Project Alicia : My Sweet Pokey.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My Sweet Pokey.

Do you have a person that you just don’t get as hard as you try?

Well, Pokey is definitely that person for me. Currently 8 ½ years old.

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Her name is Pokey because she is the slowest person on planet earth, literally.

…always in her own little world and oblivious to those around her. I wait for her to get out of the car for approximately 3.8 minutes EVERYWHERE. WE. GO! Old grannies are out of their cars faster than she can unbuckle her seatbelt.

Yep.

She is also the most stubborn child I’ve ever known. Hands down. (And I can only hope that one day this trait will be to her advantage, as right now it just makes me nuts.)

There is no making this child do ANYTHING. If it's not her idea, forget it. Have one of those?

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She refused to take a bottle despite the fact that she couldn’t nurse. I tried every nipple known to mankind and after exhausting all options we had to starve her over 30 hours before she’d take a dropper of breast milk all while hiding her face. At 4 months old she didn't want to admit defeat.

This is also the kid that refused to potty train at 3 ½.

“Don’t you want to wear panties like a big girl?”

“Nope, I want to wear diapers like a baby.” (The fact that a child can speak those words should be a red flag that they are too old to NOT be potty trained.)

We played her game. "You wanna be a baby?" Well, alright then. You can be a baby.

We set up the porta crib, fed her formula in a bottle and jars of smashed beans for dinner. When she refused to eat, we told her babies sleep a lot and it was time for bed. She cried half the night. We stopped in periodically to ask her if she was ready to be a big girl yet.

Between sobs she muttered, “No.”

We continued the process repeatedly and finally after I thought for sure she was never going to give in, she finally broke. She was finally ready to be a big girl. Once she made that decision she was potty trained almost instantly. But SHE had to make the decision.

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Well, her new thing is math. She hates math. Wants nothing to do with it.

And there is no making her like it. We sit for hours trying to extract correct answers. But she doesn’t care. And refuses to try. Our efforts are futile.

“Pokey, what’s 3+2?”

“4.”
(less than .08 seconds later)

I know that she knows the answers. She’s proved it over and over, but hates it so much that she won’t take the time to think through it long enough to spew correct answers. Or maybe she is trying to give wrong numbers on purpose. I'm not sure.

Last year we couldn’t get her into summer school because she scored too high on the test. This year she qualifies. I think she purposefully did poorly on the test so she COULD go to summer school. And I'm onto her!

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We were sitting at dinner discussing this specific test.

Pokey: “The class all gets a special reward for doing so well. Well, everyone except me. “

Me: “Ah, you didn’t do well?”

Pokey: “Yeah, I think I got the lowest score.” (very matter of fact)

Me: “You got the lowest score?” (concerned)

Pokey: “Well, I don’t know that for sure.” (shrugging shoulders)

She could have cared less. She went right back to eating. Didn’t miss a beat. Didn’t bat an eyelash.

She has told us how excited she is for summer school several times now.

I wrote the check for $175 and couldn’t help but feel annoyed.

As much as I want to scold her, I don’t want to say anything to make her less excited to go. And I secretly hope that this is the thing she needs to get pumped about math.

I struggle to understand my sweet Pokey. I don't get her as hard as I try. I always tried so hard in school and was absolutely devastated with anything less than As. How can you help a child who genuinely doesn't care? Who is fine with mediocre? Who won't try because they don't want to?

I won't even start in on her lack of cleanliness. But I will say that her room is so messy sometimes that I worry it might come to life. And she could care less. She seems to thrive in chaos.

She's definitely a one of a kind, one that I'm working everyday to understand better.

Ah, motherhood. SIGH. She is so completely opposite of me. Is she even my kid?

But she is a beautiful person, inside and out. And I can't imagine life without her. (Photos were inserted as a reminder of just how beautiful a person she is AND to keep my blood pressure in check.)

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Now if I can just get through the next 10 years with my sanity intact. Heaven help me.

45 comments:

  1. She is so beautiful! Love all the pictures.
    Thanks for sharing the struggle with potty training. Mine is the same way. He's almost 3.5 years old and still in pull ups. Well, we have been trying using 'big boys brief' and he seems to be doing pretty well until he had an accident on my mom's couch. Ouchy! I have to talk myself blind for him to let me even put the brief on. He's strong willed and stubborn hahaha. Thanks for the tips, might have to try that with mine. But I'm sure your sweet Pokey will grow up to be a smart strong woman, just like her mama! :D

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  2. Just wait until she's a teenager! Hahaha!

