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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Testing

I am finding this juxtaposition interesting, this week. In the span of fewer than seven days, Garrick is being lauded at school for writing one of the best D.A.R.E. essays in his class (in which he basically scolds his classmates for even thinking about looking at a cigarette sideways, because they! are! poison!), and Quin keeps getting caught at various sneaky, underhanded behaviors that break long-established house rules.

So on the one hand, we have Dudley Do-Right, and on the other, we've got... who's that loser guy that Amy Winehouse is married to who's usually in jail? Him.

Now, Quin is all of 12, and he's not sneaking out of the house at night to go freebase or attend orgies, or anything. But he's pushing the boundaries and LYING to me (o, how sharper than a serpent's tooth...) and generally acting like he's almost a frockin' teenager or something.

What?

In truth, it's really not a big deal. We have strict limits on how much computer (play) time the kids get on a daily basis, and one evening, Quin went down to the computer to "do some homework." Twenty minutes later I sneaked up on him and found that not a lick of homework had been completed, unless you count researching minutia about Bionicles homework, which his teachers and I emphatically do NOT.

Then, when Garrick had a spectacular bought of diarrhea (you're welcome) last night and I asked him what he'd eaten for a snack at my mother's that afternoon, he answered "Quin told me not to tell you." Why not? Because if I'd known beforehand that my mother had given them crap cookies to eat, I surely would have said NO when Quin asked if they could have an after dinner treat, right?

Damn skippy.

(Garrick folded like a cheap card table, by the way. This kid is not cut out for a life of crime.)

Quin is basically a very good kid -- responsible, thoughtful, and kind -- and believe me when I tell you I do not pull out anything resembling the Big Guns for this kind of thing. I let him know that I'm on to him, register my disappointment, and move on. This approach worked effectively over the computer incident (though there were tears when I took away additional computer time as a punishment). But when I called Quin on the sugar-binging last night, he (first) couldn't manage to speak a word to me for about 10 minutes, and then he lost his shit and sobbed until he fell asleep.

Now granted, it was late-ish -- around 10pm, which is when I generally tuck the kids in -- and I'm sure he was tired. But what alarms me much more than the boundary-testing and sneakiness is the fact that Quin is absolutely incapable of forming speech when he's at all upset. I'm not talking about crying so hard that he couldn't speak (though that came later), I'm talking about a fright/flight impulse that is so strong in him, he just goes tharn.

At this point, I'd gladly trade his Social Studies class for a daily lesson in practicing speech under duress. (Is 12 years old too young for therapy?)

1 comment:

Tina said...

Welcome to the NEXT PHASE. So not fun. Poor you. Poor kids. It's a rough one.