Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Drama King

I don't even remember how I was going to tell you about what's been going on with us, but it seemed pretty important that I should about 2 hours ago. At that time, I was still feeling pretty hurt and angry about what #1 Son had done a little earlier in the evening. Let me see if I can get my head sorted out.

Well first, he got his, what is it-- sixth discipline referral at school yesterday. This time, at least, it wasn't for blowing off his homework (though he's still about a month behind). It was for using an emergency exit to get to the playground faster than usual. He swears he didn't know (or notice) that it wasn't a regular door, though he'd noticed that nobody else ever went through it. I suppose he thinks he's a real adventurer or something, doing what nobody else does. Much as I appreciate that sentiment, I wish he'd march to his "different drummer" some other time or place.

The overdue homework/classwork is still piling up, and he still doesn't seem to care, though he could do it if he wanted to. This is the part that about half a dozen people are ready to smack him for. I suppose it's just his way of getting attention, but my gosh. Failing 6th grade for that? Running the risk of expulsion, for crying out loud? Can't you get attention in a better way? Doing good or, say, favorably impressive things, for instance? We'd be so happy if he'd, well, do his homework first and then, oh, get involved in music or drama or something. Something.

Instead, he tries to get out of being yelled at by his mother by telling her that I wouldn't let him do his homework on the weekend. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that even she didn't believe this kind of lie. She talked to The Man (TM) for a while, then had him put the call on speaker phone so she could talk to all of us at once. #1 Son repeated his story that I had prevented him from doing his homework. That, I have to say, took a lot of gall. The fact was that I'd tried to get him to do his homework on Saturday so he wouldn't have to do it on Sunday.

Maybe he was confused. Maybe. But probably he was mad that I'd taken away the fantasy book that he'd been reading instead of doing his homework. And given past experience, he had a good chance of pulling this one off. But even his mommy dearest has given up believing his stories, after hearing them one or two too many times. She yelled at him even more because of it. And I wasn't feeling too much like helping him with his essay this evening as I'd planned to do. I couldn't stifle my anger for long enough, I hate to admit. What an unfair and unwise thing to do! was all I could think.

I'd like to say that this would open a new chapter in the relations between the parental units, but no. Instead, she angles to have #1 Son live with her "for a year" (uh huh, like we'd ever see him again) because our brand of parenting is obviously failing him. Never mind that hers has been a "drop-in" kind of parenting for the last 10 or so years. His troubles have become just another lever in her campaign to pry him away from our family. Sigh.


Charlie said...

Oddly enough, she believed me after we talked (at least, that's the way it seemed). She wanted to get together to talk about it and confront Ye Eldest, but having personal time with her is something I'd rather not do, so I started frantically looking for the speaker phone option.

Charlie said...

It was only when he admitted to his lies that I think she really let that sink in.

Renee said...

If #1 is doing this for attention, then perhaps you need to change your strategy. Ignore his bad behavior and not doing homework but praise everything that he does good.
He puts his dirty dishes in the sink..."Yay! Thank you so much!"

You could also take everything interesting out of his bedroom. Just bed & clothes. and he could earn back his stuff by doing his very late homework.

Scone said...

We've tried that "taking things away" strategy before. He simply doesn't care, or at least that's the way it seems. He's content to stare at the walls instead of doing what he's supposed to be. Now I think we're going to take things (like that book) away permanently. It will be interesting to see whether it has any effect. I'm not betting on it.