Friday, September 18, 2009

It Had To Happen Sooner or Later!!

I had a bit of a crappy day off yesterday.

I was in a really good mood at first. I had some tunes cranked up and was sipping on an early day cocktail.

And then…

The e-mail came. It was from the ex and the subject line was: RYAN. My throat slipped into my stomach and a feeling of nausea overcame me.

Whenever I get an email like that, my instincts tell me that it can’t be good. Let me tell you folks, my instincts are 20/20.

His mom had just checked his weekly class results online, and yes my friends, good ol’ Ryno is once again failing to turn in homework assignments on occasion and it is affecting his grades.

I picked him up from school yesterday. Sitting in the parking lot, I watched him approach the car with his typical devil-may-care grin beaming from ear to ear. He seemed so happy.

Well, when he got into the car, his smiled quickly dissipated when I asked, “What the hell is going on in that mind of yours?”

As we discussed this disturbing, and not unfamiliar habit of his on the way home, I was fed the same tired excuses that I had heard from him in the past.

Upon arriving at his house I went inside with him. Typically I just drop him off, so my irregular action was the catalyst for a microburst of sweat to spew from his teenage forehead.

With each lame excuse and non sequitur rationalization that he uttered, I used my acutely honed scalpel of logic to dissect each one.

Knowing in his mind that I was right each time, this drove the teenager who knows everything to the point of anger. So, he came up with a new, and to that point, unheard excuse…

“I sometimes don’t turn my homework in, because you’re never around.”

Yes dear readers, the boy employed the, “blame it on Dad and make him feel guilty” attack. It didn’t work.

I told him (as he already knows) that I am only eight minutes away…a phone call away…and that I ask him everyday if he needs help with any school work or if there is anything we need to talk about life wise.

He sat in dumbfounded silence other than muttering, “Just get out, and leave me alone.”

I said to him that if my not being around was the root of the problem he could start staying with me a couple of times a week. He said, “no”, and I think we all know why…

He’s just being lazy at times, and is doing other fun things instead of doing his homework, and that’s all there is to it. School for him much of the time, is a social setting, not a place of learning.

After his “no”, he told me once more to go and just leave him alone. While Ryno will already be turning 15 next month, it was yesterday that it became official: My son has become a teenager.

With that tumultuous situation being discussed I would like to give someone a hearty shout-out.

The one bright spot of my solo day-off was when the Cynical Bastard, Jay, took a few minutes out of his day to be my special friend and talk to me on the phone…

It’s nice to see that somebody answered the call of my friend request.

Thanks Jay, and thanks for the “artwork” that you sent to me.

One of the pieces is now proudly displayed on my computer monitor in wallpaper form. I think you can guess which one.

I love it, my computer loves it, but Schmoop? Eh, she’s not a big fan...go figure.

Happy Friday, all.



Sorcerer said...

Hey! nice blog !
loved reading your blog posts

Micky-T said...

Sitting in the parking lot, I watched him approach the car with his typical devil-may-care grin beaming from ear to ear. He seemed so happy.

I can picture the scene, (because I've been there) I bet when he opened the door...he could feel it. He just didn't know it yet.

It's good that you really understand that he's just being lazy and testing the waters of high school. You'll be firm but I doubt that you'll push him away like so many regretful parents.

Nobody called me yesterday... wimper...sigh.

Matt-Man said...

Sorcerer: Why thank ya. Cheers!!

Micky: Yes you have and and you are correct. I was in his face so to speak yesterday, but I try not to say anything that will push him away or drive him away from me. I told him yesterday and again this morning when I called him, that no matter how heated things may get between us, that I love him more than anything.

I told him that I just didn't want him to let himself down.

I should have called you yesterday...But I think my "filing system" has eaten your so many other numbers that I have...somewhere.

Cheers my good man, Mick!!

Phfrankie Bondo said...

...perhaps you could hire Jay to teach the young lad some air guitar...

Matt-Man said...

