Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I think It's Time for One At A Time

I love my kids. Really I do. They are pretty good teenagers as kids go. But sometimes they make me so made I am shaking and not able to control my tongue or my body. My fists ball up, my entire body starts to shake and I am so enraged at their.....unspeakable thoughtlessness..... unbearable meanness.... I cannot fathom they are my kids. In those times I say some horrid things. And I of course regret them later - sort of. Sometimes I think they deserve a little bit of honesty (NO I don't tell them they're stupid or unwanted or losers or anything. I cuss at them and tell them they are making me absolutely horrifically insane and I can't stand their behavior - mostly it's the rampant cussing that I get mad about later)

In December it was the fist through the window. Tonight it was a kick in the face. No I'm not kidding and I wish I were. Although it's not really as bad as it sounds.

It started pretty lovely. Daughter volunteered to make spaghetti for dinner and didn't tell me or ask me, she just started doing it. I discovered dinner in progress so made salad. It got ugly in parts, like when Son showed up to say, "Smells good" and Daughter snidely sniped, "You could at least set the table!!" I decided to smooth it over by asking, "Son could you please set the table?"

After dinner they started horsing around, calling each other names (I think they were kidding but I'm not sure) and then Daughter swatted Son in the head. Again, he blew it off and I think they were kidding. I did yell, "KNOCK IT OFF." (one of these days she'll respond, "That's what I was trying to do!")

Then we were all running up the stairs to do the "Christmas boxes into the attic" procession. Daughter was behind Son when she said something about a race and he said, "NO" and stuck his foot out behind him [here stories vary. I think he just stuck it out. She says he actively kicked her in the nose] Next thing I know there's screeching and blood and....mom's head blows off, flying all around the living room, cussing, annoyed. Daughter is screaming at me b/c she can't figure out how she could possibly be at all at fault (in truth she was barely at fault but she doesn't see how her name calling and swatting builds up to things like this. Sigh).

But Son? SON? HE ARGUED WITH ME FOR 10 MINUTES ABOUT HOW IT WASN'T REALLY HIS FAULT AND HOW SHE'S 50% TO BLAME. And what really made my head explode, creating enough energy to run the electricity for the entire city for a week, was the fact that his first reaction wasn't to grovel and apologize and feel really badly.

Huh? I thought I raised them better than that. I thought I was raising caring, loving, thoughtful kids. Where did these self-centered, self-preservationists come from?

And will anyone buy them? Or take them off my hands? Because I have come to the conclusion that I cannot live with them both another day. And thus the "one at a time" solution.

Daughter has asked to live apart from him. I agree. They are twins. In the same scholar's program at school. They ride to and from school together, share many friends, share a bathroom [oh the horrors right? I shared one with 4 other siblings...and it was 1/2 the size], have classes together (some not all), do ski club together, do band together. It's just too much togetherness. So I think when Ex stops traveling next month, we are going to divide and conquer. At least for a while. Thoughts? I'm really torn on this one, but I am about to lose what little sanity I have left. And I'd like to know what you think....


ChiTown Girl said...

Good Lord! I think that's a GREAT idea. I mean, come on, it's only next door. It's not like you'll be shipping one of them across town. I don't see any reason NOT to do this. YOU need your sanity, and you need to reduce your stress level. Trust me, I know of what I speak. I can't tell you how many times I've begged the ex to come and get my son's things (and I only have ONE!) so he can live with him instead. I can not handle this teenage crap sometimes. The mouth, the disrespect, the lack of appreciation, I could go on and on!

Bottom line - do it!!

Mrs. G. said...

Now this is when it's good to live next to your ex.

I'd have a family meeting (including ex) and take a vote.

But what the hell do I know?

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Wow, what a thought. Would they switch weeks so that you and ex have a child with you always? Would you be sad not to have them both with you at the same time? I suppose if you could do family dinners once a week it might work. It certainly is an idea worth considering.

I can relate to your entire story--my two youngest are 20 months apart and it frequently goes down much the way you've described. It's not ever gotten to the fist through a window point, but I have been in the position you describe yourself as being MANY a time (last night for one).

