Friday, January 21, 2011

Foo You

Youngest has gotten remarkably better at controlling himself when situations don't go his way. A friend who was over to the house not long ago hadn't seen him in easily six months. She pointed out how much more easy-going and calmer he had become. With a shock, I had to agree. How had I not seen that before?

Because, in the midst of being more easy-going and calmer and agreeable, he still has moments like Saturday morning. He and I were down at the school, letting the dog run wild and playing a game of Around the World in basketball.

I suck at basketball. I never played it unless I was in the polyester one-piece gym outfit during high school. I'm short, so it just was never a game that held any interest to me. Because, hey, unless you can conquer a sport, truly, what is the point of trying?

But Saturday, with the sun in his eyes and me sporting sunglasses and a baseball cap, I took a two-point lead. After I made a basket and he didn't, I turned over my hat to him, at his request. Next round, I forked over the sunglasses. When he yelled, "BIFF!" with all his might when I was shooting, I should have known what was coming next.

"God damnit!" he said when he missed the next one.

"Don't talk like that," I sternly said. "I've told you not to say that."

I made the next shot, a shot I never make. He took the ball for his turn, flung it and said, "Screw you."

Dude, do you kiss your mother with that mouth?

So I told him we were going home RIGHT NOW and he was watching NO TV all day and he was going STRAIGHT TO HIS ROOM when we got home and I was going to TELL HIS FATHER.

Hours later, quite teary-eyed and having been shut down each time he'd been to try to make any conversation with me, he made a point of saying, "I didn't say that. I said, 'Foo you,'" clearly not realizing that such a exclamatory statement could be construed one of two ways.


Josie Two Shoes said...

As a Mom who's been there with raising kids, this made me chuckle. You handled it so well! He should be grateful the ancient practice of washing one's mouth out with soap is no longer vogue. I am thankful that was before my time too, and I was prone to acting out now and then! :-)

Jomama said...

Good to hear there is progress on the anger front, but yes, it can be hard to keep that in mind in the aftermath of a meltdown. Did you know that in times of stress, our brains are actually wired to remember ALL THE OTHER TIMES of similar stress? It's a survival mechanism, for the rabbit part of us outrunning the wolf, to remember all the other times we've been in the same situation, supposedly to help us remember what bush to hide under.

Unfortunately, not so helpful when managing emotions. Good for rabbits, not good for parents.

Good luck, and fewer times of remembering that stuff ahead for you.


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