Monday, June 20, 2011

Mommy vs. The Autistic Teen-Ager, Part II

OK, here goes...

I'm much more calm now so I won't be writing "angry" but gosh, it feels so good when I do....

I basically wrote Friday's little tiff off to Sean being tired, bored, cold, etc.  I really wasn't going to make much more of it than the discussion we had in the car on the way home.

And then Saturday came and I changed my mind.

It was going to be a big deal....

It all started so innocently.  Sean was relaying a story from school.  True to his nature for pulling out bits and pieces of his life weeks or months after the fact, when it happened I don't exactly know...

I was only half paying attention to him.  I know that sounds bad but you have to understand that I cannot devote 100% of my listening power to his day-long monologues.

It's simply not possible....

My ears perked when I heard the word "jerk" come from his mouth.


I asked Sean to repeat his story - something that he is becoming increasingly impatient with me about. 

He told his story and I listened to what he was saying and filled in the lines where things got blurry.  While Sean had no first-hand knowledge of why the children were where they were, he had concocted his own assumptions.

And, being chock-full of 30 years of life experience preceding his birth, I knew he was wrong.

Telling him so would have shut him down.  Instead, I tried explaining to him other circumstances that would find the children in the predicament that they were in.  I was hoping that Sean would eventually take the logical path and come to his new - and probably more accurate - conclusion.

However, Sean's first opinion is oftentimes set in stone.

And... of course... Sean is always right.

We bantered back and forth for a while but then Sean, my autistic son turned into Sean, my teenager.

"Mom, you weren't there and you don't know what you're talking about."

Most of my friends have children older than mine and I'm always ribbing them about the phase where their children tell them they that they don't know anything.

Karma has come to bite me in my butt.

I should have anticipated this day but I was so snowed, so enthralled by my son who loved and adored me unconditionally....

I never saw the teenager lurking behind those gray eyes....

The disagreement became a full-blown, classic, parent vs. teenager stand-off.

I knew nothing and Sean knew it all.

Coupled with Friday's incident, I did know one thing for sure.

Sean - autistic or not - was a teenager.

I quickly threw the "Go to your room" card as a way to end the confrontation and for me to re-group with a new well as to wait for Rich.

When Rich got in, we called Sean out of his room and calmly (but sometimes not so quietly) showed him the errors of his ways.

It was one thing to disagree with your mom.  It's another thing to disrespect her.

And I think that's what was so shocking for me.  Did I really believe that he would never do this to me?


With regards to punishment, we hit him where it hurts the most - the computer.  Grounded for the weekend... yes, the entire weekend.

It seemed like he understood what he did wrong.  His voice tone was actually quite sincere.

So do I believe for one second that he won't do it again?

Not a chance.

He is, after all, only 13....

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