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  3. I think blogger is doing some funky things this morning, lol. It left half of your comment, and half of your photo on my blog?!?!!?!
    Was Pokey a c-section by any chance? I was, and my mom was told you could never rush a c-section baby...they get pulled out before they are ready, and run on their own time. So true in my case :)

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  4. Kelly -- I was born a week late, and that's the closest I've ever been to being on time!

    Lish: Your daughter is gorgeous! God help you when she's a teen!

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  5. She is quite a beauty! A stubborn beauty. Good luck, mama!

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  6. Aaahhh...I see she gets her beauty from her mom. Alicia, I have 2 little girls...a 6 year old who is the perfect baby/child and an 11 month old who is our black sheep. I can tell already. She is in her own world and doesn't care about anyone or anything. I have a feeling that my 11 month old daughter will grow up to be very much like Pokey. But just look at her adorable face...how can you be mad at her? :)

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  7. She is beautiful!
    You know for a moment I thought you were describing me at her age, and my little 5 year old daughter ;) LOL

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  8. The pictures went beautifully with this post. Which is an excellent post I must say. To see her sweet face throughout what you wrote was actually really touching. And in the second to last picture I definitely see the Rasmussen gene. I always thought she just looked like you. Makes me smile. Don't know why. She's one of us! hahaha. I look forward to dealing with my children(s)? personalities. I wonder who Cohen will be. Pokey is a beautiful girl and you are lucky to have her as she is to have you. Again, great post. Oh and I love the story about getting her potty trained. I've told it to a few people before.

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  9. Such a beautiful girl. I loved this post. I am wondering if this is a girl thing? She sounds a lot like my daughter, besides the potty training thing. My daughter was 2 when she was potty trained but my youngest son was FOUR when he was finally potty trained. I thought for sure he would start Kindergarten in diapers.

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  10. Hi--I found your blog today through another one I read, and have added yours to follow! Beautiful post. Motherhood is a difficult thing indeed. I have three kids and can so relate to what you wrote.... : )

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  11. She sounds so like my oldest. After two years of working on addition and subtraction, I handed her a review sheet with simple, single digit subtraction problems on it and we had an hour of drama about how hard they were and how she is just not there yet. Ugh!
    But wow, those pics are amazing!
    Thanks for stopping by Of Such is the Kingdom!
    suchakingdom.blogspot.com

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  12. Ah, tough one and she isn't even a teenager yet! Wish I could offer you some advice, but can't. She is beautiful!

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  13. wow, she is gorgeous! Our daughter was easy at that age. Now is where she is more stubborn and challenging at age 17. She hates math too. But now its more serious as in 'hello Community college vs. 4 year" so get it together sister!

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  14. Your daughter is SO cute! Such beautiful pictures you have taken...

    I don´t have any kids yet, but I really want a girl to be my first kid:) Maybe I should think twice? lol

    Nina

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  15. Yes I have a little girl who asks for more homework and will eat what I cook with enthusiasm. I have a little boy for whom I get calls from the school because he walks in the classroom and explains to the teacher what he is and isn't doing that day and claims to hate all of the disgusting recipes I serve.

    I really don't understand either of them, but man do I love them!

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  16. Your daughter is a beautiful little girl. Even at 4 yo in pre school I already worry a little about my son's lack of focus when we do the two homework pages he gets a week. And that makes me really worry about school when the homework really counts. I'm actually supposed to have a teacher conference soon. Greeeeat.
    I can't offer advice, just encouragement. Hang in there!

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  17. She is beautiful!
    I just recently found your blog and have really been enjoying your posts. I have a son that is similar in different ways...if that makes any sense:) It is nice to know that as Mom's when we sometimes feel alone, we're not...We are all in this Mom club together and we all have struggles...but Ohhh the blessings!

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  18. She is beautiful. Isn't it funny how God chooses to give us children so different from ourselves...Yes..He has a sense of humor! But what growth comes from it!! Right?! We are forced to become more patient, understanding individuals!

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  19. Slow she might be...but SUPER SUPER adorable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  20. Oh I'm sure you are anxious for the teenage years! lol I think this is exactly how my sweet granddaughter is going to be, lol. Oh the joy! She IS adorable though, maybe that helps her get things her way sometiems?

