T came back to me Tuesday after school this week. I drove a friend to the airport on Sunday and than drove home, not along my intended route but hey, I got home in one piece and I will not be anxious doing this again. However that is departures not arrivals. LOL. Monday evening something had come up and as M the ex is beginning a new job next week, one that is going to be nights, he was okay with keeping T the extra day for me.
Monday was no school and T and his dad were hanging out. I have had two different versions of the same story, sorta. It involved clothing and not listening. Again a 9 year old who believes that he knows everything. Due to this, the halloween costume that T wanted was taken away. He did not care. Rapidly, he lost television and computer privileges. Halloween was cancelled, he no longer wanted to go out. I was a little lost but I text K2 (babysitter and friend extraordinaire) and let her know what was going on. Figured that she would get the story out of T and help him see things from a non-confrontational parent-child way.
Sure enough Tuesday I received a call at work from K2 telling me that we were going to be going trick or treating after all. T had started to get excited when he saw the girls dressing up. So he donned mask and cape and off the six of us went. K2 and her hubby, her two girls, T and me. The kids had a blast. Big bags full of candy. Went out for about an hour and a half. On the way home, T admitted to me that while he had fun, it was not as much fun as when you were wearing a costume that you actually wanted to. I figure that without meaning to M2 has taught T a message loud and clear here.
Let us fast forward now to Wednesday. There has been some whining in regards to the use of the computer. The watching of Youtube. I was laying on the couch reading keeping an eye on what T was watching on one hand and the time on the other. It was shower night.
Who knew that showering could be such a difficult concept for a 9 year old boy. Let alone it took me longer to get into the bathroom and start the shower for him than it did for him to shower. 1 minute people, he took 1 minute to wash his body and hair and than he was out. Being environmentally friendly he tells me, I have my suspicions though that he might only stick a toe under the water. I will investigate further and let you know. And now the battle begins.
I had told him before he went in to shower, that his time on Youtube was done for the evening. When he returned 2 minutes later, he went to get on the computer. I said, no Youtube time is done for the night. And he sat down in front of the computer. We than engaged in a 45 minute standoff.
At one point I decided enough was enough so I gathered up phone, kindle and with the cats following, turned the living room light out and crawled into my bed. T followed as well. And layed down at my bedroom door and proceeded to continue his howling. For he was bored. Nothing I suggested was good enough. He wanted his electronics.
Did I really want a bored unhappy kid on my hands or did I want a happy bored kid on my hands? If I did not relent, he was going to take the school bus home to his dad’s. I said alright, I will text and let your dad know. He will just bring you back to me. He was dumpster bored. Despite his explaining that level of boredom I still do not understand. I did though offer to take him down and let him sleep out in the dumpster in our parking lot overnight, and we could revisit the dumpster boredom level this morning. That idea was shot right down.
We even did the countdown of how much time I was wasting for him. By not allowing him to have his own way. I video taped part of it and sent to his father and a few of my girlfriends. I had to. It was all I could do not to laugh as he caterwauled and screamed. Every so often when he paused for breath I would ask if he was done. When he said no, I allowed him to continue. Finally he wound down and I asked if he was able to listen and hear what I had to say.
T did. Until I reached the part about how his actions have consequences and boom, he is off and running again. Finally I had enough. It was after 9, I had been listening for 45 minutes and was done. I indicated to T it was bedtime and he should go to his bed as I was going to sleep. Oh yes, more screeching and hollering.
I got out of bed and he danced back into his room. So there is the I no longer have to push him into his room, he goes when I get up. And I closed my bedroom door. I was not going to fight with him. I was not going to yell at him. I told him I loved him but it was time now for bed, and as this was my time, I did not have to listen any longer.
There was a little more screaming and sobbing like I had driven over his imaginary best friend, and now I was stressing. All I could think was my upstairs neighbors have now called the RCMP. Awesome. But I had a plan, I was going to make T answer the door and explain that all the screaming was because I would not allow him to watch electronics. Figured I was safe but did go in and mention the possibility to T. With severe protests that the RCMP would not be coming, T began to calm. Eventually he fell asleep.
When he awoke this morning, it was all good. Not cranky. Not upset. We talked and he agreed he was again in the wrong with his behaviour. Rather, I asked did he think that he deserved to watch Youtube this morning and he agreed he did not. Also in agreement that this behaviour would not be repeated. Offered to let him watch the video. T declined. There will be a viewing prior to his returning to his dad’s for next week.
And I told him I was keeping this video until he got married. I want him to have to explain to everyone he knows, and his newly extended in-laws, just what dumpster boredom is all about.