February 28, 2006 [see new photos posted]
The last day of February. I can't believe tomorrow is March. Time marches on. One more month and we will go to the beach. Yay!
Alesia was pretty upset with me last night because I told her I would no longer help her with homework, or even check it. I said she had to do it all herself, and try her best. I explained about her teachers thinking she knows more than she does, because I've been helping her too much. She didn't much care for that explanation. I hate having to do this, to prove to those teachers she is NOT ready for high school next year.
I have bene contacting various private schools to see if they would admit Alesia next year. So far, no luck. I will have to get a loan to pay the tuition. I told her we may send her to another school, or just homeschool her. She likes the homeschool idea. I didn't point out it would be Granny, not me.
We had a nice evening yesterday, until right after dinner. I will spare you the details, but I had to punish Alesia for a clothing infraction. I held my temper and stayed calm, until the end. Then I lost it and screamed at her. Why? She sassed me. I said "Just go to your room and go to bed, no movie tonight." Her impertinent reply - "Well, I don't care. It's almost bedtime anyway!" Oh man, I hate that disrespectful attitude. I screamed so loud the walls shook. That's the only way to scare her and make an impression. I confess I didn't plan it though, I just lost my temper, pure and simple. I hate losing control like that.
After I gave myself some time to calm down, and calm down Mother - who thinks I'm going to burst an artery or something if I keep losing my temper - I went up to Alesia's room with Coco. She was huddled in her bed, crying. I felt remorseful. I didn't know what to do, though. I asked God to help me. For a few minutes, I just sat there. Then I prayed, out loud, "Lord, please help Alesia to understand that I love her more than anything else in the world. Help her to understand she is so special to me, and I want her to be a happy girl. Help her to OBEY me, though, so I don't have to be mean to her. Help Alesia to not be disrespectful to me or Granny. Help her to understand what we expect, and help us to understand her. In Jesus' name, amen."
I was hoarse all day today from the screaming.
At lunch today I finally ordered a book that a lot of people have recommended, Parenting the Adolescent with Love and Logic. Those Love and Logic books are very popular right now. I prefer the old drill sergeant approach myself, but so far it ain't working as well as I would hope. So maybe I need to investigate the book and see if it has any nuggests of wisdom.
My intestinal problems continue, only slightly lessened by the essentially bland diet I've adopted for the last few days, since we returned from the mountains. No cokes, onions, beans, etc. It's the same diet I was forced to endure years ago in grad school when I had colitis. I hope I don't have that again. Every time I got in the car I worried about having to stop and run in the bathroom somewhere. I hope this is just a bug and it will go away. Thank God for Immodium.
Mother and I tried once again to talk to Alesia tonight about Lent, and Easter, and why Jesus died for our sins. She keeps referring to him as "the Jesus." She can't seem to remember that Easter is not just about the bunny and candy. We have more work to do there, clearly. I am going to try and find her a book of illustrated Children's bible stories. She said she read all the stories in Russian. She was enthusiastic about seeing them in English, which is a good sign.
Mother heard the coyotes again tonight. I will either have to call animal control or get her earplugs.