Last week I learned that even though I say No a lot to the girls, they are actually more concerned with upsetting Husband than they are with getting me worked up. His voice is louder (of course!) and I guess his stern tone is just far more forbidding than mine is.
I’ve known for a while the girls don’t think I’m as stern, although they do say I have an “angry walk” and if they see me doing it they leave me alone. Doesn’t that sound intimidating, an angry walk. I don’t feel I’m a total pushover, and Husband has been known to give an okay to things I’m iffy on. On Halloween I said No to Oldest One staying out all night at a bonfire and missing school the next day even though “all the kids would be there.” I did ask who all the kids were, and got the answer I wouldn’t know any of them. That made it better, hanging out with a bunch of teenagers I had never met. She had friends over to watch horror movies and was in school on November 1st.
So last week was a cookie baking and poster making week as senior athletes were being recognized, and cheerleaders were giving them goodies. At least mine were. Oldest One got home from club cheer practice after 9p (she had to stop at the store for candy to hand out) and let us know she was making and icing sugar cookies. Of course, because I wanted to go to bed. Oh, and she was making several amazing posters, one of which Little One needed to work on because it was for her basketball player. Oldest One needed my help writing numbers on the cookies, so I told her to just wake me up and I would go downstairs, write numbers, then go up and go back to sleep. She said No, never mind, she didn’t want Dad to get mad and yell. What? I asked if she was worried about me getting mad, and she said no, I’d only get mad if she got sick (I had said staying up all night for several days doing all this stuff was a great way to get run down and to get sick). I said that I’d never gotten mad at her for getting sick, and she said, “See!? Exactly!” which did make sense if you look at it from a teenage view.
Then I got upstairs and Little One was melting down because she didn’t know what to do for the poster. I had just traced out part of it in pencil, so I said I’d go help her and then go to bed. She didn’t want me to because she didn’t want Dad to get mad and yell that she wasn’t letting me go to bed. Again, What? I convinced her nobody would yell, we went down, and I helped her get the poster started, and went upstairs to get ready for bed, and to complain to Husband that it wasn’t for my welfare the girls weren’t willing to bother me, but because they didn’t want to make him mad and have him yell.
He thought that was really funny. Mainly because I come from a family of people who yell to communicate, and it took me several years to learn not to yell, but if anyone is going to crack and yell it would be me. He also thought it was funny the girls weren’t worried about me not getting enough sleep and having to work, or anything along the lines of making my life more difficult, it was all about not upsetting Dad.
So what I get from this is I need to learn how to be louder than Husband, and sound more threatening too. An angry walk just isn’t enough; I need something extra that makes it bad to upset me. Realistically, who am I kidding? I like being needed to help with their things, and I’ll drag myself downstairs and complain about losing sleep while happily helping with whatever they are doing. I enjoy those small bonding moments, and I like to see the girls doing nice things for others and not expecting anything in return. Oldest One also sets cookies aside just for me, so really, I can’t complain too loudly or I might not get the cookies.