My teen.is.driving.me.crazy. I know. Every parent has said this at one time or another, so it’s not a huge surprise that I’m saying this. This is where I long for the toddler days of stuff that I thought was hard back then. It was, back then. Now, not so much.
What the HELL did I do as a teen that resulted in this kind of payback? I’ve asked my Mom. I wasn’t the difficult one. My brother was – or at least that is what she tells me so I’ll continue to talk to her ;) . I will choose to believe that. Then that begs the question, what the HELL did my husband do that resulted in this kind of payback? Um, a lot. So much he won’t tell me what all he did as a teen. This is a bit frightening to me.
So on top of the normal teen hormonal over the top bullshit, my kid has ADHD – inattentive type (and dyslexia). That’s just a new way of saying he has ADD and doesn’t have the hyper part of it. However, the kid has every.other.aspect of it. Impulse behavior, sequencing issues, inability to concentrate. He is SEVERELY ADD. With all the food info I’m reading, I’m guessing it didn’t help that I ate all those ramen noodles while I was preggo with him and now his favorite food in the world is pasta anything. Pasta & Breads are bad for kids with ADHD (among other things). ANYWAY, he is on meds - please don’t preach to me about being on meds. We tried other things and the meds have done wonders for him. I can’t imagine him off of them. I take that back. I know what he’s like when he’s not on them on occasion and it’s a nightmare.
The Hubs and the teen are at each other’s throats most of the time. In my personal opinion, I think the Hubs needs to choose his battles with him and not be on his ass ALL.THE.TIME. Pick big things, not little things like him saying he’s taken out the trash when he really hasn’t. That became World War III. My Hub’s opinion of me is that I’m not on the teen’s ass enough. Well that all changed at the end of this grading period at school. It takes a lot for me to go over the edge and get involved. I’m there. I’ve jumped and am in a pile ‘o shit.
High school has not been kind to any of us. I’m ready to go lock myself up in a padded cell for the next 3 1/2 years. I’m not sure how we are gonna make it through this one. If I don’t lock myself up in that cell, I need to lock the teen up in the padded cell for his own protection. Wait, that means I’d have to home school and I know I would suck at that, so never mind. Give me the damned padded cell. (and we wonder where he gets his ADD!)
So, he’s had problems with friends, like hanging out with some of the wrong kinds of people who tend to get him in trouble. We aren’t those parents that think our kid can’t do anything wrong. It’s the opposite. We just assume he’s part of it, because we can’t seem to get complete information out of him. Now yes, part of this is just being a 14 1/2-year-old. I get that. But he seems to be even worse since he can’t seem to sequence the course of events and/or leaves out REALLY important information.
This has also carried over to school. I’ve pretty much let the kid try to figure it out. I’m laid back like that. The Hubs is a helicopter parent that at this point, I’m assuming is going to college with him. Again, the Hubs thinks I back off too much on this, I don’t care, blah, blah, blah. My answer to that is he doesn’t need us both hovering over him. For the love of Pete, the OCD Hubs is more than enough. My rule, I let the kid try to figure things out on his own, until he fucks up some thing in a big way. THEN he has forfeited that right to do it on his own. Emails to teachers commence.
This happened this week. For 3 weeks, he’s been telling us in 2 classes that the “whole class failed the test and the whole class is taking a retest.” Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm. 2 different classes? Ok, I suppose that’s a possibility, but not REALLY likely. Both of us tell him to get it figured out, go talk to the teacher, go to tutoring before and/or after school, etc. The on-line grading page, that we can log into any time we want, mysteriously never gets updated. Finally, the kid asks me to email the teacher. He doesn’t know WHY his retest grade that he KNOWS he did better on isn’t posted. That’s about all the info he gave me. Now, I’ve learned at this point that he isn’t really giving me all the information. Trust me, I’ve been screwed on that by him in the past…..like EVERY time I’ve emailed a teacher. Sigh…………
Here’s how that usually goes – email to the teacher- “Are you kidding me? You didn’t give my kid X and now his grade is X and why is it you are such an idiot…” You know that kind of email that every teacher just LOVES to get (bless you teachers for having to put up with asshole parents like us). And then on top of it (at the Hub’s urging) I’ve cc’d the principal. You parents of high schoolers just crapped your pants on that one, because you know what is about to happen. That type of email usually gets us a face to face conference with the teacher in which we are incredibly enlightened to what Oscar didn’t fill us in on. We both go in there with hypothetical ammo loaded in our brains and we are loaded for bear, just ready to defend our kid and tell the teacher what a fucking idiot he/she is. And then, the wind is usually taken out of our sails with a massive sucker punch to the gut with information within the first 2 minutes. We are sitting there staring at the teacher with that deer in the headlights look while our lips are going “blub, blub, blub, blub” – like that robot from the Buck Rogers TV show – Twiki.
I went WAY back for this visual!
Then we leave and look at each other and say, “WHAT.THE.FUCK! We are going to kill him!” (Hypothetically. We wouldn’t really kill our kid)
So now, when I email it usually is a very polite email like this: “So Oscar’s understanding is X. He told us X. We’d like to verify that information and that he actually did X. Is this correct or has he misunderstood something? Thank you so much for your help”. I usually get a response back that is, “It’s actually Y and Oscar didn’t do Y and this is why Y is his grade.” Then I usually respond back to the teacher saying, “Oh! Ok! I think Oscar didn’t give us all the information, so we were just trying to piece it all together. Thanks so much for your help.”
Needless to say, the conversation at home that evening is a helluva lot of fun, on both sides. We explain what the teacher says and he usually responds with that head-tilted, squinty-eyed, blank stare accompanied with “Whuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut? That can’t be right.”
My teens favorite vocabulary word
Um yes, my little asshole that I’m ready to throttle. It is right. We are beating our head against the wall. He hates us for being on his ass all the time. We explain why and try to show him this is a “learning experience”. We think we are awesome parents for showing him how/why he could learn from this and do better next time. He assures us, “Yes, I understand.” We say, “Repeat it back to us. What did you learn?” He repeats is back to us perfectly. Hubs cracks open the Jim Beam and I crack open a bottle of wine. Clink! Hoping it sinks in THIS TIME or we are just drowning our sorrows.
Lather, rinse and repeat and I bet we are here again in another 6-9 weeks. I guarantee it. What are we doing that is SO WRONG? This is just kid #1. How the hell are we going to make it through another one that will be there in a couple of years??? Suggestions welcome – legal ones.