The beauty (and reason) of having more than one kid is that when one goes off to college, like my daughter just did, you still have another kid (or more, though I shudder at that thought) at home for a while. But when that kid is my 13-year-old son, well, then it kind of makes you reconsider the whole plan.
Let me make my usual qualifying comment: I love the kid. Okay. That’s on record now. You know how I complained constantly about my daughter? The eye rolling, the silent treatments, the 180 mood swings, the complete disdain and disgust she had for me at times? Well, here’s one thing I never realized: she was a buffer. Between me and my son. I was so focused on how unpleasant she was that I never noticed my son was just like her. Only different.
He doesn’t roll his eyes, he doesn’t have mood swings, and he doesn’t seem to despise (the third D) me. That’s the problem. He doesn’t ANYTHING! He doesn’t react, he doesn’t respond, he doesn’t leave his room, he doesn’t even acknowledge other people live in HIS house.
Now he still needs my wife and I. A fact, I’m sure, that kills him. He needs to be fed on occasion, although from what I gather he eats non-stop at his friends’ houses. I’ve learned this from said friends’ parents who passive-agressively tell me this in the form of a joke. But I think they want money from me.
And of course he needs rides. A lot of rides. But since he won’t talk (and the rare times he does it’s so mumbled that my constantly asking “What?” and his contantly mumbling again only leads to a screaming match) he actually tosses me my car keys then walks outside expecting me to follow him. I do, but only because I want to take him away from MY house. Far away.
I always thought my son was a quiet, introspective, independent boy. But that’s only because I barely noticed him. I was too focused on my daughter and hiding from her. But now that I see what he’s really like, I must hide from him, too. And when he goes off to college I’ll probably discover the dog is a jerk. But who knows? I barely notice the dog. I’m not even sure we have one. So Mondays have lost none of their allure for me. I can’t wait to go to work. Possibly more than ever. And that’s saying something.