T and me, we have had an interesting morning. He slept in, me I was up at 6 a.m. when the alarm on his phone (it is not live, it can only be used with wi-fi. No phone calls, no texting.) went off and played for a minute. I did try to go back to sleep, but to no avail. So up I got, made coffee and fed the cats.
T, he slept until 10. He laid in bed for awhile and finally I had to holler at him to come into the living room.
He was mad at me. He asked me to get him a bowl of cereal. I said no I was working out. I ended up getting annoyed. I snapped at him. Raised my voice slightly. Tember rolled his eyes at me. I snatched the phone out of his hands. Walked into my room and set the phone down. When I came out T was covering his eyes with his hand. I sat down on the couch next to him and looked at him.
Our conversation went all over the place. I have a super bad habit of looking forward as a control issue. So that I have everything planned out and I know that nothing can hurt me. Weird that that is how it came out. I keep telling T that once he becomes a teenager he will not want to spend time with me. That his friends will be more important. I am okay with that eventually he will come back to me.
Suddenly T begins sobbing and tells me that I am always telling him what he is going to do. That he is not going to do that to me. And I started to leak as well. I have damaged my child. My anxieties, my depression have scarred him. He is angry with me. And I am badgering him.
I told him that the reason that I was so insistent on us being together, talking and hanging out, was because when we first split, my Ex told me that T had told him that I never did anything with him. That I am so afraid that he will still feel that I do not spend enough time with him. Tember got really angry and said that he had never said that. (I imagine some of you are wondering why I would tell T that his dad made that comment and I am not telling him something that he has not already figured out on his own. Yes, run on sentence. ) T said the Ex had made that comment.
I took a deep breath and even though tears still leaked from my eyes, I told T we were going to change. That I was going to work very hard to stop planning so far ahead. That we are going to start living in the moment. I also told him that he would have to help me with this. That if I started to plan too far ahead (like when he is 30) he will rein me in.
I asked him once more if he wanted me to speak to his dad about the fact that T feels that he is not spending enough time with him. Adamently told me no. I told him that I loved him. He told me he loved me. And than the goofy talk started.
I said to T that maybe one day I will win the lottery. That I would be able to stay at home and be with him all the time. I would follow him everywhere. Helping out in his classroom. I do believe that although he laughed along with me T is horrified to think that I may actually do this. He said several times that it would be odd, awkward and disturbing if I were to follow him everywhere.
This segued into a conversation about school. That I would not be helping the students. That I would be doing paperwork with the teacher. Which some how led to us talking about math. And how bizarre it was the way they did it now. That in my day we did not require a Ph.d in Metaphysical blah blah blah you get the point. At which point T annouces that that was ’80’s math’. You know like more than 20 years ago. Ha.
I grabbed a note book and got a pen. Sat down and made up a number. I showed T how we use to multiply numbers. We flipped over to a clean page and T wrote out his way. Our answers did not match. I had to get out the calculator and show him. His response to being shown that the calculator and my answer matched: ‘Mom you cannot believe calculators. Or Google. Or the internet.’ I could only stare at him in disbelief.
I have been working very hard not to use the angry raised voice. My annoyed voice rises slightly but it is not the raised voice. I need to work on my listening skills, and rather than responding quickly and saying the wrong thing, actively think about what I am going to say. A couple of times I did do this while we were in the angry part of the conversation. I stopped myself from whatever I was going to say and took a deep breath before continuing.
T and me, we are going through growing pains. There is also the fact that we are seeing one another every day with the exception of the Saturday and Sunday of his dad’s week and the Sunday at the end of my week. That is an adjustment. As well, I can only imagine how hard it must be to go back and forth between two very different households. T goes from little to no rules to rules and routine.
I cried. T cried. We had a really good conversation. I know that there is no rule book for parents. I am learning how to parent T as much as he is learning who he is and defining the values that he will hold dear as he becomes an adult. I am evolving as well.
We are works of art in progress.