In the meantime, I bring you PAYBACKS
Of course, Sissy paid us back for all the fun in the sun. A royal butthead. Beavis style. WHY does she do this? I mean, I know why, I understand all the RADspeak about it. It just still really drives me batty. Why, why, why?
For some reason, Sissy loathes hand washing. I have never figured out why. This issue of hers requires that we follow behind her after toileting to inquire about her hand washing. Of course, she lies. Right? duh. If you ask a pathological liar a question, they are going to lie in the answer. *smacks forehead* So we have modified our approach. "Sissy, wash your hands."
"use soap this time."
or it might go like this: "Sissy, wash your hands with SOAP and water"
Or my personal favorite: "Sissy, wash your hands."
"And in the event that's a lie, go REALLY wash your hands." It's funny because she ALWAYS turns around and walks back to the bathroom.
So it's a given, she won't wash with soap and water unless we instruct her to.
Cue this morning's scenario. She had a great day at the beach, ate a full meal, took a bath and sacked out. Woke up on the RAD side of the bed. Used the bathroom, we began our hand washing debate and exasperated because I'd only been up for a little while said, "Sissy, stop lying, go wash your hands with soap and water."
Scream, moan, stomp, disrespectful, ugly faces, lying ... crap.
"sissy, just do it, it's not that big a deal"
More of the same. The Dad intervened and announced to Sissy as he stood over her at the sink, "The consequence will be that for the rest of the week, you will be supervised while you wash your hands" And Sissy finally did it correctly.
Skip ahead a few hours. The girls and I were in a public restroom. Sissy went in one stall and I went in the other with WG (she's afraid of the automatic flushers.) I used the opportunity to be behind a door so I could spy on Sissy as she approached the sink. She stuck just her right hand under the water for a count of about two seconds and then reached for the lever to release the paper towels. I interrupted her mid-pull.
"Huh?" She spun around and saw me peeking from behind the stall door.
"I was sneaky. I spied on you" I sung in a teasing, sing-songy way. "You need to use soap."
Screaming, wailing, gnashing of teeth, hollering, lying, all of the above.
"Sissy, just use the soap and wash correctly."
She stopped and did as I bade but mostly because by then, WG was finished and was at the sink too, washing her hands properly. What big sister wants to be outdone by the kid sister? None that I know of.
We got to the van. The Dad inquired how it went, I explained that Sissy had to be reminded to use soap and instantly, the van was filled with screaming, wailing, gnashing of teeth, hollering, lying, being disrespectful, making a royal fuss all from the backseat; eruptions from Sissy's mouth.
When she finally settled down and we were on our way I said, "Sissy, we don't get mad and jump down your throat when you do these ridiculous lies. We simply remind you that truth is better. Every time you lie and then insist that you were telling the truth, it destroys our trust." I waited to see if I still had her attention. I did so I went on.
"Sissy, the road to truth is easy, straight, fun and quick. What's more, Mom and Dad are at the other end jumping up and down shouting, 'Sissy! come down this road, this is the one you should take! Don't lie, we're right here to hug you and kiss you and love you!' The lying road is full of snakes and scorpions and spiders and bugs and cobwebs and thickets and briars and thorns and all kinds of horrible things that can hurt you. You always go down that one. Why?"
She started to cry and whimpered, "I don't know"
"I don't know why either. Because Dad and I are on the truth road, rooting for you, your very own cheerleading section, ready to hug and kiss you all over for telling the truth. But you'd rather get bitten by bugs and stung by scorpions." She nodded, not because it's what she WANTS but because it's what she does and she knows it.
The Dad chimed in, "Sissy. Did you wash your hands correctly in the bathroom or is MOM the one telling the truth?"
"Really, I did! I washed them!"
Exasperated and my will draining, I gathered some more patience and adjusted The Dad's question. "Sissy, did you wash your hands correctly BEFORE mom caught you or AFTER because I was sneaky and spying and caught you?"
