Ok, I returned from my last trip to find out that my son was goofing off in class. He was sent to the office.
My ex husband said, “I’d like to stop by so that we can talk to him about this. So we can be on the same page.” I’m thinking, “ok, that’s great, but I’m not hopeful. He hasn’t even been in the same book. It’s been difficult and at times, I feel my attempts at discipline have been sabotaged. I’m never quite sure if he’s making a deliberate attempt to destroy my structure, or he really doesn’t understand.
After having a long discussion with him about my daughter’s lack of responsibility and the fact that he’s holding the purse strings, he went out, only hours later, and got her an upgrade for her phone. I was furious. He already pays her phone bill and her car payment. So, I asked him, “how is she ever going to learn how to be responsible?”
I feel as if I’m talking to a solid piece of wood. After he assured me that, he was going to hold up his end, he responded by getting her the newest model phone. He had gone behind my back, to get her car and then complained, when she failed to make payments on it. “I’m not even going to speak about this with you,” I said. “It was your idea, and if you’re left with the bill, the only one to blame is you!”
Now, here I am, a few weeks after the phone incident, and he’s telling me he wants to be on the same page. “Yea, right.
I told him he could come over before my son arrived from school. When my son came in, he walked around the dining room, as if it would be easier somehow, to approach me from another direction. Perhaps he thought, he’d ambush me. But it was clear, when he came in, that I was the one he was afraid to face.
Then his dad had to open his mouth and say, “Look at his haircut. Isn’t it cool?” “I don’t care about his hair right now!” I said. And I began to address the reason for his referral at school. As I discussed it with him, his dad seemed to be smirking, as he asked, “Oh, were you making those noises that you make with Brandon, all the time?” This was an obvious attempt at trying to show me that his dad, knows about some funny little sounds that him and Brandon make together. He get’s silly with trying to impress me, that he knows, things or people, in my children’s lives. I grow weary of this and continue on my quest to make my son aware of the seriousness of his behavior. “Look, you’re bright and extremely witty. There’s no doubt about this. But there is a time and a place for this. And when a teacher is devoting their time to teach a class, you need to respect them and be quiet.” Then his dad continues, “Are you the class clown?” Now it’s clear that he’s proud and I’m getting more irritated. I just wish I would have handled this by myself.
Now my son is upset because I told him, his priviledges are to be revoked until he can be trusted. I reminded him that just recently he had told me that I needed to trust him more. “So this is how you prove that you are trustworthy?” I ask. He hangs his head and I see he is beginning to understand the consequences.
After telling him what his consequences are, I focus on his haircut. I am now, wondering, “Why in the world would he get his hair cut like this?” I said, “Is this the look you were going for?” “What do you mean?” He asks me. “Well, you have the exact same cut as Jim Carey in the movie, Dumb and Dumber.” I’m thinking this could even be the reason for his behavior. It’s kind of amusing, because he doesn’t seem to embarrass, easily. I remember being at a teacher’s conference years ago, and the comparison she made with my son and Jim Carey. All the while in the meeting, I was thinking she was asking for trouble with those comments. My son was sitting with us, as she remarked, “You know what though? He is funny. I can see him on stage in the future.” “Yes,” I thought, “that’s great. But let me just get through these teenage years, first.”
Now, my son is saying, “Really? You think this looks bad?” Well, I know I could lie, but he doesn’t lie to me. And in my house, we all do strange things with our hair. So I told him. “Well, especially with that tooth, that you just lost. You really look straight out of that movie.” His dad, now clearly deflated, said, “You don’t like it?”
Then I reminded my son of this very similar experience, years ago. Remember when I had come home from a trip and your dad took you to get your hair cut? You came home with a mullet! And when I said this, you said, “Cut it off!” That was so funny, I had to get a scissors and fix it immediately.”
This was exactly the same. He went off to school and upon returning, he told me, “I need to get this fixed!” I was cracking up. But he started getting some mileage. He knew that the whole hair thing was making me laugh. So he started imitating characters.
Last night we went outside. I sat with my mom and he said he wanted to play hide and seek. I finally conceded. Thinking that I was right in front of him, I hid behind a tree. As he moved up and down the sidewalk, I turned around the tree. He went in the house to grab a flashlight. Now I watched where the light reflected, which made it easier for me to know exactly where he was.
Finally after about 20 minutes of looking, he announced, “I give up!” I stepped from behind the tree and he was amazed. “I need a ‘gillie suit,’ when I play this with you. You’re good!” Clearly, he’s been playing, “Modern Warfare,” way too much. “Yea, all your tactical stuff doesn’t work with me, does it?” I ask. Besides, I’ve always told you that Psyops, is where it’s at. You have to use your mind to outsmart the enemy!” I’m drawing on the old ‘home-school’ methods. This is an excellent teachable moment. And I’m speaking his language.
Of course, he hid in the same place three times in a row. He told me “it was a strategy,” as if I would fall for that old trick. Then he hid in a tree, and just as I was telling my mom, “You have to rely on all your senses. Sight, sound, then…..a little twig, cracked. I heard it across the street. Guess, I don’t need that Beltone hearing aid, yet. Even though I got an official looking notice in the mail. I think it’s sent to all the 50 somethings. As I walked over, I looked up, and there he was, in the tree.
I hid again, behind the neighbors tree and did the same thing. He had his flashlight, and I could watch for shadows and light. He had to give up once again, and just couldn’t believe I was right in front of him. “Man, you’re really good at this!” I told him when I was really young, we lived in a project and the whole neighborhood would play a game called, “Chase.” We would hide everywhere, but there was one place on a porch that you could sit, if you wanted immunity. I told him about how his grandma was chasing all of us down the street, and yelling at us to get in the house. Because it was past our bedtime. I still remember a group of us running from my mom, and she was laughing as I was telling my son about this.
We would be hiding up in trees and behind dumpsters. We were very creative. Now, I’m watching my son and thinking he would have never made it back in the day. Then I thought of my mom and how she’s aged. But children playing seems to be the common denominator in all of us. She was getting such a kick out of watching us. It made me think of one of my favorite episodes of Twilight Zone. It was a group of old people from a nursing home. They went out to play ‘Kick the Can.’ And as they played, they all became young children again.
Now my son is imitating Jim Carey, before he gets his hair fixed. I’m laughing so hard I can’t stop. He was dancing around and showing his missing tooth. I have to admit, he has a gift. As I watch my mom, I think of these priceless moments.
Later, we saw a commercial which is another one, that we hate. It’s so cheesy that it’s hilarious. It’s Matthew McConaughey, in formal attire. Photographer’s everywhere, snapping his picture. He’s wearing sunglasses, (nighttime) and it’s obvious that he’s enjoying all the attention. He takes off his glasses, slumps into a chair, and turns with a really cocky, goofy smile. It’s all about a cologne and the idea is that you have to be super celebrity, cool to wear this. Or at least, people will think you are. The whole thing is so over the top and pretentious, that I crack up, every time I see it.
I am now in the kitchen and I look up to hear my son, humming this music. As I look up, I see him, swagger through the door, wearing a suit. He has his hair, combed straight down, to really show off the imperfect bowl shape. He sits in the chair. He looks down, just like Matthew McConaughey. Making sure to open the side of his mouth to show the missing tooth. It’s beyond hilarious. I wished I had the video. So I think to myself, “you know, it takes an awful lot of intelligence to be Dumber, than the likes of Jim Carey and Matthew McConaughey. This one has to be the Dumbest, act by far!