Phfrankie: No Need...That is one thing that Ryno does very well. If only he could get a grade for that. Cheers P-Man!!

Scott Oglesby said...

Being a teenager this is bound to happen. All you can do is keep your (well his) nose to the grindstone. Being a smart kid you know that he’s going to try the manipulation tactic. I’d just keep hammering home the importance of schoolwork and what it means later in life. I know at that age I was still thinking NFL, it didn’t matter that I was 5’8. One thing that you can do that’s kind of mean is continually point out poor people and tell him, “see that guy? Do you see how unhappy he is? Do you see him peddling his bike to his job at ???? Do you know why he has a bike instead of a car, and is so unhappy? That’s right because he didn’t think he had to do his fucking homework!”

Cheesy said...

I can only imagine what the wallpaper is.. Poor schmoop...

Be strong my friend, kids will test you every step of the way through high school. That is why Miss Clairol will soon be one of my best friends. If you have HER number plz share. Sorry I didn't call but I was on the phone with contractors all day-sigh-

Michele said...

This is such typical high school behavior. You could always do what I did. Show up at school with his homework; follow him from class to class turning it in. Only took one time and I never had a problem again.

Karen said...

Congrats on officially having a teen. I think most of us go through those times in high school. Blame it on mom or dad is always a fun thing for the parent, I am sure.

katherine. said...

Dear Ryno...not only a teenager but one who is adept in DPG (Divorced Parent Guilt)...ahhh the memories.

you could tell him that for every class he doesn't turn in his and him will be visiting the teacher together.

Not to his age, they start to have academic standards to play sports...

I didn't get a call either

Tiggerlane said...

Oh, so familiar...SO familiar! Mine is lazy, too - but not too lazy to TEXT all the freakin' time! And when I get on her case about her grades, it's all b/c I FORCE her to be in cheerleading. Yeah, right.

Dana said...

Wow! You got to wait until Ryno turned (almost) 15 before getting the teenager?

Sorry that I didn't let the thoughts of your juicy brat outweigh my own discomfort with your third-person conversations. Besides, Jay is hornier than I am!

Jay said...

Not sure where Dana is going with that comment, but it might be true. ;-)

When the phone rang yesterday I was hoping that it was a hot, leggy babe in need of some attention. But, it was you. That's okay though, I guess. LOL

Hey, when I was in high school I always did all of my homework. It was studying for the tests that I didn't appreciate. What? Homework AND study? That's outrageous!

Matt-Man said...

Scott: Ha...The driving thing has already come up. He wants to drive sooo badly, and yet if he doesn't get the grades, he will not be allowed. Cheer Scott!!

Cheesy: I won't hold that against you. Evidently the contractor had a bigger hammer than I did. Cheers my longtime friend!!

Michele: You're close...I told him that I will come by the house every night after I get off of work at nine o'clock to make sure his homework is done.

I also added, "It's a shame that I have to do that with a 15 year old who claims to know everything." Cheers!!

Matt-Man said...

Kat: Ha. He is one of the best players on his Basketball team. Practice starts in a month. We have already told him that his homework not only affects his grades, it affects his teammates who are counting on him to be there. Cheers Kat!!

Tigger: Firs I need to say, Purrrrrrrrrrr. Secondly, I need to say, I know EXACTLY what you are talking about. Don't let your learning get in the way of texting, by God. Oy Vay!! Cheers Tigger!!

Matt-Man said...

Dana: Well, the brat is still juicy and warm if ya want it. Hmmmm, I wonder where Ryno get shis outlook? Cheers Dana!!

Jay: Sorry I wasn't the sexy thing that you wanted...Oh Baby...I ripped into him. I told him that when I went to High School my assignments got turned in, I got good grades, and all the while working 30 hours a week, and my parents weren't paying 450 a month to send me to a private school.

He told me this morning that he loved me....We'll see. Cheers Jay!!

Matt-Man said...