"IwashedthemAFTERmomsawme" she mumbled into her shirt, barely audible.
"Sissy, please speak clearly."
*grunting* followed by more mumbling.
"Sissy, we can not understand you."
"UGH! I washed them AFTER mom told me!!!!"
"Thank you for being honest!"
Really, it's like pulling teeth and it makes me so exhausted and exasperated with her. And this is only ONE of the ways she tried to pay us back today.
Later she had one more opportunity to demonstrate correct toileting habits. We were 45 minutes from home and The Dad decided we needed to stop. "Great," I muttered. That means I get to listen to Sissy lie again about washing her hands." I was not pleased to have to deal with it again.
"So just watch her this time, say nothing, see what she does," The Dad offered.
"OK" I mumbled.
In the bathroom, I watched as Sissy walked to the sink and paused. Mmmhmm I thought. She's weighing which will cost her more. Lying again or just washing her hands the right way the first time. She looked back at me and then at the soap and hesitatingly, squeezed the lever to release the foam. "Good choice" I called to her. She ignored me.
I kept watching as she finished, WG joining her at the sink again and I took the chance to relieve myself. The very second the stall door was locked, (read: Sissy waited until she knew I was busy and unavailable to intervene) I overheard Sissy say to WG, "You need to use more paper towels, that's not enough! THAT'S NOT ENOUGH!!!!"
I noticeably cleared my throat from inside the stall and spoke sternly. "Sissy, you're the last one that needs to be coaching someone on proper hand washing. Leave WG alone."
grunting. "Sissy, don't leave this bathroom until I do." I came out of the stall, washed my hands correctly making a big show of my effort, keeping my eyes on Sissy the entire time and waving my hands with flourish and flair so it would be obvious that I was demonstrating it to her, again. And that I had done it correctly. I reached for the towels. Providence stared me in the face as I saw the enormous sign on the back of the door.
Oh, this is rich I thought. "Sissy, what does that sign say?"
"Come on Sissy, just read it."
Mumbling to the floor, not even looking at the sign, "Employees should wash their hands"
"Try again. What does the sign say?" (she had to say it exactly because if you read what she said, you'll agree, she was giving herself a loop hole. The word 'should' does not imply a necessity, rather a suggestion)
This time she read it correctly. "Great reading! Can you tell me WHY it's so important?"
"Because they touch toilets and I don't want those germs on my food?"
"What else might they touch?"
She stood there dumbly.
"Come on Sissy, you know this. When you use the toilet, what else is touched?"
"Privates and poo and pee" she muttered.
"RIGHT! So why is it important to wash the hands using soap, rinsing them all the way and drying them all the way?" (i have to say all of those specific steps, any loop holes and she's snagging me again)
"because it's for our health and safety! It's sanitary!" she shouted angrily.
"THANK YOU! And guess what else?" I cooed gaily. "It's a rule for EVERYONE, not just something I made up. People in the WHOLE WORLD have to do it."
We exited and left for home.
I really wish there weren't paybacks to deal with. I wish Sissy didn't have such a big deal with toileting and hygiene. I wish Sissy wouldn't play dumb all the time (seriously? She used words like "health and safety" and "sanitary" as if they were words she used every single day but not until I put her to it) I wish I didn't have to be so patient, painstaking and persistent to get Sissy to be honest, intelligent and correct. It is so much gosh darn work every single day and I for one, get tired of it. Some days it feels like it's never going to be anything different.
Oh, and for the record, Sissy did get an unofficial consequence for all those shenanigans she tried to pull. The rest of us had a grand ol' time chewing gum and blowing bubbles with it (WG learned how this weekend and we all made a big show of how proud we were of her new skill) but Sissy wasn't offered any because she is always telling us just how much she hates it. That's probably a lie on her part too but today that lie cost her the satisfaction of chewing gum with the rest of us. We never said it was her consequence, we just simply said, "Sissy, we know how much you hate gum so we're not going to bother you by asking you if you want any."
Today, I would have been quite glad if the world had gone away.