Good luck with this decision. I'll be thinking of you.

Katy said...

We split Thing 1 and Thing 2 up after second grade because the same class at school, the same friends and living in the same house was just too much togetherness for them and they were at each other's THROATS (quite literally) all the time. It was a lifesaver.

This year we have put them in two different middle schools and they are getting along so much better than last year. It's not all unicorns and rainbows but there hasn't been bleeding or crying since August and THAT is an accomplishment!

If they're asking for it I say do it. You are lucky to have the option although I'm sure it hasn't always seemed that way. (Silver lining?) When ours are teens we will have to ship one off to their grandparents. Or Siberia. Whichever is farthest away.

Busy Bee Suz said...

that is tough...and it is normal. Even though you are doing an incredible job with them, and you are....they are still teenagers. They are still siblings. My brother and I used to fight. A LOT. My girls are so nice to everyone...except each other. It is normal.
I thought ex was moving away?
I think the splitting, if dad is next door is a good thing. Give them some space. It must be tough to be a twin.
good luck

Cassie said...

What do I know? My 2 kids were 10 years apart so there never was any competition to speak of.But,when my grandson & grand daughter used to come to our place once a week I found it much more enjoyable (for ALL of us) if I let them each have their own special time with us.They were just 8 & 10 then though.So, what do I know? Oh yes,and then there is this thing where teenage boys are becoming men & don't want a woman (any woman) telling them what to do.Hormones.Ugh.

Jason, as himself said...

Oh, boy. I really can't imagine two at the same time. And you're absolutley right about too much togetherness. Can you imagine? I can't stand to be with the same person for too long, no matter who they are.

Melissa said...

I think it's a perfect idea. They can see each other when they want and get away from each other when they want--just by walking across a yard. Beautiful!

Best of luck!

Paranoid said...

Oh, the twin thing. It can be killer. Would it help you to know that there were times when I was your kids' age when I actually HID MY SISTER'S CLOTHES so she couldn't dress anything like me? And hoo boy, the fights we used to get into.

It's really hard when you're a teenager and trying to figure out just who the heck you are, when by your side every moment is another person who people sometimes don't bother trying to distinguish from you. I know your kids are by definition different (being b/g), but it can still be a struggle to figure out your identity separate from this person with whom you've literally shared everything your whole life.

As heartbreaking it is, they really might benefit from being apart for a little while. My sister and I waited until college to go our separate ways, and it turned out to be a huge boon for both of us. We're still best friends, but just having the space to be known just as ourselves was incredibly freeing.

And don't worry. They are great kids. We've all seen ample enough proof of that over the years. But even the sweetest, most wonderful kids aren't perfect. They'll turn out ok, depsite occasional relapses into obnoxious teendom.

Clippy Mat said...

Well you do have the perfect solution and it's worth a try right? They may learn to treat each other better with a little bit of space for a while.
Good luck with it. Hope it helps.

DysFUNctional Mom said...

I am with ChiTownGirl, great idea and why the heck should you have to put up with all that nonsense? And my kids do it too, my oldest two fight like cats & dogs. They're great to be around seperately, but put them together and they drive me insane. He lives a few miles away with his dad, she lives with me!

JO said...

Tough call. Seriously tough call. When is Ex looking at moving?? Anytime soon?

Sigh. I hate the age at which our kiddos find themselves. Seriously. Someday I will have to fill you in on the trials of the cadet over the past 6 months...sounds like he and Son are "in the same place".

dkuroiwa said...

Since they spend so much time together anyway, separating them won't be hurting their "quality time" together...but, being together and fighting like that is definitely killing their quality time with you....and really...like my mom always said, "if momma isn't happy, no one is happy".
One at a time sounds like a good plan...it might take a bit to get the logistics settled, but...it might just work. It's worth a try at least!!

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

My two older girls were 19 months apart. The love is always there, but its visibility ebbs and flows. This too shall pass.

~annie said...

Fantastic idea! Wish I had an option like that. And I only have one child.

The Engine of the Family said...

I feel your pain, I have one teenager..I can't imagine having two! Good luck and hope you find the right answer!