Birthday Drama ~ another vent

imamommyMarch 30, 2009

I'm just (once again) feeling a need to vent!

Yesterday was SD's 10th birthday. A couple of weeks ago, DH asked BM if she was going to get her this year since last year she declined. Just a brief background for those that haven't heard it before.

SD lives with us full time. BM started a custody fight ON SD's 8th birthday. They had a disagreement over the cost of a joint party so she threatened to not let him see SD. At the time, they had 50/50 but no court involvement. Five months later, there was a trial & the court kept 50/50. BM met her BF a week or two later and moved 3 hrs away, leaving SD with us F/T.

For her 9th birthday, DH offered BM 8am-8pm since the court ordered time is 2-6pm because BM didn't want to drive three hours each way for a four hour visit. So, BM still declined to get her & was going to celebrate the next weekend. The next weekend, BM decided she had to go to a party with her BF and sent SD over to her BF's parents & they had cake with her... SD was in tears after we picked her up because her mom didn't celebrate with her.

So, this year DH asked her ahead of time if she was getting SD this year (a Sunday), again offering 8am-8pm. She said her mom (BM's mom) would pick up SD at 8:30am (that 8 was too early) and is to keep her until 8pm. So, at 8:30am SD's sister called DH to tell him they (her & grandma) would be there to get SD at 9. He told her we had to be at work at 9 so they can pick her up there. I went to work w/SD in tow. DH took the truck to pick up a delivery. Grandma shows up, sends SD's 13YO sister in to get her. Whatever.. seems SD's sister is now doing the exchanges... calling to arrange time/place & coming in to get her, grandma is just the driver? Oh well, I wished SD a happy birthday & she left. SD calls DH at 1:45 to tell him BM got her a pet mouse. He says she can't bring it to our house. (a little annoying that she'd even ask.. since DH said no more pets when BM's dog had puppies last week)

Well anyways, we made plans since SD wasn't going to be home until 8 but at 5pm, BM sent DH a text that grandma was dropping off SD at 6. He wrote back that we have plans, nobody will be home until later so if they get there, she will have to wait until someone gets home. BM started writing him nasty messages that whatever he said to SD had her crying uncontrollably (he didn't even talk to SD), then sent him a message that said "you are her father.. man up & start being a parent. Quit pawning her off on everyone else!" We ignored it & she resent it 3 times. We decided we would go get dinner, then drive the hour to grandma's house to get SD. I called grandma to tell her. She started yelling at me about us being difficult, that we made her drive all the way to my work (which coincidentally is CLOSER to where she lives than our house) and that we are ruining SD's birthday! I couldn't get a word in edgewise & ended up telling her that she can bring SD home at 8 or drop her off at school in the morning. I probably could have handled it better but after that, I didn't want to spend two hours round trip driving to go see the woman in person. She called me back calmly & told me that she would drop her off at 8 but she wanted to remind me that DH and BM had a verbal agreement that it was 9-6. Whatever! It became 9 AFTER she was late, but I didn't argue.. just said okay. Really, it doesn't matter.. the order says 2-6 and that is what we should have stuck to. So much for trying to be nice!

We (sent to both of our phones) got another text from BM at 7:30 to tell us to give her mom all SD's clothes that they have bought and that she 'expects her to be wearing the clothes she has on' when she gets her Friday. I have to admit that by this time, I was seriously getting annoyed. I guess the main thought in my mind is "this is SD's birthday and they have spent the day texting & calling us to start crap... instead of spending it with SD. And she is probably listening to all this crap!" So, yeah I was slowly getting pissed. I knew they wanted to start a tiff and we were resisting. We got home and when SD showed up, grandma again sent SD's sister to the door with her to collect the clothes. Well, that pretty much did it for me! If she wants the clothes, she should get off her ass & come to the door herself, not send a 13 year old!

I nicely asked SD's sister to wait in the car. I had SD change into her PJ's and gave those clothes back to grandma myself. I took all the clothes that belong to BM or grandma and handed them to grandma. I told her that it's inappropriate for her to send a child to the door and have a child call to arrange time/place. I told her that SHE is the grown up and needs to act like one. She started yelling at me that there was a pair of pants missing! I told her she is welcome to get out of her car & come inside to search SD's room but I gave her all we have. She said she is not coming into our house, so I said she can leave. She said she is not leaving without the pants. I told her to get the (blank) off our property! and I started walking back into the house with her yelling 'I want those pants!'

