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« Age appropriate behavior | Main | Messing up and trying again »

July 03, 2008



I was thinking that about your age-appropriate post, too! What is age appropriate for adults? Is what I'm going through age-appropriate behavior? Probably. I hope.

Sorry about the kids wasting all that. It's so hard when they don't even know that they don't know what they are doing. It's so easy to get frustrated when money is just pissed away (pun totally intended--I couldn't resist). Hopefully, this will be a lesson learned for all.


Agh, that's HURTFUL - And you're stuck.

I know the feeling - I had a user, a medical writer, whom was simply past the game. She was elderly, sweet, and terribly, terribly dedicated. She SOOO desperately wanted to do her job well, and she could see the shape of how things were supposed to be done, but she just *couldn't* make things work... She ate support resources like candy. She ate my TIME like candy... She drove me nearly, literally, insane with frustration. I WANTED to hate her. But I couldn't. She was doing everything exactly as she should. She asked for help when she was unsure. She took notes. She *consulted* her notes. And she STILL couldn't get it. On top of that, she was always so diffident, grateful, and sweet about the help she received. She was terribly earnest. I WANTED to hate her. She ate my life with her needs. I SHOULD have hated her. But how can you hate a sweet old lady like that? You wind up hating yourself for hating her, no matter how much it was deserved. So I was stuck - I couldn't go forward, and I couldn't retreat. All I could do was spin in place, and shed energy and sanity as I so did.

You were stuck in place, and spinning.
Maybe you still are.

You need to make a decision - Either write off the garden budget, or go ahead and get angry. Angry IS appropriate. Your anger is USEFUL. It will teach the children caution - Not "OMG, run from Mommy!," but rather "Maybe I better think about this twice." I'm a little angry that you didn't tell me of this sooner. I need to get angry too, and I can't if I don't know. I intend to be angry with my daughter when I see her. I intend for her to feel bad. Not forever, or even for long, but for long enough to GET that she needs to ASK when she's moving forward into an area where she doesn't have experience. If I fail to teach her that, I've failed her, and this is a PERFECT time and place to bring that message home to her.

So, back to anger; Yes, it is age-appropriate to be angry, and terribly disappointed. Your children WILL survive it, and will learn and grow from it too.


@tranq, it happened yesterday, and I told your lovely wife. So... um, thought the message was passed!

I did get angry, and they did see it. I can't write off the budget - I can only live with it (unless I get a better job, and, um, yeah, right! and that's even assuming I'm employed in September).

Oh, and thy daughter got some of my angry, too. So, um, that might also already be covered. How to proceed can then be carried on with stern looks and planning for future responses...


Oh, and I'm not spinning anymore. Anger is still for me a signpost of a problem to be solved. A useful and sometimes really lit up and flashing signpost, but just a signpost. We're well into problem-solving mode at this point. No solutions just yet, but working towards. (like, discussions about the issues regarding 'always having to detail the options' - yuck for everyone - vs. expecting some good habits of mind on the 'do I know what I think I know? how do I know if I'm right? what is the sensible course of action?' etc.)


My wife caught some angry from me, too. She should have told me - We missed a *perfect* in-the-moment learning opportunity, because she and I weren't on the same page - She didn't tell me what was going on. That is crucial, folks! You need to know the pecidillos and screwups every bit as you want to hear the triumphs! If you and your spouse or partner aren't passing every significant moment back and forth, you're missing out on learning opportunities, and on the triumphs, too.

So... My wife and I are back on the same page. My daughter already made commitment to make you whole for her part of the financial hit, and she's going to work with you to make amends for the emotional anguish. She's spoken to me about doing extra work for pay, to supplement her allowance and offset her own 'ouch' - In short, she's prepared to put herself to extra labor to minimize the impact on everyone. That seems a fair trade - But it won't be easy, nice labor. I want her to understand that when she's making amends, she's got to do whatever it takes to make things right, even if it's unpleasant. This, too, is a lesson I can give her - That you do what you must, when dealing with consequences.

I dare say, sensitive child that she is, she'll be more likely to ask for help and / or advice, next time she ventures into unknown territory. That's a thought that makes me happy. It's not a perfect change - She's still a pre-teen, and we all know how heedless they can be at times. But still, she's got the concept firmly in her head now.

Oh, and I made a point of showing her how, if she'd READ the instructions, this might never have turned into a fiasco in the first place. RTFM is ALWAYS a good lesson, and I pounded that one home rather firmly.

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