Parenting Conundrum — Help? AN UPDATE!!

I’m one of those people that doesn’t ask a lot of advice from people. Especially about parenting. It’s not because I know everything and don’t think that others have anything to offer me. It’s more that, when I read blogs or internet threads where advice is dispensed, there is so much that is variable. There’s a lot of, “Well, this worked for me….not sure it’s the right thing for everyone” and “Every kid is different” and an awful whole heckuva lot of “It depends.”

Why would I write a blog post now to ask for advice? Well…a situation has occurred multiple times at my house the last few months and I obviously have not handled it well since it continues to happen. So, I’m coming out of hibernation (why haven’t I blogged lately??) to ask for some ideas and/or advice on how to handle something.

You don’t even have to be a parent to help me on this. Think about siblings doing similar things…or friends.  🙂

Set the stage, here: I wear makeup. Some people might say I wear a lot of makeup and some people might say I don’t wear enough. Just about everyone could give me some tips on how to do it better, I know that.

Girls like makeup! Go figure!! 🙂 (Photo Credit)

I have three daughters in my house. They are ages 13, 11 and 8. None of them wear makeup on a daily basis and the oldest will wear it on weekends (the school rule is no makeup). The oldest also has some makeup she’s received either as gifts or that I have purchased for her in the last year or so. The younger two haven’t expressed much interest in makeup at this point and they do not have any in their possession.

Here’s the recurring situation: Someone uses my makeup. No one owns up to it. An accusation that I don’t really remember how I left my things typically ensues. And that is typically followed by suggestion that maybe NO ONE messed with my stuff. Today, the suggestion was that my husband must have used it.

I know someone used the eye shadow applicator because I see that the person applied blush (rouge-tinged bristles — when my eye shadow is clear/very light neutral color) with it. I wipe this brush clean each time I use it as the bristles are a special material that helps apply the powderless kind of eye shadow. Once it was used for blush, the culprit did not clean it off AND inserted it back into its sleeve the opposite direction of how I keep it.

I know someone used my foundation brush because it was damp (perhaps it got dropped in the sink??)

I know someone used my eyebrow comb/brush because it was missing (in this instance, it mysteriously or miraculously showed up in its proper location within a day of my registering annoyance that it is gone and I know someone used it, and then lied to me about it).

I know someone used my makeup (in general) because things are out of place. I am meticulous with my stuff and I store it exactly the same way when I am finished every single time (thank you, OCD). The child using it clearly doesn’t understand why anyone would do that — which is why said child thinks she can get away with not owning up to it and trying to convince me that perhaps my husband (???) is the one who has been dabbling in my makeup (Yep — that was actually uttered this morning).

Here’s the thing: I think it’s NATURAL for a girl to want to wear some makeup. I wear makeup because I like it! I am sure my girls want to wear it, too. And I am not opposed to them learning how to use makeup and wearing it (just not to school since that is against the rules). I am hurt because this situation where they use my makeup without asking makes me think that they believe I would not let them use makeup. I think I’ve been fairly reasonable about the whole makeup and clothes things with my girls. I’ve been flexible, but held firm on certain things — but none of the things I’ve felt the need to “hold firm” on have been makeup related.

So, if one of my girls asked to use my makeup, I would most likely say “yes” (if no rules were being broken) and also see if it were time to get her some (more) of her own.

Here’s another thing: I don’t like lies. If I confront a child of mine with a question like, “Hey, did you use this makeup thing?” I expect an honest answer. When I believe I am being lied to, it hurts my feelings and also makes me angry. I think it hurts me more than angers me, though, because I don’t know why my kids want to deceive me.

THIS situation occurred this morning: I came home from working out and was getting ready for work, used my foundation brush and found it damp, then found my eye shadow brush had been used and put away incorrectly (completely different from how I store my brush). My first thought was that it was the oldest. When confronted, she denied it. I can’t imagine it had been either of the younger two, but I asked them and they said they hadn’t. used it.

No one every owned up to it. I went about my routine getting ready. I thought about how I could get the truth from my girl(s).

My solution for this time is that no monthly allowances will be paid until the person who used the makeup (and did a pretty shoddy job of putting stuff back) makes herself known to me. I don’t JUST MEAN November allowances — I mean no more allowances EVER until the person owns up to it. Allowances are these girls’ only way of obtaining money (well, the oldest gets babysitting jobs…) so I am hopeful this will work. I even said, “you can come to me individually, if you want. I promise you that the anger I feel toward being lied to will most likely be overcome with happiness to forgive and move on once the truth has been acknowledged.” And, knowing how I felt in the past with situations like this, I believe it to be true. Once I know the truth, I can address the initial lie, discuss the harm that it caused the relationship, but then move on from it. Especially with one of my dear children.

I did tell the girls that the longer I am lied to, the more angry I am about the whole thing and that I wouldn’t have been all that angry if the person had just owned up to it from the get-go.



