Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Luckily My Children Show Such Patience for Me


So its official, I am annoying HSB to no end and he is just about threw with me. For his birthday we got him the Kinect attachment for his Xbox 360. The nice thing about it is that the entire family can use it. So hubby went and bought the exercise DVD that goes with it. Thought it would be good for everyone and especially those of us with an over 50 tuchas. Now the only problem is that I am getting very confused about how to start the program. It is not like a regular game.

You have to log on to your account in Xbox and then go over to the Kinect. For those who don’t know what Kinect is, it is where you use your own body as the controller. It is really kinda cool because the device recognizes your movements and tells you when you are not using the program properly. When you use the trainer program it tells you how you are standing, how your arms are positioned and whether you are keeping up properly. It is really like a personal trainer in the house…ok not exactly like a human trainer but close enough for us right now. It is better than the automated telephone program when you call with a question to your bank and they put you through computer hell…here at least you can finally get to your destination without having a stroke. Which is a good thing being that it is an exercise program and causing yourself injury is not the intended purpose.

But I have to tell you I can’t figure out how to go from signing in, to the program. I invariably call HSB to come help me. The first few times he seemed ok with it, but now I think he wants to trade me in for another mother. Ok, he has wanted to do that for along time now, but this inadequacy on my part is just adding fuel to his fire.

So I had him help me today when he came home from school to set up my Skinny Jeans program. Don’t get excited, I will fit into a pair of skinny jeans after and not before the Second Coming. It just sounded like the nicer routine to do and it has a lot of exercises that I was familiar with. Once the program was all set up and HSB was exiting the basement, instead of telling me to have fun, he said to me…. “Knock yourself out.”

It was not a wish for me to have fun, but a castigating attitude that he has to put up with someone such as myself. When I was done with the program and I even figured how to end the program and put the Xbox back to its dashboard I went upstairs to tell him it was his turn to use the Kinect. Well when I called him, he turned to me, in that my-mother-is-such-an-idiot-tone-of-voice and went “What can’t you do now?”

I surprised him and told him that it was his turn to use the Xbox. “Oh,” he said. No apology for his attitude or his tone just got up and went about his business. I have to admit I felt sort of vindicated that I didn’t need him anymore for this toy and that I was able to close out of it myself. Now starting it up again may be a different issue tomorrow, but we will see. I will try when he is at school and see what happens.

In the meantime I have come to the conclusion, as his special education teacher told me, that I have a real full-fledged teenager on my hands. Complete with attitude, hormones and an obnoxious attitude that you just want to throttle the stinker several times every day. I know this is developmentally normal, and normal is a good thing in our household. But it doesn’t make it any less aggravating when he thinks he knows everything and rolls those big brown teenage eyes at you as if to say “God take me away from here.”

I remember a time when those beautiful brown eyes looked at me with such love and affection. Those eyes thought of me as the center of his world. Of course I know he has to separate from me or how could he ever hope to move on in life, never mind find a female counterpart. I just wish he didn’t have to be so damn condescending about it. I wouldn’t mind the separation on his part. If your child doesn’t go through that it is a developmental problem. It’s the rude, shitty attitude that gets me really annoyed. Don’t’ worry my feelings aren’t hurt, I tend to get pissed off, which is also not a good thing and not a good way to parent either. So I try to ignore the attitude and let hubby deal with it when he gets home. HSB has so much more tolerance for his father, so I let hubby go for it.

I had dealt with something very similar with collegeman, but not so obvious. Collegeman would just rail against me in the other room when he lost patience with me. Not that I couldn’t hear it and sometimes he did get in trouble for the names he called me, which always seemed to surprise him that I could hear him. I know its that modulation issue he has, but when you go into the next room, in a very small house and yell that your mother is a “bitch,” why he wouldn’t think I could hear that is beyond me. On the other hand, HSB is very out in the open and very diligent about letting me know I am a boil on the backside of his world. Lucky me. 

But I have hope for my relationship with HSB. Collegeman is three years older and he does now let me kiss his forward when he is sitting quiet and he even has taken to hugging me every once in awhile when I make his favorite food. We tend to have a gentler relationship than we have had in years and he does seem to be handling everything with more of an even temperament. Except of course when he deals with his brother and heaven forbid HSB disagrees with him on anything. Nope that is not a good thing there and the boys can really go at each other…ok I know siblings and brothers. This too shall change, as their relationship progresses and changes every day as well.

Meanwhile, collegeman is definitely very determined to do things his own way a lot of the time. When I tell him to fix something or organize his backpack in a certain way, his retort is “Well, I don’t tell you how to live your life.” You know most of the time I just let it go, except when it is something that may actually make life harder for collegeman. However, on another note, an interesting thing happened the other day with collegeman, which is something that I thought we were going to get away with.

You know the stories about how when your college student comes home and something some professor has taught them, changes their views on the world, even though it really makes no sense outside of school. So yesterday collegeman confronted us about something having to do with our politics, which is generally his politics. It turned into that classic argument that the parents are idiots and since he had read a book he knew everything, because he is in college defense. He told me that his professor wanted him to open his mind to other possibilities than how he originally thought. That is all well and good, but what makes the professor think that her version of thinking is better than ours, or that she wasn’t the one who had to change and open her mind up a bit to our way of thinking. According to his professor it seems it’s not nice to imprison terrorists under military law and that the military guards in the prisons are evil. By the way, this is supposed to be a history class, not a modern politics class. (Nope she is not some long-haired-hippie-anarchist-tie-dye-wearing-Berkley wanna be. The woman happens to be my next-door neighbor and lives in a bigger house than we do.)

It was a doozey of an argument I will tell you that.  I swear I thought I was living a cliché at the moment that this was all going down. I know for a fact it annoyed hubby because this morning when hubby went to wake collegeman up for school, he turned to me and announced that he was going to wake up the “ubber liberal.” I have no worries though, collegeman was back to himself today railing against his favorite political targets as usual.

Meanwhile, I am waiting for the latest stage in HSB’s development to reach its climax and go to the next area of development. I am hoping that the next stage is to have more patience for his elderly Luddite mother who only wants to be able to boogie off her tushie with the help of modern technology. Perhaps along the way collegeman can relearn a little patience for both hubby and myself, recognizing that with age comes wisdom, that there is more to knowledge than reading a book and getting As; and that his old crotchety parents actually do know what they are talking about, even more so than his professors.

Until next time,
Elise