Y'all know by now that this kid and I clash. A lot.
She is a wild little hellion who doesn't care what anyone else thinks, and who doesn't see why she should have to do the smallest thing that she doesn't want to do. She's independent and fierce, with a big brain and a big heart and a big... wherever stubbornness lives in one's body. That place is VERY big within her.
We were clashing the other day, in that I was telling her what I wanted her to do, and she was interrupting me every two words to argue as hard as she could against doing whatever it was--her math, or the dishes, or picking up that piece of paper off the floor. It doesn't matter, but she was willing to die on the Hill of Not Doing It if she had to.
Every time she interrupted me I would pause, let her finish her sentence, then say, "Did you hear how you interrupted me?"
She'd say something like, "Yes, ugh, sorry, whatever."
I'd begin my sentence again, get two words in, and she'd interrupt me.
Pause. Repeat. Interrupt. Pause. Repeat.
I finally got so fed up with this that I told her that she had to write me an essay, the topic of which would be "I Shall Not Interrupt."
Oh. My. WORD! If you thought that she was upset about doing her math or the dishes or picking that piece of paper up off of the floor, then you have actually seen nothing until you have seen her upset about having to write an essay of apology!
Side note: Is it just me, that every time I hit upon a consequence that inspires that kind of reaction, in my head I go, "Mwa-ha-ha! YES!!!"? It's probably just me. I'm mean like that.
There was more arguing from her, I mean of COURSE, but I held my ground that nothing else good would happen in her life until she had written this essay, minimum 400 words. Nothing good means no screens. No library. No summer trip to Holiday World, if it goes that far. And then I eventually walked away, as she wept furious tears and screamed in outrage for me to come back so we could argue some more.
Maybe I hid in my room and had a little glass of the wine that was leftover from the night before. We were temporarily down to one car and I was home for the day, so you can't judge me.
Later, I walked by with some laundry and saw that she was, indeed, at the computer, but was just furiously typing "I shall not interrupt" over and over again. I reminded her that a good essay has a thesis statement, and evidence and original thought, and that I would only accept a single sentence written one time. Cue more outrage and fury and tears and screaming. I did the laundry and went to have a little snackie, because I eat my pain.
Much later, I walked by again, and this time she was typing away but smiling at the screen. "Oh, Lord, give me strength," I thought, but kept on walking.
Much, much later, with an honest-to-gawd smirk on her face, she presented me with this:
This little brat has just written the greatest thing that I have ever received. My favorite part is how she hits all of my sweet spots--she knows that I think I'm a crap gardener, and after our last fencing class she comforted me the whole ride home because our instructor decided to teach us the fine and subtle art of the victory yell (there are a lot of rules to this, and it's very psychologically interesting) and I immediately discovered that my victory yell actually makes me sound like I'm a freaking fairy princess of the Flower Kingdom, and I also have an awful celebratory pose that looks like I'm about to prance off the fencing strip and go to a child's tea party. And it's instinctual. I can't stop myself from doing it. And doing it repeatedly got me so frustrated that I lost all my bouts ridiculously, going for failed counter-attack after counter-attack, when really I should have been retreating and parry-riposting, because my lunge distance is too short to even think about pulling off a counter-attack. And I fell for every single stupid feint that my opponent gave me, even though he wasn't supposed to be feinting at all because the instructor hadn't added them to the drill yet. Ugh!!!
So, yeah. I liked the part about the victory yell.
I hope this kid never loses this spirit that drives her.