Recently a title suggestion for my blog made me chuckle, "Domestic Adventures of a Reluctant Stepmom". Except it feels more like misadventurous adventures than anything else. Reluctant yes, very, if I had a crystal ball that let me peer into the now about two months ago when the bomb was dropped. Would I have high-tailed it to the hills of Rome? Or would I be experiencing these misadventures still?
habits - plural of hab-it (noun)
1.) A settled or regular tendency or practice, esp. one that is hard to give up.
2.) An addictive practice, esp. one of taking drugs.
"Bazinga!" "Just kidding!" "Sorry, I was just joking."You are not joking and you are not sorry. You are doing things that are bad on purpose. You understand the difference between right and wrong. You are choosing to do wrong and try to pass it off with a feign apology or mask it as a joke. NOT FUNNY! It makes it hard when Andy does something truly wrong to make him apologize when saying sorry is nothing more than a joke to him. Is it bad that I just want to pick him up and shake the life out of him?
Cruising around the store, I stopped by the bathroom and instructed Andy to wait for me. When I emerged from my pee break he was gone. I searched the entire store for him and when I finally spotted him he had a soda pop. "Where did you get that soda pop Andy?" I knew full well he had no money so the answer was obvious because the store didn't have a magic fairy giving free soda pop to every 10-year old it spotted. He asked the food court for a cup to get water and then helped himself to the soda pop. Granted I know I did it as a rebellious teen but I am trying to adjust behaviors. "Andy what you did is called stealing and lying. We don't do that in our family. When you ask for a cup to get water, you get water. You don't help yourself to whatever you feel like. You didn't pay for that soda pop, that's called stealing."
He looked at me like I was speaking some crazy Shakespearean language or something. He heard English but the words were not sinking in. He simply told me, "My mommy does it all the time. She says if I want something and don't have money for it I can just get it." WHAT?!?!?!?! So his mother has taught him to lie and steal. Fucking great! As if his poor eating habits from EBT acquired fast-food weren't enough to make my head spin.
We went home and had a long talk with dad about not telling fibs and NOT stealing. I would like to think that telling him once it would fix the problem but I know better. Habits, good or bad, are hard to break. As I mentioned I hosted an exchange student who purchased a cell phone during his stay here. A few days before Jackey had to go on a short visit to Los Angeles he was having a hard time finding the box his phone came in. Yeah, you see where this story is going.... So we looked in the room he was sharing with Andy and I spotted a box behind the dresser. I assumed it was the box the phone came in. But when Jackey retrieved the box, the look of shock in his face told me the box was not for his phone. It was a box of chocolates that I gave Jackey as a gift to take home to his mother. The chocolates were half eaten.
Andy had already been seated in the living room on time out for who knows what, I can't remember now. I held up the box of chocolate and asked, "Why?" He looked at me, shrugged his shoulders and said, "I dunno." I told him, "I don't know is not an acceptable answer. Tell me why you got into Jackey's things, ate the gift I got for his mother and then hid the box? In what universe is it okay to take things that do not belong to you? I need an answer now!" He started crying and saying sorry, who knows if he meant it or not because he says sorry all the time and laughs! We had him apologize to Jackey for what he had done. I was mortified! How's that for cultural exchange, now you know what if feels like, personally, for an American to steal from you.
I go back into Andy's room and continue searching for the missing box when I find a hoard of stamps stuffed behind his mattress. Jackey is a stamp collector. I just about came unglued!!!! I called the hubs into the room and had him talk to Andy (it was more like screaming than talking) and apologize again to Jackey. Double mortification, anger and the urge to take a good 10 minutes in a room alone with his mother to give her a piece of my foot up her ass. Jackey thankfully is taking it as well as could be expected, I had to apologize to him it was god awful. Feeling embarrassed in front of a 12-year old on account of a 10-year old living in my house that doesn't even belong to me. I was unable to find the box and promised Jackey that while on his trip to Los Angeles I would find it (and probably take up snorting coke and drinking bourbon out of the bottle).
I then went to the living room to get my shoes on for work. While Andy is sobbing uncontrollably on the couch I had him sit up and asked him, "Do you understand why everyone is upset right now? Do you know what you did wrong?" He said, "Yes." (Sociopath in the making maybe?) And I explained to him that his actions hurt everyone in the house. I asked him if he would prefer to live somewhere else because his behavior showss the contrary. He said no and silently walked away into his bedroom and emerged holding a shoe box. He handed it to Jackey, with his head bowed, "Here is all of your stuff you have been looking for, sorry." You would think that would be the end of the nonsense but yesterday when we were seeing Jackey off there was more. Andy came out of his room and returned 2 tissue packs and a raincoat, "Here Jackey, this is your stuff, I was keeping it safe for you." So again we had to talk to him about not taking, touching, using anything that does not belong to him. I need a lock on my bedroom door before I am a victim of my own step-child, though I somehow already feel like the victim in all of this nonsense.
So had I peered into the crystal ball what would I have done? I would like to think I would have done the right thing and provide a young, still pliable mind with a nurturing environment. Maybe sprinkle in some proper parenting... by the way I have no idea what the hell I am doing. There is no instruction book and I never read the damn things anyways. Much like the rest of life I guess I just have to figure it out on my own. I do have a visit down in Costa Mesa next week, it's awful close to Santa Ana. If I were of a deviant mind set I would go knocking on the mother's door and give her a piece of my mind. I hate to side with MIL's views that the majority of humans should be: sterilized, medicated or executed for fear of being compared to a dark-haired man with a funny mustache. But damn, there should be a license or some kind of test to allow people breed and to mold the minds of children. Like how I avoided my own question?
Maybe a blog rename is going to happen. I fear I have fallen into the realm of mommy blogger. Except instead of talking about lice, potty training and little league I get to talk about a miscreant and complain about his mother. This was NOT in the brochure!