Monday, 18 January 2010
Eldest Son has been getting into trouble at school. I have been summoned on more than one occasion to the head masters office, to be told that my son can be uncooperative, and is at times, extremely rude. The headmaster tells me these things as if I somehow don't know. But I have a sneaking feeling that shrugging and saying, 'Well, you don't have to live with him mate', is not something good mummies do.
At home I attempt to talk to him. Eldest Son that is, not his headmaster. 'Is there anything worrying you?' I say. 'Do you want to talk about what happened at school?' At which point he launches into a tirade about how, when Miss R tells him if he can't speak nicely to her then don't speak to her at all; what she is effectively doing is giving him the option, so she is therefore in no position to complain when he tells her in no uncertain terms that fine, he won't bother then. He looks at me, eyes wide, palms upturned in a gesture of helplessness. 'She gave me the option' he says, disingenuous to the last.
You can't argue with that sort of logic. I sometimes try, but tend to give up - failure looming ever larger in the middle distance.
I'm not sure what to do. I have no yardstick with which to measure his behaviour, nothing to compare it to. I don't know if this is something I should be really worried about or not. How am I to know what's normal pre-pubescent testing of the boundaries and what's indicative of a future spent at her majesties pleasure? Apparently mothers just know. It's something to do with 'womens intuition'. We have an inbuilt capacity for being able to weed out the merely irritating phases from the sociopathic tendencies. This will no doubt be the same inbuilt capacity we supposedly have for being able to tell the difference between our newborns 'hungry' cries and 'tired' cries. As opposed to just the one, brain searing, god awful noise.
I do not mean to sound flippant. I have spent many a dark hour mulling this over. My biggest fear is that his behaviour is an expression of unhappiness. Funny really, I could live with him sometimes being rude and uncooperative, so long as I knew he was happy, rude and uncooperative. Or at least if I knew for certain it didn't stem from unhappiness, then I could take it all in my stride so much more easily.
Sometimes I think that you just have to take a step back. Rein in the empathy a touch. I need to remind myself that it is only a few tickings off from the head master, and that this does not a miserable social deviant make. That he has a loving mother and father, even if they don't live under the same roof. That soon no doubt, there will be other more hormonally driven challenges to contend with, and I will find myself longing for those halcyon days when he was just, simply, rude and uncooperative.