Something is happening to AG, and I have no idea what it is. She is one of those kids who doesn't give a flying flip what other people think of her. She will not pretend to like you if she doesn't. She figures if you don't want to be her friend it is your loss. While I am glad she is independent and not easily a victim of peer pressure I do want her to be kind. Nice. Forgiving of others. Overlooking others' faults. Friendly. We have been working all year on being nice to people. Having a better attitude when it comes to other people who aren't her. It has been hard.
This attitude has carried over to the condition in which she keeps her room. I tell her to clean it all the time. She does a half-hearted job and calls it done. She is usually called back in to finish up several times before it is done to my liking.
Exhibit A. This is after I told her to clean her room. She said she was working on it. She had been in there a long time for it to still be in this condition. At this point she was asking for a break. Um...I don't think so.
Exhibit B - Notice drawers pulled out, bags, clothes, books, sheets, and who knows what else on her floor. Why? How can you live like this? But it didn't disturb her in the slightest bit. It was her room so as far as she was concerned she should be able to keep it however she wanted.
We have also struggled with her attitude when it came to school. In school if she didn't like the subject she didn't try. A bit. She made a C on a test once and was given the opportunity to retake it. She said she was happy with the C. What? Um...yes...you will be retaking the test! She heard her teacher say to the class, "it's ok if you don't finish the handwriting book by the end of the year." Meaning...keep working on it, but if you don't make it all the way to the end it is ok. What AG heard. It is ok to stop working on the handwriting book, because it doesn't matter if it is finished or not. Her handwriting grade this last quarter. D. Because she didn't do one page of handwriting the whole time. It sounds like she deserved an F to me. Maybe she was graded on handwriting on some other papers so she was able to pull her grade up to a D. In handwriting. You've got to be kidding me.
But in the last week something has changed. AG, in talking about going back to America this November said, "I don't want to be the new kid. I do not make friends easily." Hm...interesting. My response was that if she would be kind to people and treat them with respect she would have no trouble making friends. She said, "I know."
Then AG decided to clean her room. She cleaned it and organized all the drawers, shelves, and cabinets. She even made a sticky note to put on her door that says "Cleaning" so we wouldn't disturb her. Every night before she goes to bed she puts the clothes she is going to wear the next day on top of her dresser. When she gets dressed in the morning she makes her bed and puts her pjs at the end of her bed.
Exhibit C - Notice the pjs at the end of the bed. Her floor is remarkably, like totally clean.
Exhibit D - bed is made. End table is cleaned off with only end table appropriate things on top. I opened the drawers and everything was perfectly folded and neat. Even her underwear!
Exhibit E - shelves and cabinets are perfectly in order. Usually that bottom cabinet is a mixture of all kinds of papers, toys, dirty clothes, trash, and the like. Now...it holds blankets. Ok.
Exhibit F - Shoes paired neatly under the desk. I'm not sure why she decided to put the writing thing under there, but hey...it fits and still looks neat.
She also came home from school with a stack of papers with good grades. Like all A's. She did have one 73 that she was not proud of. Like she shoved it to the back so it would be seen last. After I looked at the grades she threw the 73 in the trash and brought the other papers to her room. TO SAVE! Like she cared or something.
While I was writing this post AG came into the kitchen to get the broom. I asked her why she needed it, and she said she wanted to sweep her floor because "there were little things on it". Then when she was finished she brought the broom back and put it away.
Good cow, I hope this lasts!