Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Parenting From a Distance

My ex husband owns greasy engine parts, motorized implements of destruction (moped, go kart, random death-trap vehicles) and a Saint Bernard that never fails to remind me of Cujo. I do not have anything that awesome. I have a lawn mower, but it's only a couple of years old and has that nifty safety grip device that keeps you from chopping your arms and legs off. The only time living in my home is dangerous is when I use the orange and almond oil on the floors.

What 15 year old boy wants to risk his life on slippery hardwood floors when there are contraptions to cause immediate death somewhere else? I couldn't blame him for wanting to go. When he left this past spring to explore the father-son side of living, I encouraged him to really give it his best. He deserved this opportunity. I told myself, "If the boy has a father that wants to be part of his life you need to let him go. It will be good for him."

And it was. Over the summer he made new friends, hung out with his dad on the weekends, spent time with my parents (who live in the same community), and enjoyed life in general. If he was anxious about starting a new school, he didn't let on. He seemed to be adapting pretty well. I missed him, but I was glad he was happy.

And then I got the text. THE.TEXT. Da Da DAAAAAA. (I added commas and apostrophes.. sue me)

Son: I'm pretty sad. I told **** today that I was leaving. I needed to get my check from Grandma. I thought if she needed me she could call me. I heard her talking to someone on the phone and she said "Don't just tell me you're leaving. When I hear that I think where's the suitcase!"

Son: I really think why does she say she wants me here when I really don't think she does?

(Insert angry angry mom Oooh, bitch! This is not the first time. Last Friday she chewed his ass for not going out for the night because when SHE was his age she was out every night (I could give my opinion on that, but I won't). My daughter has come home from her trips to visit and told me how this woman treats my son in comparison to her own boys of the same age (that she does not have custody of). My daughter is fuming and about to address it herself, but I cannot.

My job now is to sit back and watch, and listen, and document, and encourage. I have always told my children that if they want to be heard they have to speak up. The same message was relayed to my son last night. "If you can't talk to her about it, then you really need to talk to your dad, hon." Those messages were met with text silence. Phone calls went unanswered, which tells me he was too emotional to speak.

Finally, I recommended to him that he simply ignore her. "Ignore her completely unless she speaks to you directly. Answer only the question she's asked. Do your chores without being reminded. Ignore her like a bully on the playground."

Right now the poor kid is like Cinderella. Well, except that he doesn't have a vagina, singing mice, a fairy godmother, or a pumpkin coach.... Maybe this isn't the best example.

Anyway, to wrap up the evening I sent him a website with 101 ways to innocently annoy someone. There is nothing too outrageous on there. Teenage boys can be a bit annoying as it is. This is just frosting on the cake. Knowing my ex husband, he will ignore the entire situation, but even he will find humor in it. I feel bad for encouraging my son in this way, but at the time it was either that or I drive three hours only to spend the next 10 + years in jail.

Two more days until Smack Down! 


Paula said...

You are a brave and unselfish momma for letting him go...I don't know if I could do the same. I always worry E will want to live with his dad when he gets older, and I don't know if I could handle that or not. What's the website for annoying tips?

Steve Bailey said...

Sounds like good advice to me.... oh ya and of course Cinderella also had the glass slippers.... that is till the day she tripped and shattered one.... oh the bloody mess..... "what a bad choice of shoe" she sang.

Angie said...

It sucked big time and I cried like a child (which I regret). I feel better that he still calls ME when he doesn't feel well even when his step-mom is in the next room. But if he can get past HER... this will be good for him and his dad.

Here's the annoying link:

I do what I can and I stay away from glass slippers! :)

Left Coast Guy said...


You are the coolest mon. Of course you are also a plotting scheming demon on wheels where your children are concerned. I won't be pissing you off anytime soon :-)

Angie said...

To be honest, when she was ragging my son about going out I knew the reason. Having a kid around cramps her style and she's finding she can't do whatever she wants whenever she wants. I laughed a little... because it was about time they realized what being parents is about.

Leauxra said...

I'm glad your son still calls you. My guess is that that won't go away any time soon.

I do have to comment on that annoying page... I got this off of a BBS back in like... 1991 maybe? Yes, I am that old, and have been online that long. I forgot about it until I found a shirt in my closet that was hunter orange, and spattered in ketchup. Good times.

Azra said...

You're an awesome mom Angie! My mother also encouraged us to speak up for ourselves. I can just imagine how difficult it must be for you to see him go through that. But seriously, he should out-bitch her. That website is a start. Contact me if you want some of the heavy stuff :D Although, my guess is you're right on that level with me.
Here's hoping that every ounce of pain or discomfort that he feels makes him a better man.

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