I am angry at myself for losing my cool and letting it escalate at all. Fortunately, SD was in the house and didn't hear any of it, though she's certainly going to hear 'their version' later. Whatever! I don't even care anymore.

I go back in the house & SD is crying. I thought she was upset over the incident with grandma and I felt horrible. DH tells me no, she is upset because she was supposed to go roller skating and to Sizzler with her mom. I guess after grandma picked her up, they went to breakfast at Denney's. Then they went to a motorcycle store where BM bought her a t shirt. Then she took her to the pet store & bought her the mouse. SD says BM left to go home with her BF at 4, so SD was upset that BM had left early. She thought her mom was staying until 8.

Fortunately, DH and I had agreed to not give SD her gifts until she got back. My reasoning was pretty much that I wanted to avoid a gift competition... where they ask her what we got her and try to outdo it. But, it worked out since SD was upset, she cheered up after we talked to her and gave her cards & presents to her. She went to bed in a better spirit anyways. After she was in bed, I got two more voice mails from grandma about the pants! Geez!!!

Then... if that wasn't enough drama, Grandma leaves a new voice mail on my phone first thing this morning. She says SD's sister had made her a cake and there was half a cake left over and she wanted my permission to come onto the property to bring it to me. LMAO. She wants to drive an hour each way to bring me half a cake? Is she kidding? Well, I don't want another opportunity for us to get into another yelling match over the pants or the cake. I did not call her back. She ended up going to my husband's work this afternoon and dropped off the cake (on one of her plates) with him.

Quite honestly, I've tried not to get sucked into the drama and I'm ashamed at not being successful, but c'mon~ how much do we really need to put up with? DH is pissed that they went to his work today, he doesn't want to eat the cake, nor does he want to have to deal with returning her plate to her. He doesn't even want to give it to SD, who is the ONLY person in our house who would eat it. SD had some of the birthday cake I made her Saturday, some of the cake that was dropped off, I took cupcakes to her class today and we are taking her to Sizzler tonight (she really wanted them to sing to her) and she'll get whatever dessert they give the birthday girl.

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I couldn't resist laughing out loud over this quote "you are her father.. man up & start being a parent. Quit pawning her off on everyone else!"

I also "love" story about buying a pet mouse (for a kid who lives somewhere else), grandma demanding missing pants and bringing cake, and older DD doing exchanges now. I know it is pretty sad but it actually made me laugh because I imagine all this like in a comedy. What a freak show! My favorite character in this story is grandma. I think she is even more freak than BM.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 8:43PM
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"My favorite character in this story is grandma. I think she is even more freak than BM."

WOW!!! We finally agree on something!

Yeah, as I was writing all the events, I also thought of how ridiculous it sounds and yeah, if I didn't have a broken hearted SD, crying over it... I might think it were funny like a sitcom. But, it's not funny when a little girl is repeatedly hurt.

That quote was quite ironic... she left her daughter with her mother at 4pm and at 5pm is telling DH to man up and stop pawning his daughter off on others... as she is driving back home with her BF and none of her kids.

But I agree... it is like a comedy and I have to look at it from that angle.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 10:30PM
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I think next year I would make a different plan and make sure she has a nice B-day with out all the drama..

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 12:33AM
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Ima, if I didn't 'know' you and your back story I would think this post was a joke. I had to explain the day's time line and pawning off comment to DH I thought it was so funny - and so much like something his ex would say.

Do you think SD is starting to 'see' her mom? Did she make excuses for mom leaving, or just voice her disappointment and leave it at that? Could this be the beginning of the awakening?

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 12:45AM
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yeah, after grandma got off the phone where she was telling me how we are violating the verbal agreement DH and BM made, I told DH that next year, we should just stick to the order. SD will be on Spring break next year and she's with us for Spring break next year so BM will have to come up on a Monday at 2 until 4. No straying from the order anymore.

We were trying to be nice because last year BM said no, I am not driving six hours to spend four hours with her.. so we gave her 12 hours to make it worth her while. Her mom lives 45 minutes away so they could spend the day at her mom's house and even plan a party. BM lived there for 6 years and they have lots of friends in that neighborhood, including lots of kids SD went to K-2 with. Well, even with the offer for longer time, BM still said no..she will plan something on her weekend and then flaked. SD was disappointed and BM made a point of telling SD that she didn't come to her party because I didn't invite her and she didn't get to see her on her birthday because we wouldn't let her. So, this year DH asked BM if she was going to get SD on her birthday... in front of SD so SD will know DH isn't the one keeping BM from seeing her. I think BM felt cornered into taking her and made a vague effort to spend the day with her but couldn't wait to get home. Maybe all the drama directed at us was to get back at DH for putting BM on the spot and essentially 'making' her take her daughter.

