Mind if I just rant for a little bit?
My husband is confusing me. We have 2 children together and his two teenagers living in the house with us. I must say the daughter is doing awesome. She just got another scholarship grant. Who Hoo! Only 35 more months of college in a foreign country to pay for! She broke up with her boyfriend last night because he didn't want her to go away to college. And she thought that if she continued dating him through the summer she might not want to go away either. And then 2 years down the line at an in-state university she would have regrets. How friggin' smart is that? I would have never made that decision when I was 17 and I would have stayed and regretted it. I still regret it.... not going on an international exchange during high school or college. It is why I went with Rotary in 2000 ~ wasn't going to let another relationship prevent me from experiencing something amazing and worthwhile. What is even more amazing is that her Sophomore year in high school she was hanging out with the worst people, dressing all Emo and making poor choices. Her dad straightened her out. There were consequences that were handed out for poor choices and followed through with. She moved in with us and has stayed ever since. Even through all of the sad bribery her mom has offered her in order to get her to move back: belly button piercing (she took her up on that one), let her drive the car, offered her a used one and some other weird things too bizarre to go into right now. If she was caught doing something there was punishment like taking the phone away, loss of all activities with friends, a homework and TV/computer time schedule, loss of the car her dad bought her. And there were discussions about choices and consequences and seeing the bigger picture. And she got it. She dumped her loser friends, more than a few of them dropped out of school that year. She gave peer pressure the middle finger and found a better set of friends. How many kids do that? She is graduating with honors in her high school "focus," has won awards for her many projects in school, received grants & scholarships, and has been accepted into her first school of choice.
It is the boy's turn to cause concern. He has really crappy grades, D's and F's along with some C's and B's. Trouble is, he is smarter than that. Trouble is, so is Dad. He has unlimited time on his computer. His mom got him Grand Theft Auto for his birthday. See above paragraph for sad bribery. (She wants him to spend more time with her. On paper he lives with her so we pay her support every month when he actually spends his time outside of school and baseball here, even on "her" weekends.) I feel bad for her. I don't want to live her life as ex-wife trying to co-parent. Anywho, I don't see the same reactions in dad that I would expect. His grades are worse than his sister's ever were, yet there is still plenty of time spent at baseball and on the computer with a little TV thrown in to balance it all out. Baseball. Regular season has ended and now he has started another league. Double AA or A or something. So he continues to have practice in the early evening after coming home in the afternoon to wage war on NYC. On alternating days he meets with his personal trainer directly after school to lift weights or run, depending on the day. His physical transformation in a single year has been amazing. After regular baseball team practice there is no less than an hour at the batting cages, every day. What I can't figure out is why this is continuing while the grades are so poor. Dad has even admitted that he should probably be doing something. He gave me this line of bullspit about how difficult it is to dominate another male. I cry foul ball here. That is the biggest plate of crap set before the Queen in quite a while. When I think of my husband I can visualize him with a steel core, might also be considered a pole up his ... wait a minute! I am getting off base here. He can dig his heels in like no one I know. And it is basically his way or the highway with a lot of stuff. So how hard is it to pull the plug on the computer? Take the cords away while he is at school. Sorry, no more computer until your grades improve. He wants to get his license at the end of the summer. Biggest carrot a teenager will chase after as far as I know. No coffee no workie! I think Dad might be concerned that the kid will not move in with us. He should be free to live where he wants, regardless of the desires of either parent. He doesn't tell his mom he wants to live with us because he doesn't want to hurt her ~ he is a caring kid at his soul ~ but instead he is sullen and angry and totally disrespectful to her in every way he can be (unless it is his birthday) because he is angry about having to coddle her feelings. I would think that the kid is hoping someone will actually take the reins and tell him to shape up. Instead he is adrift.
Dad was trying to convince me (or himself) that he has raised his kids well. Funny, one of his dad's favorite sayings was if you were going to do something do it to the best of your abilities. And my husband idolized his father. The time he spends at home he is usually on his computer, yes researching something for work, but ignoring his littlest kids, the ones who still want to play with him. No one has to any chores. No need to help clean up the kitchen after you make your self a sandwich or whatever, or help after dinner. Cleaning the bathroom is foreign territory as are brooms for when you come in the house with dirt and grass on your cleats. Garden tools are on another planet. Hey, think maybe you could help out by mowing the lawn or doing your own laundry? Dad cleans the boy's room! DH isn't the neat and tidy man he claims himself to be. Gee, I wish I could live there. And dad doesn't support the idea of after school jobs to earn money because they might take up too much time for baseball, or softball when she played or other school activities. The girl has pretty much had a job for two years now and really likes having her own money. It is why she has an iPhone. She gets it. But a job would get in the way of baseball and he needs to relax after his hard day too.
So I don't get it. He was able to get the job done for the girl but not for the boy. Maybe he is getting tired of raising children. My future? I have a girl and a boy who will one day be teenagers. And I will be the Guy. The Good Guy and the Bad Guy making sure my kids are raised to be responsible, helpful, charitable, respectful, fun, educated, balanced children, most likely by myself. I gonna make it as right as I can make it.