Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Queen Teen vs. the new stool

Queen Teen has a stool in her room which came with her vanity table. It's lovely, but it's also too unstable for her. She keeps falling off of it when she tries to pivot to reach her shelves. So two weeks ago, she and I went to Kohls to use a gift card and buy her a new stool. We picked out a round, padded ottoman, the kind you can put things inside.

 In the store she liked it. When we got home, she hated it.

For thirty minutes, we discussed the merits of the new stool. How sturdy, comfy, and easy it is to sit on. How she can pivot without falling off. How she can store things inside of it. She agreed to give it a try.

The next day, I heard loud banging from her room. No yelling, just a loud "thump!" "bang." "draaaaaaaaaaaaaaag." "bang!" "thump." "draaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaag."

Walking into the hallway to see what the hell my daughter was doing, I almost tripped over the new stool, now sitting rejected in the middle of the hall. I peeked inside her room and saw Queen Teen slowly and carefully shoving her old stool back to its spot next to the vanity table.  Gripping the wall, she leaned over on wobbly legs and pushed the stool as hard as she could. It moved about two inches. She readjusted her position then pushed the stool again. Over and over, she shoved that stool across her bedroom until at last it reached the vanity table. Then she sat down triumphantly, worn out from the effort, but smiling.

I ducked back into the hall before she saw me, not wanting to interrupt her moment of victory. I glared at the banished stool, then I carried it to my room.

To say my daughter is stubborn is like saying water is wet.

O.K. then, we'll add the new stool to the list of other helpful items you hate, like your glasses, hearing aids, the new way you're being taught to sit and stand (to prevent falls) and the rain boots that would keep your feet dry if you'd wear them.

But I also felt pride watching my daughter push that vanity stool across her room. She was panting with the effort, fighting her ataxia and hypotonia through sheer will power. Remembering the prediction from doctors that this girl wouldn't walk by the time she was 16, I watched her fight that stool all the way across her bedroom. I had to fight my own need to help her; she didn't call me for help. She did it herself and I wasn't about to take that moment from her, despite the fear urging me to grab her when she wobbled each time she had to adjust her hand on the wall.

She drives me absolutely nuts, but you gotta admit, Queen Teen is the toughest chick in town.


Laura Hamilton said...

I agree, the stubbornness of our kids can be maddening and infuriating, but when you think about it, it's way better than the alternative. No milquetoasts around here either!

dlefler said...

You gotta admire her persistence! Stubbornness can be a pain in the a$$ but it can also be a really positive character trait when it comes to keeping at a hard thing.

Confessions of a Closet Hoarder but you can call me Judy said...

Her hard headed nature is likely why she is where she is today! A child without that stubbornness would have given up by now. So glad she's got such a strong will, even though I know that strong will can be exhausting sometime. I was right there in the hallway peeking in the door and cheering her on with you! :)