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Monday, September 28, 2009

Parental Confusion...Again

In case you were wondering, Nick got home from the mountains last week (Wednesday night to be exact) and life has returned to normal. Unfortunately. He was not home more than 15 minutes when the yelling, the screaming and the crying started. Dinner was strained. I realize that in any group, the dynamic changes when you add/take away someone. I was not quite prepared for the reality of it.

Before the boy left and we were discussing the trip, his responsibilities and all that, he pretty much told us that it is his greatest desire to just be left alone. He really does not want to BE a part of this family. When he is home, he prefers staying in his room away from us. When he cannot have his room to himself (because he shares it with Michael), he goes outside and talks on his phone while wandering around the yard and field or sits in the shed. There is nothing more painful to me, as a mother, than to have your child tell you that for all intents and purposes, he would rather roam a field at night than have to be with you. I hate it. I honestly and truly hated that he felt that way. I mean, he lives here, he does interact with us, he does his chores. We laugh, we joke but the bottom line is that HERE is the last place on Earth that he wants to be. Okay, okay, I DO remember being 17 and I know that he is acting as most teenagers do. He just doesn't need to be quite so vocal about it, you know?

I've learned to accept that he doesn't want to be with us and that he pretty much makes plans to fill up most of his free time. I've stopped holding dinner for him because he'd rather eat at his girlfriend's house. I've stopped waiting to do things (like going out for a family meal) because he so obviously doesn't want to be where we are. I thought I was doing the right thing.

But tonight, it turns out, I found out that I am not. The boy left the house today at 12:30. He did not eat lunch with us. He had no idea what time he'd be home. I made pasta for dinner tonight basically because I was not in the mood to really cook. So I made shells with ricotta with sauce and a spinach salad. And yes, it was yummy. I made enough for the three of us that were home. I hate having left overs in the fridge because they tend to start growing things. So when Nick got home and heard what we have he's like "What the HECK???" Completely confused, I'm like "What?" The rant went like "Why do you make my favorite things as soon as I'm out the door?" "Why do you go out to the Outback whenever I'm not here?" On and on it went. I'm sorry, but I had no idea that we (as in the rest of the family) were no longer allowed to eat the foods that Nick liked or go to places that Nick likes to go to. I mean, had I only KNOWN this rule...well, I would have ignored it like I am now because there is no way that he is going to dictate to us what we can and cannot eat, when we can eat it or even WHERE we can eat it.

I love my child. I truly do but it is just MIND BOGGLING to me the level of audacity that comes with being a teenager. My dad used to tell me that we get back in our children what we did to our parents. I say that we must be getting back something that Frank did because I was so good. LOL! I can only cling to the hope that dad's fact is true and that someday, twenty years from now, Nick will be smacking his head against a wall wondering at the nerve of his own teenager!

My fingers are crossed...

15 comments:

Grampy said...

That is funny. Not your problems but Teenage problems. You are suppose to be a mind reader a sorcerer and many other things to please them. But yet they can be rude and obnoxious.Hopefully he will come out of it soon. It sometimes takes boys longer. My girls straightened out at about 17.
Well good Luck.

Karen said...

It is sad that he treats you this way. Will he expect to act like this when he marries? I would not stand for it. I am not in your shoes though so I don't know all the dynamics. Hugs. I am so glad my kids are grown now. I would not want to go back to those days.

Roschelle said...

Hang in there Stace. I have a 17 year old son too. It's truly a difficult period. They feel for all intents and purposes that they are adults and don't need us. Try to be his friend and show some understanding but by all means...be his mother. He'll appreciate it in the long run.

vange said...

I guess you didn't get the memo....

carol at A Second Cup said...

The self-centeredness of my teens leaves me speechless from time to time. But it does give us blog content!

Petula said...

