Jess has a propensity for fixating on things. She will get an idea, need, thought or desire in her head and lord help anyone within a five-mile radius who might have some capability of making said idea, need, thought or desire happen and she will perseverate until she either gets her way or has reduced someone (usually me) to tears. I have no idea where she got this habit (said the carrier of the trait) but it can be very tiresome.
Prior to her transition, the begging often centered around dolls. She would see an ad for a cheerleader doll or a Barbie doll or a hooker doll and simply have to have it, no matter who got hurt in the process. I tried like hell to stand my ground and refuse the acquisition, but admit to being beaten into submission more than once. (Okay, many more times than once as is evidenced by the vast doll collection at my house.) It always became bigger than her and I could almost see her losing sight of what it was she even wanted having gotten so caught up in the hysteria. It was at once sad and infuriating. Until I learned to walk away.
As I told you a few days ago, a recent episode lead me right into the hands of the local Starbucks for what would become a two-hour run away. I warned her that I was nearing saturation of my nerves and, when she did not let up, I simply left. (Okay, I might have slammed the door on my way out, just for dramatic emphasis, but…) It was good for both of us. Really.
Fast forward to last night. It was a cold, rainy/snowy, crappy evening. Jess was perfectly content playing on “Our World” (a web game she likes) when she noticed that if she had more (virtual) gems, she could buy more (virtual) crap and all I had to do was lay out some (real) money. Not surprisingly, I declined the offer. Even less surprising was her taking my denial as an invitation to start making deals, offers and pinky promises that would assure me, if I laid out the credit card, of her never asking for anything ever again. Yeah, cuz that works.
We got into the whole back and forth for a few moments before I stopped it all in its tracks and calmly told her that if she continued with this line of conversation (for lack of a better word) I was going to have to leave the house. Secretly hoping that the threat would suffice, I sat back and was arrogant enough to think, if even for a nanosecond, that she was going to back down. But, no.
“Ya know what, mom? That is probably a good idea” she shot back, with just a trace of disgust.
Damn. Okay, then. All about the follow through, I, with the same calm as the initial threat, walked toward the door, slipped on the closest Uggs, grabbed my phone and keys and out I went into the cold, wet night air. (I will admit to consciously thinking that, among other irritations from this encounter, this weather was going to do bad things to my hair. What? Is that bad?)
I turned on the car, was assaulted by the sounds of my new favorite CD: http://www.amazon.com/Fall-Grace-Version-Paloma-Faith/dp/B0096YP8DU/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1363975772&sr=1-1&keywords=paloma+faith – a fantastic album which somehow gets into my soul and makes me a better person…if only temporarily) and threw it into reverse having no idea where I was headed, but feeling just a little bit proud of myself for not further engaging in the mishegas* that was happening at home.
I drove around the neighborhood, noticing a “sale pending” sign outside a friend’s house (didn’t know she was moving), a discrepancy in snow levels among streets and the fact that all the other cars around me seemed to have a destination, while I had none. I made a few phone calls and pulled over for a few texts. About thirty minutes passed before I realized that my shoulders had dropped back down to their proper space and that it might just be safe to go back home.
I hit the “Home” speed dial on the Bluetooth knowing that it would be clear from the way she answered the phone whether it was safe to go back. The first time I tried, the stinker let me go to voicemail. My second attempt, a few seconds later, yielded a friendly “hello” on the other end. No pussyfooting around, I came out and asked her if it was cool for me to come back home.
“Yeah. I am calm now. But not gonna promise that I won’t ask about it again, but I promise not to tonight.”
I was down with that. So home I went where she greeted me in the kitchen with a hug and a smile and said,
“That was a good choice, mom.”
Just another reason I love that kid.
*For the non-Yiddush speakers out there: mishegas is best described as silly insanity – the crap we all have to deal with that is silly and insane all at the same time.