Photo Credit


Let’s be clear about something: My anger = disappointed look, a little bit of yelling. So, the fear of me being angry that they use my makeup without asking first is a little weird, in my opinion.

So —  my question(s) for you, readers:

1) Is there a better way (i.e., more efficient) to get the information from my girls, than just withholding their monthly allowance? (I do suspect the oldest, but man, she was figuratively digging in her heels even as we drove to school…)

2) How can I stop this lying? I’m of the opinion that when kids start lying, they start with small things (like saying they didn’t use mom’s makeup without asking, when they really did) and when they get away with it, the lying moves on to bigger things until the kid is just an all-out liar. I don’t want to push my girls away, but I’m really hurt by the lying. And it’s my job as their mom to call them on it, put a stop to it and make sure they understand what they do to our relationship when they lie to me.

3) Once this is settled, I fear that I’ve got a trip to a makeup counter in my future to get a full set of something for at least the oldest. But I don’t want to “reward” this bad behavior (if, in fact, she is the one who used the makeup and then lied profusely — AND wanted me to consider that CRAIG used my makeup!!!)

Please respond in the comments or even tweet me or IM me or e-mail me. I am not lie-awake-at-night stressed out about this, but I’m quite interested to read your thoughts.

UPDATE!
I called to talk with the kids after school and asked my oldest if anyone could tell me the truth yet. She said that the youngest confessed to it while they were at before-school care this morning. So I got the youngest girl on the phone and she also told me that it was she who had gotten into the makeup. We talked about how I was not angry that she wanted to play with the makeup, but that I do wish she had asked first. I likened it to the times recently when she has gotten upset at her brothers coming into her room and playing with her dollhouse without her permission. I also told her that it really hurt my feelings that she lied about it.

So, we talked about respecting people’s property and being honest.

I guess the girls will get their allowances now, and I probably don’t have to go to a makeup counter yet. The 8-year-old has a few years of “playing” before using makeup becomes a real thing, haha.

Thanks for the comments so far! Stuff like this always gets to me!!

Boys and Girls, Girls and Boys!

A lovely woman by the name of Katrina, and who writes THIS BLOG, is hosting a linkup to share experiences with girl pregnancies vs. boy pregnancies. What a great idea and since I heard about the linkup through Rosie, I’ll just link to her contribution HERE!!

I had to laugh just a little bit when I read Rosie’s entry because I had heard the exact OPPOSITE about boy sperm and girl sperm than she had. Here’s my version, on this About com page about Shettles Method and page down to “X-bearing” and “Y-bearing” and that is the version I had heard about which sperm “swim slower and live longer” 🙂

Okay, about my pregnancies! First of all, I’m an “older” mommy-blogger so I don’t have handy pictures of most of my pregnancies (didn’t start this whole blogging thing until Dominic was almost a year old!)

Sarah’s pregnancy was one of those deals where Craig and I decided to “try” and we “tried” early and often that cycle. I knew NOTHING about charting at that point, and couldn’t care less about whether anything we did would have impacted which gender of baby we received.

When pregnant with Sarah, I didn’t know what I didn’t know. And over time, I’ve figured out what works for me. One thing I do remember was that morning sickness was terrible with Sarah. But thankfully, it didn’t last too long. I had a weekend around 10 weeks that was horrendous, I don’t think I got off the couch for either day of the weekend.

One thing I always remember about each pregnancy is the heart rate of my babies in utero. This has been, by far, the most accurate indicator for me of the gender of my babies. My girls never dropped below 160 and the boys never rose above 140. While I was pregnant with her, Sarah’s heart rate never dropped below 165 bpm and she was usually around 170 bpm.

Sarah Rebecca was born 10 days overdue, weighed 9.5 pounds and was 21 inches long. And her eyes were brown from the moment of her birth. I remember being so shocked at that, but she looked at me quietly from my tummy with her big brown eyes.

Sarah Rebecca
*****

Dani’s pregnancy was again, one of those deals where we went for it early and often. Looking at my chart, probably the same type of deal as with Sarah.

And NO Morning Sickness! Not even a little queasiness this time. Again, Dani’s first heart rate was measured at 170 bpm and she was also in the high 160’s after that. I had a fairly uneventful pregnancy until we discovered a low amount of fluid with about 12 days until my due date. My doctor said I could keep coming in every day for stress tests, or it looked like baby was okay with induction if I wanted to.

So, we did (induce) and she was my fastest labor and easiest labor (after I got that darn epidural!) Doctor told me to push starting at 10:05 (or something…birth story is here) and I only had 2 pushes and she was out! She had bruises from “rapid pushing.” Danielle Christine was 8 lb, 10 oz at birth, born 10 days early. 

Danielle Christine
*****

When we got pregnant with Helen, I had done a little more research on whether we could actually impact the gender of the babies we conceived. One thing I had hoped to try was limiting our, ahem, opportunities for conception to every other day. But…we failed miserably at this and therefore, our attempts to conceive Helen looked very much like our attempts to conceive the other two we’d had.

