Sunday, July 17, 2011

Aren't teenagers wonderful? This is my life. A hard, honest post.

Last week, I had an eventful week with our 16 year old. I want to say it was a good event, but it was not.  We had, oh, let's call it a falling out.  I could have let a lot go, but the mood of me this week just wasn't going to let anything go.  He claims I kicked him out. I know he said he didn't want to live here any more because he hates it here, so I said he could go anytime.  I won't deny that I was horrible when we fought.  At one point, I did spit in his face (awful, I know - better than punching him, which is what I really wanted to do, and I wasn't in the mood to get into a fist fight with my 16 year old son) but he opted to say the things people say with only the intention to hurt.  He spit back in my face.  What does one do when a child will not back down?  When discipline is failing & lack of respect is prevalent?  I keep thinking - did I create this mess all on my own?  I know I didn't by myself, but we can't go there because I would be remiss to tell only my side.

I've mentioned my failing gall bladder.  If anyone has had a sick gall bladder, they know the pain that comes along with it.  I've been living on pain killers (not something I enjoy for so many reasons, especially the spaced out non-functioning factor) and scraping by.  My house is suffering.  No one does anything around here unless I'm up to barking orders about what to do next.  Most of the time, I'm okay with being a barker because I have a job here.  House keeping is part of it. This week, I haven't barked anything and I haven't done much of anything.  I've been down for the count.  I'll say it again, my house is suffering and I'm tired of the mess.

The wayward child returned home, after going to a friend's house @ 3:am, later the same day. (he took off on the 12th after I told him to go if he hated it here & he thought he could do better somewhere else)  Don't want to get into that mess.  He has been distant & independent acting since then.  Now, when one thinks of independence, one thinks of a person who is self sufficient.  One thinks of someone who could support himself.  Has a job, can pay bills, can drive & make it to places he needs to go, can feed himself, buy the food needed to be able to feed himself.  This so-called independence is not like that.  His independence comes from his idea that he doesn't have to live here.  He can make arrangements to go anywhere, therefore, he doesn't have to do anything around here.  We'll call it pseudo-independence.

He's been home for several days, doing nothing.  He's come & gone basically as he pleases because his dad isn't home much & I'm down & out, I'm not going to do anything about it.  I know, stupid, but I'm not in the mood for a fight.  & he aims to put up a fight - every single time.  The only place he's going is next door.  Why? Because they are gamers & he gets to play over there.  (I have to mention, they are wonderful people, and I'm sure they are mostly oblivious to what's going on here - as I'm not one to detail my dirty laundry [ha! look at me!], it's shameful - and I know the kid is in good company.)  Anyhoo - he keeps telling me that he wants to "talk" to his dad & me about getting his things back.  We took his computer & I haven't allowed him to play on any gaming system - at home. He wants his things back, so I guess that means he's staying?  He talks about moving in with his uncle 40 minutes from here.  I just keep thinking about the reality he would face if he really did move out.  He just thinks it's easy everywhere else but here.  He has it so hard here, you know...

A Summer Day In The Life Of Kyle:
Get up sometime in the afternoon, have breakfast, or not. 
Hover over mom til she's done on the computer. 
Get the internet & play on my computer for a few or several hours.
Mom asks for the internet back (we share a wireless USB), I finish what I'm doing - no matter how long it takes or how many times I'm asked for the internet. 
Eat lunch, or not, get the internet back & play for more hours. 
I get called for dinner, getting everyone drinks (it's one of my menial jobs) and I make everyone wait, or mom just gets the drinks because she's tired of waiting. 
I sit down to eat, sometimes with everyone, sometimes after everyone is half way finished, sometimes not til everyone is finished.
         Kyle's daily chores:
  • Put the dishes away (often has to be reminded several times)
  • Take out the garbage (ditto)
Shared chores:
  • Clean the litter box
Weekly chores:
  • Dust the living room
  • Vacuum the stairs & clean the landings
  • Do his own laundry (consisting of only one load, usually)
  • Every other week, clean the downstairs living area

Over these past couple days, I've asked him to do a few little things, get this for your sister, do that for your brother because he's been here (not holed up in his room playing on his computer) and he's done most of it without complaint.  It's little shit, but a big help to me, even though it hasn't really been but a handful of little things.  This is something I expect from all of my children because why shouldn't they have to help out a little now & then?  I do everything for them & have since their lives began.  As they get older, they do more things for themselves.  That's how it should be, how else will they learn to take care of themselves as adults?  Honestly, I have never asked them for much more than just taking care of themselves and their messes.

Last night I mentioned that I would need extra help cleaning the house.  Today, he got up with every intention of going next door before doing anything else.  I told him I needed his help.  His retort was that he knows how I am & that I wasn't going to start cleaning right away.  I told him I wasn't going to start at all, he needed to.  He asked me if that meant he had to do everything & I said just about.  I've never asked him to do more than maybe vacuum, when I usually do the vacuuming.  Oh, and he cleaned the litter box when it was my turn because I asked him to while I am going through this.  Having him clean the whole upstairs is something I've never asked him to do & he says that I will be correcting him along the way.  Yeah, probably because I feel like he does most everything half ass, except the things he wants to do.  So he said he'd check in at 2:30 (he didn't do this) & come home to clean at 5:30.  His terms, right?

I'm stuck thinking WTF?  I don't want to fight.  Once this situation is over, maybe I can take the reins again, maybe not.  Did I ever really have them?  Probably not, or at least not for a few years, now.  He's bigger than me & he acts like that's the end all, be all.  He has no one to answer to anymore because he thinks he can take me and his dad (and he's tried).

He's not a violent kid, we're not violent parents.  It's feeling like the route to take, though.  I just want to smash some sense into his head.  He seems to think life outside of his home will be cake.  How do I teach him the lesson that it isn't?  How do I teach him that he shouldn't take advantage & appreciate what he has?

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