February 20, 2020

circling wagons while hobbled

This has been a day . . .
Icing my knee and rocking
my Smart Wool socks. 
If I ever do a favorite
things post for winter
stuff Smart Wool socks will
be at the top of the list. 
Reggie's Bears
 throw blanket next to
 me is not all bad either.

I attended my early morning workout class (Wed., Feb. 12) today at 5:45 am.  During the class my newly recovered knee froze up a few times.  (It has been at like 85% but recently I have noticed a few ouch moments that have sprung up.  I have been back at full-on workouts since mid January.  Still cannot grab my ankle and pull it up to my butt from behind easily when I stretch).  I bent it back and forth and waited for it to snap back into good-to-go status then finished my workout.

Later walking in my kitchen my knee gave out on me.  BITCH!  It happened a few times.  I texted Coach.  Before he could respond, it clicked three times and then I had a new pain shoot down the inside of my knee that crippled me for a few minutes.  I had just told the preschooler to get his shoes on so I could take the gang to library story time.  I considered skipping it, but I limped my way through it totally distracted by:

1.  the realization that I might need to miss my workouts AGAIN, and 

2.  teenage crap that was making me nuts.

Backing up to the teenage crap . . . I have been pondering the Tank situation that I detailed a few posts ago.  I feel like his behavior started to unravel and gradually became the new norm since fall.  Us calling out corrections to him as he is racing out the door is doing no good.  Shock.

My timeline of his transformation into an ungracious pain in the neck:  I think that things shifted a bit when Ed left for college.  I don’t think Tank really misses Ed all that much (he found Ed to be a goodie-goodie who policed other people too much, whereas I found Ed to be a kid always willing to pitch in and always concerned about others).  

Instead I think t could be that Tank is a junior and he is not as goofy as he once was.  (Although I am CONFIDENT that he is goofy when he is with his friends).  He IS definitely more focused on school work.  Maybe it is stressing him out?  Trying to get good grades (a real struggle for him, but this is a new leaf and it is self imposed.  We don’t really obsess over grades) and be college ready, etc.  He has decided that he wants to do ROTC.  I suspect that this mission has prompted the new outlook on school.

Then last week he texted me from school that he was having his worst day ever . . . His case worker from school was helping him reach out to ROTC and ask questions.  Turns out they  don’t take students who have an IEP or who have been taking medication for ADD, etc.  The next day he learned about a possible waiver, so he is still trying to figure out if it will work.

I am not going to tell him that he cannot do ROTC but I have shared with him that I feel like that program might be a tad too rigid for a kid who is not one to conform.  Or workout.  Or eat healthy or be on time for school.  I have asked him to be open to other possibilities.

Other influences or contributing factors:  he decided to start working during the school year by skipping a season as an athlete.  Until now he had done a sport each season.  I like that plan for my kids - it keeps them busy and they all benefit from being part of a team.  Tank figured he would not make the varsity basketball team and he took a pass when they begged him to just act as the team manager.  (He is well known for his sense of humor and the coaches know him and really tried to get him to take on this role).  Instead he got a job at our friend’s family business.  Lots of teens from the high school work there (including his good friend) sweeping floors and packing boxes, etc.  We told him he could only work 3 days a week.

Well, Tank was already doing travel volleyball 8-10 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  He ended up deciding to work 5 days a week after school till 6 and sometimes on a Saturday.  I attempted to get his attention by saying he would have to miss work unless he took care of things at our home, ie:. Messes he tends to make.  No sense in sweeping up at work if you refuse to sweep up at home - my mentality.

Well, that threat turned out to be an idle threat because Coach is not on board with having Tank cancel out on work at the last minute.  (Coach has teenagers work at his office).  So, busy Tank rushes off to work right from school, races in after work at 6, rolls his eyes at dinners that I prepare, leaves a trail and then rushes out the door to volleyball.  When we try to argue that he is working more than we agreed to, he counters that if he was managing the basketball team he would be spending the same amount of time after school at practices.  He did make the honor roll.

I have a hard time punishing my teenagers, not because it makes me feel bad - just tough to find something that 'gets' them.  There is very little I can take away from them without totally inconveniencing me.  Last week I texted Tank and asked him where his whistle was because Reg was reffing a basketball game for adult with special needs group.  Tank's response:  “It’s in my fucking drawer.”  He was ticked that Reg was going to borrow it.  Um, who texts their mother like that?  I told Coach tonight that we still had yet to punish Tank for that infraction.

