Sunday, January 6, 2008

Who's the child, anyhow?

Today I took DD to get a haircut. It's about 30 miles away, so it gave us some much-needed mom-daughter time along the way. I commented on how much she's been helping around the house lately--she takes the garbage down every week, she's been taking care of the ducks and chickens when I'm short on time, and she's been scooping the litter boxes when I ask her to, without an argument! And she doesn't even grumble when I ask her to put her clean laundry away.

I told her that sometimes I don't see her to say thanks, but that I really appreciated all her help. The grin on her face was priceless, I'm glad I didn't just assume that she knew I appreciated her!

And DH had mentioned that he had borrowed $10 from DD (from her Christmas money) for gas to drive to his brother's house to deliver a table. His brother reimbursed him and paid for the gas back home, so that he could pay DD back right away, thank goodness. He also told me that DD had wanted to go into town to spend some of her Christmas money, but DH didn't have enough gas to get back home, so she GAVE him $5 of her Christmas money for gas. This shocked me and proved to me that she is growing up, because her disabilities make her rather self-centered, and she has never done things like that before. I was initially very proud of her.

So I told her that DH had told me that she lent him the $10, and that she had given him the $5 and here is what she said: "Oh--and I bought the hamburger buns for supper, and I bought him a frozen pizza and an ice cream cone, too, because he didn't have any money." First off, DH didn't mention that stuff. Part of his reasoning was probably that I GAVE him $1.25 to buy the hamburger buns with, so I have no idea what happened to that money!!! But he "neglected" to tell me about the pizza and the ice cream, too.

The thoughts that went through my mind were sad. DD only had $25 in Christmas money, she got it from my uncle. She spent a good deal of it on DH. That makes me sad, because the money was for her, not for him. And I'm sad because I imagine she didn't just walk up to him and say, "Hey, Dad, you want me to buy you a pizza?" In other words, the fact that he is asking her for money makes me tremendously sad and I'm not sure how to handle that. I'm proud that she wants to share and help. But she shouldn't have to. And I don't know what to tell her about the situation, it's so "not right".


Pann said...

Depending on your daughter's age, different levels of talking about the situation will be appropriate.

I don't think that unpleasant facts should be hidden away from kids. They need to know enough to know that they can trust us.

You probably should try to talk with her about this... as hard and as sad as that is.