So I finally have had enough and I am going to do something about CM2's attitude..mouth ..nastiness and overall obnoxiousness towards me. Yeah, he is also rather annoying to his big brother, but it is me he tries to turn into canonfodder. Nope, he doesn't really argue or try to be rude to his father. In fact part of "our interrelatedness issues" is that for some reason he thinks he needs to protect hubby's male-status with me.
For a boy-child that is an ardent feminist I am not even certain what the heck that last point means. He is defintiley not one to think women should not be strong willed, productive, respected human beings, but for some reason he thinks that I am a dictatorial oppressor. I am the Saddam Hussein of my household. He thinks I deprive the hubby of his right to decide what he eats and what he doesn't eat and that makes me Simona Legree. Case in point:
I have decide to take the boys with me to the supermarket at least one day a week. It is usually on the way home from one of their volunteer activities. They get to pick out some things they want for dinner and lunch while stacking up on certain items like diet soda (they are allowed one a day) and some low-cal snacks, fruit and fresh veggies. Well we got into a discussion about how the hubby likes certain things to eat and I told him that some of these items weren't really very good for hubby. That is why I don't bring them in the house on a regular basis. Then I was bombarded with the questions...
"What makes you think that this will hurt dad?"
"What makes you think you can tell dad what to eat?"
"Dad is a grwon-up, he should be able to eat what he wants..."
"What makes you think that dad will have a heartattack if he eats badly?" and so on and so on.
I literally had to threaten his tuchas to get him to be quiet. In fact by this time he had worked himself up so that he was yelling at me in one of the food aisles. Luckily there weren't too many people in the store at the time, but CM1 got into the act yelling back at his brother. Having to control both of them when they start to holler at each other is not fun. All I really wanted was for them to learn how to go food shopping.
I tried to explain to him that dad likes it that I take care of him. That way dad doesn't have to think about it. I explained that dad is overweight and it is not good for anyone to weigh too much especially as men get older they are subject to heart disease and heart attacks. Dad even knows he needs to lose weight but has no patience to figure out how to take care of his food intake, so he leaves it up to me. I have read up about it and have even spoken to dad's doctor. I finally told him that he should ask his father if dad likes me taking care of him....(Oh as an aside, CM2 is on a bit of a diet and sees a nutritionist. His meds have made him overweight and we are trying to get a handle on it before it becomes terribly unmanageable. So maybe there was a little bit of transference going on with that conversation.)
This is the attitude I get from my younger son on a daily basis. He fights with me about everything and everyone. I at first thought that he was just being ornery. I later realized that yes, it is probably delayed adolescence, the time when kids separate from their parents. But wow oh wow...there is separating from your parents and thinking for yourself and then just being an obnoxious stinker...aka a real-full-blown-teenager.
I know that aspergeans come to this stage of development later in life. No, not certain that even if he had reached it at 15 like his peers, it would have truly been better or easier to handle. In truth it is simply and completely unpleasant. So I came up with a plan.
He already has a "swear jar." Oh yeah. At one point every other word out of his mouth was a curse word. I spoke with his therapist and came up with the swear jar. Actually the therapist wanted me to take away his computer or video games if he swore, but I knew that would cause such a horrible meltdown and make life so unbearable that it was not worth the effort. But since CM2 earns money to buy his games I decided that if he swore he would lose a dollar per word. Guess what, after the first word mishap, CM2 has not used a swear word in my presence in months. He doesn't even use the word "hell." Which only goes to show you, that not only did he know what he was doing, he had total control of his language as well.
Now for the obnoxiousness. I decided that he was going to have an "obnoxious jar." When I told him that his reply was..but that is who I am..I am obnoxious. Oh my God, who says that? Who admits to that? Why would he want that to be who he is? Good grief he is such an adolescent.
Anyway I sat him down and asked him if he understood what being obnoxious was? He aid yes he did. I told him that he was going to get an "obnoxious alert" and after that if his tone did not change he would lose a dollar. Honestly it did not turnout as easy as the "swear jar." In truth I am not certain that he really understands when he is being obnoxious or how his tone is supposed to be controlled. He still has trouble understanding and monitoring his emotions especially when he gets agitated, so his confusion does not really come as a surprise.
For the moment, he is getting warnings. I am trying to teach him that he can actually say the same thing to me or anyone, but its that nasty attitude what gets everyone all in an uproar. To help with understanding the ins and outs of "obnoxious tonal quality" he is to start going back to speech therapy next week. I like the pragmatic speech therapist I found for CM1, so we are now going to try her hand with CM2. I think she will find that its not so easy the second time around.
Yes, I do know that this phase will pass. But it is not a moment in time to ignore. It is still time for him to learn and work on his social interactions. The present problem is trying to separate out the obnoxious attitude from the OCD part of his personality (Yesterday, he went on and on about how I tweeted a picture of him while he was volunteering when he said he didn't want me to. He could not get past it for the longest time. It ruined his morning. In my defense he looked really cute weeding that garden and I was really proud of both boys.); from the need for the adolescent to break free of mom without hindering his growth, development and natural need for independence.
In short, this youngman needs a new attitude....
Until next time,