Sure enough, the first time we measured a heartbeat it was 168 bpm. Helen’s pregnancy was my first one where I needed to treat my progesterone deficiency. 300 mg Prometrium, orally, at bedtime…through 15 weeks. Another non-morning sickness-y, fairly uneventful pregnancy this time around and I grew my biggest baby yet. I knew Helen was bigger than the other two at about 8 months…I could just feel how big she was.

My dear Helen Olivia was the one closest to her due date, so far, as she was born 3 days before. I was induced, but I think she was coming anyway as I was already 4.5 cm dilated when I arrived at the hospital and they had to send me home to come back next morning! She was 9 pounds 9 ounces and 20 inches long with a “one-month old’s thighs” and the sweetest cheeks you ever did see.

Helen Olivia
*****

When it came time to try for Dominic, I am just going to be brutally honest here, but I was really gonna try this “every other day” thing. Additionally…I was gonna try really hard to time our opportunity/opportunities as close to ovulation as I thought without jumping the gun on it. And…I stuck to it. Is that why we conceived a boy this time? Only God knows, of course. But…we were really disciplined and seriously, our best opportunity for success, my doctor pointed out, was what we had “tried” for.

The first heartbeat measurement for Dominic was 135 bpm. Immediately, I had my “hunch” it was a boy this time, but I refused to let myself believe it. Most of Dominic’s heart rate measurements were 120. I remember thinking it was so low…but the doctor never seemed worried. Also, the morning sickness!! I had been spared since Sarah and now…it was back with a vengeance! (I decided that FOR ME, my body needed adjusting to growing each gender — so I was sick with Sarah, but not sick with the other two girls. Then I was sick with Dom, but not so much with the boys after him.)

At the ultrasound where we found out that Dominic was, indeed, a boy, I asked the nurse to double-check! And she pointed precisely to the baby in the right spot and said, “THAT, right there, means this baby is a boy.” My progesterone problems worsened this go round, but I was still able to address it with nighttime administration of Prometrium. Dominic was the first time I failed the 1-hr glucose test, too! I really worried about going in for that 3-hour test, but I passed that one fine.

Dominic was born about 3 days after his due date. My doctor was going to make me wait it out a full week, but I couldn’t stop crying when I realized he wouldn’t schedule an induction for me yet and somehow, he was able to pull some strings to get me in a couple days earlier than he thought. I loved that Dominic Richard was born on 1/16 at 1:16 p.m. I’ll always love telling him that. He was 9 pounds 2 oz and 22 inches long. And he was laid back from the minute he was laying on the warming bin at the hospital, with his leg hanging over the side.

Dominic Richard
*****

Once we had a boy, and because the way we “tried” for Dominic had worked, I was all about trying that way again. Once again, we think we probably hit the prime opportunity as it was probably the day ovulation took place, by my chart. My progesterone issues were even worse. Every time we checked, they kept dropping. I just kept crying every time I heard from the nurse after my blood draws. Finally, we went to progesterone injections (in the bum). Around the same time, I called and asked our priest to administer the Sacrament, Annointing of the Sick. I remember feeling a lot of peace when he laid his hands on my head. With that and the injections, we made it to 18 weeks and then were able to stop the injections.

The first time we got Vincent’s heart beat it was right at 140 (not OVER). Most of Vincent’s heart rate measurements were 133 or 135 bpm. At the ultrasound for Vincent, it was I who told the tech, “I do believe this is another little boy” as I saw the image up on the screen. With Vincent, again, I failed the 1-hr glucose test and had to complete the 3-hr test. These boys were proving a bit more troublesome!

Vincent was born about a week early due to induction. He was my longest labor at 27 hours. He just seemed to enjoy hanging out in my uterus, but when he decided to join us — he did it whole-hog! Birth story here… Vincent weighed 8 pounds 10 oz and was 20 inches long and was born so late at night, I was sooooo tired!! He also screamed and screamed UNTIL, they put him in my arms and then, he was quiet. I loved that about my sweet Vincent Gerard.

Vincent Gerard


*****

With baby #6, we knew we were taking a chance of conceiving, but we were a little surprised to be blessed with him. We figured we HAD to have hit a perfect timing thing because there was only one opportunity that could indicate his presence anyway, based on the chart. The progesterone problems persisted and so we were back on the injections. I asked Father again for the Annointing of the Sick. We made it to 15 weeks and were able to stop the injections. This baby’s heart beat measured low, too. The first time I heard his heart beating was at 13 weeks and it was 130 bpm. I then had my hunch that we had been blessed with another little boy.  Then at 17 weeks, it was 115 bpm, and I remember being worried, but the doc said anything over 110 was “normal” range. Well, HERE IS THE REST. My baby boy, Gregory, born into Heaven on March 1, 2013 weighed 12 ounces and was a perfect, tiny little Saint. We miss him very much.

So, yeah, my pregnancies for each gender were different. And even pregnancies of the same gender differed in some ways. But for me, the heart rate thing was a give-away of gender.

Five Munchkins