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[personal profile] wordshavepower
Two nights ago, I'd pretty much had it. My kid is a prickly sort of kid. He's not easy to love if you're with him 24/7. He's argumentative, loud, in constant motion, won't pay attention, doesn't listen, explodes about little things and is basically a landmine. We've come such a long way since December. I was rereading my posts from back then and our lives have really improved with the medicine and the boundaries, with CTY camp giving him a glimpse of what other smart kids are like, and with another year together, age and maturity.

But the kid's nervous about his new school and still mad at his father. honestly, I don't know how much of that is an easy excuse he knows we won't argue with if he throws a fit and we ask what's bugging him... and how much is truly his anger at his father, and at me, for not being together.

Sunday afternoon was hard. Delicious has been riding KoE hard, not tolerating any of his PITA behavior, and basically finding fault with everything the kid does. Which makes me snippy and miserable. Which makes K hide in her room. Which makes the KoE even more desperate for attention of any kind, so he keeps doing the loud, inappropriate, angry, argumentative shit that kills any hope I ever had of a normal weekend.

Taking out the trash is his responsibility. I told him that there would now be consequences for arguing about doing anything we ask him to do, whether it's his chore, or whether it's his duty as a member of this household to pitch in and help. I will be taking computer time away for bad behavior. I will be taking Pokemon cards away, which he can earn back. There isn't much else in his universe that he cares about. My parents would punish me by taking away extra curricular activities, to a point where I almost stopped signing up for them. I won't do that to him.

He was arguing and angry when he hauled the first bag of trash out. When he saw there was a second pile, he hit the roof, but still had to do it. He tripped on something going down the stairs--something Delicious had specifically told him to move out of the way before he carried the trash down, but of course KoE didn't listen.

I hear him outside screaming at the top of his lungs. SCREAMING. "AAAAAAAAAAAGHHHHHH! I HATE YOU I HATE YOU I HATE YOU!" I go outside to see what's going  on and there he is, on his hands and knees, scooping dirt back into a little pot I'd thrown away. His little pot. With the tickle me plants he hadn't thought to take care of. Which had died. Which I threw away. This, coupled with the fact that he had seen, in the trash, the crumbled remains of something he'd made at CTY camp, set him up for a big blowout.

He was screaming, so I yelled back: "THEY WERE DEAD, DO YOU HEAR ME? DEAD."  Delicious was behind me and starting down the stairs but no thanks, he'd done enough already. This was my kid, who was yelling I hate you, about me, and I was going to deal with it.

Poor KoE. I held him in my arms and rocked him as he sobbed. "If you don't feed a pet, he dies. If you don't water a plant, it dies." He was so angry at me. I told him it wasn't fair to expect me to take care of everything for him. If the CTY thing had been important, it should not have been crushed at the bottom of his school bag with half an eaten something or other and a bunch of other trash. But apparently, it's my fault I can't tell trash from treasure. It's my fault I told him he would have to look after his plants, and that I'd try to remember but it was his responsibility.

And here we have it folks. When Delicious and I went to bed, he asked me why I was so miserable on the weekends. Gee. Let me think. I've Delicious surprised me on Friday afternoon by asking if I'd like to go to a tango class and milonga that evening. We went to the place, unfamiliar turf for us both, filled with folks of a certain age who knew how to tango already, and failed miserably.  At one point, Delicious is holding me in the frame position, shifting his weight from foot to foot, screaming at me in a whisper. Seriously. I have no idea why the man is so adamant about learning to tango. We should be waltzing or something. He had no idea what to do, and couldn't think. He seems to think that tango is a series of steps one learns and then repeats in a sort of endless loop. So far from the truth. And he was frustrated at me because well, fuck, son, I don't lead. So I'd be standing there waiting for him to DO something, and then he'd just lunge, and step on my feet or push me off on the wrong foot. It was miserable. I mean, so miserable I'm probably not going to ever take him up on his offer to go dancing, again. Later he admitted it's because he can't improv. He'd love to be able to, but he just can't. And he can't even put the various aspects of our arguments over the years together to spot the pattern, but it's the same argument we had in Rome that had me crying into my dinner. The same argument we have when I ask, 'What would  you like for dinner"?" and he says, "I don't know, whatever." Well, i'm not busting my ass for "Whatever."  And this is going to be something we fight about for our entire lives.  and have inherited a girl who eats six things and doesn't do anything exciting. And a son who is bonx most of the time. I laid it out for Delicious one more time. I have given up. I'm trapped in a house with people who can't improv. In order to do ANYTHING, we have to plan it weeks in advance. I reminded him that, whenever I make a suggestion, his first reaction is 'No.' I reminded him that, of all the people in this house, I'm the only one who actually seems to give a shit, and whenever I do, I get hurt and disappointed. Birthday cakes failed and unappreciated, Slobs sitting around the television watching Wipeout recordings. Doing the same old brand of nothing every fucking weekend. I'm over it. This house is a prison of apathy on the weekends. I also told him that it is abundantly clear that Delicious doesn't care for KoE right now, in fact, it's pretty obvious Delicious doesn't want to have anything to do with the kid. I reminded him that KoE doesn't have any friends. He's all sharp angles trying to fit into an obtuse world, is my kid, and he's hurting. He told me on Sunday he wishes he were 'normal.'

