Yeah, I just did blog entry, I know. It's a two-for-one morning today! This is sort of jumping off from my other entry because many of the issues SD8 gives me back talk on are related to hygiene. From reading posts from others on here, this seems to be pretty normal. And I, too, finally get to the point where I think, "You know what? Fine, be the stinky, dirty kid! See if I care. I'm not your mother!".
SD8 likes dressing up in nice clothes, so I know that part of her likes to look presentable. So there's some hope. And I'm not trying to turn her into a little preppy kid or anything like that, though I can guarantee that's what BM thinks. BM's whole perception of me is so off. She has no idea of who I am or where I came from. And in some ways, I'm sure she & I actually have some things in common, though I'm sure neither of us would ever care to admit it!!!
Looking at pictures of SD8 when she was really young make we wince. BM was adamant that SD8 keep her hair LONG & never cut it. So SD8 looks like a ghoul in most pictures because she's so short, pale & has this long, scraggly mass of hair. The poor kid. BM isn't big on hygiene, so she never taught the kids how to take care of themselves. My husband has had to do his best with that.
When SD8 is with BM, she sometimes doesn't bathe all week. So, SD8 bathes the night before going to BM's & then doesn't bathe again until she's back with us a week later. BM doesn't make sure SD8 does anything. BM apparently assumes that SD8 is 100% self sufficient. So, this means that SD8 rarely brushes her hair when she's with BM. (SD8 admits this.) BM likes SD8's hair long, but then doesn't remind her to wash it or brush it. Are you getting a visual yet?! So, my husband & I are in charge of getting SD8's hair cut above her shoulders several times a year because this is the only way her hair is manageable. (Plus, it looks way better short & SD8 likes it.) When we remind SD8 to brush her hair daily & after showers, SD8 puts up the biggest fight & has a million excuses of why she doesn't need to brush her hair. I think she does this because she knows that if she fights enough or takes too long, my husband will brush her hair...she likes being pampered by him. Sometimes this is ok, but not every day, especially in the morning when all 3 of us are in a hurry to get out the door.
BM's way of dealing with the hair issue, by the way, is to suggest SD8 getting dreadlocks. I'm not kidding. My husband tells me the story of BM giving SD8 dreads when she was 2 years old. Her super long, scraggly hair in a giant knot at the back of her head! That's not even dreadlocks! I've seen people with dreads that looked nice...but it takes some effort. BM probably assumes this would only be more of a reason for SD8 to skip bathing. So, last weekend, SD8 mentioned BM wanting to do dreads in SD8's hair again. My husband just said, "NO." in a no-nonsense tone. SD8 quietly said, "OK.". The idea of SD8 having dreads makes my skin crawl. It would be so nasty.
For whatever reason, my husband had grown up thinking you only need to brush your teeth once a day. And let me tell you that before he quit smoking, once a day was definitely not enough! After quitting smoking, going through extensive (& EXPENSIVE!) dental work, and getting reamed out by the dental hygienist, my husband started brushing his teeth at least twice a day & flossing. And god only knows what BM does. So, needless to say, SD8's dental habits aren't all that wonderful. She brushes her teeth before bed, but that's it. When the school does their dental program, SD8 will get better about it for a short time. I've been on my husband to help me enforce having her also brush in the morning. I tried this morning & SD8 gave me nothing but attitude, took forever brushing her hair to avoid brushing her teeth also & made up excuses. I gave up because we were in a hurry. The main reason this concerns me all of a sudden is because several of us have noticed that SD8's breath is HORRIBLE, especially after coming from BM's (because I'm willing to bet she's not brushing much, if at all, over there).
There are just so many issues. Part of me wants us to have full custody of SD8 just so she can have consistent parenting & maybe have a chance to grow up & not be a carbon copy of BM. Then that other part of me (that gets tired of the back talk), wishes BM got full custody. Let it all be her problem. But it wouldn't be because we'd still have to deal with it every other weekend. And I'd be afraid of how SD8 turns out with BM being her sole role model. So, yeah, either it's 50/50 custody or we get her. Otherwise, it's going to be a nightmare!
What are some of the hygiene issues/stories you guys deal with & have any of you figured out how to address/deal with them???