We had a pow wow with Tank tonight.  We have taken the car from him for a week.  When we pointed out some of the ways he has been disrespectful and unappreciative I reminded him of a time in 6th grade when he expressed concern about me spending money on something for him (adding him to the Irish dancing rip to Disney).

Tank:  “I was in 6th grade!”

Me:  “And now you are a junior in high school and you should have more sense than you did back then.  You should be more appreciative and gracious - not LESS.”

I was already on red alert with his attitude, but today my high school kids had a half day.  Mini had to take the bus this morning.  Tank left early for a meeting.  OH, and I got an email that Tank was late for school.  I texted him, what gives?  You were at school an hour early, how are you late.  

His  response:  “The bell rang before I was in class so I was tardy what’s hard to understand?”  Exhibit A!!!  

I get emails about his tardiness daily, but this one stuck out - he usually leaves late for school but he was there meeting with a teacher so . . .  get in your classroom you butt head.

I digress, Mini missed the bus this morning.  I had to leave Reg and Curly home with the babies when I drove her to school.  Mini got home late from an away b-all game last night, but I sensed she was ticked at us so I asked her what the issue was when I drove her to school.

She started crying.  Monday night (same night as Girl Scout cookie garbage littered the island) a kid left a dinner plate in the family room, where they are not allowed to eat.  This mystery person dropped Italian Beef on the carpet and on the end table AND WALKED AWAY.  Coach assumed it was Tank and texted him at open gym to say ‘Why’d you leave your plate in the family room?’

Tank later insisted it was not him and then threw Mini under the bus.  “Mini told me to just take the fall for it, because she didn’t want to be in trouble.”  Mini denied eating in the family room until I shared Tank’s bean spilling.  Then Coach let loose on her for lying.

Later that morning I texted both Tank and Mini.  “You are to leave your cell phones in the kitchen from now on.  They are not allowed upstairs.  If you need them to do homework, then do your homework on the first floor.  Serious consequences if you break the rule.”

There is a new sheriff in town.  A sheriff who in the quiet of a hotel room thought ‘we need to take back our fricking house.’  The rule has always been that they charge their phones on the first floor.  Never.  Happens.  Mini has a horrible habit of turning her room into a sty.  I believe firmly that if she spent 10 minutes dealing with laundry, it would not be an issue.  So, remove the phone that she claims she rarely uses and I still say that 10 minutes will be found to deal with the room.

Anyway, on our drive to school after the missed bus Mini explained that she thought the not-so-new but suddenly enforced phone rule was in response to her eating in the family room.  She was mistaken and that is why we were all getting the silent treatment.  

I asked her if she and her friends wanted to hang out at our house at noon today and then I could move my dermatologist appointment up to nap time and Coach would not have to come home from work early.

She texted on her way home with Tank that her friends did not want to come over, they opted to go out to lunch.  (These half days are e-learning days, so the kids are supposed to go home and get work done.  They sometimes go to one person’s house to study.)  I texted back that she didn't HAVE TO come home, and she should go out to lunch.

Knowing that she was not talking to us due to the phones remaining on the first floor rule, I gathered that she would come home and sulk because I 'made' her miss lunch with her friends.

Meanwhile I had instructed both of them to stop and buy me some chicken for dinner on their way home.  Tank was all eye-rolly and objecting because he wanted to hang with his friends.  I said you can do this quick errand for me.  

From the grocery store he called me while Mini sulked in the car.  They were out of the individually wrapped, boneless chicken breasts I usually buy.  I was giving him backup chicken instructions through his deep sighs and gasps.  

Finally I yelled into the phone:  "I AM FEEDING YOU!"  Because it wasn't as if I asked him to stop and get me by favorite chocolate bonbons or something.  This was a dinner essential and clearly an oversight on my part for running out of it.  I often send kids to the basement freezer and never getting a  low inventory message threw me off my A game.

