11 Dec Yesterday was a rough teenager day
The kids alternate having crazy days. Which is nice – I usually don’t have more than one nut-so freak out happening at a time. You would think that most of the crazy town behavior issues would come from my 2 1/2 year old, who really is in the heart of the “terrible twos” or one of the middle boys since they are in the ‘middle child’ struggle. But to be totally honest – the toughest behavior issues for me to deal with are from the oldest. And, I teach high schoolers.
I know what you’re thinking – but it’s not the expected teen attitude problems (although they do play a BIG part in the struggle!), instead, it’s the weird brain-to-action disconnect. He really NEVER thinks about what he is doing or saying before he does or says it. For real. I know that my sweet oldest son is smart, so why does he act like he is brand new? Ok, ok, frontal lobe and teens…blah blah… And, they don’t understand action and consequences… no perspective… fine, fine. But this is getting old, really fast. And there aren’t that many more years left for all my parental wisdom to sink in and for him to stop acting like a dingbat. Then he is an adult!! *cue scary music*
Here’s how yesterday went to give you a little visual of what I’m saying:
Drew was dog-sitting for a neighbor this past weekend. He went down to feed the dog before school. When he got into the car to leave, he was shaking his head. I, of course, asked him what was wrong and he proceeded to tell me that the dog had ripped open a box of Sees Candy lollipops and ate half of them. “The Sees candy that the neighbors bought from you as a fundraiser for your Summer camp?” I ask, trying to control the volcano that is slowly brewing in my chest. “Why did you leave it where the dog could get it?” His response, “I don’t know. I didn’t think the dog could rip through 3 layers of packaging.” SO…. let me get this straight, you took down the candy to give to the neighbors that aren’t even home right now and then decided to leave it where you knew the dog could reach and thought that would be fine? Yep. Ugh. So we went down to the house to make sure it was cleaned up (which to be fair, Drew had done). And I then planned into my afternoon a trip to Sees to get another box of lollipops.
THEN on the way home, I stopped by the grocery store. Drew wanted to stay in the car while I ran in. He locked the door and put in his headphones and I went into Albertsons quickly. When I got back out to the car, I knocked on the glass of the back hatch for him to unlock the doors. He climbed into the front seat and hit the button. I loaded the groceries, closed the trunk and we drove away. When we got on the freeway, my hood starts flapping up and down. So of course I start freaking out – all I could think of is that the hood is going to fly open and flip over the top of the car like I was in a Fast and the Furious movie or something. I asked Drew if he had pushed something else while he was unlocking the doors. He said, “no, I just pulled the thing for the hood” WHAT???? Why?? “Because you wanted to open it.” After some more words were exchanged between us, some that were not very calm or understanding, to say the least – the lightbulb went on, “You mean you thought the hood was in the back?” He replied in a super sassafrass voice, “I don’t know where the hood is!” And he said it in a way that inferred that I was the dumb one in the car. Seriously. What is he talking about? Is this for real? At the stoplight at the end of the freeway off ramp, I jumped out, slammed the hood (not the trunk) shut, and we were all fine – no hoods flying off on the 125 today. Thank the Lord.
So, all in all, it was a weird teenager day. What was weirder was that Drew could have avoided both of these crazy situations had he just thought things through a teensy tiny bit. If he would have thought,”Hey, I know the dog has ripped things up before, I probably shouldn’t leave these here” or better yet, “Maybe I don’t take the Sees down to the neighbors since they aren’t home.” Or maybe, “Huh. The picture on this handle shows the front of the car opening. Maybe this isn’t the right thing” Better still – “I’m not gonna pull any extra handles in my moms car”.
But he didn’t. He doesn’t. It’s frustrating. It really takes everything in me to not shake him.
He really is a smart guy. All this behaving without thinking is just craziness. And this is what really bothers me. I know he is smarter than his actions would suggest… but he keeps on being a goofball. I feel like we have this conversation 92 times a week, and he continues to do wackadoo things – it seems like nothing I am saying is sinking in. And really, he is just concerned with being able to go and play video games. Is it a short somewhere in his brain? All the teen hormones are causing a disconnect? Probably.
I need a plan! I need to get this guy’s head out of Fortnite and help him become a critical thinking grown up who knows the difference between the hood and the trunk of a car. Somehow, I have to get these life lessons to stick and for him to really understand how his actions affect those around him. I’m not sure what that looks like – I’m envisioning something like writing reminders all over his arms with a sharpie, or finding a real life Jiminy Cricket to sit on his shoulder and tell him how to behave. For now, I’m gonna just pray for him like crazy and ask you all to pray for me – that I can keep down the volcano of annoyance and remember that he is still a kid, and that he will pull it together by the time he is out on his own. Right? Yikes! I hope so, or I should start praying for his future wife and that she can be the ‘brains’ of the relationship.
Side note: Today is a tough 5 year old day! More on that to come 🙂