I’ve mentioned before how Mr. DD can be a real asshole when it comes to what I loosely term as “parenting” XBoy. Before I rant about it, I will say that most of the time he’s great. It’s just when he’s not, he’s really not.
This morning? Mr. DD hit one of his low points.
XBoy has a hard time in the mornings. It’s not because he’s still tired or sleepy. He just can’t seem to focus on what’s important, which is to wash up, get dressed in his school uniform, and let Dad know what he wants for breakfast (I’m usually getting ready for work and dealing with ZGirl, but I have to overhear the inevitable arguments). It’s not unusual to find XBoy in is room half-dressed and playing with something instead of taking to task. We understand that he’s 7. We understand that his room is full of tempting toys. We understand ADHD. We understand that it can take up to an hour for his meds to take hold. But it tries our patience to the limit since this is something we have dealt with every.damn.school.day for the last three years. It infuriates Mr. DD. Granted; it pisses me off, too.
On this day, XBoy was looking for some money he was given by Mr. DD’s hobby group members for helping them out at the track. He wanted to bring the money to school and buy something at the book fair. Mr. DD had picked it up off the floor last night after XBoy had went to bed, and was peeved at his carelessness and instead of giving the money back to XBoy when he asked where it was, he simply told him that he might get it later, after XBoy had gotten dressed and had breakfast.
Unfortunately, XBoy got upset. He started to cry. And whine. Two things most hated by Mr. DD. He told XBoy to “dry up” and then he did something I’ve never heard him do to XBoy: he started to mock XBoy by mimicking him. Even when Mr. DD is being a total prick to XBoy, I try not to intervene openly. Instead I’ll glare at him or give him the finger across the throat sign for “That’s enough!” without XBoy’s notice. If crying and whining are the sparks to Mr. DD’s anger, me undermining him in front of XBoy is fuel.
I was in the bedroom during this most recent exchange so I could only listen and feel my own face burn in embarrassment and anger on my son’s behalf. After things settled down, I called Mr. DD into the bedroom under the guise of needing help with something. When he came in, I had him follow me into the master bath where I proceeded to rip him a new one.
“Did your parents mock you like that?!”
“Hell, yes!” he responded as if that an everyday occurrence with him (and knowing his parents like I do, it probably was).
“Then that’s YOUR problem. Don’t make it XBoy’s. He’s already got issues with you as it is (hinting at the comments XBoy made about his dad in counseling). Stop comparing him to his classmates (he was doing this after XBoy’s poor behavior in church, “Soandso was saying the Lord’s Prayer! Soandso was sitting still! Why can’t you? Etc. etc. blah blah blah.”) He’s not Soandso. He’s Xboy! How would you like it if I said, ‘This Boyfriend did this for me,’ or ‘That Boyfriend did that for me,’ when you’re being a total Fuck to me, huh?”
“You mean, why don’t I beat you like That Boyfriend did?” he replied.
Oh, yes. He did.
And yes, I did have a boyfriend who I would have to call abusive. If I had stayed with him after he slapped me – once – in anger. But when that happened, I packed my shit out of his apartment and was gone before the end of the day. And completely irrelevant to anything but purely a knee JERK (can I say “literally” here or that pretty much implied?) response from him!
After he walked back out, I thought of several things I could have said to make matters worse (like, “Was your Mom sober when she verbally abused you??”), but I bit it all back. Move on, I told myself. But I’m pretty angry about it because we’ve had these kinds of discussions before. XBoy doesn’t take criticism well (who does?) and we are impatient parents to a child that needs infinite patience.
It’s a total sonofabitch to want so badly for your child to mature into a responsible, caring adult if the adults raising the child can be sonsofbitches. It’s a volatile mix.