KoE is normal, in that who the fuck decides what is normal and what isn't? Fuck you very much, society. My son conforms to the rules as much as he can. Yes, I see a lot of his father's disconnectedness, his sneaking idea that some of the rules don't apply to him. I'm hoping having a normally fucked up mother, as opposed to the Wicked Witch of Paris, will count a long way towards tethering KoE to the world at large.  

But Fuck them all. I am going to come up with a list of things I want to do on the weekends. And I'm going to do them. And if anyone wants to join me, tra lala.

All this to say, We've been talking about how this new school is a new chance, an opportunity to reinvent himself, a chance to choose the kind of person he wants to be and to become that kid. I've been working with him on outbursts, and especially on crying, which will get him ostracized from the fourth graders pretty quickly. None of the kids there knows that he skipped a grade. He's tall enough to fit in, physically.

One of the odd things we're having to deal with is wardrobe. His new school does not have a dress code. This is a kid who only just decided to start color-coordinating his outfits, with hilarious results. Just because it's all green, darling, doesn't mean it all goes together.  The thrift stores suck. No clothes for boys, not even at the huge Unique thrift store out in bumfuck. I picked up a few plaid shirts, some will be huge on him, others merely swim. He has some jeans that actually fit him, and a few hoodies I got yesterday as well. But I am going to have to either buy on eBay or go to the crappy stores and get him cheap clothes. And here's the thing: I know some kids will ridicule him if he shows up in crappy clothes. When I was a kid, my mother dragged me to a no-name department store every August and bought me my meager clothing allotment for the school year. Seriously. I was in highwaters by February, I never had galoshes or snow boots, but that didn't matter. I didn't get new clothes until the summer. I'm not going to get the kid an entirely designer wardrobe, but I'd like him to have a few pieces that give him some relief from being the freaky nerd of the class.

He has some graphic tees, including a Wimpy Kid tee score at the thrift.  He's got an iPod tee shirt, for the cool factor, and for the fact that he does indeed own an iPod Touch.  But we had a short conversation yesterday about clothing, about labels, and about how to fit in. We've decided, since we know so little about fashion, that we'll take K's advice and try to concentrate on whatever she tells us is cool. 

I'd like to get him another pair of skate shoes, but they are out of my budget. The Target shoes are crap, he runs through cheap shoes like water.  We'll figure it out. I don't want him to be a label whore, but I don't want him to feel even more misplaced than he already does. Even though my school had a dress code, I never fit in. I know how he feels, right now.

Most of my life, I felt like no one heard me. I was always interrupted. Or I'd get halfway through my point and the person I was talking to would grab it, run away with it, and I'd never get a chance to circle back and finish my thought. Or I would open my mouth and the timing would be off, whatever I said falling like lead into the middle of the group. I have a few apologies to make, still, for saying just plain old stupid shit.

The conversation was sweet, and painful. All evening, KoE asked questions: Do cool kids wear baggy clothes? Do they wear plaid? Do they like messy hair?  I told him to just wait and see. Start off the school year with some neutral clothing that will not brand him as a 'spongebob/starwars/nerdy/whatever kid, and see what's what. Find out what the other kids think is cool. Since he doesn't watch much television, play commercial video games, or surf the Net all day, he's not going to have much in common with a lot of these kids.

I think I'll get the GPS software for my phone soon, so we can start doing GeoCaching. That will be a cool excuse for why he doesn't get a lot of screen time....


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