I’ve fallen out with child no 4.
I have succumbed to a fit of the temper tantrums and am not yet ready to speak to him. And yes, I do know how childish I am being. He has already pointed that out. Which has just made me all the more raging and ready to fly across the room at him.
His offence? Or offences. Because, when I start to apply my mind to them, I am aware there’s more than one.
- That he unilaterally decided that his senior school award (1st in English) was ‘shit’ ‘meaningless’ trite nonsense.
- That having so decided, he failed to tell his parents (we are really talking about me here – because Headteacher husband is remarkably nonchalant about this, despite bitching about the kids who would be absent from his own school awards ceremony) that he had earned this award.
- That he then failed to tell either his school or his parents (really me – see above) that he had no intention of collecting the award.
- That his mother discovered via a 3rd party that he had earned the award and that he was ignoring the ceremony.
- That on being challenged re the above he managed to subvert and manipulate the entire conversation and I found myself arguing with my nemesis – one who likes to turn tables and manages to end up smelling of roses whilst the other party really smells of shit… (this should really be labelled: ‘that he then humiliated his Mother by making a total arse of her’).
My mother says that he is me – my mirror image.
I say that I would never have been as fucking selfish – or audacious – as to deny her and Dad the opportunity to ‘celebrate’. I say that I felt my social obligations keenly (always have).
I say I am sore and disappointed that child 4 is like this.
‘This’ being someone who would actually fucking say: ‘Ah right… so your real problem is cos you were embarrassed you found out from someone else…’ and ‘you’ve made this all about you…’ and ‘you care so much you haven’t even said ‘congratulations J” and ‘I don’t care about it. It’s meaningless. I don’t need a prize!’
Thing is – he’s learned too well from me/us.
I/we were so busy encouraging rebellion and scepticism and (at least mild) contempt for ‘the system’ – that I forgot that actually, sometimes the system is the community and sometimes we need to support that community. As it is – Teachers who genuinely value my obstinate and obtuse child and who also need to know that their efforts are appreciated and that they produce something good – they have suffered a child no 4 rebuke.
The thing is – I’d have likely supported his decision not to attend.
I just don’t like that he was cowardly and avoided telling his school that he’d no intention of turning up. That he didn’t value the value they placed in him and his achievement.
And I’m also pissed that he’s so fucking good at refusing to bend his will.
I hate this parenting thing sometimes. It really does highlight your inadequacies and all the internal contradictions and the cognitive dissonance with which you live out your life….