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Saliva Bubbles

Iamwoman's picture

Ive searched the internet and can’t find an answer to this.

We just had a skid weekend, and YSS was a complete pain in the you-know-what all weekend. Both DH and I had to bite our tongues to avoid completely losing our tempers with him.

This kid gets away with whatever he wants at BM’s house, so he looks at us like we’re nuts when we ty to enforce house rules with him. In addition to this, YSS is the type of person who has no interest in anything at all in life, except getting attention, good or bad. DH and I are introverts so this 24/7 attention seeking behavior is beyond exhausting.

At the very end of every weekend, within a couple of hours of going back to BM’s house, he ramps up his antics, and when he is verbally disciplined, his reactions are over the top dramatic. The last time he was here, it was rolling his eyes up and shaking  and crying in bed simply because his dad asked him “why did you scream?” When he was playing with his brother and suddenly shrieked in a way that made our blood curdle (the kind of shriek that makes you start calculating where the nearest hospital is and how much blood has the child lost already). This weekend, his last minute over-the-top dramatic reaction was when he dragged the mustard lid through his food (which he does often) and when told to be more careful, he denied doing it. When he was told that there is no need to deny anything because we all saw it, and no reason to get upset because this time, luckily nothing got on the lid, he starts to blow saliva bubbles. So there he is, giving me this death stare with bubbles of saliva building up around his mouth. I told him to please suck all of that saliva back in, because that is unnecessary and inappropriate for the dinner table. He sucks it back in, and carefully licks the rest off his lips while still giving me the death stare, and continues to death stare me through dinner. I ignore him and chatter happily with DH and the other two kids. When dinner is over and OSS and YSS leave with DH to go back to BM’s YSS ignores me when I say goodbye (got a nice goodbye from OSS).

The spit bubble stuff was weird and definitely purposeful, but I can’t figure out why and to what end?


ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

Just out of curiousity... How old is YSS?... Because, as much as I complain about how ridicuslous SD5 can be, your YSS is way more immature than her... She'll throw tantrums, but never gets this passive aggressive death stare going on.

You don't do spit bubbles on accident unless you're a baby (even then I'm pretty sure the infant has it figured out pretty quick too)... So I have no clue why he did it... But ew...

Iamwoman's picture

He is 9.5 years old. I should have mentioned that in my post, because you’re right. Saliva is somewhat normal for a toddler...

Ew is right! Lol

tankh21's picture

He is too old to be doing that. My YSS acts immature as well but that sounds like something a younger child would do. Are you having a lot problems trying to establish boundaries and rules with this kid. My DH let his kids do whatever they wanted before I came along and now we are trying to establish boundaries and rules and it really is a struggle. I know exactly how you feel OP.

Iamwoman's picture

Hi tankh, we constantly struggle to enforce boundaries and rules with YSS. It’s not because of DH though. DH is very consistent, and we have been together since YSS was two years old.

He and his brother were heavily alienated by BM though. It’s been a long tough road because of that, coupled with her making excuses for YSS’s behavior instead of parenting him. Believe it or not, his current behavior is a vast improvement from the past, but still irksome.

I just don’t understand the point of the saliva bubbles. What is he trying to accomplish? I’m sure it’s not to make it look like he belongs in a mental ward, although that is the outcome... He must have a reason, right?

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

If you've ever said anything to him about spit being gross, he may just be doing it as a passive agressive thing because you two actually make him follow the rules... Still doesn't make much sense... But it's the only thing I can think of.. LOL

ndc's picture

He's trying to annoy and defy you.  He knows it's gross and inappropriate for the dinner table and he knows it will disturb you.  Once it's not saliva bubbles, it'll be something else.

tankh21's picture

Maybe he was just trying to be a smartass. That is the only other thing I can think of Iamwoman.

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

Bleck! Same age as SD9 then! If she started doing that crap I'd be pissed! 

It is normal for a toddler... But he's not a toddler... He's in 3rd (i'm guessing?) grade! 

ESMOD's picture

I would get a little folding chair and TV tray and set it up in the kitchen.  If he pulls antics at the dinner table, he can take his plate and finish alone in the kitchen where there is no audience.  The other alternative is to go to bed with no supper.

queensway's picture

He is just looking for attention. He doesn't care about how he can get it. Saliva bubbles was his thing yesterday. Next visit it will be something else.

When my SS was 10 he did all kinds of things for attention. I thought it would never end with him. The good news is they grow up. But for now I feel your pain. Do your best to ignore it.

DaizyDuke's picture

Was his father at the table??  His father should have excused him from the table the minute the death stare and spit bubbles started.  That is beyong ridiculous behavior for an almost 10 year old.  Let him death stare the wall of his bedroom if he is that intent on acting like  a brat.  And why is your DH allowing him to blatently disrespect you?  from the staring thing, to the not saying goodbye nonsense...why is nothing done or said?

Iamwoman's picture

You all are so right. The answer is most likely defiance, annoying, attention seeking as usual...

I guess I was just so thrown off by the absurdity of the action, that I thought it might go deeper than that.

I can't even address and thank each of you one by one, because all of your answers are so viable! 

He did get in trouble for spitting on another kid at school (in which case BM excused him by saying he didn't know better, but YSS admitted that he DID know better to the teacher!), so he does know how foul it is. His M.O. is attention, and yes, even my DH describes his own children as feral. DH was up and down from the table. We were eating on the back covered porch, and YSS left the door to the house open (just one more annoying thing that he knows he is not supposed to do). A frog immediately jumped inside the house, and DH was getting the frog out of the house while YSS was pulling his crap with me. By the time DH got the frog out, and came back outside after washing his hands, YSS was done with the spit bubbles, and was just doing the death stare. The death stare is not new, and DH hates it too, so he probably just chose to ignore it because it was T-minus 15 minutes to departure back to BM's house, and DH gets tired of YSS's predictable last minute dramatics.

I do definitely try to disengage from the skids, and I've gotten down to only making dinner (everyone gets their own breakfast and lunch). DH tried to engage with them for a year or two, but they just made him miserable. He really values his weekends since his weekdays are non-stop stress with work and school. So shortly after I began disengaging from the skids is when DH also decided to disengage from his own kids, and so DH basically just follows me around on skid weekends. If I stay inside the house, I am screwed, because he leaves the skids in there unsupervised. I usually don't mind because we are outside doing restoration projects, but sometimes it does annoy me that he no longer tries to interact with his own kids at all. My DD has had very rough times, but I still like to do things with her.

On the other hand, every time he does try to interact with them, they drive him insane, and he is no pushover. They are just that defiant, unengaged, ill-mannered, etc. I like to interact with my own bio, and one thing I like to do that DH never wants to do with me is yoga. I invited DD to do yoga in the den with me Sunday morning, and DH actually got jealous. I said he could do it with us, but he said there wasn't enough room for 3 people. He only acts this way when his two boys are around (EOW). When it's just me, DH and DD, he isn't stuck to me like white on rice, and doesn't get jealous of me spending time with DD like he does when skids are here.

I like the suggestion of the chair in the kitchen, but that might actually make YSS feel special instead of outcasted - yes, he is THAT kind of kid!

I defintely would have banished him from the table if he were MY kid, but he's not. Maybe next time they are here, DD and I will go to my folks house for the weekend. I thought it was probably annoying enough for YSS to see me have fun with DD and OSS at the table, and see me not being bothered by him at all while he stared at me in hatred and misery.

I was honestly worried that the spit bubbles meant he might have some kind of mental disorder, because his BM has all kinds of signs pointing to a mental disorder, and I know these things can be genetic, but all of your answers are much more likely and the better, more simple answer.