This is the story of a crime. Whether it's a misdemeanor or a felony depends on your perspective.
I don't claim to be a laid-back mom by any stretch, but I'm not as much of a stickler as you might expect. You want candy at 8 p.m.? Fine (provided you can get it yourself). Teeth don't always get brushed at night. Sometimes the lunch I send to school with my daughter has nothing resembling a fruit or a vegetable in it (well, unless you count PB&J, I guess). Sometimes I go crazy and let her stay up until 9.
Other times, my tolerance level drops a bit. I have been known to ride my daughter for leaving her underwear on the floor instead of putting them down the laundry chute (which is six inches from her bedroom door, by the way). I nag her about leaving drinks all over the house. I say things like, "If I pick this up one more time, it's going in the garbage" and "See? Was that so hard?" Sometimes the little things bug me, sometimes not. It really depends on the day and my mood at the time. There is, however, one rule that is always upheld: do not hurt the animals. From the time she was born, I have been telling my daughter that she may not bother the dogs when they are eating or sleeping (I'd tell her to do the same with the cat but it's a moot point because our cat is a ninja and cannot easily be located). As a toddler she did a few stints in time-out for breaking the rule. In short, she is required to respect our furry family members.
Fast forward to Sunday night. The kid was chasing our foster puppy around. She is pretty much obsessed with Willa. Willa, however, was playing with Gretchen. A wanted the puppy to herself. I turned my head just in time to see my daughter extend her leg and kick Gretchen in the thigh. It was not what you'd call a good wallop - I'm not even sure Gretchen noticed she'd gotten the boot. But still. I sucked in my breath, held it, looked my daughter in the eye, and waited for her to realize there was a problem. I saw the "oh shit" expression cross her face an instant later. "Go. To. Your. Room." I said evenly and deliberately. I wasn't a raving lunatic about it but I made sure my tone of voice left no question about the seriousness of the situation. She stuck out her lower lip and marched down the hall to her room.
What to do now? I decided to give her some time in her room. Before I could decide on a punishment, she started churning out notes and shoving them under the door. Here is a sample:
Seriously? I mean, what can I expect when she is 13? I got a similar note a couple weeks ago but it said "my mom hats me" and let me just say that my response ("I don't hat you - you can wear one or not. Totally up to you!") was not well received. I have a hard time reacting to drama. I don't want her to think that I don't care about her feelings, but I'm also not planning to play into the hands of a six-year-old. I tell her at least half a dozen times a day that I love her, so it's not as if she has reason to doubt my affection for her. I would throw myself in front of a bus for that kid.
Her father, on the other hand, can do no wrong. I offer the following as evidence. Yes, they skip around clutching ice cream cones and roses. If I weren't so busy ruining my daughter's life with my unreasonable rules, I'm sure I'd do the same.