There were more calls than what I put in the OP. Just after grandma/SD's sister picked up SD, BM called DH and asked if SD was with him.. she knew SD was with grandma. He said no, she went with ima to work and your mom is getting her. Then BM started yelling at him why isn't she with him? He told her he was picking up a delivery and then BM demanded to know what SD was wearing. He said she was wearing the clothes grandma bought for her last week. It was obvious to me by that point that BM was out to start a fight... first over the time/place of pick up, then him not having her with him, then the clothes.... then the mouse.... then the return time... even the cake.

BM and grandma/SD's sister called today when DH got home from work to ask if DH brought home the cake. DH 'forgot' the cake at work. He says he's riding his motorcycle to work tomorrow, can't carry a cake on the motorcycle.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 12:53AM
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She didn't make any excuses for BM this time. She was upset that BM left early. She says grandma didn't get her present yet because she (SD) didn't tell her what she wants. Well, she was with grandma from 4pm-8pm and grandma couldn't ask her and maybe take her shopping? Well, I guess she was busy picking a fight with us and probably telling SD what jerks we are.

It's funny because the more BM does this, the more SD is coming around with me. We had the issue last week of her telling me a boy in her class died and I found out she lied and then she admitted to me that she wanted to get attention. She wrote me a note saying she doesn't know why she lies and can't help it. I believe her. She also wrote that she finds it easier to talk to me by writing notes and she wants to write me a note everyday to talk about her feelings. I really want to believe her and if she's telling me the truth, then it's a major breakthrough for us and makes me feel good that she is willing to share her feelings with me and open up. There's a nagging 'what if it's a manipulation tactic' hanging around my neck, but I am willing to ignore it and give her the benefit of the doubt.

I really think she is giving up hope that her mom will hear her cries for attention but she knows I'm listening. I pray that I can get through to her. I used to pray that her mom would step up and stop hurting her and thanks to GW ladies, I am now accepting that there is nothing I can say or do to make BM change how she parents. I used to think I could make her jealous and she would snap into being the involved mom her daughter wants.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 1:06AM
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IMA,No straying from the order...YES YES YES...Dont negotiate with these whack jobs, no cell, no text , no email..I dont know how you can stand it..It was comical, the grandma story tho, LOL I have a crazy grandma too, she looks like Margaret Hamilton (The witch in the Wizard of Oz)..I m picturing your grandma as that lady from Throw Momma From The Train, screaming Throw me down the stairs my pants!!!! You should write a book!!! Thanks for the morning laugh....

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 10:17AM
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lol, a book on my life would be a book that gets misfiled in the fiction section of the library. (maybe the comedy section of fiction...lmao)

and grandma looks a little like a cross between Dr. Ruth and the lady in the Wendy's commercial's yelling "where's the beef?" only, she's yelling "where's the pants?" hahaha

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 11:06AM
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This is seriously better than a sitcom.

"where's the pants?"

That's going to be my new tagline for crazy behavior.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 11:21AM
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The Flying Monkeys got the pants...Duh da Duh Da Duh DA DA

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 12:29PM
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""where's the pants?"

That's going to be my new tagline for crazy behavior. "


Oh Ima...I can so sympathize with this nutty behavior! At least you have a sense of humor about it...keep laughing because when dealing with CRAZY, that's about all you can do!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 12:58PM
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WTH??? grandma sounds like a nutcase and bm is another case all together...
pawning the daughter off to others...what the heck is she doing leaving her at GM all the timeand leaving early?
Yah, i agree, stick to the order and no favors.
OH yah, block her from your phone. She can text your hubby but she doesn't have to send it to you.
And you did the right thing ot tell off GM for sending a child in.
In my case, bm does it all the time. She uses her kids for communication and arranging of scheduals. She's been warned legally but its doensnt' matter she does it anyway. Its disgusting!
I have to admit one thing though...i cannot wait till the day comes when my dh doesn't have to drive 3 hours to pick up his kids and his kids will soon be old enough to come on their own. BUt at mid teen life they wont want either parent. They'lly be too into their friends and boyfriend girlfriend relationships...i'm sure they'll be new problems arising.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 3:21PM
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If I had gotten to know grandma better sooner, it would have explained so much more about BM and why she does what she does. After seeing grandma in action, it's not hard to see why BM does what she does... it's the craziness she was raised with. and now to see it rubbing off on SD is so sad. That is what I find disgusting. but I am now realizing that the issues they have, go much deeper than they could imagine if they could even ever admit they have issues. How the hell could I even begin to think that I could figure them out and 'change' them? That is MY crazy I guess!

