On a good day, parenting will test the integrity of your character. On a bad day, parenting will test your will to live. Parenting children with trauma histories will cause you to test the integrity of everything and everyone you thought you knew, for the rest of your life.
~J. Skrobisz

Monday, May 17, 2010


Sissy thinks she's good at tricking and lying, manipulating and triangulating. She thinks she's so, so good but we just laugh because the truth is, she's so, so bad at it! The Dad has been overheard saying to her many times, "Sissy, a little tip. If you're going to lie, at least make it believable."

I've mentioned the "5s" before. This is Sissy's bathing routine, learned at RTC and continued at home because it's so brilliant. Sissy has to get in, soap up and call out, "5s!" and I go in to see her hang out each soapy arm, leg and a soapy head (5 body parts) so we know she's bathed properly but still maintaining a modicum of respect for her privacy. To get her to soap up her privates we verbally remind her, "OK don't forget the bubble butt now!"

Last Thursday she came out of the shower, dressed, her hair wet but she did not smell clean. "Sissy. What are you doing? You didn't call 5s. You have not showered properly."

"yes I did! I called it out two times loudly!"

"uh. No. You didn't." I posted this last week. She didn't obey. She manipulated again, The Dad was nearly duped, it was annoying. Because she believes we can be fooled. Believes if she shouts her lies at us, we'll back down and agree (even though she still stinks) that she has bathed properly. Tricking us about calling out 5s notwithstanding. It's laughable, it's irritating, it's ridiculous, it's absurd, it's insane. She can't possibly believe we believe her.

The next morning, after the shower debacle, I woke her up. "Good morning Sissy. Hurry and get dressed, you have laundry duty for lying last night." And still, STILL she declared her innocence. I didn't explain how I knew she was lying, I just looked her back in the eye and smiled. "Laundry. Go." She gets mad but I believe I see a glimmer of relief in her expression a oh good, mom is still mom, she caught me in my tricks again

Then last night before her shower, I said, "OK Sissy, Just in case you've forgotten, let's review shower routines at the Smith house. You go in, you leave the door open two inches, you get in, you turn on the water, you soap up, you use body wash for your body and shampoo for your hair and you'll use the correct shampoo because I'll be able to smell if you've used the wrong one, i did that on purpose in case you wondered, and you'll wash your face with the oatmeal soap, and I'll know it again because it smells different too, again, mom is so awesome that way, and then you'll shout out very, very loudly so our neighbors can hear and so there's no mistaking it like last thursday, FIVES!!!! and I'll come running in and say, OK show 'em, and you'll show me all your soapy parts, then I'll say, good job and you'll wash off, turn off the water, get dry, put on deodorant, put on clothes and come out clean, smelling like a flower factory and (this is when I spoke very quietly, looking her dead in the eye and directly to her)... and NOT having tried to trick us again. Got it?"

"but, but but..."

"Nope Sissy. We're not going to pretend anymore. You tried to trick last week. We're going to be honest now. You lied last time, right?"


"I'm SO GLAD you admitted it!!!! So, today you're going to do it correctly, right?"


"GREAT! Now go! Prove it to me!"

but of course, she did everything except wash her face. "Sissy, oatmeal soap your face."

From behind the shower curtain, "I did!"


"UGH! OK!!!!" then she sticks out her soapy face after complaining loudly that now her eyes are stinging. "THERE! OK!?!?!"

"Excellent, thank you."

so much work to prove it to them that we know, but we ALWAYS know! (and if we don't actually KNOW know, we fake it like we do.)

Like last weekend when I SAW her break wonder girl's lego tower. I WATCHED her pick it up, watched her break it, she knew I was standing there watching her and yet, Sissy says to me, "I didn't do it. I didn't break it!" A 25 minute scream fest followed by an abrupt stop and a squeaky, "fine. I admit it. I lied"



Because I couldn't possibly have known that she lied when I was STANDING RIGHT THERE!

I'm much better now about not letting her get my goat. As in, she never manages to catch the tail, let alone wrangle me to the ground and hog tie me. Instead, i laugh at her a lot. And maybe that's not helpful either but it's better than getting mad and most of the time, it diffuses her bombs too.

Then there was this morning.

