When we were little, and exasperating, my dad, instead of losing his temper or throwing up his hands (or pulling our his hair or our own), would say, "Would you like your answer loud or soft?"
So we'd giggle and choose.
If we said soft, he'd whisper, "No!" and then tiptoe away, all in a hush. More giggling..."LOUD!"
He'd roar in this big, pseudo-monster voice, "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"
And then we'd collapse with laughter and, I just realized, as I am typing away, that this was a very good way of
distracting us with humor. (The apple doesn't fall that far from the
tree, does it?) I don't remember ever nagging him for whatever we wanted after that.
I had to work again this weekend, and what sucks is that when I work on a Saturday, we don't take a day off during the previous or following week. Yes, I know, poor me, I'm not out digging ditches, but PEOPLE WEAR ME THE FUCK OUT, and when I have to put on an event on a Saturday, I haven't decompressed by Monday.
Anyhow. I thought I'd surprise the kiddo by calling him up and inviting him to come out to coffee with me. I thought that would be decompressing enough. (I can hear all of you parents of teenagers laughing.)
I got into it with him on the phone (basically saying, "Go eat RIGHT. FUCKING. NOW! Or I won't take you anywhere!" And he did.) And unfortunately, I realized that I am going to have to be parental in some more ways because the carrot-stick method is the only thing that seems to work. Someone I know through work has a son the same age and she said, "It's not his right to have the phone. It's a privilege. And right now, he's not earning it."
So we had a meeting with his program person and agreed that if he throws tantrums like these, he loses phone privileges for a bit. He agreed to this but I still feel like a jerk. I'm trying to do this as a reward and a motivation, not a punishment, but it's a defacto punishment, isn't it?
Speaking of punishment, he thinks it's totally unfair that his group home supervisor has to meet his girlfriend's parents.
I replied, "They have to make sure she doesn't live in a crack house."
And apparently, life imitates sarcasm, because the program guy explained that in a previous home, they didn't have the "meet the parents" requirement. One day he inadvertently gave one of the teens in his charge a ride to a ... wait for it ... crack house!
The kid told him he was going to a friend's house. The supervisor said he'd come in with him and introduce himself. There were people milling around outside who were obviously completely out of their heads on drugs. A guy who was completely high answered the door: "You don't have to knock! Come in!" (They didn't.)
So the moral of the story is...every smart alec comment must have some basis in reality? If that's the case, I'm wiser than I thought.