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  21. I think you should be grateful she is not you... I don't mean that rude, but you seem to post a lot about how you struggle with finding who you are maybe a little bit of depression,and it seems you need perfection.... she is a little girl who is content with who she is... so she is not the best at math and she is not clean... I bet she is amazing at something else. Everyone has their own strengths... She at only 8 is happy with herself and doesn't care if she is not great at math or what others think of her.... like Julie said God gives us children that are different I think to teach us.... so maybe instead of trying to make her you, you should try to be more like her!! I hope this does not come across offensive that is not my intent

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  22. She is so gorgeous how can you stay mad at her? Oh wait I know because I have one of those at my house too!

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  23. She's destined for greatness, Alicia. And, obviously, she's gorgeous!

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  24. My daughter is always on her own time. It can be pouring down raining and it takes her forever to get out of the car.

    Your daughter is gorgeous and I think her stubbornness will pay off someday!

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  25. Listen to me. I have 3 daughters and you are describing my eldest to a T. A T. She was so stubborn I thought sometimes I would have a stroke.

    But, here's the thing. She is 19 years old now. In her first year of college, every semester she has made the Dean's list. She marches to the beat of her own drummer and in high school, she discovered filmmaking and now she is this incredible filmmaker. Her films are full of the spirit of this incredible, stubborn-as-all-get-out creature that she is. We had some awful fights when she lived under this roof, all thanks to this tenacious way she had of just doing it the way she wanted to do it. But, after living on her own for a year, (well, not actually on her own, but in a dorm), she has evolved into this gracious and lovely girl who I think finally gets all those things we rammed our heads into the wall trying to get her to understand.

    she is still a wild hurricane of a mess and tenacious and stubborn as all get out, but guess what? That stubbornness becomes a great quality later in life. It means they stick to their guns and they mean it, whether that is morals or goals or commitments or whatever.

    She is a beautiful girl. Just watch what magic she brings into your life. You'll see.

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  26. This is a lovely post... and oh yes, beautiful girl, gorgeous photos. I have a daughter very similar. Her thing is CLOTHES. Oh there have been epic battles. EPIC. Your strategy for getting her to potty train is exactly the kind of thing that would only work on my girl. Unless its her idea, it's not happening. I've taken all her clothes hostage before. Several times actually. Bundled them all up and made her eran them back by choosing better. She's been a fusspot clothes horse since age TWO. She didn't sleep through the night til age 3 1/2... just before my 3rd baby was born. But now she's my best sleeper. She is pathologically messy in some ways, but my best helper in other ways. Just not when it comes to her own room!
    We certainly do have our work cut out for us with these string young ladies, but I'm holding onto the thought that SHE'LL be the one I'll be able to rely on to argue for the sunny room in the retirement home for me!
    xx

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  27. Oh and that was meant to read "EARN them back" and "STRONG young lades."

    They are not "string" at all.

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  28. She is gorgeous!

    I have a daughter just about like her. I swear her mission in life is to make me crazy. And, I swear the color of the sky in her world is PURPLE! Ha!

    Wonderful post.

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  29. She's adorable. And I have one just like her. And I have absolutely no advice for you!

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  30. First, I agree with everyone else: beautiful daughter you have there!

    Secondly, I JUST heard recently that the more stubborn and independent people are as kids, the better decision-makers they are as adults. Basically what drives us crazy as parents, ends up being the strongest adults.

    I'm not speaking from experience of course, mine is only 11 months old--and stubborn already!

    Anyway, I loved this post!

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  31. I agree with what anonymous said. Looks to me as if you have a gorgeous girl, let her be herself.

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  32. Your daughter is a beautiful girl! Just keep encouraging her to find her path each day. You are a loving and caring Mommy!

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  33. I'm late to this party, obviously. Thank you computer. BUT...I have a Pokey too. In our house, she is affectionately referred to as Princess PokeyPants. She hates when I call her that. She is also stubborn, could care less of her room (looks like an episode of Hoarders), could care less about achievement, etc...unless it is her idea. I get your challenge with her. I have the exact.same.kid. I'm so glad yours is 3 years older than mine so I can learn from you :). I think Joann said it best, and I try to repeat this to myself a million times a day as well...that tenacity will serve her well later. Think of how she will not bow down to peer pressure when she's a teenager.

    That's what gets me through those challenging moments (which are about 20x a day).

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  34. Great post and what a gorgeous girl! I was the same when I was her age, stubborn as hell. It does have it's advantages later in life lol! Loved the photo's, they really went well with your post.

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  35. awwww...she's super cute! love all of the pics!

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  36. Your pictures are amazing!

    Hang in there...the teen years are coming.

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  37. Sorry, I thought I already commented on this.

    Umm... I think Anonymous missed the boat. Although, I understand the message, I didn't read that you wanted your daughter to be more like you, just that you were noting the differences and why it is difficult for you to understand her. I more so got the impression that you relish in delight at her.