Thanks for letting me vent and now I can chuckle at how silly it is and laugh at my crazy life instead of stressing and being frustrated.

PS. I got a call today from SD's bus driver... well it was the head of transportation which is the bus driver's boss. I guess there were 8-10 extra cupcakes from what I dropped off for SD's class and SD was to bring the extra's home. Instead, she handed them out on the bus and got a citation because the kids got the icing all over. The bus driver said there was dark blue icing smeared all over the the back of the bus! Hmm, SD neglected to mention that yesterday when I got home from work and she thanked me for taking cupcakes to her class. (none of them made it home) After she asked me for a snack and I told her it was too close to dinner time, that we were going out.... she told me she had eaten five cupcakes herself.

I tell you, it's one thing after another! I'm annoyed that she broke the rules on the bus, ate five cupcakes and we didn't know about the bus citation so we took her out to dinner... where she got an ice cream sundae. Part of me wants to tell her there won't be a next time (to take treats to her class) but that might be too harsh. But, I'm a bit irritated by that. Is it too much to ask if I expect a kid to mention they got a citation on the bus because they gave out cupcakes... especially since we were discussing the said cupcakes?

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 8:33PM
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Ima, I'm so glad to hear that SD is starting to confide in you. The notebook thing is very familiar - SD did something similar for a while. I actually went out and got us each cute spiral notebooks and matching pens, and we would write in our notebooks to each other and leave them in each others rooms. Then we went through a phase where we would sit and write together - we'd pick a topic to write about, like where we would like to travel to, and then compare our writings. Sometimes we would pick something like 'what makes me happy' and make a list of 10 things. Then we would compare lists. It was a good way to get SD to open up and things she was hiding inside that she wasn't supposed to talk about (per BM) because she wasn't really TALKING about them. I could glean a lot just from her 10 happy things or 10 sad things.

Maybe this non-communication way of communication would be a good thing for the two of you?

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 11:49PM
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This is totally out-of-character for me, because I'm all about consistency....
But I say "Meh, forget about the cupcakes just this once."
SD had a crappy enough birthday. She had her mom and her grandma screwing her around all day on the day they should have made her the centre of their worlds.
She's opening up to you a bit right now, so I don't think it's the time to worry about the bus citation.

(Although almost any other time I'd say "Bust her butt over the lie!")

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 1:29AM
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I gotta agree with Ceph on this one. Pick your battles during this transitional time.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 1:58AM
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could be she passed out cupcakes to make kids to like her, she seems to do things for attention, and she didn't tell you so she won't get in trouble. As about eating 5 cupcakes, it is extreme but many kids would overeat candies and sweets any time they could. i would just explain to her danger of overeating sweets and importance to tell parents about citations. I would let it go this time with the punishment.

PS I had only one solution to DD stuffing herself with sweets, not to buy sweets unless it is a special occassion/holiday. DD never had weight issue, but eating that many sweets is bad anyways (teeth and such). If i would buy a pound, she would eat a pound.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 11:33AM
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The issue I have with the bus is not about the cupcakes. I agree, she gave them out to make kids like her. She didn't tell us because she knew she'd get in trouble. and eating 5 cupcakes, I let that go right away because, while I know she doesn't need that much junk, she told me about it right away and it doesn't happen very often. I was going to let it go, mainly because she fessed up and it was her birthday, etc.

The issue I have is that when I got the message from the bus driver, I asked SD about her citation and she denied getting one. I told her I talked to the bus driver and she insisted that the bus driver never even talked to her, she just took the cupcake box from her. I asked SD why the bus driver would call me up and tell me that she talked to her, told her she was going to call the parents and give her a citation, if it didn't really happen? SD said she doesn't know but the bus driver never told her any of that. So, I guess the bus driver is lying? She shrugged her shoulders but wouldn't answer me. I told her that maybe we should go talk to the bus driver today and straighten all this out? (hoping she would fess up) but she is sticking to her story.

