, 2008 at 8:04 AM

Probably the same thing....but you need to have a LONG talk with your dh about this.  He needs to support you 100% or else you SD will see the division and work it to her favor...

Good luck


PS - you probably sounded MUCH better than you think! and I bet they still were moved...

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Jun. 3, 2008 at 8:04 AM Personally I used to over lecture and it never got me anywhere . My DH always pointed it out to me and that would piss me off even more. But I have learned and it wasn't easy when to draw the line, especially when my DH tells me I am 'doing it again.'  Thats why God made mommies and daddies, especially good when both work with each other to raise good children.  Good luck , I know SO much how frustrating it is when you are over worked, not appreciated, and just plain taken advantage of and lied too but in the end, she did get an A and I am sure she knows that you know her story doesn't fit the puzzle like it should have.

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Jun. 3, 2008 at 8:08 AM

  Does your SD have a history of lying to you?

  I doesn't sound, to me, like it should have been as big of a deal as you made it.  It's not her fault the computer wasn't working, she made an A on the project, so obviously she had it all together and would have been able to finish it had the computer been working.  I don't think it's fair for you to put the responsibility of your teething baby's mood, or your having to sing on her- you're her MOTHER, nothing else goes above the responsibility (and I'm talking about your time to "relax" your voice here).  I am also a singer, have sung professionally and classically trained in my own right.  I never do more than warm up my voice before a performance.  Are you a trained vocalist?  I would suggest using some other techniques to help you not need an extended period of time to "rest" before you sing one song.  Most singers breath incorrectly, and that's when you get a variance in sound quality relating to tension.  If you are breathing correctly, everything else falls into place.  ((((HUGS))))  It sounds like you were stressed out and took it out on you SD.  I don't envy your position, some people have a hard time loving a step child equally with their own child- not all, but some.  Just by reading your post, that kind of seems like the case (no offense, just being honest with my opinion).

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Jun. 3, 2008 at 8:20 AM

SD does have a HUGE history of lying and playing people against each other.  I do love my stepchildren very much.  It's not a matter of love.  It's a matter of being tired of the lies, manipulation, and overall disregard for another human being that she consistently demonstrates day after day after day.

Yes, I have been trained professionally to sing.  Relaxing my voice is just something I have to do.  I was breathing correctly.  The issue with my singing is in how long it has been since I last sang in public.  I don't get the chance, so I was completely out of practice.  I spent several days preparing, breathing, practicing, and on Thursday was completely ready to go.  It all blew up in my face Friday morning because I couldn't do what I needed to do to prepare correctly.

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Jun. 3, 2008 at 9:43 AM

OK from my experience as a DAUGHTER I think you would of done what any mother would of done. I was a procrastinator and I use to make up horrible stories that over all where my fault because I WAITED till the last minute. Not realising that my mistake will effect my mother by any means. I don';t feel you have a dislike or that you don't LOVE your SD and anyone who thinks this is just making issues that aren't there. You had prior engagements and your SD took it upon herself to wait until the very last minute to get the project finished. That's on HER. No one in the house should take the fall for it.

My mom would of lectured me just like you did and I plan no lecturing mine the same way. If it's your fault own up to it. Don't stand behind your lies and think you can always get away with things. I know the troops appreciate what you did for them and I hope this teething thing blows by for you!!! Stick to your guns and let your DH know that you guys need to work together not contradict each other in order to let her know (as well as the other children) That you guys are a team and will always work as one. And you need his support if the issue ever comes up same with you supporting him when need be. Good LUCK!

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Jun. 3, 2008 at 9:46 AM  I understand a little better now, I'm sorry that happened.  Ih ope you SD learns from these mistakes soon.  I'm sorry you had a rough go at your singing gig, it happens to the best of us. (((((Hugs)))))) I hope you'll have an opportunity to sing again soon, to help you get over this hump.

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Jun. 3, 2008 at 12:30 PM

Well she obviously had a pretty good jump on it if she was able to finish it up before school in one day. It sounds like she put off wrapping it up until the last minute and had the trouble logging in. Maybe she tried to avoid a lecture by lying. Maybe she though you'd get on to her for procrastinating?? I don't know but I always tell my kids to own up to their mistakes, we'll talk about it, and that will be the end of it. I'm never mad about mistakes but if they're caught in a lie,  they get punishment. End of story. You obviously caught her in a lie because of what the teacher said. Maybe she didn't get as much time as the other kids THAT DAY but she did get enough time to complete the assignment.

And as far as DH goes, if he decided that she was to be taken to school, I would have assumed HE would be the one to transport her knowing what a busy morning you had planned. That was a bad assumption on his part.

There is absolutely nothing more frustrating than a child that lies to your face. I've had to deal with it and the best way I've found is to make sure they know that they will not be in trouble or get fussed at for coming clean and admiting mistakes. They need to know that your on their side to help them when they mess something up. If they lie and try to cover it up, I will come unglued and they know this. Chin up! 

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Jun. 6, 2008 at 9:48 AM You know what...since you are the one on the hook to change your day, and take SD to school, then it becomes your business, and you have a say in it. If DH or SD think you over lecture, then stop asking you to go out of your way for her....let DH do it.  THEN and only then will you see that he is the one "over lecturing'....when HE has to change his plans, experience the irritation you experienced.  Im sorry this is happening, you really need support and backing from DH.  I think at the very least SD owes you a big thanks and a favor or two to make it up to you....without you taking her to school, she would have never completed her project and gotten an A.  Besides, why didnt she ask her BM to take her or her DH ?  You went above and beyond and do not deserve anyone getting on you for over lecturing.

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