How Far Disengaged?
OK, so I've decided to try and disengage, as skids only resent me when trying to help parent them. SO and I discussed it and he wasn't real happy about, said he didn't want to "give up" on his kids. I explained I wasn't giving up on them, but that they have two parents and it's their job to do the parenting. I told him I was no longer going to bug the kid about school work, room cleaning, all the normal stuff... that it was now solely his responsibility to handle all of these things, just as it would be if I weren't around.
So Monday night we get a call from the school saying SS13 received a progress report that day, and that it needs to be signed and returned on Friday. I'm thinking, OK, time for SO to start his new job of being the parent. SS13 is dropped off for his week with us. Nothing much going on there, since he comes after dinner. We watch some TV together and go to bed. No mention of the progress report from him, and SO didn't ask for it. I figure he doesn't want to upset the kid on his first day back.
Tuesday I come home from work and it's unusually quiet, so I figure skid must be out playing. Nope, he was actually upstairs at the desk doing homework! His dad did it, I was amazed! SS13 is also being unusually pleasant, so I'm thinking SO must have had a talk with him about his behavior the previous week, and more than likely got a look at progress report. We eat dinner, watch a movie, then go to bed.
Yesterday I come home, it's quiet again, I'm thinking *woo hoo* he's actually doing homework again. SO is cooking dinner, then his phone rings. It's SS13 calling from a friend's house, asking if he can stay longer (it's already after 6). Apparently SO told him he could go do homework with his friend. He said, "No, I said until 7 and I'm coming to get you." No whining on the other side, which is amazing to me. When he gets back he asks to see what they were working on, and all seems good.
Then he has SS13 go upstairs and strip his bed to be washed (should have been done weeks ago, but he'd never do it when I asked). The bed was so nasty (he spilled something on it and tried to claim the dog peed) that he had kicked the down comforter and sheets to the floor and was sleeping in the bare mattress in his PJs and hooded sweatshirt (that he also wears to school everyday). It's disgusting and I tried telling him several times that he needed to wash his bedding and sweatshirt, and that he should not be sleeping in a sweatshirt and wearing it to school. This had been going on for the last two weekly visits, and I had told his dad about it, but he wouldn't do anything until now. As he had the kid washing the bedding, he reminded him that it's his job to take care of that stuff, and also gave him a talk about not sleeping in street clothes and why. WOW!!!!
So we all go to bed happy, and I'm thinking this disengaging stuff seems to be work so far, even though it's only been a week. He really should have had the kid wash all his stuff Monday night when he came home, or immediately after school the next day, but whatever, at least he finally got around to it. It's a start, and I'm excited about it.
I wake up this morning and am wondering why SO hasn't mentioned the progress report. Maybe he thinks my disengaging also means I don't want to hear about this stuff? Is that how it should work? I don't really know. But I'm still curious, and SS13's backpack is sitting right there. I'm also wondering if he brought back the iPod Touch we bought him (it's been mysteriously absent for about a month, and SO has told him he needs to produce it "or else"). So I decide screw it, I'm gonna snoop, and open up the backpack. No iPod, and a wadded up, unsigned progress report. Four F's, one D, two B's.
So now what? How disengaged am I supposed to be? Is it OK to ask SO that status of the progress report and iPod? I suppose it's possible he forgot about these two items. Should I remind him? Or maybe he's perfectly aware that bringing up these issues with SS13 will be unpleasant, and he'd prefer to ignore them. I'm thinking if I'm going to remind him, I need to do it now. The progress report is due to be returned to school tomorrow. Any punishment he prescribes for the poor grades and the missing iPod will need to take place this weekend, since we return him to his mother's Monday night.
This sounds bad, but I seriously believe SO is just going to neglect it. He doesn't want to have to punish the boy. He'll probably not bring it up until the weekend is over, after the kid has had his fun and sleep overs, after the two have them have played pool and darts and watched football. I think he'd prefer to wait until just before we return him to his mom's, that way he can be made at him for a few minutes, then apart from him for a week, then start all over again the next Monday.
What do I do now, or do I just ignore it? I would really like to see this boy do well. I don't want him to end up like the 3 older skids