I know that it seemed SD and I were having a breakthrough but I told her that I'm disappointed that we keep having these problems and I really want to trust her. I have been trying to be sensitive to her birthday disappointment but I cannot keep ignoring the lies. I told her that when she is caught in a lie, she will be held accountable each and every time. That means if she tells me her homework is done but she left it at school, I will check with her teacher if I have to go to the school with her in the morning, etc. I'm not necessarily upset by her having the cupcakes as much as by her sticking to the lies when she gets caught. I think it's important that she face the bus driver since she told me the bus driver is the one not telling the truth.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 2:57PM
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This is an awful situation, but not surprising the child is retreating into fantasy/fiction when the reality is so horrible.

THE CHILD NEEDS THERAPY if she's not to become a seriously messed-up adult. All the warning signs are there. A child has no idea of how to cope with such things so they develop mechanisms of their own. Unless the situation changes, the child will not adjust well. A therapist can help with it.

It is awful, when kids get caught up in the middle of things. I believe it messed my kids up. One of the reasons I stayed as long as I did, was to act as a counterbalance to the kids' mum.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 3:40PM
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I have to say I am more than a little surprised that the bus driver made a big enough deal out of it to even give her a citation. I mean really what is the harm of the girl giving out cupcakes on the bus?... But, I agree with the lieing portion of it. I would have been willing to let it go myself until the stubborn sticking to the lie. I went through the same thing with all four of my kids.... right up until they realized I would go up to the school every single time to double check what they said was true. I still have to do it with my oldest but the rest of them got it pretty quick. Plus, I usually made a point to say this would have been the consequence for doing x but since you lied about it now consequence is xyz.... much much worse.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 5:18PM
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"I have to say I am more than a little surprised that the bus driver made a big enough deal out of it to even give her a citation. I mean really what is the harm of the girl giving out cupcakes on the bus?"

Maybe you missed this part: "The bus driver said there was dark blue icing smeared all over the the back of the bus!"

The bus driver had to spend quite some time after all the kids were dropped off, washing the seats in the back of the bus from the smeared icing.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 5:41PM
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there is "no eating on the school bus" policy, I assume, it would make sense especially wiht elementary school children. DD got a citation once on a school bus because she had loud argument with another girl and it disturbed bus driver. There are rules on a bus like everywhere else. DD hated that bus driver but oh well, rules are rules.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 6:01PM
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I understand that....the icing does stain ..but instead of a citation, i think your sd should have washed it along with all the other kids who made the mess.
She probalby didn't realize the icing stains or the messes the other kids made. Its not entirely her fault. aNd yes, she didn't mention it to you because she got in trouble witht he bus driver anyways..
i would not say anything. and i would not give her any treats again until one day she asks you and then you can say politely , that ''you dont want her friends to make a mess of the bus like last time and get her into snacks will be kept at home '.:)

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 7:12PM
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The plan was to have her clean the bus during her lunch hour but the driver stayed after work and cleaned it so it wouldn't dry up. This happened on the way home from school on Monday and they didn't want it to sit until lunch time on Tuesday.. when they have to pick up kids Tuesday morning.

I guess they talked to her again today and she told the driver she didn't hear her say she was calling her parents or that she was getting a citation. When the driver called to tell me that, I told her that SD told me nobody even talked to her. At this point, I'm letting it go. She knows that we know and now she is just getting negative attention from it. On the way to school this morning, I reminded her that she has to go to that school for another four years and if she's labeled a liar or someone you can't believe in the 4th grade, it may follow her the next four years. I guess some good news is that she fessed up to lying to the bus driver yesterday about chewing gum. She had told her she wasn't chewing gum but then admitted today that she lied about it. I already told her that I might have a hard time giving her treats to her class.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 7:48PM
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Something just occured to me---
We know how kids learn to lie when they learn to fear harsh consequences for telling the truth... And since it's obvious that this *isn't* the problem with how YOU deal with her (evidenced by you wanting to give her the benefit of the doubt and her starting to confide in you more)... then it may be that someone else in her life is making her fear extreme harsh consequences for telling the truth... And if we think about this in a bit of a broader way to encompass "being oneself" as an aspect of "the truth", and if we think about "harsh consequences" not only as direct punishments but as *indirect* punishments (i.e. rejection, abandonment), the situation with BM starts to look like a likely cause of SD's lying.

