The following is the oddest thing I have seen listed for free on Craigslist:

Wooden deck 8’x11′ in good condition in North Middletown (8 miles from Sandy Hook)

Yes that’s right! A free deck, completely detached from the house, ready to be given away to whoever needs a new deck. Truly, truly odd.

Well the saga of the psychopath continues. Tonight, after a day spent playing, watching movies, eating chips, and hanging out at a BBQ, Marlena is once again locked in her room screaming bloody murder. Why? Let me tell you why.

We went to Whole Foods. While we were there Marlena asked for a Lollipop. Automatically I said no. We were there to get toffee and root beer for the massive online computer fest Lee and I intend on engaging in tonight. When we got home I began to make dinner. Lee came over to me and said that he felt bad telling her she couldn’t have a lollipop when we were at the store to get junk food of our own. His exact words? “I thought, wow, we are kinda a&*holes.”

I thought about what he said, and while I think she should absolutely eat less sugar than I allow myself to indulge in, I agreed. So Lee snuck out while I finished up dinner and got her a bag of Skittles, her favorite thing in the world. When dinner was over we gave her the Skittles to eat while she finished up her movie.

So why is she currently screaming such gems as “I am all alone! I need to brush my teeth!, I am not going to sleep! and I feel like a kid who was born and not adopted!”? Well, it’s pretty simple. After the movie we asked her to brush her teeth. We explained how important it is to brush her teeth after having eaten so much candy. So she went into the bathroom and emerged ten minutes later without having brushed her teeth. We asked her if she had brushed them, she said she was using the potty and wandered back into the bathroom. Then she came out and said “I have the hiccups, I can’t brush my teeth.” Lee waited to see if she would hiccup. After a few minutes of no hiccups, she said “oh, I guess it was just one hiccup” and went back in the bathroom. She came out again a few moments later “My tummy hurts, I can’t brush my teeth.”

So Lee threw away the rest of the Skittles.

She threw one of her new and improved screaming, stomping, crying, throwing things, fits, complete with “You broke my heart!”, and we locked her in her room.

This makes three weeks of insanity.

I have asked for help, and I love all who have offered it, but there is no “talking to her” or “letting things go”. How can I let things go, if she screams whether or not I make her do something? If I ask her to clean her room, she will scream about having to clean it, when I say it’s fine to let it go, she will scream about how much she needs to clean it. It’s the same about everything else. She screams at me no matter which side I take on each and every bone of contention we have.

As for the talking, we have tried talking to her about Oliver, her feelings, change, settling in, moving, family, how much we love her, you name it. Each time she gets distracted and runs off, or she seems to listen and responds with a request for candy or a tv program. When she is upset she is too upset to talk or listen.

We have tried being extra nice, extra loving, doing more Marlena centered family activities, nothing helps.

There is nothing I can see to do but lock her in her room until she is done and hope she doesn’t break anything.

Oh yeah, and eat chocolate, as I can’t really drink.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde…

Have come home to roost inside my daughter.

Yes, the child who so lovingly embraced sisterhood, who loves to hold and sing to her brother, and is “so happy” to have him here, is at times replaced with a screaming, stomping, crying psychopath.

For example, “The one with the messy room”:
I asked Marlena to pick up her disaster of a bedroom, to put some toys away and throw out some trash. Basically clean it enough for me to vacuum and pack some of her stuff. All day yesterday she didn’t do it. Now, to be fair, she had friends over for a good portion of the day, during which I did not expect her to clean. However, the time before and the time after was intended as cleaning time. Instead, she spent the time in her room drawing line after wavy line in a notebook.
I came into her room with some boxes and packed up some toys and books around the mess. Then I told her to clean her room. When I came back in to check on her, she was once again drawing wavy lines in a notebook.
Last night I informed her that she needed to clean her room today. She went to bed with a massive crying screaming fit about how poorly she brushes her teeth and how she is going to start brushing them for six minutes every morning.
This morning she asked for TV with breakfast and I reminded her about the loss of TV caused by last night’s massive screaming fit. After breakfast I told her to clean her room. She whined about not wanting to. I explained that I had already spent an hour in there last night, and that now it is her turn. She started yelling.
Now here is the clincher, I am keeping Hannah and Simon overnight tonight for Ellen and Dan. It is not the type of overnight you can cancel. So while I would normally just say, you can’t have your overnight if your room isnt clean, I can’t.
So instead I tell her that I will clean her room by throwing everything on the floor into the garbage. She begins to scream.
Finally I tell her, I may not be able to cancel the overnight, but I can ground her and let her friends have a movie and such without her.
None of it had any effect on her. When I left her in her room she was screaming about a new deal, how she wasn’t going to clean her room, etc.
Ugh, Where did I get this explosive maniac?
Finally, after calling Lee in desperation and having his help climbing down off my ledge, I calmed her a little, gave her a CD to listen to, and told her there would be no further negotiations until the room was clean. THEN, and only then, would we talk.

Boy, there is not enough alcohol in good parenting.

We had a mellow Father’s Day weekend. We took Lee out for dinner on Saturday so we didn’t have to face the holiday rush with the little ones. We “went Outback” and had yummy beef cooked with garlic potatoes.
Mmmm….. good steak.

Then Marlena and I gave Lee his presents, which consisted of a DVD of pictures and movies set to music, a card, and for his geeky side, a locking carabiner. (I mean one with a combination, not one that locks into place.) We then took him to the Freehold mall for a massage and Apple store visit.

All in all it was a grand ole time.

We had Shane and Maggie come by on their way to Nashville, and Kate and her mother Betsy came over to see the baby and visit the beach with us. I was a little nervous about Oliver on the beach, but he was fine. He sat with me in the shade of the umbrella and nursed for most of the day, but rode happily in his sling when I walked in the water for a few minutes.

We are getting ready to move, soon we will be in a house that doesn’t make us angry.

Here is a wee video of Oliver checking out the camera, he is pretty sceptical about it.