not as good as I thought.... :-(

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-30-1999
not as good as I thought.... :-(
Thu, 11-08-2012 - 10:51am

Technically, things are better on the respect front regarding DS10. He even got excited about earning stuff back through positive choices with his new chart. Things have been calmer in the house as all 4 of us are working and acting as a family again. Good, right?

This is so ridiculous I can't even stand to watch myself type it.....

Yesterday I sent DS10 and DS5 to school in coats because of the Nor'Easter. DS5 left his big coat at is nana's house over the weekend so he was wearing an old one that DS10 had outgrown. He had been doing so for the last 3 days and DS10 had even been told that he'd outgrown it and that should have been it, right? No. DH and I had a great day yesterday reconnecting and talking about future plans. I still can't drive cuz of the vertigo stuff so he drove and we went in together. DS5 wasn't wearing a coat and the teacher said they couldn't find it. He had it in the morning but it disappeared. So while we tried to figure out where it may have been left, I look at DS10 who is WEARING IT!! The whole time he played dumb and said he thought that was his, that he thought he had it the day before & must have left it so he put his big coat in his backpack and wore that one. Ummmm...?? And meanwhile DS5 is young, didn't realize it and the teacher had no idea. Also, while everyone was looking for DS5's coat, DS10 must have been smugly thinking "hahaha..." Yet another manipulative conniving stunt.

I did call DS10 out on it and told him to take it off and give it to DS5. He tried to play dumb with me and I said I didn't believe it and that was it. End of story. We all got in the car and went home. I proceeded to make dinner and forgot the incident. (In my eyes it was done. They both had the right coats on.) Apparently that wasn't good enough for DH. He thinks I should have continued on about not looking out for his brother, not paying attention, etc etc. Regardless of what I did, it wasn't good enough. Don't get me wrong... I was pissed and still am. DS10 pulls this crap all the time and leaves DS5 hanging out of jealousy. (He's even admitted to that.)

While we're eating dinner DS10 is sawing his meat with the knife like it's a saw. He has weak hands and has had OT for that in the past. His handwriting was atrocious and they had to work on that in his IEP at school too. It has improved so they deemed the service no longer necessary. Ok, he's functioning, that's fine. He's always tried to whine about not being able to cut his meat or whatever. Mostly a ploy for me to give in and cut things for him. (I haven't done that in years.) Both DH and I want our kids to have good table manners. We don't let them eat like animals and I am always pointing out when DS10 eats like a caveman. (Honestly, his paternal side does and I know he gets it from there.)

DH looked at me funny then back to DS10 cutting. I noticed he was still sawing and I addressed it. Apparently that wasn't good enough because after dinner DH goes into another one of his tirades about why I didn't say anything about him holding his FORK like a neanderthal? That I was giving DS10 another free pass; that I obviously don't think manners are important. What was my problem? Why can't I just get it? Why can't I just be a focused parent who pays attention? (all his questions to me)

Of course now, nothing I say is right or good enough. I remind him that DS10 has weak hands and I'm told that I need to work harder to enforce the strength. I mention that DS10's handwriting at work is slipping and then I get told that I'm not following up with him. That I'm not giving him the time and energy he deserves. That I know DS10 is a difficult child with problems and instead of working to help him through them I just enable him to get off the hook & get away with stuff. Which only makes his problems WORSE.

I am so fed up. I don't know what to do. I do love my whole family whole heartedly. Believe it or not, I do agree with alot of what DH says. And it's not just me. Even our babysitter, the school daycare provider, his therapist and many others agree on how difficult DS10 is. I know in the past I've felt major mommy guilt about divorcing his dad, about his "disabilities" and trying to excuse stuff for him cuz he is different. I don't want to do that anymore and don't think I am. I know there are a lot of old habits that are hard to break, but I'm also at wits end.

I can't belive I have spent this morning thinking about boarding school. Not just to get him out of my hair, but to maybe help him. If he can't succeed in my house, he needs to be somewhere he can thrive. He deserves that. He is such a smart boy but gets into so much trouble at home for being manipulative on top of everything else. DH was bull---t last night. He said he can't believe a 10 yr old is running our house and making us fight. "He's winning and he's probably laughing in his room right now. Hahaha, I made them fight." And to make matters worse, DS10 put himself to bed at 7:15 pm (bedtime is 8:30) because he knew we were fighting about him and he didn't want to have to face/interact with us.

I know DH was making a mountian out of a molehill last night, but he swears he wasn't. That "it's all the little things that add up". I have ADHD myself, I don't notice all of these little things!! I am also forgetful... I forgot to finish asking DS10 last night why he would take his brother's jacket when he KNEW they were looking for it. Now DH is demanding that I tell him what I want out of these kids. Because I say I agree with him but I can't follow through. Ugh. I'm so frustrated.... I hate this. I hate being a wife and I hate being a mother!

Community Leader
Registered: 12-21-2001
Thu, 11-08-2012 - 5:15pm

IMHO, the behavior and arguments between you and DH about the children, is NOT normal. The two of you need to talk to a professional 3rd party about what each of you expects from the children’s behavior, yours and each other, etc.  A boarding school is INMHO (been there, done that) is NEVER a very bright idea. (Financial/admissions would never agree).

 The first time one of my twins wore something the other outgrew the same thing happened. You & DH need to talk about what will be the policy for outgrown cloths & shoes.  We chose no hand-me downs and fewer clothes.

 The ehavior between you and DH about the children is NOT normal. The two of you need to talk to a professional about what each of you expect from the children, yourself and each other etc. and are the expectations fair.  INMHO boarding school is never a good idea if there is more than one child in the house and no plans for them to go also.  Once on a holiday from boarding school, my younger sister who was bigger and heavier wore my favorite dress. I wore uniforms almost 365 days a year.  We usually changed from a uniform to nightclothes, so, we had very few “street clothes’.  After more than 45 years I still remember taking it (a high waist, heavy linen dress whose lines were its only decoration) from the closet Easter Sunday and being highly upset finding it was totally out of shape with seams and zipper stretched and torn.  I now realized that I grew even farther from my father, mother and siblings because no one seemed to understand MY hurt and the problems this caused, it seems my sister was only told not to wear my cloths again.

I've been hearing little of DS5, he may be young but that doesn’t make him perfect or any less capable of learning to manipulate people and situations. Why would DS10 brag about places he’s been, ever think that it might in response to goading for DS5-example: “Dad doesn’t love you as much as he loves me”.  You said DS10 was exhibiting behavior used for attention getting-not using words but is he being shown affection, just cause, or when he gets something right? Negative attention is still attention. Did one of you pick up DS5 from nana's and not notice the lack of coat, does he have it now?  This entire thing started because DS5 didn't keep track of his belongings.  What happened to him? Is DS10 you and your ex's child and DS5 you and current DH's?

IMHO, the behavior and arguments between you and DH about the children, is NOT normal. The two of you need to talk to a professional 3rd party about what each of you expects from the children’s behavior, yours and each other, etc. A boarding school is INMHO (been there, done that) is NEVER a very bright idea. (Financial/admissions would never agree).