SD has said herself that she "doesn't know why" she lies. She also doesn't know why her BM continually rejects and abandons her. She may be on some level reasoning "I don't know why my BM continually rejects me. There must be something inherently wrong with me just being 'me' as I am... but I don't know what it is so I can't control it or prevent her from rejecting me. Until it's too late. So I'll just have to try doing some things different and hope they aren't 'bad' because if so I'll be rejected. And if I'm caught, I'll have to lie about it because I can't risk even more rejection."

That might sort of, partially, explain the denial type lying, the kind that is meant to escape a punishment. The lying that is more just making up some random dramatic stuff might be ---as you said--- for attention, but also related to that to make herself more "interesting" because among the many awful feelings she must have every time her mom abandons her is likely a fear that she is "boring" as-is, and needs to make herself, or her life, more "interesting" to hold BM's gnat-like attention span.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 9:51PM
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ima, I came across this article the other day.

Many unwanted behaviors, including some that disturb parents, tend to drop out on their own, especially if you don't overreact to them and reinforce them with a great deal of excited attention. Take thumb sucking, which is quite common up to age 5. At that point it drops off sharply and continues to decline. Unless the dentist tells you that you need to do something about it right now, you can probably let thumb sucking go. The same principle applies for most stuttering. Approximately 5 percent of all children stutter, usually at some point between ages 2 and 5. Parents get understandably nervous when their children stutter, but the vast majority of these children (approximately 80 percent) stop stuttering on their own by age 6. If stuttering persists past that point or lasts for a period extending more than six months, then it's time to do something about it.

There are a lot more behaviors, running the range from annoying to unacceptable, in this category. Approximately 60 percent of 4- and 5-year-old boys can't sit still as long as adults want them to, and approximately 50 percent of 4- and 5-year-old boys and girls whine to the extent that their parents consider it a significant problem. Both fidgeting and whining tend to decrease on their own with age, especially if you don't reinforce these annoying behaviors by showing your child that they're a surefire way to get your (exasperated) attention. Thirty to 40 percent of 10- and 11-year-old boys and girls lie in a way that their parents identify as a significant problem, but this age seems to be the peak, and the rate of problem lying tends to plummet thereafter and cease to be an issue. By adolescence, more than 50 percent of males and 20 percent to 35 percent of females have engaged in one delinquent behaviortypically theft or vandalism. For most children, it does not turn into a continuing problem.

Apparently, (if this article was accurate) your SD is just hitting 'peak lying years', so, well, you may have a rough couple years ahead of you, and her mom's example certainly can't help, but she's also probably not doomed to grow up into a pathological liar, she may just be at 'that age'.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 10:12PM
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Maybe you missed this part: "The bus driver said there was dark blue icing smeared all over the the back of the bus!"

The bus driver had to spend quite some time after all the kids were dropped off, washing the seats in the back of the bus from the smeared icing.


No, I didnt miss that part. It still seems like an over reaction to me (especially for a 4th grader with her bday cupcakes). I mean blue icing on bus seats are easily wiped off not to big a deal... I can remember the days of paper ball fights on bus rides home... ofcourse there were a few strict bus drivers but overall not really. And, those days are definately still in full gear ... at least around here. I'm not saying it was okay... I am just saying I was very surprised. Ofcourse rules are rules... but like I said aside from the lieing I wouldnt have been overly concerned about it.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 12:46AM
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Thank You! ~ I hadn't thought of that!

That really brought tears to my eyes! I had not thought of how deeply related it could be to everything you said. There wasn't a doubt in my mind that the lying has been modeled to her from her mom but everything you said makes so much sense and explains so much... from her weight issues, her low self esteem, her need to make everyone like her, why she exaggerates about how great everything is... she talks about how great things are at her mom's (when we know her mom does not spend much time with her), she brags about how much her and I get along (when she has been ignoring me for days), she talks about having lots of friends at school (when she rarely mentions names... never gets invited to parties, has only had one play date in two years, and cries about the other kids teasing her or they don't like her) She desperately wants to be 'popular' but when we see her at the school, she fidgets uncomfortably around the other kids. I never related it to her feelings caused by the way her mom treats her.

Thank you for your insight!

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 1:51AM
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I suspect she lies to try to get some some control over her life, especially weight control issues. Its not easy, but I would work with her pediatrician to get her to take ownership.

