September 11, 2023

adulting is hard: the Lad edition & procrastinating is hard: the Reg addition

Dinner with Lad:  We met Lad for dinner last weekend. He talks to Coach, but he hadn't been speaking to me. At dinner, I informed him that I was the one who'd suggested (secretly) to Coach that we assist Lad in buying a house because I sensed he'd do so with or without our assistance (and by assistance, I mean possibly help with the down payment - but mostly be involved in the house hunting so that he didn't end up buying something with zero resale value in a not so fab area, that wouldn't pass an inspection). 

Coach refused, which was not entirely unreasonable, and here we are:  our son owns a shit-hole house infested with mice, plagued with plumbing issues, a broken washing machine, no garage, and no basement. He spent so much on it that he'll NEVER break even. IF he's lucky enough to be able to sell it someday. 

And I'm the parent he won't talk to. 

Lad admitted that he's still upset that I accused him of not being an adult. I knew that this was the thing that set him off. At dinner, I rattled off a list of his behaviors and asked him is those sounded very adult-like. He agreed. Nope, they didn't. 

It was an uncomfortable meal. He wept at times. I pointed out that his lack of gratitude for everything we've done for him, along with his lack of consideration were very challenging. He's burned out selling cars and wants to make a career change. Hmm, couldn't see that coming. 

Ed in the middle showing Coach and
 Reg a Michael Jordan video on his phone.
Thank heavens our family room
 can accommodate tall folks. 
My heart breaks. Lad's clearly lonely and lost. He's a great kid, but he's missing out on his 20's - strapped with a ridiculous house, an exhausting job, and two dogs. He'd told Coach in advance of our dinner that if either of us talked about medication he'd get up and leave. He admitted that he's sort of indecisive when it comes to changing jobs. 

I wanted to say THAT'S CALLED ANXIETY, but I refrained. 

Medication discussion did come up. 


Lad:  I TRIED - REMEMBER? I TOOK (old ADD meds that he found in the cabinet at home) MEDS. *Insert BIG EYEROLL. 

Us: That DOESN'T count. 

Are we shocked that he didn't leave during the free meal? Nope. 

Another dog house son:  I'm looking at you, Reg. He had a project due:  make a mobile of himself. *This teacher isn't known for challenging his students. I had piles of photos ready. 

I was at Curly's volleyball game. He called to say he needed stuff from Michael's.

As I wandered the store, I called, suggesting he repurpose an old, over the door basketball hoop (coat hangers weren't allowed) to create his mobile. He located one - perfect. 

BTW - I could dedicate a whole post to the many over-the-door b-ball hoops we owned and how often they were decimated by eager, slam-dunking, carried-away pre-teen boys. 

Who can tell that I have
 no fitting photos
 for this post? Is there
 anything cuter
 than a baby giraffe though?
this at our zoo recently. 
I also told him where to find a spool of orange plastic lacing from when I was a kindergarten room mom. Note:  only signed up for that nonsense once. NEVER again. Thank goodness I hadn't Marie Kondo-ed the spool. I left the store without purchasing anything, which was great BUT I ALSO LEFT A STORE I'D DRIVEN TO FOR NO REASON. 

I stopped to buy bread on the way home. I created a mini-grocery list in my head, so I didn't have to shop on grocery day. The store didn't have my Greek yogurt. Well, I thought they did but when I got home I realized it was the same brand, but NOT the Greek variety. 


At home, I tried to hole punch Reg's photos. I own a hole punch, but I was VERY frustrated when I didn't find it. The project could be completed without one, but not the point. 

Should Reg have done this project, or at least started it, before he went to the away football game  Friday night? Before he went to his friend's lake house for Labor Day weekend? Before he spent an entire afternoon the day before hanging with friends after he asked a girl to homecoming? Yes, he SHOULD'VE. 

BUT HEY - I'm glad . . . Honestly, Lad showing up again makes my heart happy. Last night, he came for dinner. I'd suggested to him when we met at the restaurant:  Start coming over for dinner on Sunday evenings. Baby steps. 

I'm also glad Reg's excited about homecoming and that the girl he's taking is a fun friend. 

Last year he asked the egg carton girl on the corner. (scroll to  'present day' in this long post for the egg carton story). They're friends. Her family was involved in Reg's ask. Her sis even encouraged him to ask her. 

Egg carton said NO. The next day:  YES. Then back to NO. She didn't want anyone to think they were dating. 

Well, that sucked. Days before the dance, Tank was in town and he, Reg, and I were at Curly's volleyball game. 

Reg:  How long does it take to order a corsage?  *apparently, egg carton girl was still contemplating YES. I almost fell off the bleachers.


Anyone ready to put someone in the dog house? What are you glad about on this Monday? Do you remember the egg carton story?


mbmom11 said...

I'll have to go click over to egg carton girl!
Adult children are hard. Things you never expected to deal with- and then they don't listen!
Happy thing: my daughter bowled yesterday with her special Olympics team. Everyone has fun, and the bowlers never let gutter balls or missed pins bother them. They're just happy and support each other.

Nicole said...

So sorry things continue to be difficult with Lad, but baby steps - dinner together is a good step. It's so hard to let our kids make and live with decisions we may not make for ourselves. Hugs, Ernie.

Nance said...

It sounds like you made a big step forward with your dinner and its important conversation. Making sure your son knows that you and your husband still stick together on the basics (meds, his behaviour, etc) is critical, but so is reminding him that he's still a member of the family and welcome for dinner on Sundays.

