Monday, February 27, 2006
PushPull Dance Steps
If 19 year old Sonny is awake, and not at work, he's over at my house.
He's just a big ole Bubba anyway and he's often got the other Bubbas involved in a project or a game.
Somehow he's at the bottom of this wrestling tussle along with Chuy, Martin, CW and Jonathan. Wrestling is the never-ending event at our house.
We had a three day weekend and it has resulted in Tabby and Nando having severe Monday morning blues as the other children have gone off to school and left them. Alyssa is pulling out all the stops to divert them from their misery over their perceived desertion.
Yesterday Sonny's truck broke down and he wisely called Chuck instead of me. This 1983 truck may now be a goner so Sonny was visibly upset over it last night. The teachable moment, even the I told you so, came in the guise of growing up ain't all is cracked up to be. No goat son.
As my kids join our family and are confronted with rules, structure and values, the conflicts that arise are legendary. Most of my children have never even seen any of the above, so used to having to fend for themselves are they without a responsible adult in charge.
About the time they start to get it right, they've grown up, then we have the pushpull dance to partner up with.
All of my kids, during their growing up years, explain to me how they'll do things differently when they are grown and don't have someone mean like me to boss them around. I counter with the worn out saying, "when you're paying your own bills...yada yada yada."
Time after time, each grown kid has expressed later that they didn't have a clue about how good they had it when bossy ole mama was paying the bills, cooking the food and tending to everything.
And the pushpull...jeepers...39 times.
Edgar, 19 in several more weeks, is undergoing this conflict at the time. He ignored a cell phone call from me this weekend which is akin to running a red light in front of a cop. No can do son. He lamely fumbled with stupid excuses, none of which I accepted, so he pouted, realized he was at fault, and has been sucking up ever since but receiving a rather chilly reception. Dishonesty equals disrespect and I won't have it. I'm irritated.
He hates it if a day has gone by without me being the one to seek out a hug, I've responded to his, yet he's acutely aware of my aggravation. My parenting style is loud, which he wrongly equates with me not loving him, so I have to make an effort to tone it down when conflicts arise between the two of us.
Daniel always had the ability to tune me out, right down to mute, when I'd be having a cow about something. My rising volume never affected him, yet Edgar's hackles rise, his eyes bug out, and he is truly near tears if my voice amplification exceeds his last nerve level.
This morning, I'm sure to teach me a lesson plus elicit at least a negative response, Edgar left all the upstairs lights on and hollered, "I love you," as he left, but pointedly did not kiss me.
OK, son, I feel so punished. Not.
Giving a 19 year old his freedom, but balancing it with normal responsibilities, always results in the pushpull routine here. They push me away with snippy attitudes yet physically draw me back when they suspect they've crossed a line. They are either snuggled up on the sofa with me or ignoring a phone call from me. Texting me all day or stomping off to their room over a suggestion by me that they need to study or something else equally innocuous.
It's irritating to me yet necessary to them. At least I've learned the steps, or watched too much Dancing with the Stars.