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Hastings's Blog

SS and family problems

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SS13 isn't close to my family. Several factors are involved:

1 The only other boy is 19. All the kids close to his age are girls. He goes to a different school. The girls are all close to each other, but he's sort of odd man out, due in part to his being a boy.

2 He hasn't spent a lot of time with them. They go to the beach together every summer, but we've only gone twice. We like to do other traveling and we don't always have the time off.

3 He's shy. My family are mostly introverts. DH and I are introverts.

Baseball — kids these days

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SS13 is with BM this week and DH got a text from her saying SS fell and hurt his knee ice skating today, so won't be at his baseball game tonight.

DH was annoyed because for years now, coaches have been consistent in telling parents "don't take the kids swimming or for big physical activities on game days." Also, SS has never been ice skating. Of course he was going to fall.

No, you don’t have to go to school

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So, this is the last week of school and SS13 is with us. This evening, he announced to DH, "My mom said I don't have to go to school Friday."

Again, it's DH's week. So nice of her to make that unilateral decision.

DH's company doesn't work Fridays, so he was annoyed, but just shrugged it off. He said, "if I say no, I'm the bad guy. And BM will just offer to get him for the day."

I swear, her presumption and overstepping is getting worse.

Another kid week — joy

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SS13 came back to our house yesterday and, as usual, was sullen. DH went down a list of missing assignments to make sure he had done them (the app doesn't always accurately show if something has been turned in). Of course, this greatly annoyed SS. Sorry, kid. But the number of times you've fallen behind in classes and lied about work, you're going to get asked.

Feelings, worries, etc.

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Normally, I feel better after a therapy session, but after yesterday, I don't. I feel more anxious and uncertain. My T and I talked about the issues lately with SS13. She hasn't met SS, but she does have a background working with kids in that age group. She's always really good about not putting labels on things, not directing me one way or another, just giving insight, guidance and helping me work through things to come to my own decisions and conclusions. But yesterday, I chronicled the issues and my feelings.

She said:

Well, the $&!@ hit the fan

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Tonight, SS13 had a ballgame. (Given what's been going on, I would have said no baseball, but DH is big on responsibility and commitment and insists that he go regardless. Whatever.) I wad to meet them there. As they pull into the park, SS (who had been surprisingly cheerful and chatty) said "we passed X restaurant. That's where I'm eating with BM and her parents tonight. They're coming to the game."

DH is like "say what?!"

SS told him it was on a text string that day (DH lets him have his phone for school).

DH was dumbfounded and SS trotted off.

Another week, another gem from SS

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SS13 is back after a week at BM's. Last time he was here, after lying to DH about electronics, sneaking food into his room and spitting on the floor, DH told him that this week, he would not be allowed to go to the gym with BM. (The last few months, on non-baseball nights, he's ridden the school bus to BM's and gone to the gym with her. She drops him off in time for dinner. He loves going. No blue why, but we suspect he's getting fun, fancy snacks and sees friends.) SS was very upset about it and DH thought, "ah! Finally found something that might actually make an impact!"

Annnd again — what a week

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Last night, DH decided to stop off on the way to SS13's baseball game and let him pick out a sports drink for the game and some candy for after. (Given SS's recent attitude and behavior, I wouldn't have done that, but whatever, he's trying to connect.) The game was stormed out. They came home. SS consumed some of both, then DH told him to put both away before going to bed.

Watching results of lazy parenting

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Sometimes I feel like Cassandra or Chicken Little, over here seeing warning signs that no one else can (or will).

For as long as I've known him, SS13 has been sneaky. He lies. He gets upset when he doesn't get his way. He's not rotten or malicious, but he's 100% self-centered and thoughtless.

As I blogged before, I'm disengaging from everything that doesn't directly impact me, my property or my dogs. Better for my marriage and my stress.

Now we have attitude at school

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SS13's attitude has been much worse lately. Monosyllabic answers. Rolling eyes. Scoffing and "what are you, stupid?" tone. Not unusual for pubescent kids, but annoying and not excused.

Today, DH got an email from one of SS's teachers to tell him he's becoming a real problem: talking, acting up, arguing back. When she corrects him or moves his seat, he rolls his eyes or scoffs at her.