wherein I come clean on some parenting issues
We've been having some trouble with The Shark recently. His grades have continued to be bad, and unfortunately (as of the end of last semester) he has already received the maximum number of F's he can get and still graduate on time. So we've been trying to manage that, and we THOUGHT he was bringing his grades up, because he'd been doing a lot more homework and because he had the extra motivation of not being able to play soccer this year unless his grades improved, but apparently he only worked hard for a couple of weeks and then gave up. Francisco met with a school counselor yesterday and found out that the Shark is currently failing 4 of his classes, and clearly this is not acceptable. He signed the Shark up for afternoon tutoring and then went home and took away his bedroom phone, his computer (he can do homework on the downstairs computer) and his television. I regret now that we ever let him have those things in his room in the first place, but all his friends have them, so it didn't seem unreasonable that Sharky should have them until now when it's become glaringly apparent he doesn't have the self control to manage them. The Shark is not allowed to do any socializing on school days, which distressed him because he had made plans to play intermural volleyball with some friends, though we were not aware of these plans until yesterday. That's another problem we're having with the Shark--he makes all sorts of plans without actually Asking us if he can do them, and then he gets super pissed off if we won't allow him to follow through on those plans for whatever good reason we have. To sum up, he is definitely 16.
When Shark got home from school yesterday and Francisco laid the new regime out for him, he did not go ballistic like we expected. He was unhappy and of course made some protests, but he arrived at acceptance pretty quickly, and there was an air of relief, so I am positive this is the right thing for us to do. I mean, I was positive anyway, but I think he's glad in a way to not have to try and manage his schoolwork himself anymore, even though it was what he'd said [yelled, screamed] he wanted. So that's that. I know there will be frustration and anger and etc on his part while the lack of freedom continues, but that's just how it's going to be, and I can deal with it if it means he'll graduate from high school, and on time. I know this will sound terrible, but right now there is nothing I want more (my apologies to world peace) than for that kid to get out of my house. I love him, but living with him is miserable more often than not, and all of us will be happier once he finishes school and lives elsewhere--his current plan is to live with my brother after he graduates, and this is fine with us.
Listen, I know a lot of you have or want to have babies, and please understand what I'm going to say now is not in any way meant to be discouraging--it's just what's true for ME. What I want to say is that after I met my sister's baby and fell totally in love with her, for a couple of weeks I went around almost in a panic that we hadn't had a baby and now it's too late (vasectomy). I wanted a baby pretty badly and considered the idea that Francisco could have his vasectomy reversed, but then the Shark kicked his teenage bullshit into overdrive, and that completely quelled my baby desire. I know that babies are a joy and are wonderful in just about every way (excluding the sleep deprivation), but there is just no way I could do these teenage years over again--they're too heartbreaking. You parents and parents-to-be, enjoy your kids while they're young and sweet and still want to spend time with you, because they MAY (obviously everyone's teenage experience is different) turn into teenagers who want nothing to do with you and who reject everything you value [examples: cleanliness, college] and who refuse to introduce their friends to you because you are just too embarrassing. IT HAPPENS.
It may seem wrong that I'm writing these things about my kid on the internet where anyone can read it, but I know for a fact he's written terrible things about me and Francisco on Myspace, so I think this is fair game [none of his friends will ever read this anyway], and at least the things I'm writing here are TRUE. People, you should See some of the ridiculous exaggerations and out-and-out untruths he's written--it would be laughable if it wasn't so maddening. Okay, I'm done sharing my parenting woes. I've been keeping this kind of thing to myself for a long time, but in light of recent events, and spurred on by my overriding commitment to keeping it real [can I get a what what], I decided to just tell you that all is not sunshine and kittens at our place.
In other news, I have the cold Sharky brought home to share, so I'm tired and sniffly. Some GOOD news from last weekend is that Liverpool beat their most hated rivals, Everton, 1-0 on Sunday. It was a pretty good game, even with the low score. Oh, and speaking of kittens, as I did at the end of the last paragraph, I would like to tell you that Lucy has been sitting on me practically nonstop on the weekends when I sit down. She is my new best friend, and this change would worry me if she wasn't eating like a pig and doing everything else normally. One thing this newfound closeness has given me an opportunity to discover is that Lucy farts like you would not believe. They're always silent, but she's letting them rip. And I know it's her, because it's not me and I'm the only other one there most of the time. I've never known such a gassy cat.
And now I go home with a stop on the way to see my wildish kittens. Yesterday my favorite rubbed his head on my elbow, as I was squatted down and leaning over to pour food in his bowl. Progress!
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