Monday, November 19, 2007

What a shitty cup of coffee.

I made just one cup. It's hard to get that right, for me anyhow. I got it wrong this morning.

The only thing I don't like about pancakes is that they get cold so fast. Just after you sit to eat the, they are already showing signs of chill. Good thing the micro is close to the kitchen table.

I think a lot somtimes. Not always about rational things, either. I watch a lot of true crime shit on tv. The First 48 on A&E, Cold Case Files, Forensic Files, 48 Hours Hard Evidence or Mystery repeats on Discovery Times channel. Watching them sometimes heightens irrational thoughts about what could happen. Most often I can keep the wild ones at bay - like maybe I should keep a knife under my mattress or my pillow. Thinking that it would stop someone who might want to murder me. The dude that scared me the most was BTK. He was very random, no rhyme or reason to his victims, just someone who struck his fancy, without consequence to anyone else who might be in the household. Also - one guy, Tommy Lynn Sells...creeps me out, all the things he did & how indifferent he is to have done such horrible shit. Always when I think of being killed horribly, the thing that sets me off the most is thinking about having to watch my children go or them having to endure watching me being killed. It is absolutely terrifying. I do have an active imagination, but at least I can keep most of this from terrorizing me to the point of illness. It could, if I let it.

At the same time, I think of all these kids today who are killing. Not so much the under priveledged kids, even though that is epidemic, but the ones who are raised in a good home, with good families. They just snap. Some of these serial killers come from good families. I'm hoping our family is warped enough to produce enough dysfunction, while providing goodness to even out the temperment and/or brain function of my kids. I do have the fear that creeps up that one day I may be face to face with one of my kids, holding a knife or gun ready to fuck me up dead. Irrational fear - who knows. It's happened too often in society for it not to creep in on me.

I have seen posted in message boards about the warped ideas behind some nursery ryhmes. Some of them are rather twisted. A good friend of mine made a point about those twisted ideas - how the darkness and events of the original stories helped prepare children's psyches for the world around them. They learn more about separation and death and social structures. A book references this, the book is "The Uses of Enchantment" by Bruno Bettelheim. He mentions that since disinfecting these old stories, the rates of societal bad things have climbed. I have to agree.

And I sit & ponder this all. While I consider my 13 year olds behavior. He is a good kid. He has the talk back syndrome. I honestly don't remember that I ever talked to my parents this way. I could have, though - it is probably more likely that I did than that I didn't. It's not so much cussing or anything- it's arguing. Having the last word. Not knowing when to quit. On Friday, this boy is grounded. As much as I think restriction is good to try to correct behavior issues, keeping them doing the things they are supposed to be doing & the like, I think we did go too long with this one. I just got so pissed, pissed about the attitude & the arguing & the endless stooping. He seems to forget how old he is & goes into bicker mode with the little 2. I preach, literally, about how insane it is to argue with a 3 year old or a 6 year old. There is no sensibility in it. I hope one day the kid will get it. He is also a prominent under achiever. This kid is highly intelligent. I am always irritated when he brings home a D because he is being lazy. A GPA of 2.4 is so under what he is capable of. We talk about this and I don't push like some parents do. SInce this has been going on for 3 years, the endless 3 quarters of grades that speak of someone who isn't all that bright, I put my foot down. With a compilation of unwell picked arguments, sassing, needing to be right and the D...I grounded him until he brings the grade up. Not in progress report, but in a report card. He is claiming today that he only has one C & the rest of his grades are better than that. I will be excited to see this. On to the meaning of this, on Friday, he asked if he could go to our neighbor's house to play Guitar Hero III. I have been known to give a break here or there. There isn't any consistency in giving breaks here - if he does something to earn it - like do all the things he is supposed to without being told or asked, keeps his attitude in check, etc., once in a while he will ask for one. He's been in the house, aside from school, since the last week in October. Cabin fever. He tries more to keep his attitude on an even keel. He still doesn't do his chores without being told, most often. How much of this is forgivable? I have run the gamut on reward strategies, consequences for not doing what is expected, etc. Charts, graphs, poker chips, paying for game time...ah, lots of things. I find the thing that works is changing it up every few months or the strategy becomes ineffective. This just fucking blows as part of parenting. I get tired of being creative with punishments & rewards. Why can't one thing just work ... forever?! Sidetracked again - on Friday, he pushed his dad one too many times. He has more of an evil tongue against his father. He doens't back down, but the man has brought this on himself. I always remind the kid to watch better with his dad, but he seems to allow those reminders to slip from his mind. 13 is less happy with his dad than he is with me. So, 13 did all the things he was supposed to do - did a good job cleaning up his room, started his laundry, everything I asked about. I told him he could go for an hour if he did this. I know he has been inside for far too long. I find that type of seclusion from outdoors & friends kind of cruel. I had to live through it. The kid pissed me off way too often & far too badly. So he loses his hour, briefly. When he does, he goes into such a tyraid, like I've never seen before. He is crying, not unusual, yelling, not unusual. Then he proceeds to hit himself. In the head, in the legs. Just an awful thing. It stunned me. He keeps saying why don't you guys ever listen to me...I didn't do anything!

