July 14, 2019

ugly family secrets & I will not be bought, oh - did you say steak?

This has nothing to do with anything:: not my recent Vancouver trip or the post that was already scheduled to appear here.  It is just TOTALLY relevant at this exact moment, so I am going to share - and as the spirit moves me, over-share.  Brace thy-self.

And this.  This was also in the pile
of caddy laundry.  Tank's shorts.
  I noticed when he caddied yesterday
 that he must have spilled water on
 himself and it had not dried yet.  Of course
 I teased him about it, because I am
 a grown up.  'Looks like you wet
yourself, Tank.'  When he came home
 today I noticed that the 'water' mark
was still looking as if it had not dried.  Oh.
  Grease.  How peculiar and unlikely that
 Tank could have leaked grease from
some unhealthy food item.  He tried
insisting that this was not the case, and
then a realization.  'Oh, yeah.  I spilled
 chick fillet sauce there.'  Mystery solved. 
I soaked it in Dawn.  Waiting to see
 if it comes out or if he has to
caddy again tomorrow
 looking like he soiled himself.
We are back from Vancouver.  I have so many stories from that trip- I might be posting about it until Christmas.  Hope you are interested in insane airbnb stories, freezer not freezing, flooding, assorted siblings tiffs, risky mountain climbs, a suffocating bus fiasco, and as Tank would say:  'rationing'.  More on all that later - get excited.

This is an un-Vancouver tale.  Last night there was an outburst within the Shenanigan home that I cannot even bring myself to detail.  Suffice it to say:  1.  ugly.  2.  21 yr old vs 13 yr old bullying that has Coach and I at our wits end.  3.  Same old, same old.  Lad cannot 'own' his behavior.  Heavy, frustrated sigh.

The rest of the clan receives high marks for being considerate and thoughtful, and - well, um - accountable.  It has always escaped us that we parent them all the same, but one struggles immensely to navigate a world with other people in it.

This is not just a teenage ordeal (dear God, he just turned 21 - but maturity level has yet to catch up to his age).  It also has nothing to do with being re-introduced to family life after being away at college.  It reaches far beyond dirty socks and missed curfews.  The kid is plagued by a version of reality that no one else sees.  It is baffling, and at this point very concerning.

Coach and I were not feeling like we were on the same page after last night's drama (and that, my friends is putting it mildly) so he just took me out to a steak dinner to circle our wagons and regroup.  We drew up a contract for Lad.  He complies or his phone is cancelled.  The end.

While I did scarf down that filet (we do NOT eat out often), I admit that I was opposed to the shared meal.  I was still hurt about how things were handled not only last night, but all summer.  Imagine me as Sipowicz on NYPD Blue requesting backup REPEATEDLY and instead crickets.  My hands were tied.

I swear, I cannot be bought -but there is something about filet.  Cooked just right.  I digress.  We are back on the united front here, and we are hoping for better results.

Anyway, I entered the house to fiddle music.  On steroids.  I gathered caddy towels to wash because we are in the middle of the club championship.  27 holes today and another 18 tomorrow.  A load of smelly green caddy shirts sits waiting for the towels to be done.  I returned to the kitchen and thought I heard Mini sniffling.  Oh, brother (and I mean this literally - as in, not her brother-easily could have been him considering the current climate -  but no - my brother . . . more later - sorry)


Kari said...

"to circle our wagons and regroup".
I am stealing that.

Gigi said...

Parenting is HARD! And, I would imagine, parenting more than one is even harder. The one nugget I have gleaned over the years is that no two kids are the same. What works for one may not work for the other. I hope everything gets resolved soon.

Ernie said...

Have at it. I hope that you do not need to regroup because of a child that is making everyone positively nuts. May your regrouping be in regards to 'how to spend the money we just came in to' regrouping. :)

Ernie said...

