Cooling Down

I shut off comments on the last post about Doodicus because I was so upset, I didn’t even want to hear that eventually this too would get better. I also didn’t want to feel guilty in case someone decided to add that I’m over-reacting. Honestly this is not so much that I am angry that he was looking at images that a ten year old has no business at looking at; I am angry that this is the third time he’s broken the rule we specifically had already set in stone.

I get that a ten (almost eleven) year old boy will be curious about sex, and in fact I’d be worried if he wasn’t by now as he has never ONCE asked us anything about the birds and the bees. I’d hate for him to be sitting in his health class this year when they will bring up the subject of puberty and for him to be the only kid sitting there wondering what the hell just blew his Lego and Bey-Blade-filled-world to smithereens.

The specifics of what happened will bore you, but here they are: Dood was in his room playing on his iPod. It struck me as odd because he likes to sit in the living room with the rest of us, even though he pretty much tunes us out. The reason I didn’t think about it too much is because 1) it’s not the first time; 2) his sister wouldn’t stop bugging him; and 3) I like when he plays in his room by himself. The overall environment is much calmer and quieter for everybody.

It was time to get Aitch ready for bed, but I went into his room first to give him a heads up that he should also get dressed. When I asked what he was doing (more of a rhetorical question asked only so I could ease into the topic of getting ready for bed so he wouldn’t flip out, which is not uncommon), he was jumpy and over-talkitive. When he clutched his iPod to his chest protectively, my jaw clenched. "Let me see," I commanded. As he handed it over, he said he "was just watching Mine Craft videos", but again, he was acting nervous and basically just…off. I scrolled through the history of the videos, and while the first several I swiped through were as he said, they devolved into explicit videos of women in different states of undress and the titles of the videos were disturbing.

He must have seen by the look on my face that he had been thoroughly busted and began pleading with me to not take away his iPod. I was silent as a stone when I turned my back on him and left him in his room, crying.

Eventually the kids were both in bed (Sparring Partner was gone. Again. He spends more evenings away with his dad who is terminally ill and rarely sees the kids into bedtime.), and I sat down and turned on the restrictions to just about everything on his iPod except the apps already installed and music, as well as locking down access to our WiFi. I then returned his iPod to his room so he could listen to his music.

It wasn’t until the following evening that he discovered what I had done. He exploded because a couple of the games required WiFi in order for him to play them. He pounded on the couch in rage and screamed at me. I myself had had 24 hours to let my own anger cool so his fury slid off me and I remained unfazed and detached. I think this infuriated him even more. Eventually the screaming caused dad to call him down to his workshop in the basement. I listened as Dood’s voice slowly and eventually came down in decibels. He then came back upstairs and apologized.

Right now I don’t have an answer for him when he asks when he’ll get access back. I’m just disappointed enough still that I could easily shoot the answer "NEVER" at him, but of course that’s neither fair or true. School starts next week. Maybe if he starts off on the right foot, I’ll be ready to give a more favorable answer in September.

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5 thoughts on “Cooling Down”

  1. Clearly, you did fine. The 4th (or so) time we went through this with E, Zack literally snapped his mp3 player in half. Mind you, he started with ads from shopko. Then looking at things on the computer. Then, looking at things ON THE SCHOOL LAPTOP. Then the ipod. Then school computer again. SO….I’m just saying…it will likely happen again. Just stay strong, and know that his life is not going to be ruined if he can’t listen to music, surf the web, or play games! He’ll live. It just has been frustrating for us because the time it was on the mp3 player, it was his sister, who had borrowed the mp3 player to listen to music while studying, who found it. SO – the other kids are all aware of what is going on, and of course, we’d prefer if it just wasn’t even something they were aware of.

  2. I think you’re doing a fabulous job. I hope I can follow in your footsteps as my boys get older. I particularly like that you were able not to react to his outrage when he discovered the new restrictions. go you!

  3. Oh, I am SOOO not looking forward to this. I have a boy, I know it is coming but man, it freaks me out. I think your reaction was more than fair. He broke the rules, he gets a punishment and that punishment directly relates to what he was doing wrong. Hopefully at some point he will calm down enough to understand that.

  4. Well, the obvious (and extremely open-ended) answer to when is “When I feel I can trust you to follow the rules.” You can always develop a merit system with score-keeping to keep him on task.

    I’m sorry that he’s so interested in these things already. I know it’s scary for where it can go, but you’re doing a good job of keeping up with him. I don’t think it’s something you can fix or something that will go away, but with time and training (and maybe more visits to the shrink?), you can probably help him put things into proper perspective. And time will help his impulse control.

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