I also think the bus driver over reacted. My child never took a bus, but the newspapers seem to indicate there are more serious problems.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 8:44AM
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Just a thought, since she admits she lies and she doesn't know why is it possible she did tell you the truth? Maybe the bus driver just took away the box and the boss did the citation when he saw the frosting smeared?

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 7:01PM
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That's exactly what I thought too, eandhl. I think it's probably very possible that she didn't hear anything and the bus driver even could've said you're getting a citation which the bus driver knows includes a call to the parents, but SD probably wouldn't. I can imagine she was probably embarassed for getting in trouble and if citation came up, she probably had no idea what it meant..if she even heard or if it registered or if the bus driver said anything at all, LOL.

I do think when a kid is so backed into admitting "lies" that they may not even told, it really doesn't help distinguishing reality from fiction. I mean, I think we've all had conversations with someone and they took something away totally from that conversation than we did. Are they the liar or us? We can all look at the same thing and see something different, who's the liar then?

As about lying, I do agree with Serenity. I think she doesn't know what people want of her. If her mom rejects her, who could love her? Kind of thing. And to be honest,Ima, it does seem like she is picked over a lot over extremely small things. So it seems to me that she is scrambling to say anything the person wants. I think she was probably wondering if she was going to get in trouble for the act of giving the cupcakes out in the first place.

Is there any part of her life where she feels safe to be herself? An activity that she excels at? Anything in her life that she feels good about?

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 7:28PM
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Also, I think stepkids are put in weird positions to begin with. In a way forced to lie or put through uncomfortable circumstances that encourages lying. And hell, to be honest (hehe) I probably lie everyday to someone. "Yes, thank you, the gift was lovely" "That dress is so pretty." "No, Dad, I'm not dating anyone." (None of your business Dad!,hmph) We do live in a society that runs on lying, imo.

We've seen where stepparents are extremely upset by their stepkids reactions to them. From not saying thank you enough to not wanting to visit. And I think we rarely get to the reason why, the bio parent is just encouraged to make the stepkid like or appreciate whatever it is the stepparent wants. And kids can rarely express these complicated feelings anyway and with what they percieve to be the consequences.

Anyway, I think it's extremely confusing to some stepkids when they are not allowed to even be honest with themselves. I know for me personally, I was terribly confused as a kid. Is this right? That? Ok, what if I just lie about that? Then the next thing you know you've been lying to yourself for years to protect everyone else and massage their feelings. Not a very good place for kids, IMO.

And I'm not saying that it is a stepparents fault for all this. I just think it has to be a rough place for a kid.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 7:39PM
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SD knew what a citation was and what it meant. She got a citation in the 3rd grade for sitting on a 7th or 8th grade boy's lap on the bus and trying to hug and kiss him. She had to visit the principal and she sure knew what a citation is.

When the bus driver talked to her the second day, at first she said she didn't hear her the first day, say she was calling her parents but then later on, she said she didn't think the bus driver would really call her parents. She HEARD. She KNEW. and it is understandable why she didn't tell me up front, she wanted to go out for dinner, she wanted to pretend it didn't happen, she didn't want us to be disappointed with her... whatever her reason, THAT wasn't the problem. It was a bigger deal to me that she didn't fess up AFTER i told her I talked to the bus driver... she basically called the bus driver a liar. I had a problem with that. It was bad enough that she sticks to her story but she cannot call the bus driver a liar.

In light of what Serenity said and now that I have thought about it deeper, it's easier to understand how thing have built up. I still do not think it's right for her to get away with lying but considering the underlying issues, DH and I are going to focus on taking a different approach.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 10:11PM
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Maybe I'm the minority here. I know we live in a world full of liars. Maybe that's why it bothers me so much. If my dress is ugly, I don't want to be patronized by being told 'what a lovely dress', I want the truth. and how about "hey dad, I'm a grown up and when i want you to know who I'm dating, you'll meet him. You can trust me!" It's terribly SAD to me that people are just willing to accept we live in a society of liars.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 10:24PM
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well people sometimes lie out of neccesity or to protect someone or keep someone else's private secrets.

Kids lie because they scared of punishment, rejections, dissapointments etc Kids sometimes lie when parents overeract or become visibly upset, kids don't want to upset them.

sometimes children lie because adults force them in a subtle indirect way by putting children in a position when lying is less of all evils. Children use lying as a defense mechanism.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 12:51PM
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