Monday, January 30, 2006

The De Facto Parent: Part Duex

What started out to be a good idea yesterday, bit me square in the ass last night.
My son had been a good sport about the whole parent by default concept, never once realizing that I was the "Great and Powerful Oz." At times he joked and laughed about the Goddamn thing. That is... until his mother came home.
He'd been fine about the whole concept all day, and as I mentioned, and he'd been a damn good sport about everything, doing everything his sister (and I) asked him to do. He'd laugh and in retort, bust our chops about not doing this or that... but he always managed to follow through. Seven thirty rolls around, the time his mother is due home, and his "I'm so pissed I can spit venom" switch is flipped. She walks through the door, and he immediately comes down the hall with this... this... look on his face. I knew what was about to happen. If I'd seen it once, I'd seen a thousand times. He was going for the swaying vote. He was aiming to garner his mother's sympathy with the hope that she would defend him like she's done so many times before. (((Ding, ding, ding!))) Round one is on, motherfucker!
He has typical attitude, most recognizable when he attempts this move. He knows that with said attitude, his mother will undoubtedly ask "What's wrong, Bub?" However, as he walks past her, I whisper to her that he's pissed. By now, she is well aware of what I've done, and unbeknownst to him, is in total agreement with me. He wants dessert and asks his mother. He is quickly reminded that until 9:00 P.M., his sister is in charge. She gives him three choices for dessert. He's pissed. He chooses, finishes, takes his medicine, and climbs into bed - EARLY. He's pissed. So his mother goes in to tell him goodnight, to which, as always, she gets sucked into a conversation about how this isn't fair and Dad did this and that's not right. The conversation ends and I am instructed to go talk to him. (((ugh!))) Okay! Fine! Not because I don't want to, but I know where this is leading... AGAIN! He and I rehash the day's events... AGAIN! He's pissed. I explain the purpose behind my decision to give his sister charge over him... AGAIN! He's pissed. The conversation only escalates the problem, throwing it further out of whack. I'm pissed. He's pissed, and now, after some private conversation with my wife, I'm somewhat pissed at her, because in a strange turn of events, I have somehow become the bad guy, when earlier I was the good guy with the good idea.
(((Ding, ding, ding!))) Round two. Yada, yada, yada... the next thing I know, I'm dragging him out of bed to plow through our differences before we go to sleep (it's a family thing of ours: never go to sleep angry.)
Badda-boom, badda-bing... thirty minutes of re-examining the events of the day... AGAIN!, and I love you's are echoed. I'm not pissed. He's not pissed. Although I think we're both remain silently pissed, and we go our separate ways.
I ask him this morning if we're cool with yesterday. He mumbles a discomforting "Mmm-hmm." I take it for what it's worth and reassure him that I'm cool with yesterday. He gets out of the X-Terra and clearly, he still doesn't get the gist of what took place. All he sees is that he's been wronged. He cannot see past himself in order to realize where he went wrong. He never does. That said... I think I'll toss in the towel on this one and move on with my day. However, as I told him last night: You bet your ass I will do this again. Because at some point he needs to accept responsibility for his own actions. While I can't force him to do that, I can certainly place a mirror in front of him at every turn so that he has no choice but to look at himself.


Anonymous Restless Angel said...

Just wait 'til he has a kid his age... ahh, yes. That's a lot of why I tell my parents and anyone who'll listen I want no part in having children of my own.

2:24 PM  
Blogger said...

thanks for the note. how'd you find me?
i'm always intrigued when strangers are... well... intrigued with me.

i guess something must be keeping my readers coming back day after day. i'm just not at all sure what it is.

3:33 PM  
Blogger the depressed nurse said...

If I put one of mine "in charge" of the other, I'd find a lifeless and bloodied body under a bed. Funny story. Gotta love this parent job we do.

6:51 PM  

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