Friday, June 13, 2008

AG - a full report.

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!


Anonymous said...

Wow! That is totally amazing! I wonder what is going on in that wonderful mind of hers. Keep us informed.


Unknown said...

Just sounds like excellent parenting to me!

You can delete this.

Anonymous said...

Kids have the amazing ability to grow up before our very eyes, sometimes overnight...

I am glad she is in a good place with herself and with you... Good Job Mom!

Lisa said...

Do you hire AG out to help others who aren't as motivated to clean and organize their rooms? Her room is way better than any closets and cabinets in my entire house. Maybe she could inspire my 3 girls.

HeyJoe said...

Good cow? Are cows sacred in Turkey like they are in India, thereby translating to Good God? Or is that just a Texas saying because Texans also worship cows; slathered with steak sause or slammed between two halves of a burger bun.

That aside, i should send you pics of MY kids rooms. I don't think Good Cow would cover it. More like Holy S! I have no idea how they live in there sometimes.

Sra said...

Interesting. I kept a very messy room when I was a kid, and my mom tried to get me to clean it. But she kept the rest of the house a mess so she wasn't a great example. For me it was a pack rat thing, which I also got from my mom. Once I cleansed myself of pack ratism, it was much easier to be organized and clean.

Minnesota Matron said...

Funny. My daughter's bedroom is the black hole of the household and I cannot tolerate clutter! This room cleaned up quite well! We still are fighting the black hole and its power.

The Over-Thinker said...

She came in and got the broom!?!?!?

Be still my beating heart...

Anonymous said...

The top set of pics look very familiar to me--like my own kids' rooms. The bottom ones, not so much:) I don't think that their rooms look that clean even when they are clean--relative term I guess.

Natalie said...

mamadallama - i have no idea, but again this morning i walked by her room and the bed was made. i am loving it!

alexander - why would i delete this? i agree...it's all that great parenting! (too bad you know the truth about AG...you've seen her in action!)

charlie girl - it is weird. but even since i wrote that post yesterday she has acted like a baby and thrown a fit for no reason. but her room is still clean so there is that.

mike and lisa - i think i am sending her to erica's room next. we'll see how that turns out!

heyjoe - funny story. when my mom was growing up she wasn't allowed to say "holy cow" because using holy like that was kinda of like sacrilege. so she said good cow. not sure if she coined it or someone else. i heard it my whole life, but never used it. several years ago brian and i started to say it just for fun...and now it seems to work in my environment! i can guarantee if she had ever said holy s... she would have gotten the whippin' of her life!

sra - i love for my room to be clean, but it rarely is. brian is not a neat/organized person and i have relaxed my efforts as well. my side is usually way neater than his side! but it does seem to collect all the stuff that has no proper place.

minnesota matron - my oldest daughters' room is like that. i won't even tell you what i have discovered in there. it grosses me out!

over-thinker - i know. i just sat in my chair dumbfounded.

cheri - i hope to never see those top pictures again in real life. i am just waiting for her to have a friend over. that might be what breaks the cycle of cleanliness!

Kayseri Protestan Kilisesi said...

"Good cow!" Haven't heard that in awhile. Way to go anna grace! I hope she continues.

HO said...

hmmm...very interesting. I hope she keeps it up!

Natalie said...

abby - yeah...well some habits don't ever die. i hope she keeps it up too. so far so good!

HO - i agree. it is interesting. i will be sure to report a messy room when i see one!