Today mum from our Monday blog, Life on the Frontline, has a confession to make.
I had a really bad dream the night before. My husband was responsible for packing our suitcases before we came home and I spent the rest of our journey home, by Concorde, it’s a dream remember, anxious that he had not packed everything. A bad control freak dream, I know.
The next day and the last day of our holiday, I started packing early. Sorting the washing into piles, still folding it all, like you do and searching all corners for things we might forget. No cupboards or drawers left unsearched. That’s how I found them. A discarded pair of undies, in the cupboard under the sink. I immediately, instinctively, pulled the small pair of underpants to my noise. The acrid smell of urine caused my nose to crinkle, extending my nostrils into the cotton. I pulled away quickly but not fast enough to prevent the smell of young boys wee being indelibly placed on my nose. I breathed hard and realised it really was there to stay. I rushed back to my own room to scrub my face and remove the offending smell.
Not long later I confronted Tall, “Why? I need you to be honest with me”
“I thought you would be cross”
I would be proud of you for your honesty, now I’m really cross because you tried to be deceitful.”
I didn’t shout, I didn’t lose it, but I was hugely disappointed and the law was dealt.
The law of our house is, if you are found with wet pants when playing computer games and did not respond to it, or not be honest about it, then computer time is removed.
He sulked, majorly and I felt bad inside, hurt and mean.
I worry about this boy who is now eleven and has the capacity to still wet himself.
My law comes from the heart; I do not want anyone in school to smell what I smelled. I know how harsh the high school can be. I’m trying to teach him to look after himself.
But if I’m honest it runs deeper.
Tonight I confessed to my husband, “I find it hard to trust him”.
It took a lot to say it, but I’ve been thinking it for ages.
The wet pants are not really the soul of this tale; they are insignificant, they were just another straw on the camel’s back. Another moment where I just felt let down by his in ability to tell me what is going on his life. I’m here to help, not to judge, I’m the one who will not be nasty or use name calling. I’ve proved that to him time and time again. So why can’t he do it?
I project us into all sorts of future situations, where he doesn’t truthfully tell me where he’s going or what he’s doing. I run silly worry rings around myself with the major concerns I have. Stealing, smoking, sex, drugs and alcohol all features in my fears.
I understand that as children become teenagers they require more privacy and trust from their parents but for other families this is born from a time when the child has relied on the parent and has been honest and open with them throughout. We just never seem to be able to reach this point with Tall. I constantly feel like he’s trying to get one over on me.
He pretends to be asleep when I check on him at night. I know he’s not.
He pretends to eat all his lunch, and then I find it squished in his school bag.
He told us he was kept behind at school to be praised for his hard work, when really he’d was in trouble and receiving an internal exclusion.
He tells me he likes certain foods when I know he doesn’t.
He tells me he’s done something and then I find out he hasn’t.
There are so many situations that I feel I don’t trust him over and I know he knows it. He knows it and I know that this affects his self esteem.
I try so hard to make him feel confident, praising him, encouraging him, showing him affection, sharing fun moments with him. But every time he acts in a deceitful way, my heart breaks and he knows the disappointment I feel.
I know I have to get over this and move forward for us both and I suppose recognising that there is a problem is the first step. I’ll keep on trying to support him making the right choices and maybe, like many other things, we will move forward eventually.