The teenage years. The dreaded teenage years of rebellion, back sass, sleeping in, blank stares, challenges, fights and raging hormones. I thought terrible twos were bad!
Ok.. so I flipped out this morning on my teenage son. Nothing that I am proud of.
We took a four day short ski trip to visit grandma and grampa four hours north of Toronto. My husband usually does the trip every year with “just the boys”, but a couple of years ago my oldest started talking back and pushing the limits on my patience the day he was scheduled to leave. My son made me so angry that he bought himself a “stay at home card”. Out of sheer anger and frustration, I told him that he could not go on the trip.
I had to follow through. As much as I felt horrible about it. I had to stand my ground. I told my husband that my oldest was staying home….and then balled my eyes out. My daughter Grace ended up taking his place because my husband had already purchased two ski lessons.
Since that incident, the so called “boys” trip turned in a “family trip”. Shitty for me because I really enjoyed the girls weekend without the boys.
Fast forward to today.. the dreaded “ski weekend”. Now, don’t get me wrong; I am not trying to be unappreciative of the family time together. However, first and foremost; I am not a skier. Second of all; I loathe the cold. Last, but not least; I hate, hate, hate packing for 7 people for a short trip. Oh, one more thing.. driving four hours…with five kids making it a six hour drive with limited stops.
This is the second year, and every moment I can, Iam try to weasle my way out of it. I must admit though; that as the kids get older, it gets easier, and I do get to really relax because I do not have to cook, or clean very much. At home, I always have way too much on my plate…. every day.
So we have an enjoyable weekend. It is the whole preempt to getting there. We ski one day, tobagan (which was a first for the twins), we have lovely dinners with grandma and grandpa, we go to the local tiny movie theatre, and we just chill out.
Sunday rolls around quickly, as we are scheduled to leave back to Toronto. I ask my teenage son to get up out of bed… probably five times. Normal right?
He gets up and immediately gets on his phone to play Clash Royal- or something like that. I ask him to put down his phone and go help his father pack the truck.. Four times.
He said “one sec”, “I have to finish my game”. I was ready to go to death con. But because grandma and grandma were there, I took a deep breath and waiting a minute. I asked again… still.. no movement. I asked again, still…. so now I am a little angry.
Ok, so now my chili is hot. I told him that if he didn’t put his phone down, that I would take his phone away for the entire car ride. He finally stood up, but moved very slowly. I started to count… I told him that every time I reached five, it would be a day of his phone being lost… I reached it three times. Still… he is at the door, but still on his phone. OHHHHHMYYYYGAWD.
I grabbed his phone from him and told him he lost it indefinitely. He told me in a matter of fact tone “no I didn’t”. Wow. Just wow. As he headed out the door to help my husband, who was at this point seventy five percent done, he boldly said.. “this is bull”…
Literally, two minutes later, he returns to the main house with the three pillows that he grabbed… and was “suppose” to put into the car. I, at this point was not amused, to say the very least. He dropped the pillows on the floor and said “I am hungry”. I had to control my dragon… my inner, raging dragon that was ready to be unleashed.
He asked for his phone while he sat down to eat. I told him no. He took my phone to call his phone. Obviously not that hungry since finding his phone was more important. His bacon and eggs were on the table that grandma made for him. You would expect him to sit and eat. Nope. He wanders around looking for his phone.
I explained to him that he lost his phone already. I told him that my patience was thin and that he was pushing my button. He rebuttled with some smart remark, followed by another smart remark and at this point I was LIVID.
I tried really hard to contain myself. I did not want to lose it at grandmas house. I told him he was embarresing me… he rebuttled by telling me that “I” was embarresing him.
I told him if he wanted his phone back, that he should start listening. I walked away from him with his phone in my hand and in an attempt to grab his phone he tackled me. Really???
He may be 5″11 and 120lbs… but there was no way this kid was going to take me down. His phone cracked while he wrestled me for it. At this point I was taking it quite seriously.
I threw his phone on the ground. Smashed it. Maybe twice.
He started crying. My poor seven year old witnessed his brothers phone get Smashed. King Kong style. 😲😲😲
I left the room to gather myself. His little brother was now crying. They hated eachother, but at this particular point, they bonded. I guess seeing his older brother cry was heartbreaking for him. 😔
My father in-law saw the absolute distress on my face and pulled me in for a hug. He must of seen the smoke coming out of my ears. I could feel my eyes start to water. I felt defeated in every way as a mother. I gave him and grandma a cold, quick hug, said thank you and raced out the door so that my eyes didn’t drop a bucket load. 😢
In the comfort of my car, the four kids screaming bloody hell in the back, I put my shades on and cried quiet tears. Deep breaths. 🙁
I don’t know why I was so teary.. maybe because I was simply angry… and sad.. and defeated… or because just tormented by my thirteen year old son. I could not control my anger. My child won.
Today I was a monster.👹
As we drove off, I sat in the passenger seat feeling terribly guilty for my actions. What sort of example was I setting? How could of I handled that differently? Did my son understand why I got so angry? Probably not.
I get this long message from my father in law during the quiet ride out of the county. It read;
Of course waterfalls start. I immediately face the window and pretend to sleep so that my husband didn’t catch on that I was crying. My eyes turned into Niagara Falls. 💦💦💦💦
Directly behind me was my 13 year old angry as hell. Two worlds of emotions separated by a chair, bonded by two hearts of love. I was lost. I had no idea how I was going to fix this.
We stopped for lunch halfway through our 4 hour car ride. My teenage is back to his usual self. Bothering his siblings, causing trouble and talking back. 😒
I was not going to bring up the incident during the car ride. Although he did say he was “bored” and that’s why he was bothering his sister. He tried to play mercy with a 6 year old. Seriously, some days I just can’t take it.😩
I replied “well.. I am sorry you are bored.”
That evening, I tried to talk to him. I asked if he understood why I was so angry. He did not talk to me at first. I did manage to get out bits and pieces of “his side” of the story… and it goes like this….
“you asked me to get up and help”, “I told you TWO minutes”, “you started on me literally ONE minute later” “my Clash Royale timer said so”, and then “you threw my phone like a linebacker”..🏈🏈🏈
He states he did not “tackle me”, that he was simply trying to get his phone. Of course his version of the story was obviously very skewed.
Alright then. Maybe talking tonight was not such a good idea.
I quickly got frustrated with our 😤conversation and told him that we would talk again. I asked him to think about the situation, and that I wanted to resolve this issue we had.
My husband also had a chat with him. He seems to better listen to my husband. Plus, my husband was neutral party since he was not directly involved.
The next day we talked. On the car to the gym. Car rides are the best talking locations. You can’t go anywhere, you can’t preoccupy yourself with something else. Your attention is mainly on topic. Only bad thing is, you have a certain time frame. That is when you learn to take detours when the conversation is productive.
I apologized. Even though he still blamed it on me. Which he was right. It is my fault that I have absolutely zero patience. Yes, it was my fault. My temper took over. Yes. My apologies for that as well. I will not deny that I have a really bad temper.
HOWEVER… how could we have both avoided this whole situation?
Lessons learned. We both agreed to a suitable punishment for him not listening. As well, I replaced his phone out of my pocket because I was in the wrong as well.
I know this could of been dealth with in many different ways. I know, that I probably traumatized two children. However, things happen. Life happens and no one is perfect. Parenting is never perfect. Parenting is such a diffuicult, difficult mental workout.