"You hear laughter breaking through, it makes you want to fart. You’re heading for a breakdown, better pull yourself apart. " - John Cooper Clarke

>The confusing state of Todd’s mind.

>The ongoing battle between Todd and his anger, his sisters, the Twat and I was quite calm last week for a change. I had set up a meeting between his dad, PHT, the Twat and me to discuss Todd’s issues and it was a genius idea, even if I say so myself. We came away from the meeting agreeing on punishments that we should set for Todd, times for him to come home and other rules that only the army would think of. It was also a good time to discuss how Todd isn’t just a pain here but then I knew that anyway because the girls told me.

When Todd decided to come home after 6pm on the Monday I decided that now was the time to calmly give him a quick lecture with regards his behaviour. I did have something in my favour though, and that was the fact that I had stupidly allowed the boy to go and see Enter Shikari at l’Ancienne Belgique on the Thursday night.

But that was a Good Thing Called Bait and I used it to my satisfaction throughout the week telling Todd that even if he went straight to the venue from school I could stop him getting in by calling l’Ancienne Belgique. It was almost too easy really, and the week flew by without any problems and so the boy was allowed to go to this ‘concert’ where everyone would be pogoing and we were then subjected to detailed accounts about what ‘pogoing’ is. I have had to tell Todd on more than one occasion that I was around in 1976 when Sid Vicious claimed to have invented the form of dance, but that goes right over his head.

OK, it was a long time ago.

The morning after the concert Todd came into out room, his voice booming as if he hadn’t shut up from the night before and sporting one of the band’s t-shirts. Apparently the concert was fantastic and at one point Todd was been carried through the air by everyone else and look, Mama! I broke my tooth – cool!

That worked better than my alarm clock and I was sitting bolt upright in bed as Todd showed us his gaping hole. He’d managed to knock the crown off his front tooth. It was Friday morning. He was going to Italy with his school the following morning.

“Todd, tell me, what on earth is so great about breaking your tooth?”
“It didn’t hurt, Mama, and look, I look so – cool.”
[It appears that he had totally forgotten that the tooth was already broken. Whatever.]
“You don’t look cool Todd.”
“Yeah, I do. I’ll show all my friends at school.”
“Todd, do you know what day it is?”
“Yeah.”
“Do you realise that you are going to Italy tomorrow?”
“Yeah, well – I’ll look cool.”

So Todd left for school, looking ‘cool’ and I called his dad as it was out of my hands now. Instead of sticking to his word and letting Todd go to Italy looking like a prat for the next week, the Ex arranged for Todd to have his tooth re-crowned that afternoon, after which he came round here scrounging for pocket money for the trip. Thinking that was the last I’d see of him for a week I settled down for the weekend.

At stupid o’clock the next day, Todd burst into my bedroom asking if I had his ID card.

“No, Todd, why on earth should I have your ID card?”
“BECAUSE YOU’RE MY MOTHER.”
[Fair enough, nothing to bait him with…]
“The last time I saw your ID card was when I paid for it, Todd. Since then, you should have had it on you at all times. Aren’t you going to Italy today?”
“YES.”

I had to snigger as I heard him turning his bedroom upside-down in a vain attempt to find it. He left without luck, slamming the door.

My next visitor was Tatiana who had lost her hockey boots and skirt which she needed for a hockey match. She told us that Todd had found his ID card at his dad’s though.

Call me a bitch, but something inside of me really wished that Todd hadn’t found his ID card.

It could have taught him a lesson.

11 Comments

  1. Posted Monday, April 27, 2009 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    You’re obviously running an appointment system which is an excellent idea – seeing Mum should be a privilege ….

  2. Posted Monday, April 27, 2009 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    I’m not sure if I should tell you this…but I know grown men who still lose things…or forget to do things…they’re like…ahhh…’entertaining’ family members.

  3. Posted Monday, April 27, 2009 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Just a thought. The fact that he managed to discipline himself enough to behave himself for a week for fear of withdrawn privileges suggests to this pub psychologist that the little bugger knows exactly what he’s doing, and that is pushing you as far as he can. I’ve seen it happen fairly close too and I’ve seen that there is a bit of a desperate strategy for dealing with it, although it happened purely by accident. It would be pointless telling you on here in case he reads it so I will email it to you.

  4. Posted Monday, April 27, 2009 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    I can’t help wondering how the Italians are coping…

  5. Posted Monday, April 27, 2009 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    He’s not coming to England in the near future is he? Please say “no”!

  6. Posted Monday, April 27, 2009 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    . . . because if he is he would get in without an ID card. The only country in Europe where you can just walk in without a passport, ID card, bus ticket or whatever.

  7. Posted Monday, April 27, 2009 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    Keith – not true. At least, not via Eurostar. Must have ID.

  8. Posted Tuesday, April 28, 2009 at 1:28 am | Permalink

    Good for you for not engaging with him when he couldn’t find his ID card. He had a problem and he had to solve it – without you. And he did. And you and he both survived. Baby steps …
    Now, about his dad “saving” him by arranging for the new crown so quickly – nah, I just stick to congratulating you for dealing with the first situation so unemotionally.

  9. John Norris
    Posted Tuesday, April 28, 2009 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Todd could be euphemistically described as “high maintenance” these days. So I think your ideas of (a) getting others involved _and_ (b) letting them carry some more of the load is exactly right. And yes, I too would have been tempted to leave him without a crown on his tooth until after he got back from Italy – tough love, and all that …
    On another topic altogether, it now seems that some in our doomed ‘new’ Labour government here in the UK may be waking up to the idea that we neither need nor want ID cards as well as passports. When they look at the mountain of debt with which they have saddled the next generation, pulling the plug on the new ID cards has to seem a good option. Stuff the eurocrats!
    John Norris

  10. Posted Tuesday, April 28, 2009 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    It’s good that you communicate with the other side. Some children – in this situation – get lots of mileage from playing one side against the other.

  11. Posted Tuesday, April 28, 2009 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    You’re not a bitch, and you’re right, it would have taught him a lesson. I have to wonder if the only thing that will shake him up will be something that he does that has such dire consequences, that it will finally light the light bulb in his head.