This morning Sissy says to me that she brushed her hair. Says she used a mirror. right there - offering information that wasn't asked for is dead ringer for LIAR!!!! I sent her to go REALLY do it. She walked past my bedroom door and into the bathroom so she could make it appear as though she went to the bathroom to do what I asked but then came right back to me, holding her hairbrush - standing there staring at me, her hair still unkempt.

"Brush your hair."

"I DID!"

"Uh, no. now use MY mirror and do it"

she brushes angrily. I said gaily, "Wow! NOW it looks brushed! Imagine that!"

Sissy stands there glaring.

And I finish it off with "Sissy, I'll always know, in case you wondered. I'll ALWAYS know. I am omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent."

WHY do they go to such elaborate lengths to try to fake us out? I mean all the efforts they go to to try to trick when they could just do what they've been asked to do and save themselves all the hassle, consequence and anger. I don't get it. Defies logic. I know, I know. RADs isn't logical but gosh, it's just plain maddness!


Bren said...

I have questions....but first I will share something that I experienced. C is almost 13 and has been with us for 9 years. She had all but 1 RAD "sign and symptom"...no infatuation with fire, but everything else was in the moderate to high level. So, I remember once I told C the same thing you told Sissy. I will ALWAYS know....you can NOT fool me...etc. Goodness did that backfire on me cause another time I said that to her she said "I know that is not true cause You don't know a lot of stuff I do." So I have been very careful to let her know instead..."You are right C. Only God knows everything you do. I know for everytime I catch you there is a time I did not (remember that saying where you see one rat there are 50 more you do not see), BUT, darling daughter, you will never know which time I will catch you and I will double your consequence for the time I did not catch you. Thank you so much for letting me know."
Now my question...you said "The Dad was nearly duped". Is that a common thng? I ask cause 9 YEARS LATER, the Dad here is ALWAYS duped. Infact....I look bad for her rotten behavior. In my own home I have the "all kids do that". Or "she is just a kid. Cut her some slack". Cut her some slack when I have to tell her to do the same little menial task 5 times EVERY day for 3 years. It gets old. If Dad is not home she does it perfectly....when Dad is home she is all about triangulation. She is a totally different child in front of him. Is this something you deal with too??

Jennie said...

ooo Bren! Good thoughts on rewording my phrasing about knowing! i'll be implementing that posthaste!

um, on triangulation, Sissy just tries to corner one of us, it swings both ways. Whomever waivers just a smidge becomes her target. When we catch her trying to dupe one of us or play one of us against the other, we make sure she knows we're on to her in a public way ("public" being so that the other family members are aware of it not "public" as in out in public). That usually puts a lid on it for awhile.

GB's Mom said...

I don't want to rain on your parade, but it sounds like progress :) {{{Hugs}}}

Jennie said...

lol GBsmom - progress for her or for ME? I think it's more likely progress for me. :-)

GB's Mom said...

It is easier the second time around! And I meant progress for both :)

FosterAbba said...

The lying about the obvious is just so frustrating. Makes me want to stab myself with a titanium spork every time.

Kelly said...

Oh my Beth. I keep saying if Beth would use that brain power she uses to come up with all the lies and manipulation for the stuff she really needs to know she would be a genius. LOL Actually and sadly it takes so much more brain power for her to tell the truth. It is exhausting and frustrating for her to tell the truth. Wears her out.

J. said...

this reminds of the camp song Boom Chicka Boom where there is a line that says
2nd verse same as the first, a whole lot louder and a whole lot worse
We have a lot of that going around here to usually about brushing teeth and washing hands - I took several deep breaths this morning before I let there games send me ober the edge, then I read your post and I was sure that you were in my house!

Jules said...

I don't have any advice but just wanted to tell you to keep your head up. You are doing a great job.


robyncalgary said...

I'm reading through archives to present day entries and have yet to comment. I have no experience with RAD or any other alphabet disorders but I just felt the need to comment and so fully agree with your comment that extra details=lying. I'm a single mom of 2 girls and my baby's dad I believe is either sociopathic, borderline personality or similar and that's him to a T.

With nothing else important to add I'll just say I enjoy your writing style and am thinking of and praying for you and your family.