12/07/2001 Here we go again.
She let dh know tonight that she won't let ss leave her home a day
early in order to attend this year's robotics important hours long
kick-off meeting at the end of xmas break.
And if the championships are during ss's time with her, he won't be
01/06/02 Dh picked up ss at biomom's home.
01/15/02 2 small sample cans of cat food still in the original
plastic wrap are on my kitchen sink.
I knew bm or her mother had insisted ss pack up the sample cans
of cat food and take them to our home. Ss probably "found"
them in his backpack, and just now put them in the kitchen.
I take the cans out of the wrapping and put them in a cupboard out of
the way for emergencies. The cat eats dry cat food all the time without
a problem. I don't mention it to ss or dh.
Bm wants us to feed the cat her choice of food.
She has her own cat to feed.
But more than anything she wants to be able to intrude into our home
in any way.
That night I had a dream. I dreamt that we're in our home, and
suddenly bm appears out of a secret bedroom in our home we didn't know
about. She's personally interfering with everything going on in our
home. Suddenly there's many, many people in our home. We can't get rid
of them. We struggle with convincing them of rules and laws to get them
out of our home.
I woke up shaking my head about the dream.
When bm had custody ss's homework thruout elementary school, and 7th
grade jr hi, took 5 hours every night of bm sitting by ss dictating to
him all he's to do. He had D's. Her solution to any problem was keep him
from any contact with his father, and increase the Ritalin. Dh most of
the time saw his son may be 3xs a year, and rarely was allowed to talk
to his son on the phone.
Since dh won custody ss is off Ritalin and handles his own homework
in a timely manner. One of the ways we accomplished that is that there
are no interruptions during homework, including a phone call from his
mother. She would demand to talk to him immediately, stir things up, or
grill him for 40 minutes about every detail of his life and our life.
The kids have their own phone line, and usually bm has no trouble
calling and getting hold of ss. However, she is NOT happy that while
he's doing homework ss is not allowed to answer the phone, and my
daughters tell bm they'll tell ss she called. The court order requires a
phone call to be returned in 24 hours.
Last night my daughter told bm that ss was doing homework and she'd
tell him his mom called. Bm demanded to talk to dh.
Bm was furious that we were "keeping" ss from her. She was
convinced that dh, my girls, and I are hiding ss away from her, and that
we don't give him the messages. Bm said ss must still have ADD if he has
difficulty returning to his homework after a phone call. She said
"we" (meaning dh and her) must take a look at his school load
because ss has way too much homework to do. Dh was calm and firm. He
told her ss finishes his homework every night within 2 or 3 hours, that
my daughter has the same load as ss and is also involved in robotics,
and that the rule stands, no phone calls during homework.
I told dh I didn't understand people who do the things she does, and
doesn't feel any guilt about. I don't understand her demanding
appropriate behavior on our part without her noticing the irony.
Dh makes sure ss gets the message, and when his homework was done he
told ss to call his mom. Ss says, "She's paranoid about both
of you." At first I was like, "Why's she paranoid about
us?!?" Then it finally occurred to me - that's the clue that she's
recognizing the irony of her expecting appropriate behavior from
us. She doesn't feel guilty about her poor behavior all these past
years, and she's sure that we'll behave as she did.
The line was busy. Dh insisted ss try again.
After the phone call ss marches downstairs to snap at us that his mom
has let him know that he is to be in charge of his own life, and he will
no longer participate in robotics.
Ss likes to tell his mom that his homework is overwhelming and that
he can't possibly participate in extracurricular activities. There are
times my daughter answers the phone and since ss is done with homework
she tells ss to get on the phone. Then ss tells his mom he can't talk
cuz he is doing homework.
Bm tried to undermine his robotics all last year, and yet she and her
parents attended the regional robotics competition when the won, and she
wanted his medal afterwards. Ss explained he had to wear it to the
nationals. Bm insisted on getting copies of all national pictures ss
took. She spoke to her friends and family proudly about her son
Dh firmly told ss that he will be finishing his participation in
robotics, and they argue and discuss for 40 minutes the benefit of
extracurricular activities. Dh points out to ss how impressive it is to
college recruiters and employers that his robotics team won regional and
national last year, and that ss was one of 7 chosen to be on the team
that won nationally. Ss says he can't go to the nationals this year
because he's at his mom's over Spring Break and she has already said she
won't let him go. We point out that nationals are not during spring
Ss eventually sobs that he'll never be good enough. He heard that you
must have a 4.2 to get in to UCLA. He wants to spend more time trying to
be social and getting dates rather than participate in the
Dh points out that the requirement for 4.2 is not true, and I insist
ss check out what he heard with his advisor. Dh repeatedly tells ss he
loves him and he's proud of him.
Ss doesn't realize all the gains he's made. Girls have had crushes on
him since 8th grade. He had a wonderful girlfriend for 3 months this
year. Robotics has a couple of girls who have crushes on him. He's got
A's, is in honor classes, tested in 97 percentile in PSAT's in this his
sophomore year, interned in his 8th summer as a programmer at a dot.com,
has volunteered at the school's ISP 3 hrs a week as recommended by his
advisor and will be able to work at that ISP this summer and get paid
for it, and robotics will be a glowing recommendation on his school
Ss finally says in his own words, "I don't think mom's thinking
of the future."
Well, neither is ss. He's a teenager. He loses sight of the big
picture. He doesn't see all the many ways he has improved so much
socially and academically.
Dh told him it's his job to make sure ss gets thru high school and
takes advantage of opportunities to be exposed to a variety of
experiences socially and academically.
Ss always insists he wants to go to a 4 year college out of state.
Bm wants him to live with her after high school and attend the
liberal arts college near her.
And ss may indeed choose to retreat to old familiar behavior.
We'll be available if he wants to choose to continue to get on his
own two feet.