I was trying to take a nap with 3 while 13 & his dad exchanged words. I heard 13 say/do something to 6. That was what got his dad up his ass. 6 tends to screech & squeal when he is wronged - whatever way it may be, as simple as a backwards glance can set this squealing machine to power up. After watching 13 go into a self bashing episode and listening to him say we never listen & we never believe him, I felt really bad. We do listen, well, I do - often. I do think he lies a lot because he does. I often explain to him that if he is more honest, tells the truth more often, rebuilds the trust factor, he will see results from our end. When does 13's end become manipulation. They learn to do that early. They get good at it. I know I was an expert. 21, my odlest, was also very good at it. 21 hated if I brought it up, too, hated if I verbally exposed him. Fuck, as an adult, I so get it. I remember thinking my parents were clueless (mine were more than others!), but damn if I don't spend a lifetime of breath talking about how I do get it. How much I remember about how I was & how to be different than me.

After really listening to what he had to say, I explained about the role he has here. I explained that if there are issues between he & his brother (or his siter), he needs to allow us to do the dirty work. Let us be the ones to correct his little bro. Again, I come into conflict. What do our siblings teach us? Temperance, problem solving, working out disagreements. 6, though - he's not your average 6. He's a very young 6. His maturity level is much below the average 6 year old. I think there will come a time when they are better able to resolve with each other, they are doing better at it already, at times. So, I let him go for his hour. He calmed down & after he got back, was an angel for the rest of the night.

13 is a really good kid. I keep my kids on a short leash. I have talked about drugs & drinking with 13. I have talked to him about sex, but that was quite uncomfortable for him. He sin't into any of those things & I know this because I honestly know him. I know what he's doing & where he is at. I have talked to him about the societal dangers & how easy it would be for someone to murder him, & that we wouldn't ever know it was going to happen unless it did. I taught him to take precautions against those nice strangers. I always only hope he does the right things. SO far, he seems to be.

I love it when he talks about other kids in school. As much as we cuss around this house, and we really do, he doesn't much away from here. We always say the words are for use when you are an adult. We use them as adults & respected our parents not to use them (ha..ha..ha). He will tell me of kids we would least suspect of using the language of adults. One of his friends comes from a very strict religious background. This boy cusses a lot. I ask 13 if he himself does & he says he does sometimes.

Another thing I wonder, is 13 a popular kid? He claims to have many friends. He feels like he fits in. At least this is the impression he gives me, because I often ask about other kids, to get a feel for his friendships. I find myself watching for him after I drop him off, to see where he is hanging, who is there talking to him & such. Because he doesn't seek these friednships out, outside of school, I wonder if they are real or imagined. Again, I think I often analyze everything too much. 13 has had some really fucked up gross habits as a kid. Habits I don't understand that worried me, too (okay - only 2 really weirded me out, but one was odd - something I'd never heard of, I don't even think I can mention it here - it's embarrassing to me and maybe even a little frightening as to future things).

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