Monday, March 03, 2008

Old and Tired

I dumped on my son yesterday. There are occasions where I am able to step back, weigh out consequences and decide to let small things that bug me drop. Such situations are too few unfortunately. Yesterday i just didn't have the resources left to do it.


My wife, our household financial overseer, had told me we were too close to the red line. We had a bunch of upcoming expenses: three tax quarterly payments in 6 months, several cross country trips for sports activities and camps, impending car fixer upper things, replacing worn out and broken things around the house, etc. To cover things, I picked up a number of extra call shifts for the next several weeks.

Last week's load was maybe a bit too much work. i picked up several calls for that week alone. I ended up working tuesday night, thursday night and saturday day and night. since i picked up the week day calls at the last minute, i also worked the day before each shift and the morning after, as those had already been scheduled with patients. I did fine thru the first two calls but was pretty worn out by the time i finished on saturday. All the little annoyances with our new charting system had worn me down and exposed my worst tendencies.

Some of this extra work was done to help cover the expense of my son's upcoming lacrosse trips on a travel team. After I got back from work, I watched his practice yesterday and he was just kind of jacking around. He hasn't done one single extra thing to get better outside of his team practices. He'd rather play Halo or World of Warcraft. After practice in the morning, he left his bag in my wife's car. I guess he just expected that she would drop it off at home for him, unasked, so that he could get it for a private practice session that had been set up with his school coach later that afternoon. When it came time for going to practice, it became apparant that he had no gear. It was all in his mom's car. That just set me off. I practically killed myself, working over a hundred hours last week to help him with lacrosse (well, to pay all those other bills too, but at the time, it was all to pay for his lacrosse) and he couldn't even keep track of his gear and missed a private training session. After dropping off his friends, i kept jabbing away at how disappointed I was in his effort. I didn't do the "angry" thing so much, just the "you're never going to make it like this" rigamarole. On and on. "You know how many times your sister has forgotten her volleyball gear? NONE. Never. What does that tell you?" That kind of stuff. I guess we're equally disappointed in each other now. Bad dad. Guess I'm not as good at sleep deprivation as I used to be.

Yoga? No, not lately. Mis-aligned stars or something. Not one full practice since mid February. That's why there's only pictures of babies and dogs up.

15 comments:

Yogamum said...

Oh man, I think we've all been there with our kids. At least I have -- especially with my son. Ah well, they know we're not perfect and they still love us anyway. Just give him a couple extra hugs ;-)

Carl said...

It's good at least that Emma and Zoe seem to keep themselves well sorted out. Jake seems to be the only one of the three with serious numbnut potential. Even so, he's a great kid. He can handle a stern talking-to. He's made for it.

okrgr said...

he takes after me in so many ways, but i refuse to believe i could have ever been that kind of a twit.

i did go over things more rationally with him today. he had a pretty good practice. the coach only had to tell him to shut up once.

and i did apologize yogamum, so maybe i bought a modicum of credibility with that

Carl said...

I think back to all the kids I've known through the youth archery program. Kids that can devote their attention intensely to a sport are pretty scarce, I think. From around 9 years of age, the boys seemed to always be more interested in video games and socializing (with video games as the conversational subject matter) than in anything else. At around age 16 to 18, they start to notice girls and all discipline goes out through the window. The boys that can focus on a sport seem like they're about one in a million or so.

Between ages 9 to 15, the girls focused much more intently on archery than did the boys. At a certain point, though, they seemed to become more interested in scholastics and they lost their interest in training.

LI Ashtangini said...

Don't be too hard on yourself. Parenting is HARD and I have yet to meet the perfect parent. BF has a devil of a time with his 11-year-old son, he seems to not have a brain at all sometimes! But we know he really truly has one.....they get so flighty at this age. I remember being a completely forgetful moron....oh wait, that was yesterday

laksmi said...

see, acorn, i'm not as nice as yogamum. I say set him up with consequences: next time you forget your gear or miss your private lesson, you're done with lacrosse. Who's it for, anyway, him or you? If it's for him and he wants it, he'll remember. If you keep remembering for him or not providing some consequences, no change. behavioral psychology is the only kind that works. Actions really do speak louder than words and once he's experienced a nasty consequence, you'll probably see some change. at the risk of me sticking my nose in. :)

laksmi said...

oh, and carl, maybe those 9-15 year old girls pay so much attention because they have a blonde male instructor. i'm just saying...

Yogamum said...

Oh, I totally agree about the natural consequences and I do that with my own kids. I just find that the "lecture mode" that Okie described tends to make both the kid and the parent more upset, and I was responding more to his feelings about having lost it and communicated in a way he wasn't happy with. But I am totally down with "no equipment, no practice." It only takes once or twice before they get it.

Carl said...

Ladies, you slightly missed his point. He's working his life away, carving babies from the bellies of pregnant ladies, so that Jake can play his sport. The problem is that Jake isn't as intent on the sport or anything else as he is for his little fantasy life in World of Warcraft. It's not that the kid needs to remember his lacrosse gear so much as he needs to get his head out of his ass. That's what okrgr is trying to say.

LI Ashtangini said...

As always, Carl goes straight to the heart of the matter, LOL.

okrgr said...

head. shoulders. pretty much everything down to his belly button. it's also not thta he's not as serious about the sport as i want him to be. if he's not, he's not, no big deal it would be a hell of a waste but so be it. but if he's not interested than what the hell am i shortening my life span by working so hard for.

the thing that is most concerning is the lack of effect that forgetting his gear, or losing his helmet (as he did the very next day), the total lack of any sense that it's any kind of big deal to him. the nonchalance about consequences of unresponsible behavior by this age is a big worry for me.

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sophialauren said...

I think. From around 9 years of age, the boys seemed to always be more interested in video games and socializing (with video games as the conversational subject matter) than in anything else. At around age 16 to 18, they start to notice girls and all discipline goes out through the window. The boys that can focus on a sport seem like they're about one in a million or so.

yoga