To start, I'm a pretty sensitive person. I, at times, take things personal or make them more than what they are worth. However right now I feel pretty justified in my hurt feelings. I can't really talk to Mr. Fox about it because it feels like he hears me as complaining or talking crap about his daughter. I don't know if that is actually how he feels, but I know not too long ago Ali couldn't do anything right and it seemed like every time something was said about her it was negative, and I was just overwhelmed with sadness for my daughter. Here I go moving her away from everyone and everything she knows. I throw her in to a house with people who only seem to be irritated by her presence and she can't even catch a break. So one day, after hearing yet another story of how she blew Mr. Fox's sister's mind about something and then hearing Yah be unreasonably rude to her I took her out of the house for a smoothie and to just talk to her.
I talked about how I kept giving passes to Yah because so many things have changed in her life and somehow I forgot that it's changed just as well for her. Maybe not to the same degree, but in a child's life change is change. I explained to her that she has to be aware of other people's feelings and attitudes. If someone starts to have an attitude, leave them alone. Don't put yourself in a position to have your feelings hurt. Don't follow after someone who can't even respect you enough to acknowledge your words and respond without an attitude, if they respond at all. I also let her know that things are different in the things that I expect from her. She's older and she's a big sister and she can't be so rambunctious. We had a pretty good day. I was able to get away from all of the tension and stress in the house. I was able to take out the main stress inducer and hopefully give Mr. Fox and Yah a break as well as some time together.
Of course this blew up in my face. Yah made comments to Mr. Fox that I never take her anywhere and why wasn't she allowed to go and normal things a kid would say. I had my reasons for not taking her, and the main reason was stress. The couple of times that I have taken her and Ali somewhere she's been rude to Ali, she walks a distance away from us, she wanders off to look at stuff and gets dramatic if Ali follows, and she sulks and has her arms crossed the whole time. So why would I want to take her? My main goal was to allow her time to breath and spend time with her dad, but of course all she saw was that she was treated differently. Well, that road runs two ways.
Ali is a positive extrovert who usually means well, even if she's over the top. I'm used to dealing with that type of kid. Yah is an introvert and moody, and I am not used to it. Last year it caused a lot of stress for me dealing with the change of moving in with someone, being pregnant, becoming a Step Mom to someone who became defensive with me and just dealing with the emotions and attitude from her. Most of it was the pregnancy, I felt a whole lot better when I wasn't growing a human inside of me. I was able to be calmer and more patient and try to be less sensitive.
This year has started out pretty good, and I was really hoping it would continue, but after only a month I'm worried it's fallen back in to scary territory. Yah is at each parent's house alternating weeks. The first week she wanted to spend at her mom's, the second week she was here it was normal. Last week was her mom's and this week just started yesterday and I am looking forward to Monday. From the second she walked in the door on Monday she had an attitude. She hasn't said hello to me once and this morning when I said bye to them, she walked right past me and out the door. I almost stuck my head out the door and asked her why she felt the need to be rude so early in the damn morning. But I left it alone, because if she's going to start her day off shitty, it won't be because of me she's capable of it all by herself.
For her birthday I went out of my way and baked her a three layer red velvet cake with cheesecake for the middle layer. I don't even like cheesecake, but I made it because that's what she wanted. I spent way over my budget for her school clothes and supplies while her mom sat back and talked shit. I've been worried about how her hair is because her mom put a chemical in it. Every day that I've seen her dropped off at the bus stop by her mom she looks like she stuck a fork in the socket and her hair is still sizzling. I felt bad because I don't want the kids at school talking crap about it. I also wondered why she didn't tell her mom about it frizzing up and being crazy, because whenever I've done her hair that's one of the first things she asks me about, "What do I do if it frizzes up?". I've done all of these things because I do care about her and her well being. I want her to have cake on her birthday and if I could have done more I would have. These are what I do for my children, and even though nobody thinks so I do consider her one of mine.
But what did I get for my birthday? She text me that day to ask if we were going to pick her up to go to Mr. Fox Senior's House [he was supposed to have a cookout, but he never got back with us]. Before she left she made it clear she knew the date of my birthday [the 3rd] and the day [Monday] and the fact that I would be able to spend my birthday with Ali. But did she wish me a happy birthday? Nope. The next day on the bus she told Ali that she knew it was my birthday but forgot to text me and she would call me to tell me happy birthday. Did she do it? Nope. So the next morning I took Ali to the bus stop and she came up and said happy belated birthday. Did I care at that point? Nope.
So of course when she got here on Monday I asked her if she asks her mom about what to do with her hair since it's frizzed up. She said, "What frizz?" to which I pointed to her head and said, "All of that frizz". She said, "Oh when it's out I want it to frizz up, it's just if it's put back I don't want it to frizz." What the fuck kind of logic is that? I would rather have a few frizzies on my head than my whole head of hair to be sticking out in all different directions. Whatever, so I put it in two braids. I have an extensive hairstyle planned [flat twist updo] but with homework and running the house I don't have the time to put in to it yet, so I planned to do it this weekend after I deep condition her hair. I didn't do Ali's hair last night, so this morning I put her hair in a ponytail this morning and as I was putting it in Yah asked if she needed to wet her sides. I told her no. Water is just going to make it frizz up more, and her hair wasn't even that frizzy. I guess that's what pissed her off this morning, because last year Bitters kept talking shit about how I would do Ali's hair in the morning and not Yah's. Uh, you dumb bitch, Yah's hair stays in a style. If I don't do Ali's hair I have to do it in the morning. But of course I can't do shit right by anyone. So now I feel like I should just take her hair out of the braids and put it back in the style her mom had it in. Since no matter what I do it just isn't enough for her.
I don't know where to go from here or how to navigate my way through all of this. If she was Ali I would have set her straight this morning and every other time she's gotten attitude with me. But I feel like I have to be more patient and accepting of her attitude and it's wearing me thin. I don't really have anyone to talk about it to. I can't talk to Mr. Fox, none of my friends have experience dealing with step-children, my mom doesn't have that experience either. I could ask my dad, but I dunno. I'm just going to keep my distance I guess and try to figure out what to do. I am going to confront her about this morning and the afternoons when she feels like she doesn't have to acknowledge my presence. I am going to tell her that it hurt my feelings about the birthday thing, and I'm going to tell her that she can't treat people like crap and then expect things from them. Or maybe I won't since I'm not one for confrontation. Like I said, I'm just lost about it all.