As others have said, it's challenging to parent an adult, especially one who is difficult and fraying about the edges. I empathize. Hang in there.

Pat Birnie said...

I’m so sorry about Ladd’s issues. It is heartbreaking. So hard to deal with adult children issues. This parenting thing just never ends does it? It does sound like you made some progress though.

Ernie said...

mbmom11 - It is SO hard to have adult children who haven't figured out their 'stuff.' It is exhausing and concerning. He told us that he now showers at the healthclub. Funny, we urged him to shower there when he lived here. He showered BEFORE he worked out and then again after. And his showers were LONG. This gives me hope, that maybe MAYBE he'll start to figure out other stuff now that he has to.

Hooray for a great Special Olympics experience. Reg volunteered as a ref at a Special Olympics b-ball game and it was eye opening how friendly all the players were and how concerned they were when someone fell down, etc.

Ernie said...

Nicole - Thanks. It is hard, but I do feel so much better knowing that he is willing to come for dinner. Our dinner last night was light-hearted and fun. Of course the Bears game was on and it was laughable how bad they were playing, but that made for lots of interesting sport conversations.

You make a good point - our kids making decisions we wouldn't make for ourselves. So true.

Ernie said...

Nance - I do think that this was a big step. Coach invited him the week before and he responded with a simple NO. Then out of nowhere he texted to say, YES, HE'D MEET FOR DINNER. He admitted that he was too distracted by his mouse issue to make dinner plans.

Fraying around the edges - well put. I appreciate your empathy. After watching the show PAINKILLER with Matthew Broderick on Netflix, I'm grateful that he doesn't have an addiction. There are worse things he could be involved in. We still hope he eventually sees the light.

Ernie said...

Pat - Thank you. It is heartbreaking. I'd love to see him doing typical things that young adults his age enjoy. I'd hate for him to get to his 40's and realize he forgot to do youthful stuff. The kids are all so different and the parenting gig never stops.

Busy Bee Suz said...

I remember the egg carton story and I agree with Tank. The girl is too wishy washy!!

My heart hurts for Lad. (and of course for you and Coach) He just can't get his shit together....if only he would take your advice and try the meds the correct way!!! I hope he starts to see the light, you guys are there for him, not against him.

I've not had to put anyone in the dog house lately, aside from a dog. I'm referring to the ones who like to poop IN THE HOUSE. 😳

Kara said...

Maybe Lad should take classes in plumbing. He's stuck with an albatross of a house, so time to learn some DIY. Christmas present from you and Coach could be fumigation for pests and rodents.

Anonymous said...

Re: the yogurt: if your Greek yogurt is plain yogurt: Greek yogurt is just regular yogurt that's had some of the whey drained out of it. If you put some cheesecloth or other thin fabric into of a pasta strainer, spoon the yogurt onto the fabric, and let it sit for an hour or two so that some of the whey drains out, it'll become Greek yogurt. If you over-strain, it eventually takes on a cream cheese texture, but that takes hours. (It's still good to eat when over-strained-- just not the texture you want for yogurt.)

Bijoux said...

That sounds like a very difficult dinner. Remember the good old days when the biggest issue with our kids was potty training?? That's what I always think about when hit with one of these adult children problems.

Ernie said...

Suz - So many kids go to the dance as friends. What was the deal? Reg has stayed friends with her, but doesn't hang with her a ton. He will tell me sometimes that she doesn't get included in things or that girls do not always gel with her - and I'm thinking WELL, MAYBE IT'S BECAUSE HER SOCIAL SKILLS ARE A TAD LACKING. Hmmm.

Oh, Lad. Guess who showed up to do his laundry here today. I was like, sure so long as you go in the bushes and dig your old dog bed and other dog crap out from the place around the deck and remove it.

I'm gonna say - I have a lot going on over here, and I'm REALLY glad it doesn't include actual dogs and their actual s*it. ;)

Ernie said...

Kara - I like it - way to think outside the box and get creative.

Ernie said...

Anonymous - Holy heck. I have zero interest in making Greek yogurt. Thanks for the info, but cheese cloth? I don't own that and I'm OK with that. Life is pretty hectic here - I feel my time is best spent making an extra trip to the store. ;)

Ernie said...

Bijoux - For real. There were simpler issues back in the day and why was I stressed out about whether or not they would ever learn to tie their shoes or sleep enough for me to get a few things done? A woman I sit for says SMALL KIDS, SMALL PROBLEM, BIGGER KIDS, BIGGER PROBLEMS. Why did no one share that insight with me long ago? Well, I probably would've been overcome with fear of what was to come. Rightfully so.

Ally Bean said...

I suppose Lad is going to learn the hard way about real estate investments. I'm sorry about that, but maybe it's better that he has this experience early on, rather than later in life? Trying to find the silver lining here.

Ernie said...

Ally - I appreciate your search for the silver lining. The fact that he is telling us that he is showering at the health club to save money on water (something we begged him to do - as a man who loves LONG ASS showers, when he was living here) makes me think that he really DOES need to learn these lessons on his own.

Bibliomama said...

The whole 'you're only as happy as your saddest child' makes it really hard to be happy sometimes. i hope the family dinners help.

Ernie said...

Ali - Isn't that the truth? Thanks. We are on our way to visit Tank for parents' weekend. Lad is doing some driving of kids for us, helping out. It will be nice to praise him for a positive fam involvment.