Karen: Oh Holy Shit...Sorry for the omission...Oh yeah, he has learned how to play. The only thing is, he is playing against the Master. Hee Hee, I am always one step ahead of him. Cheers Karen!!

katherine. said...

you could always start next week with an assignments for phone program.

If he fails to turn in his homework one week...he fails to get his phone for one week.

Matt-Man said...

Kat: He actually doesn't have a phone of his own. He sometimes get to use Mom's. This problem with him is odd.

Neither negative nor positive reinforcement seems to work. We've tried a myriad of things and for some reason...He just thinks he's "it".

I'd rather wish he was just not "getting" what is taught to him.

At least then, I could work with him...This blowing shit off, is quite the conundrum for us as far as dealing with it. Cheers Kat!!

katherine. said...

he is probably brilliant enough to figure out how to slack and the one way to get to you and his mom...

Matt-Man said...

Kat: Oh he's smart as hell, but he doesn't realize one thing...His Dad is smarter than him and invented every response he has ever given me. Well, sans the, "never being around response".

Cheers Kat!! And you did give me the inspiration for something, you just don't know it yet.

Dana said...

The helmet Jay ... the helmet! Has horns therefor you are hornier ...

It can't be a good joke when you have to explain it!

Matt-Man said...

Dana: Maybe he's tired. Cheers!!

Candice said...

Ugh, I'm so dreading the teenage years!!

Sorry Matt, even though you blew right through his excuse, I'm sure it still stung a little.

At least Jay was there to deliver for ya. Porn always makes things better. ;)

Matt-Man said...

Candice: Oh I hated getting crappy with him, but as you can fathom, I had to. And the "art" that Jay sent...Yeah, it helped. Cheers Candice!!

Lu' said...

Ouch. I can picture the scene well too and ouch again when he gets into the car. hang in there Pop and just keep being a good one :)

Dianne said...

Jay is so hot

You could have called me
Jay could have called me
We could have had a 3 way
oh the missed opportunities

I can't believe Ryno made it to almost 15 before he started using the guilt crap - my son was pushing my buttons at 12

It'll be fine, trust me

Matt-Man said...

Lu: I shall try...But it's hard dealing with a younger version of me!! Cheers Lu!!

Matt-Man said...

Dianne: Well, if you'd quit keeping your goods and your number to yourself I would have dammit!! Yeah, the guilt thing...he's a late bloomer. Cheers Di!!

Starrlight said...

Matt, honey, you may be lapsed but you are a Catholic. Have you forgotten guilts brother? Humiliation!!

What you do is you make him show a parent his homework every day. If he won't you email his teachers on a daily basis and ask for the weeks lesson plan.

Here comes the fun part. You take Ryan into school early. You personally walk him around every freakin morning and watch him turn in his work.

Bet it lasts a week before he is begging to be left to do it himself.

Oh and if Kidlet tried the guilt trip with me, she'd get slapped upside the head and told to quit acting like a manipulative child. And she knows it =)

Desert Rat said...

Gack! I totally didn't even read your blog yesterday - I would've called - you could've called - Of course I'd be your special friend.

Not being a parent, I am afraid I cannot relate to the "teen" years other than from the perspective of "being" a teen and I was kind of a dorky miss goody-two-shoes (well,except for sneaking out of the house to go to the laser light shows, driving without a license, cutting class, and then there was the time I got busted with the spliff...)

No, really, model child.

I like the following him to class to hand in his homework idea. That would be so mortifying!

Micky-T said...


Matt-Man said...

Starr: We already check his grades and assignments on edline and he knows it. And yet...he still thinks he can get by with it. And please, I am not a Catholic, lapsed or otherwise. I rebuked them long ago. Cheers Starr!!

Desert Rat: Oh sure NOW you tell me you would have been my special friend. I am sooo dissed.

I wasn't a model child. I goofed off, got in trouble, and yet still managed to do myt homework and graduate 18th in my class of 315. It's possible to have fun and do one's work. Cheers Rat!!

Micky: Ha. That's pretty funny. Thanks. Cheers Mick!!