    Btw, Anonymous, in the future, if your intent is not to insult, you shouldn't open with an insult and follow with a backhanded explanation. A simple, the world is made better from differences would have sufficed. Also, I think Alicia to be honest and her posts fluctuate emotionally as normal people's emotions do as they experience different things in life. I wouldn't call that she is inclined to depression.

    AND your daughter is so cute. Those pictures are delicious.

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  38. This was such a great post (but don't ever let her see it!) Somewhere, somehow, she's maintaining control, and maybe getting more attention (be it negative attention) for underachieving, and messiness, etc. There's no incentive for her to change. She may not until she grows up and leaves home and...(that's what happened to me). I wasn't like her, but there is something that reminds me. I am completely different from my mom and sister (my "can-do-everything-perfectly sister", who I had to grow up, leave home and find out I did have my own talents and giftings, different from her, to become very close to). They just expected me to be like them. I'm not. And they seemed perfect, so why try. It's impossible to live up to some people. And if you do, then they will just say, "It's about time." What incentive is that?
    Maybe "Pokey" has gifts and talents that are uniquely hers, and also needs to be accepted as she is, and loved for who she is, different from you. (I say this, having a daughter who has felt that I didn't always "love her" for who she is, because we are sooooo different, and I "don't understand her". It's true, I don't get her. She is very much like her father's side in some ways, which is opposite to me.) She has grown up (she's 20) to be a very beautiful, talented, lovely young woman. But we struggled through some of these same things. (Lack of focus and concentration--oh my word! I thought I was going to strangle her sometimes. Every year I would say "if she didn't get so distracted" and "when SHE decides to do something, there's no stopping her!") and messiness. (Which makes me ask: Does your daughter have some of your creativity? Sometimes these are traits of a very creative person. That was the case with my daughter. She's become very disciplined as she's grown up, through training, and maturing, but when she was little I thought I would lose my mind sometimes--seriously I worried about her. Just because she looks and sounds like she doesn't care, doesn't mean she doesn't.) She's still a little girl.
    I'm sorry for this long comment, but I feel like I could sit down and talk to you for a long time about daughters, being different, being 8 going on 20, her needs, your needs...
    She is beautiful, your photos of her are gorgeous. She's only 8--maybe she just needs to mature, too.
    Blessings,
    Wendy
    Faith's Firm Foundation
    www.wendygunn.net
    If you want to talk more, please come to my site and click on contact me, and email me, ok?

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  39. P.S.
    Forgot to mention she also hated math (her worst subject). She's so gifted, but can't remember her times table still--on her own initiative, she decided to review some math (she's 20) because it just doesn't stick.
    And everyone eventually gets potty trained and it doesn't matter when--it's never mentioned on anyone's resume. Mine were 3 or 4...and honestly, I can't even remember now. Don't worry about it.
    Blessings,
    Wendy

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  40. She's gorgeous! I'll bet she'll be a heart-breaker someday :). Hopefully as she grows up and matures, she'll find something in life that she REALLY cares about and wants to be better than just "mediocre" at...

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  41. Your daughter is very pretty! She will go far in life. She knows what she wants. I think she is very intelligent!

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  42. She's absolutely beautiful.

    Your post is breathtakingly wonderful.

    Rachel

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  43. You know what I loved about the post? The realness. God is so creative who He puts in our lives. You are so blessed to be her mother. In writing about her, you, in some ways, get her. You know her tendencies. Instead of running from them -- you've embraced them.

    That's why I love your blog. And that's why I had to come back and comment again.

    Rachel

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  44. Lish, she's a gorgeous little girl. With that said, I understand what you're going through. My oldest went through a really long, drawn-out defiant stage. He just didn't care about anything that mattered. When he wasn't busy not caring about stuff that mattered, he seemed to be going out of his way to defy me. It was really frustrating. At one point we got him tested for ODD-Oppositional Defiant Disorder. He didn't have it, but boy did he make life tough for a number of years. Things are much better with him these days, but it's still a challenge from time to time.
    Lish, parenthood is hard enough when you have well-behaved kids. Throw a strong willed child into the mix and it's enough to drive a mother crazy. You're not alone and you're welcome to vent anytime, no matter what these anonymous commentors say.

    Kristi, Live and Love...Out Loud
    @TweetingMama

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  45. I just happened upon your blog. Your daughter sounds so much like my own (she'll be 8 in February). There are days when I wonder if I'll survive. :)

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