What a week! I worked several 11 and 12-hour days this week and was exhausted and beat up. This was the kind of week that, had difficult child and I been fighting - or even if I was still chopping, slicing, dicing, juicing, blending and straining - would have been an emotional and physical disaster for me. I was too tired and overworked to take care of myself, much less a difficult child with a broken jaw. easy child slipped quietly in and out of the evenings and fended for herself. One night, after having to host an office cocktail party (I know, my job sucks!) and a 12-hour day, I asked easy child if she was hungry. She said, "kinda" and I told her there was a can of soup in the cupboard and immediately crashed on the couch, not to be woken until the next morning. easy child let me rest. difficult child would have demanded, cajoled, guilted me into making her something to eat. When I got the gift card awards from work and ordered first a food processor (to replace the one that difficult child had been using pre-jaw break and left on the counter to mold - I don't clean up after my kids) and then the juicer (pre-jaw break too, but admittedly, difficult child's vegetarianism factored heavily in my decision to buy it), I told her, "When you have demonstrated to me that you can take the appliances apart, clean them and put them back together, you can use them without my supervision". I told her she would have to be extra careful about the blades and the tendency for food to turn to glue and reminded her that we were dealing with over $300 worth of equipment and that I wanted to keep it clean and functional. Ah, the mind of a difficult child! Her solution: Don't learn how to care for the appliances. And the very day after the juicer was delivered, after I spent $75 on fruits and veggies to break it in with, she broke her jaw. And she never once has used juicer. She attempted to use the food processor and became quite agitated when she couldn't get the safety inserted correctly and the thing wouldn't work. So, of course, I stepped up because I didn't want her to break it by using her favorite method of getting things to work, strongarming. And her idea of cleaning it really didn't conform to my standards and although I tried to be supportive, and teach her, her agitation blocked anything she was going to learn from me, so I just did it myself. Sigh. Blissfully, peacefully, THANKFULLY, I didn't have the demands, the dishes, the battles, the slamming doors and pounded walls, the loud offensive or weird music to flavor my exhausting week. I had my blankie and my remote, and I was as happy as the walking dead could expect to be. After my last post last weekend, difficult child had stopped by to retrieve more belongings. The first thing she said when she walking in the door was, "May I use the phone?" What could have been a tense situation actually turned out to be quite pleasant. She stuck around for a few hours, until her girlfriend arrived from school, and then she left. I feel like a Grandma now...she's so much more pleasant now that she leaves! I gave myself points for remaining detached. I didn't ask her many questions about where she was staying, what she was eating, if she had her toothbrush, etc. She, her sister and I even spent time just visiting, but still I kept the conversation very general and didn't ask how she was making it. I let her take the food that easy child and I wouldn't eat. Gone were the 23 boxes of teas, the miso, several veggies that we don't particularly care for. I have room in my refrigerator! When Wednesday approached, I clamped my own jaws shut and didn't call her at the "Commune" and remind her of her doctor's appointment to remove the wires and install the bands. I didn't ask her how she was going to get there. But, I have my spies and I put them to work. easy child and her boyfriend decided to go to drum circle at Hippy Heaven on Wednesday night, so I pumped her for information when she returned. Yes, difficult child had the wires removed, yes, she had the bands installed and she was able to move her jaws and talk. Was she in pain? The doctor had told me weeks ago that she'd have the option of going under when the wires were removed. easy child didn't know. Jeez! To have the detachment skills of a 17-year old! Still, it was apparent to easy child that difficult child was in no visible distress and I took comfort from that. difficult child called me at work yesterday and asked, " May I please come by this weekend and do some laundry? I can get a ride there, but could you take me back?" I said yes, she could do laundry and get more stuff from her room and I remained non-committal about the ride back. I am concerned that if I give her one ride, she'll continually ask me to taxi her, even if she is no longer living here. But, I probably will drive her back because <ul>[*]She is going back [*]She going to have stuff to carry [*]I have control over when she leaves if things get tense[/list] I was suprised last night when she showed up unannounced to get some more stuff with Mary (bless her heart, difficult child is still finding those rides), one of the women that lives at the commune. Mary is a few years older than me, and has that organic, hippy aura around her, but not flaky or flighty. difficult child went upstairs for a few minutes to talk to easy child (BIG, BIG, BIG issue has always been that difficult child would go into easy child's room unannounced, and easy child being a peacekeeper would allow it, but they were visiting). Being the difficult child-battered Warrior Mom that I am, I whispered to Mary, "How is she doing?" Mary told me she was doing fine and had that pleasant, happy look on her face. I didn't feel that my motherhood was threatened, but I felt compelled in hushed, hurried whispers to explain why I kicked her out. Mary said the most wonderful thing, the only thing that is really a comfort to me and could absolve my guilt: "You're the mom". Mary, in her wisdom and generosity of spirit said it all. She knows she has a difficult child (now) on her hands and she knows how incredibly difficult it is for difficult child and I to live together harmoniously. But most of all, Mary knows I'm not cold and cruel and that I love my difficult child. And I think I saw under that difficult child veil, an independent woman who loves her mom, too.