Tuesday, July 15, 2008

people's court

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Only in more daunting circumstances.

Exhibit A: Sasquatch has a new obsession. He wants to go to the High School all the way across town instead of the one five blocks from our house. He has a lot of reasons for this, and while my heart understands his reasons, my gut is sending off alarm bells. The kid who can't get up until fifteen minutes before the final bell in the morning is promising me that he will ride two cross town buses (each way) that will force him to leave the house at zero dark thirty. And that he'll do it without expecting me to drive him, because I've already told him I won't. He is so sure of this move that he's promising me the moon to get me to say yes. I don't want the moon. I want him to trial ride the bus at the time he'll have to for school and to write me out a contract that spells out exactly what he will do during the school year. I might as well ask for the moon.

Exhibit B: All of my kids seem to have the idea that if I get further than five feet in the door from work before they hit me up for something, they're dropping the ball. I don't want to say that they lie in wait for me, but very often I haven't even put my keys down and there's a line of people who all need me to do something "urgent" for them immediately.

Exhibit C: Work has been brutal lately. I haven't lost butt parts because I've done anything wrong, but simply because it has been absolute insanity from the second I've hit the door until the minute I crawl out to my car. I've been in Triage a lot lately, which will take the starch out of anyone. ("What's going on with you?" "My knee hurts" "How long has it been hurting?" " Six months" "Is the pain getting worse?" "No" "Is there some particular reason you came to the ED tonight when your knee has been hurting for six months?" "Well, there's nothing good on TV tonight").

Exhibit D: Sasquatch can still pull my chain faster than any human being alive.

Scene of the Crime: I walked in the door Monday night to Sasquatch following me around obsessively about the new school. He had not done a single thing I'd asked him to do about it, opting instead for a sleepover. Surfer Dude and Gumby got brought home by their dad from their weekend with him, and I asked him to come in because he needs to be up to date on this whole school thing. Sasquatch, deflecting as usual, said my stipulations were "stupid" and "ridiculous". I lost my temper, which ended with him stomping out of the house and SD screaming at me and their father (who has the same problem with Sasquatch that I do) looking at me as if I'd lost my mind. All I wanted was to come home and collapse, and what I got was a fifteen minute brawl and an hour of damage control. By the time we were all good with each other, I was too wired to collapse.

To the Jury: I sat the kids down and said Listen. Listen very carefully. You have to cut me some slack. I know you only see me as She Who Provides Cash, Food and Rides, but you have to understand that I'm tired. A lot has changed lately. I'm working full time. I'm taking care of everything in the house all by myself, and the only time any of you "remember" your chores is when I make a fuss about them. I'm tired of being met at the door with a list of demands, and while I'm at it, stop calling me at work to ask if you can order food in and have me pay for it because, after a $150 grocery shop there's "nothing good to eat in the house". Don't call me at 3:30 pm from a sleepover and tell me you just woke up, when I'm at work with a paranoid schizophrenic who is absolutely convinced he has an air bubble in his sinuses that is talking to him. Don't automatically assume I'm at fault when Sasquatch pushes all of my buttons for sport. And dont' think that there's a person in the world who will take it positively when someone tells them their wishes are stupid or ridiculous. I repeat. Cut. Me. Some. Slack. I. Am. Not. Superwoman.

The verdict: The jury is still out. But tomorrow we'll hear their decision. I hope I can live with it.


Maggie May said...

What is so special about that school, anyway? Are all his mates going there? Teenage boys are never easy!
I don't know how you cope!
Work sounds horrendous!

ped crossing said...

All I can say is hang in there.

And the whining and demanding doesn't get better as they get older? You mean you still can't reason with them? Teenage boys were supposed to be easier than teenage girls. Now I find out.

Aoj & The Lurchers said...

I am so glad I don't have children!

belle said...

They'd better cut you some slack. It is never wise to bite the hand that feeds. But then wisdom and teenage boys rarely go together.

I await the verdict with baited breath.

Anonymous said...

my mother wouldn't talk to any of us until we'd made her a cup of tea and brought her her slippers. as a result we competed to get these things done adn thus be in her favour. it worked for her. but we were wussy girls who were slightly afraid of her. possibly not the same effect with teenage boys.

softinthehead said...

RC - it's got to be a two way street so before they start making their demands, you do a run through of whether they have done their chores or not - they don;t cooperate - then you shouldn't either. See if that changes their tune - good luck.

Jen said...

I'd suggest going on strike, but I know how you are. As things piled up, you'd go insane, and kill the lot of them.

Which might not be a bad idea...have you tried the Jekyll and Hyde/Incredible Hulk defense? You know, the whole "Don't make me angry, you wouldn't like me when I'm angry" bit. I could just see you now, "RC ANGRY! RC SMASH (fill-in teen boy's toy here)!" It would be brilliant, even if you didn't turn green.

WT said...

I think you should cut them some slack. Testosterone rules!!!

Marti said...

Stay strong, RC! I agree with softinthehead. Do NOT give in to their demands until yours have been met.

As for Sasquatch and the new school...You told him what he needed to do if he wanted you to even consider the other school. If he does not do what you say, then he does not get the opportunity. Leave it all in his court. If he decides he wants to play by your rules, then he might have a chance.

It is hard, but stand strong. And you also might remind him that calling your ideas stupid, etc. really does not score any points.

It was great seeing you last week. You look fab-u-lus!

Rose said...

"When it rains, it pours" while apt, doesn't seem to convey the intensity of the deluge, does it? So sorry life is sucking so much of the time these days. Another trite saying for you: it'll get better. Sorry I don't have any deep wisdom here. Hang in there (oops, another one)

aims said...

I don't know how you do it RC!

In the future - when their boys are teenagers - they'll look back at you and say you were Superwoman with superhuman strength.

And they'll adore you for it.

the mother of this lot said...

Personally, I'd put the black hat on and send them all to the chair!

Diana said...

Good job sitting them down (or leaning them against the counter) and telling them what the hell you are facing and why this is unacceptable. Kids are wonderful, amazing and so very self-centered it makes the jaw drop. It's something of a miracle that most actually do live to adulthood rather than being murdered by an exhausted, stressed parent.

Sucks to be the parent, doesn't it?

Leslie said...

You need to find out who the girl is that's going to that school...

Anonymous said...

I agree with you on the new school, you can see the tardies/absences on the attendance card already. Kids have great intentions until it is time to get up. Is there any way dad can bring him?

I like how you sat down with them and put it all out there. I hope it makes a dent in their teenage behavior.

Hang in there.

CrazyCath said...

Well I hope they DID cut you some slack and I hope they realise how lucky they are.
You are not super woman. But you are one heck of a mum.

Jean Genie(us) said...

Well you don't know me and I don't know you but you sound like one helluva gal and I'd like to think I'm just a 5% with my kids that you are with yours!!! Go on now, admit it - Cut me some slack - how often have I said that - should be followed by no, not really. We love it!!!but we'll never admit it. Love your sense of humour - get that book published!!!! Then you can really afford the demands!!!

Nearlydawn said...

I have reached a verdict!


It sounds like it is time to kick some teen and tween butt and get it under control!

That book I mentioned "Sullivan's Island" you so have to read it... really, really... I think your story is sorta in there a bit. :)