I Dare You!

This morning started off great. T and me were getting along. I had a great poem for Word of the Day Challenge. Granted it was a poem that I wrote in December but I was able to rework it to include today’s word instigate.  T was happy but around the corner lurked sloth and surly boy. Oh man was the drive to school fun. 
Had asked him to feed the cats. Came back from starting car and found cat food all over the floor. Triggered the omg are you serious reaction. T could not fathom why I was so irate. His response ‘just leave it mom the cats will eat it.’ Seriously child! I cleaned the apartment yesterday I am not leaving cat food all over the floor.
Next came the sweater fiasco. Ten minutes it took sloth boy ten minutes to locate and shove said sweater into his backpack. When I told him for what felt like the hundredth time to get moving he yells at me ‘I am doing my best! Have you never heard of doing one’s best?’
T stomps up the stairs muttering and me I state how I am the world’s worst mother ever. Of course I was challenged and told that never was I mean. Oh that tune was about to change and quickly.
As we are driving through the Co-op parking lot I thanked T for listening to me and not attempting to take his Xbox with him. Well now, I should have said nothing because what came next is so dramatic. T begins to cry. (Well fake cry) I begin to explain again about consequences for his actions. His attitude needs to change and fast. Back and forth we go until we get to the point where I am now a very mean mom. How could I do this to him? Why could he not just be happy? Why did I have to ruin his life? And again why could he not be allowed to be happy??
When I reminded him there was no gaming either with friends well I might as well have told him….whatever I said would have had no larger impact than him finding out he is not going to be allowed on-line to play games with his friends this weekend. 
So attitude began to pour out of him and I said to T that if this kept up I was going to take the Xbox away and there would be no gaming with his friends for a whole month. 
‘I dare you’ T screams at me.
‘You dare me? Keep this shit up kid and you will see what I dare to do.’
‘Well than there is no godda-darn way I am going to spend the month with you. I am going to go and stay at dad’s.’
I laughed. I realize not the best response but seriously? 
‘Okay dude you ask your dad if you can stay with him for a month because mom is so mean that she took my Xbox away for a month. Ask him and let me know what he says please.’
Oh if looks could kill. 
I pull up to the school and look at T.
‘Have a good day buddy.’
‘I am not getting out of the car.’
‘Well you kind of have to, I need to get to work.’
‘i am not getting out of the car.’
‘Get out of the car now!’
Thankfully he listened. I was trying to figure out how I was going to get him out of the car. It wasn’t like I could pull him out. He is a solid kid.  He slammed the door shut. Slammed and did not look back or wave to me as he walked into the school.
When I got to work I was telling my supervisor about it and I had tears because I was laughing so hard. Than she pointed out to me what could he do because he spends the nights here during the week he is at his dad’s. Which sent me into another burst of laughter.
Fast forward to when T gets dropped off at 9:30. He comes in and is all cheerful and telling me how he is legally blind. I did not get it. I still don’t. It has something to do with Youtube. 
I got the full rundown of the school day. His fort had been broken. He had a math test he is positive he failed. He has to be finished his book by Friday. I asked where the homework was and he grins telling me they did no ‘paper’ work while he was home sick.
Finally he winds down and is wandering around the kitchen. Being the mean mom that I am I had to ask if T had asked his dad if he could stay there for a month. Obvious answer being no. He straightens up looks over at me and says: ‘Mom I am sorry for this morning. I know that it is late but I am sorry.’
I thanked him and told him that I really appreciated him saying that.
T had complained that there was nothing to do at his dad’s without the Xbox. I told him he could spend time with his dad. Well dad is always in shop. Than go out there!!!! And he did. He spent the evening in the shop with his day. Helped him with some work. 
I am hoping that we will go forward and sloth and surly boy will remain totally out of the picture. I am not deluded though, I know that they will return. As I am sitting here typing all of a sudden T starts yelling: ‘Mom……mom……mom…..moooooooooom’
‘What?’
‘I love you.’
There is nothing left to say. 
 
January 23/19

The Ex and Me

The Ex and me, we don’t always see eye to eye. Different parenting styles, different people, different lives all around.

Last evening one of the girls was over at his place for an evening of drinks and relaxation. And this was what she overheard. All I can say is that I am sure that this is the sweetest thing bar none that he has ever said about me:

‘She is a great mom. We have an amazing relationship and parent so well together. But she speaks her mind and doesn’t hold back. But that is okay.’

Now it has taken us a long time to get here. When first we split up and then when I moved out there was so much animosity. We could not tolerate one another and when we did have to interact World War III was simmering beneath the surface. There were a few times where I nearly stabbed him with a fork I was so angry however was able to maintain a level head. I really did not want to go to jail for stabbing him.

I am sure that there are things that I do that he does not agree with. I tend to be more open with T about things. I explain. My parenting is not about ‘do this because I said so’. My actions speak so much louder than my words do and if I want T to be l00x better than I am or ever was, I had better be providing him with a damn good example to follow.

I do have language issues. T is forever telling me to watch it. I have to laugh because he also tells characters in the t.v. shows we watch and any singers with explicit language in their songs, to watch their language. I have heard him a few times use shit or hell. As one of his dad’s siblings is married to someone who was once a farmer, I watched their three kids grow up and using the word shit as young as 5. I cringed but as it was explained to me, they heard it all day long. It was used to fertilize the fields.  So on and so forth. At least T waited until he was 9 before I heard him.

It is also important to me that he treats everyone the same. When he does not say good morning, or thank you, or please with others (i.e. school crossing guard, someone holding the door open for him/him holding doors for others and so on and so forth) I lecture. And I will do so until it becomes second nature.

T is an amazing kid. He is smart. Funny. Has a sarcastic sense of humor much like my own. He is fast to quip.

We were discussing how I needed to ensure that he was properly equipped for school. Jacket, that is a big one a) because at 9 he is too cool to wear proper winter attire and b) because it is March and who wears winter coats in March? Well if you live in Manitoba, you may well be wearing your winter coat until June. As we are going back and forth T looks at me and says if I am to make sure he is properly equipped for school where were his rubber boots? I admit, I barked with laughter before attempting to school my face into a disgruntled mom look, it did not work.

I also see his dad in there too. He is great with his hands. The designs he creates in Scrap Mechanic and Minecraft amaze me. Mechanically inclined as he has been helping his dad in the shop since he was 2. He can fold clothes from the dryer better than I can. (Which is why I hang everything up that can be hung up)

While there are times that I wonder what the Ex is thinking he is a good dad. He loves T with every fiber of his being. And when they have the time to hang out together, they have a blast.

As always this ended up being more about me and T than my thanking the Ex for the kind things he said about me. But I can only take the idea and go with it, the rest flows to my fingers and onto the page.

While neither the Ex nor I were good partners for one another, we are great parents together for T. And really at the end of it, is that not the best example that we both can provide him? He saw the fights between us and now he sees that we talk to one another. That we are friends. These last few months, the Ex helped me with food and lunches for T. He let me keep his share of the baby bonus each month so I could ensure that my bills were paid and I could buy groceries.

He really is not a bad man. And I hope that he is with the woman that is going to make him happy forever. Because I do want him to be happy. I want him to have a love that fills him from head to toes with light and laughter and songs. I was not that person and it is okay. We had a good life together and we have an amazing son. And now we are friends. And I can turn to him for help whenever I need it.