March 4, 2011

controlling my control issues

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:52 pm by whatsupwiththat

Parenting teens…need I say anymore for those of you reading who have or have had them. How did you survive? Better still, how did you allow them to survive? Before school has become my very least favorite part of the day and I consider myself a morning person, so yeah, it sucks.

I am trying to live by the saying that goes something like: Just because you have failed to plan doesn’t mean I have an emergency.  Or something along those lines.  You get the jist.  But my pesky control issues and my need, want, obsession with being helpful and wanting my sons to start off the day happily gets in my way.  It is excruciatingly hard for me to stand by and watch the panic ensue.  The whining, the groaning, the stomping, the muttering, the slamming all over the need for more pencils (and I think they can be used for currency like cigarettes in jail, the kid goes through so many, that has to be the answer.)  We have lived in this house more than five years, the shelf in my office where pencils are kept has not been changed…EVER.  I will admit my office is not ever always neat but there is a navigable path to those shelves, the pencils are in plain view and I don’t hide them after school and return them to that spot on the shelf in the morning.  It is like the ketchup stored on the door of the refrigerator.  It is always on the right hand side door.  No one in the house ever opens the right side door and finds it; they open both doors, hang on them and say (before the doors are even completely open) where’s the ketchup, or, I don’t see the ketchup.  Why yes, everyone else in the house is male, how did you know?  My niece is over here about once a month and she knows where the ketchup goes.

I suppose I should be grateful that ketchup is not ever needed before school, so at least I have that.  My real pet peeve is the lunch box situation.  I am a stay at home mom.  I enjoy making my sons’ lunches.  (Please see control issues reference above, second paragraph.)  My oldest eats a school lunch about twice a week and  my youngest would rather go hungry than eat cafeteria food.  So in theory, my youngest should leave his lunchbox on the counter every night  for me to fill in the morning and my oldest should leave his lunchbox on the counter on the evenings before the school day that he wants a homemade lunch.  The consequence for forgetting is making your own lunch.  That doesn’t work so well when you leave 5 minutes of time for collecting your backpack, tolerating the droning on of your mother about the day’s schedule and her nosy questions about your own plans, and a frantic search for whatever school supply is urgently needed.  This is his last year of high school and the above scene plays out about once a week. 

On the flip side is my youngest who prefers to wake up an hour and fifteen minutes before he leaves for school, has plenty of time for breakfast, commenting on the news, discussing the day’s weather forecast, wrestling his contacts in (it is going so much better and this is only his third week wearing them!) and the rest of his morning routine, but when I mention he will be making his own lunch, he cheers and proceeds to the pantry to fill his lunchbox with skittles, pringles and marshmallows.  Yes, all those things are in my pantry for various reasons; please don’t judge me.  No way am I letting him take his selections to school for lunch and in all honesty he would prefer a healthier lunch but is yanking my chain and pushing the control issue panic button knowing full well I am going to pull out the carrots (see) and the grapes (see!) and the whole grain tortilla and non-nitrate infested ham (SEE!) and put together a better balanced lunch for him.

So where am I going with this?  Oh yes, pleasant morning send-offs.  I would love to hear what works for your family and hopefully I can glean some ideas that will work with mine.  Have at it!


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