Thursday, October 27, 2011

Adventures on the playground

It's been a tough week and DJ has accidentally crossed into the line of fire.  However, in the most recent fallout, any injury she incurred was a result of her deliberately tripping into the minefield.

Last night, fair or unfair, I made a remark about all my kids being "high maintenance."  OK-I was being melodramatic. I was frustrated at my young adult children's propensity to not be problem solvers and to need direction. Yeah, yeah, I know, they're acting like typical young adults that are grasping the monkey bar behind them marked "childhood" while grasping the monkey bar in front of them marked, "adulthood."  They do not swing forward, or back because they are holding onto both bars at the same time.  Typical, expected, I KNOW.  But I had a moment, or a series of moments, of frustration.  Geez, I'm not even close to perfect.

Today, more of the same as yesterday.  Not yelling or screaming, just helping one kid over a big hump.  I've made multiple trips into town for various reasons and now it's time to pick DJ up from school and head over to the Driver's Ed place so she can take her final test. Except, I start heading home accidentally and am about to make a U-turn when DJ informs me I need to go home anyway because she needs to take her medicine.

I won't go into the particulars, but she tried to blame me for not thinking of bringing it with me when I went to pick her up after school. Then she tried to blame Bulldog because she mentioned it to him yesterday and after all, in her opinion, he should have communicated that to me.  Of course, she will not accept that saying something to me on the ride to school this morning would have been advised.  So, I have another moment.  Please don't think I screamed at DJ, I didn't but I was clearly upset and she told me I was being an "ass."  An ass?  Seriously?  OK, even if it's true, what happened to children being seen and not heard?  Yeah, yeah, it went the way of the "sparing the rod" ideology.

So I respond something to the effect of, "It's your body" and continue with if she can't take care of her needs that it is ultimately her problem, which she somehow reads as my threatening to deny her her date with the surgeon next year.  NOW who is being melodramatic?

Can you imagine a mother who would ground her child from her gender reassignment surgery?  She would be grounded for a year!!  That's how long it can take to get a surgery date.  This was never on my parent radar.  It's not like Parent magazine discusses how to parent your teenager, or your young adult child;  forget addressing the challenges that might be unique to parents of transgender kids. There are articles, ad infinitum, about getting your kid to sleep through the night or toilet training, but nothing to my knowledge that comes close to this realm.

Oh, it's ok.  We figured it out even without the assistance of a periodical.  We will not be rewarding behavior by handing out hormone pills like they're tokens, nor will we withhold them when DJ trips up.  We'll just keep reminding her to be responsible, just like we do for our other two almost grown-up kids.  Different words being exchanged, perhaps, but the same argument or challenge underneath:  encouraging them to let go of the bar behind them so they can reach out to grab the next bar in front.