So true. Eddie took that Psych class this year and he keeps telling me that it isn't all parenting. I just keep playing everything back in my head: why did we leave him at the Catholic grade school with mean kids? Why did I grant him negative attention vs being aware of his issues and finding a way to be positive when he was being a stinker and desperately vying for SOME kind of attention. It boggles the mind. I am hoping for some resolution too. Thanks.

BTW - your most recent post has no words in it - just a title. 'Gigi's been baking' :) Maybe you have been baking so much that you are busy enjoying your baked goods and not finding the time to blog! Ha.

Marie Smith said...

Staying on the same page with your partner is so important where kids are concerned. I hear you!

Ernie said...

So true. Things escalated and Coach was trying to go to bed, so he didn't want to deal with it because he gets up so awful early. I insisted it get handled and then he just got grumpy with his handling methods and I kept insisting he was targeting the wrong kid. Not pretty. Here's to hoping we can stay ahead of the chaotic behavior and that it does not erupt at Coach's bedtime.

Beth (A Moms Life) said...

Further proof that sometimes it's just how God made them! I have to tell myself this multiple times to reassure myself that I'm not a horrible parent and that sometimes it's just the kid and that's how he/she is going to be until they decide they want to act/do/be differently. Also, my husband and I have taken to going to a local restaurant on Sunday evenings and sitting at the bar and enjoying a couple of beers while talking about our kids, their problems, our future plans, etc. It is now my favorite part of the week and I get a little bummed when we can't do it. Perhaps you and Coach need to regroup on a regular basis! It does wonders for the marriage and your general mood! (At least it does for me anyway!)

Busy Bee Suz said...

It's 100% true that you two need to be on the same page or it will be miserable for both. I know you know that.
Did someone say steak?

Ernie said...

I keep telling myself it is not ALL bad parenting, but I still struggle. I do love the idea of regular casual dates to regroup. We have a hard time scheduling that, but I feel like we have done better about it lately. Going for walks or driving together places. This particular night was tough because Coach went to bed early and he kind of ignored the rumblings just before he hit the hay. Then when I dragged him from bed, he was grouchy. And I do not like feeling guilty for involving him, so grumpt deux. I hate Coach's schedule.

Ernie said...

Yes- we work better on the same team - of course. The funny thing about the steak dinner is when Mini got home after dinner she was all 'how was your dinner?' Then. . . 'oh, is that what you wore?' With a confused look. I was like 'yeah- I was not really up for a dinner out. It was more of a meeting.' It was kinda funny. I WAS wearing a cute sundress but I usually dress for steak.

M.L. James said...

Glad everyone survived. Maybe the 21-year-old would like to take you out for lunch and just talk or sit still for a solid hour? Just the two of you. I dunno. Life is difficult for everyone, even 21-year-olds. Sometimes it helps to just listen and make no judgments and offer even fewer opinions. Sometimes. Just a thought. I'd imagine getting exclusive time with Mom in a house full of children might be a rare treat. Also, yum, steak! Mona

Ernie said...

This does sound like a great idea. Unfortunately, Lad is at the point where he twists EVERYTHING that I say into something awful. Coach and I have been astounded by it. I guess things have escalated beyond sitting down to a meal alone. Coach would have to be there to mediate or translate since Lad is not understanding my language. Example: Coach got into it with him earlier in the summer about his avoidance of eating meat. I was NOT even in the room. I said nothing about it. Stayed out of it. The next night we asked Lad to watch a family movie with all of us (something he claimed he missed while away at college). He barked at us that he could still not bring himself to be in a room with me since I had yelled at him about not eating meat. Wasn't even me. Not even close.

We have FINALLY gotten him to see Chip -the therapist we have used as needed over the years. Lad went last night and goes again tomorrow. Coach and I will go separately tomorrow. I am praying that Chip can help Lad with whatever issues are plaguing him. I really do try to stay out of his way. It is like I am a prisoner in my own home. I do appreciate the suggestion. I hope that someday we can get to that point. Lad's behavior has been very disruptive to the entire family - not just this summer.