Lately there have been lots of struggles around here - aside from the usual work, anger, exhaustion, jealousy that come from being a single parent living next door to your ex.
Lately, the Son has developed ATTITUDE and a sense of injustice.
First, for new or lost readers, know that overall, I have amazing kids. My nearly 17 YO twins are near perfect. They have very good grades, are college bound, help out in Sunday School, play sports, play musical instruments, love their grandparents. And Talk to their mother.
BUT yeah the big BUTT as teenagers are wont to do, they think they know better than I do about what is Fair and Just for them.
So Son calls Friday night to inform me he's hanging with Best Friend (fine) going downtown (fine) and coming back home at 2am (NOT FINE NOT NOT NOT NOT ). When I freak out about His assumption that he gets to go into the city until 2am, he hits me with"But I'm a good kid. I don't do bad things. Let me stay."
I hit him back with "I know you're a good kid and one of the reasons you're a good kid is b/c we try to minimize situations where you could make poor choices." And he laughs out loud. Ok I know there are many times he could make poor choices every day and he chooses not to do so. But this? Pushing the envelope.
DC until 2 a.m. with college kids? at 16? NO NO NO NO NO.
He knows I am downtown with his Sister at the Army Running expo. He knows I'm not in a position to yank his butt home. But he underestimates my ability to lay down the law by phone. [He and Friend learned that putting the best friend on the phone to advocate will not stop the steady stream of butt-chewing spewing forth from my mouth.] He underestimates the passion of my convictions (Really Son, Really? After all these years?). So .... I.....
yes I did...
I called the Ex to get his opinion. Because I thought nothing would break through the "injustice of it all" barrier for Son like a united front from warring Parents-who-are-exes.
How did I know Ex would agree with me? I wasn't certain but I was pretty sure. Despite the Divorce, I actually know Ex and his position on many things pretty well. Sure enough, Ex said, "No way no way no way. Get his butt home NOW."
I called Son back and gave him the whole united front attack. Apparently I underestimated my Son's determination.
Ultimately, I had to play the "I'm the parent and I said so" card. I hate playing that card. Although I realized - and told Son - "the reason I have to play this card is because I am the parent and you don't always know what's good for you. That's why I'm here and I'm in charge - to help you make the good decisions. If I didn't need to play this card we wouldn't even be having this argument because you would have made the right choice for yourself [being home at a reasonable hour] before ever calling me."
We all had to get up at 630 a.m to go to daughter's soccer game. Well, Son didn't HAVE to go but he wanted to go. (watch a bunch of attractive, smart 16-17 YO girls run around in shorts? Hells Yeah). Much to my amazement, Son continued to explain why he should have been allowed to go last night. Including the fact that although he would have had access to a 21 YO wrist band and all-you-can-drink bar drinks for $5, he would not have taken advantage of this. In his twisted mind, this makes it ok for him to go.
And that? Is why I need Valium. And why my doctor wouldn't dream of giving me even 1 tiny pill....