Before Tank got home with the chicken I texted Mini's BFF.  "Where are you guys for lunch?"  When Tank got home, I ordered him to drop Mini at Chick Fillet.  He ranted.  I RANTED LOUDER.  Meanwhile Mini stood in my mudroom poised to pout all afternoon.  I HOLLERED AT HER TO GET RIGHT BACK IN THE CAR.    She tried to tell me Tank would never drive her.  I was all:  YOU WANNA BET?

They chugged away in the teen car shouting at one another and I hobbled over to the phone and called Coach in tears before I flopped on the couch to feed a wiggly baby his bottle while attempting to ice my knee.  

Curly is skipping dancing for a few days - story to follow - so we were home tonight.  At the same time.  Coach and I circled our wagons.  Agreed on reigning in the nonsense.  Tank tried to defend himself during our 'discussion' of offenses.  

Tank:  "I told you good dinner tonight."  

Yeah, I noticed.  It's a start.  


Busy Bee Suz said...

Oh boy. I feel like it's all coming to a head; you've had enough and I don't blame you one bit. You're gonna have to be extra tough on the 'hard-headed one'. I do love the cell phone rule; if people can't take care of their crap, why should they have a phone at their disposal?
So sorry about your knee! It doesn't sound good to me.....Do you take any glucosamine?

Anonymous said...

I am mad along with you- we have a junior we have had to REIGN IN on the smartassyness and pouting and dramatics. I swear part of it is friends who also treat their parents this way - which is not cool.

Ernie said...

Suz - First of all you and anonymous get gold stars for reading that entire post. When I opened it today I choked a little. Holy long-ass-post. You are a rock-star reader for actually reading all of that.

The knee situation is such a bummer. I can't even begin to tell you. My kids had no school Monday, so I could go to my fav workout class that I usually miss because I am sitting for ONE baby. I could go since they were home, but not with my knee all grapefruit swollen and clicky. So very sad. Never heard of gluc-a-huh? But I will look into it.

I definitely find that the kids take note of when my guard is down/ when I am busy/ when I am off my A game and then they push the envelope. The other kids should all be thanking Tank right now for keeping the focus off of them. HA! Except Mini, she suffered right along with him while he lost car privileges for the week for his attitude. She no longer had a ride to school and had to get up early to get on the bus. the DAY he got the car back he tried to start something with me about something I asked him to do. I was like, Do you want to ride the bus again tomorrow? Mini: NO TANK! JUST DO WHAT SHE ASKS YOU!

anonymous: you get the same gold star as Suz for reading that lengthy ass post. (see above). These dang kids. They have it so good. When I was a kid, I would go into my parents room to use the landline in there to call my friends. The only other phone was in the kitchen. Hello, no privacy. My folks did not believe in call waiting, so when my dad called to let my mom know he was on his way home so she could have dinner ready when he walked in the door and the phone was busy, well shit . . . Heads would ROLL. These guys can chat with whoever whenever and ignore major household tasks in the process. And the nerve to get snippy with me?! No siree.

Kari Wagner Hoban said...

OMG, you need so much wine and maybe some weed.
I am not at all being sarcastic.

I am so sorry about your knee. I have had bad knees my whole life and it is at the age of 49 while training for a 5K that I am praying each run that my knees don't fail me.

Also, do I need to take glucosamine? After reading that first comment, I am wondering if I do.....

Gigi said...

I remember having similar issues with my son occasionally - we weren't particularly strict until he started getting mouthy or disrespectful. Once that started happening we cracked the whip until he got back in line. It was a dance we repeated over and over until he finally got the message - if he was going to be ungrateful, mouthy and disrespectful; his life was going to be hell. And, yes, most of the time punishing the child was a huge inconvenience to us.

I'm sorry about your knee and I hope you find a resolution and relief soon.

Cheryl said...

Ouch knee ouch! I hate when our bodies let us down! This is from someone who has had both knees replaced (my worst surgery ever) I say, baby those suckers! There is nothing like the real thing! Arthritis was my culprit in addition to a family history.

Have you had an x-ray done of the knee?

Glucosamine is a natural chemical compound in your body. But it also comes in the form of a supplement. There are two main types: hydrochloride and sulfate. (Copied from google)

All teenagers are mouthy, I remember those days well and it's been a while. But all it took was a look from my mother and a "just wait until your father gets home!" threat. There were so many of us (seven) and all pretty much close in age that my dad would tell my mom "when they act up...whatever you have in your hand, just throw it at 'em!". We all got pretty good at Dad even told the teachers at school that they had his permission to knock us around if needed, although that never happened. Today that would be child abuse, but the threat alone worked.

