Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Junk on the Floor

So what can I be cranky about today? 

Kids.  What else? How do you motivate kids to do stuff?  When they're almost twelve, you can't.  You can guilt-trip them.  Now that seems to work, but it's a rotten idea because I remember how much I hated that when I was twelve.

I'm an expert at the guilt-trip.  Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of other weapons of mass destruction in my arsenal and I use this one way more than I should.  Hey, it's what I know.  I wish I didn't.

So what else is there?   My husband is just leaving things up to Jack and he's doing it.  What?  Wait.  How did you do that? 

He's not reading.  He's not brushing his teeth on his own, but he'll carry groceries and take the recyclables down to the road on Sunday night.  I tried it, but I added that I was tired too and I'd have to make three trips if he didn't help.  Guilt.  Crap.  Mike could have said just the right thing.

It seems to work to tell him that if he doesn't want to brush his teeth, he can just give me his retainer because he won't need to straighten teeth that are just going to fall out anyway.  That is still manipulation.  I use all my powers of manipulation.  I honestly believe that there are many things that Jack just won't see if I don't point them out to him.  Would he? 

See, the problem is that I just don't trust Jack to make the right decisions yet.  And he doesn't.  It's a vicious circle.  How do we break this circle?  I've left him alone for two weeks and he hasn't read more than two words on a cereal box.  He'd eat junk food until he was sick to his stomach if left to his own devices.  He did eat junk food until he had to leave Boy Scout camp midweek. 

If he were responsible enough to do this stuff on his own, he'd have his own job, apartment, and maybe a wife.  He's just not there.  So where do I stop?  How messy do I let it get? He leaves dirty dishes and food wrappers all over if I say nothing.  I just can't stand that.  I already have trouble with all his other junk lying around.  He'd argue with me that it's not junk.  If it's lying in the middle of my floor, it's junk. 

I tell you:  living with a twelve year old boy really sucks.  It would be great if he could have his own apartment.  I don't think he could keep the job or the wife yet, though.

Thank you for listening, jules

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