I'm not sleeping well.
He is so ready to be out of here. He wants to be independent, but he is dependent.
He needs rides to: the DMV to pay for another driving test; to take the driving test, and to go shopping for some clothes and toiletries; and to his counselor's office one more time; and probably for one last hair cut; and to take his boxed up stuff to his Grandmother's house. And he needs more boxes.
How many people think that he will need help packing?
He is anxious. I am tired.
We are like flint and steel -- we walk by each other and sparks fly. What should be little is huge.
"Dammit! You were home all day! Couldn't you at least unload the dishwasher?!"
"I'm tired. It's my day off."
"So yesterday you didn't do it because you had to work and today you didn't do it because you didn't have to work?"
"I don't feel good! You don't have to get mad ..." (suddenly he remembers my typical response to being told how to feel) "No. You know what? If you want to be mad, be mad! Just go ahead and yell at me...."
His tirade goes on and find myself too exhausted to respond. I notice that he is currently unloading the dishwasher while he yells at me. I remember something about not escalating, not needing to defend my authority or engage when teenagers begin to rage.
I don't respond to what he says. Finally he stops. I tell him he doesn't have to load the dirty dishes. I forgot that Brian stayed home claiming to be sick and he can do that.
Yep... my de-escalation teacher would be proud. That was the perfect response. Don't feed the escalation. Remain confident in my own authority and don't defend it. I am in charge. I don't have to get him to accept that I am in charge in order to be in charge.
At least that's what it looked like.
I reality I was just too damn tired to fight with him.
Thursday, November 30, 2006