A, my 10 year old, is one of the funniest people I know. He catches a phrase, usually from TV but occasionally from friends and he applies it at the perfect moment. Usually it sends us all into convulsive laughter. So with that reaction, he says his new phrase again, and again.
His latest is said with swag of the finger and a high pitched voice, “N to the O, girlfriend, oh no you di’int”. Coming from A its hilarious.
Oh yes he did. My X, has done it again. He’s really gone and done it this time. He has decided to prove a “I’m a better parent than you” point and A’s the victim. Here’s what happened:
X and I share a second home, not a great arrangement but we thought it was best not to take this pleasure away from the kids when we split. X was recently at the house with friends. When I arrived for my weekend there, with A and his brother and my current husband, I was flabbergasted. The place was a disaster. So I did what I always do and went straight into clean mode.
While cleaning out the fridge that literally smelled like a dead body due to the 3 week old rotten milk, eggs and chicken left in there while the power was off, A sensed my frustration and asked, “Mommy what can I do to help?”. I gave him a soapy towel and said, “go wipe down the bathroom”. So, he wiped down the sink which was full of X’s body hair. Then A (remember he’s 10), called X and left this message: “I just had to clean your pubic hair up in the bathroom.” That was it, no judgement, no “it was so gross”. Oh no girlfriend, you di-int!
Not a shining moment between father and son, but how naughty was it?
So, X goes ballistic. He calls screaming to the point that both boys hang up on him. He didn’t ask for details or context, he just went off. Fast forward a week, and A is back at X’s house. X decided a grand punishment was in order. A is grounded from all TV, video games, devices including the phone I bought him to call me. Being grounded isn’t a big deal in most houses, but when you are 10, its summer, your friends and neighbors are away on vacation and your bother *is* allowed to do all those things, it’s hard. Ok that’s what X was going for, a hard lesson. I get that. But after ensuring the kid is bored to death, he doesn’t try to help. X goes to work in his home office and proceeds to do his usual, ‘Ignore-The-Kids’ thing all day.
A is miserable. He keeps calling me telling me how much he misses me. He says he will run away if we don’t take him to our house. I’ve coaxed his brother into putting away his device and playing board games and I talked A into finding a book, that helped a bit. But now in the second day, seemingly nothing can take A’s misery away. We’ve talked 14 times in 24 hours. A hides in his room and calls me from the home phone. Lets hope he doesn’t get caught.
So my biggest regret, you ask? I left my marriage because my husband was a manipulative, mean, egotistical man who worked or cruised the internet 24×7 and didn’t hear my pleas for attention. I couldn’t convince him to spend time with family. What I didn’t realize is how many times I would be sitting here thinking: now I left my kids to deal with THAT! What was I thinking? Why didn’t I play this chess game out further and realize at least when I was there I had some control? I could help my kids through. Its my fault they are miserable and there is NOTHING I can do about it.
I know A will survive. In fact, this will toughen him up. In life there are many people like this you have to deal with. At least we can use it to learn something, right?
So, I ask you, what would you do?