It's probably a good idea that all phones stay on the first level, especially if they are being charged. Too many house fires are caused by phone chargers. My husband won't even go to bed with a phone on a charger.

Just think, one day you will look back on all of this and be able to laugh about it, fingers crossed.

Ernie said...

Kari- you slay h me. I JUST had a very frustrating Walmart experience. Must post about it, if I find the time. I literally thought: I need to drink more. 5K- you go girl! No idea about this supplement. I think my hair supplements night be all the extra health intake my bod can handle. And thanks for rading- I had not noticed thst I was getting carried away in my teen bitch session. Gold stars all around!

Gigi- it sounds so delightful when you describe the teenage nonsense as a dance we do. Hee hee. So true. I feel a little like I am playing that gopher game at Chuckee Cheese. Every time I turn around I need to correct/whack somebody else till they 'get-it'.

Cheryl- thanks for the info on the supplement. We lived in fear of when my father got home too. Reg just got a phone tonight thus my walmart less than stellar experience. Policing these things and affording them- never something our folks had to deal with!

Ernie said...

Cheryl- realized this am that I never answered your question bout my knee. No. Coach will not allow me to have an MRI. Says surgery gives same results as allowing body to heal. Less invasive to avoid surgery. I do kinda want a peek at what the hell is going on in there, but our deductible JUST started over.

Beth Cotell said...

I'm having similar issues with my junior as well. :( And I'm sorry to hear about your knee!

Ernie said...

Beth- I have heard it said that high schoolers make life difficult so we are prepared when they go away to college. I would prefer they behave respectfully and leave me in tears when they head to school.

The knee gets better every day. Hoping it gets better and STAYS that way!

Bibliomama said...

Yeah, swearing in a text reply to your mother warrants some SERIOUS repercussions. It sounds like you've hit on a couple of good ones - the car one will have the added benefit of his sister encouraging him to stay on your good side.
That knee thing sucks hard, especially if your someone who relies on exercise to keep your head straight (not something I know a huge deal about). I assume he gives you strengthening exercises? At least you have a live-in physiotherapist, I guess.

Ernie said...

Ali- you got it, texting mom the F word indicates a kid who is off the rails. Big time.

The knee- ugh. It has gotten a bit better each day and was not as bad as the initial injury but I hate missing my classes. I have been lifting and doing planks and riding the bike. Hoping to try a class with modifiers tomorrow. As eddie admitted recently it does us no good to have daddy as a PT because he often shrugs and says 'You'll be fine.' He has worked on it some. Says it just takes time. I console myself with food. That might be a mistake.

Nicole MacPherson said...

I think I missed this - how did you hurt your knee? I am with Suz in taking glucosamine to help with joint issues (my issues are mostly hip, knock wood I haven't had knee issues). Sorry about the teen issues too!

Ernie said...

Nicole - My knee started acting weird in early November. It started feeling locked up or it would just give out on me. Then I tried to squeeze out of my car in our garage packed with bikes and mowers. I pushed off with my foot and my knee refused to straighten. Coach was home. I hopped inside and he worked on it (he's a physical therapist). He said I probably had a meniscus tear from long ago that I tweaked. I was out of my full workout classes for 9 long weeks! I have never ridden a stationary bike, but he had me start there a few weeks after I injured it. I finally went back to full workouts for 5 weeks. Still the knee felt tight at times. Was just starting to be able to stretch my quad by grabbing my ankle and pulling it up towards my butt, but this was not graceful or easy. Then Feb 12th I was in an early morning workout class and POW - knee locked up. I rocked it back and forth. Felt well enough to finish the class but started to go out on me again to the point I almost fell. Swelled up like a grapefruit. Coach is still not on board with an MRI. Says my body will heal itself. It has come along faster this time, but I still missed 10 days of class. Did a class this am for the first time. Cannot do jumping lunges or jumping squats. Sucks to get old. I will look into the glucosamine. Teenager nonsense is something I do not have time for. And I am surrounded by teenagers. :)