Copyright © 2014 Stephen Hawley, all rights reserved.
This week has been suboptimal. We’ve had a number of issues with Alice for a while. One of them is getting dressed and ready for the school bus in a timely manner. This is a skill that Alice has had in her repertoire for years. This past year, however, she has dropped into a mode where she preferred to stay in her room and walk around in circles perseverating about something. We poked and prodded. We supervised. Finally did the right thing by removing all TV time and allowing her to earn some for every day that she succeeded in getting ready on time and appropriately. She’s been successful for a month. Hooray! Not so much on Monday and Wednesday and Thursday. Friday, she had gotten ready and was in her room (locked – always a bad sign) with her iPad (house rule broken right there) and was wearing clothing that looked a little light, but doable. The top she was wearing was too loose – quick check. Yup, no bra. I asked to put one on and got lip for it. E saw her and lost her temper because (unknown to me) Alice was wearing clothes that E had bought for the summer and had put away in our closet. Alice had snuck into our room, took all the clothes and put them away in her drawers. E took the clothes, stripped her and asked her to get dressed in something warmer and removed all earned TV time for the breach of privacy. I checked on her again and now she was dressed in a pink top and a blue skirt. *sigh* Alice is not allowed to wear skirts to school. Whenever she has, we’ve gotten notes about her acting inappropriately with them. So another change.
On the way to the bus stop, Alice asked me, “how mommy feeling? Happy, sad or angry?” “What do you think, Alice?” “Angry.” “Yes. She’s frustrated and angry. You went into her room and took out those clothes so she took away your TV time.” “I want to watch TV.” “You wanted to go into our room more, so you’re not watching TV this weekend.” “Daddy. I watch TV and you know it.”
So frustrating for everyone.
In the meantime, I found out that Big Y has its own magazine. It makes sense to communicate about the company, but it still surprised me. Several employees told me that Alice was in it, so I asked a manager for a copy and they gave me one. How nice!
This is the article they printed, which is the open letter I wrote, with a few edits, annotations, and emphasis added.