You know I have heard this dilemma with different parents in different ways. Since I didn't "know" you when he was 12 or 13, I can't say this applies to you, but when my oldest was 12/13 she started pulling away. Closing her door, not wanting to be bothered, not talking to or hanging out with me any longer. At first I was going to give her that space because I felt a little fear that she was changing and I didn't know what to do or say. Then I said, "Oh, heck no!" I started inserting myself, going in her room when she obviously wanted to be alone and on and on. Well, I was able to break the barrier and we remained close.

When she hears me tell that story she says that I used to get on her nerves and she hated it, but she is now glad that I did. She's 18 now and we have maintained that closeness. (Even though I now get my feathers in a ruffle when she wants to go out... well, if she's home. LOL)

I think that happens to a lot of parents. Not that you did that, but once they get to this "pre grown up" stage it's hard to get pass some of this teenager stuff. You're right in not holding stuff up for him. So I think you're doing a great job. Maybe he's just caught between the desire to be on his own and the battle to be a kid.

Wow, that turned into a long comment, huh? Sorry. :)

Chef Eureka said...

Ouch. I'm so not looking forward to the teen years. I'm barely surviving with tweenage... :)

Too funny though. Thanks for sharing!

Nani said...

oh i cant wait for the teenage years...carol you quack me up!

Sandi said...

yeah I am not looking forward to this. My 12 year old is already showing signs and it's terrible thinking of all the years of it I have to go through. haha I figure that they realize how awful they were around 23-25 or so. Then they apologize for being buttheads. Hold out hope. One day he'll come around.

Maria @ Conversations with Moms said...

The teenage years are the years that I fear. I still have a ways to go since my boys are 4 and 10 months.

I remember sitting in the cafeteria where I worked a few years ago. I was the oldest one there and was listening to 3 teenagers talk about their parents. It was horrible. All I heard was, "I hate my parents." "My parents don't understand", "my parents are old fashioned" etc....

My oldest was only 2 at the time but I already dreaded him growing up.

Hopefully this stage for you will end quickly.

Sherri @ Luv a Bargain said...

Oh....Why do things have to be this way? I just don't want it to. My son just turned 14 last week. So far so good with him but I know it's coming. My daughter on the other hand. She'll start at 10 probably. Ugghhh!

Christy said...

I'm so sorry. It's true - no matter what we as parents do, it will be wrong in the eyes of our teenagers. And because they're so self-involved, they'll see everything as some sort of slight against them instead of the reality that the world doesn't revolve around them and we don't make every decision with THEM in mind.
It's frustrating that he enjoys the benefits of living with you (free food, roof, bedroom, etc) but makes sure you know he doesn't really want to be there. I'm amazed by what kids think is okay to say and do, y'know?

PJ said...

i am really not looking forward to these teen years again. i was so happy when my kids were out of that long long stage. it was so stressful! i think you did the right thing too in not holding dinner for him. you shouldn't have to go around his schedule. have a great night my friend...hugz!

Pam Cherioli said...

When we lived in NC our son Ian knew Nick, as I've been reading your blog I realize they are "cut from the same cloth". Seems everytime you write something about what's going on with Nick, we are having the same issues over here. It never fails, Ian can be away doing things with friends all day long. He comes home, where all is quiet and peaceful and before you know it he is going on and on about how he has to get out of this place. Many days I want to give him my foot in his rear to help him along! It's heartbreaking right now, but I know they will come along...just praying it's sooner than later! Take care!

Earth To Mother Ship said...

Hi Stace,

I am a new mom, but, it was not too long ago for me to remember 17. The scenerio you wroite about happened in my house only I was the "Nick." Later my folks actually went for family portraits with out me too. Yeah - True story.

I know my the future holds a bedroom door with a "Do Not Enter" sign taped to it and later a teen who wishes I would fall off the earth. The good thing is the earth is round and the child WILL circumnavigate and return to MOM.

Have you seen the movie Little Miss Sunshine? You might enjoy the family dynamic in this movie with the son who does not speak.

Hang in there!

Mother Ship