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Monday, February 20, 2006

Throwing Back the Lobster

A while back, we made it pretty clear to Lobster — as well as The Boy and M.A.E. — what was expected from each of them individually and all of them as a group... and if they didn’t want to live up to those expectations, they knew where the door was.

Lobster is kind of a special case at the moment: he’s the only one actively in school. The Boy started flinging the “this school is stupid, I’ll be able to do better at the private school” (that he couldn’t wait to get away from last year) crap. Fine, whatever, as long as he finishes, right? So we started making the arrangements to get him back in the private school. We figured there wouldn’t be much of a problem — especially since the preacher at the church told Daughter Dearest that they would try to make some arrangements if they wanted to come back — and The Boy just jumps and expects the soft landing to be there anyway. The upshot is, he quit the public school and the principal at the private school said “I prayed about it and it’s not the best thing.” I’ll spare y’all the obligatory potshots at pentecostals.

So ever since, Lobster has been whining and complaining each morning that he has to get up while The Boy just lays there. We’re trying to arrange a home school program for The Boy so he can finish up (as if he’ll put any effort into it, but he won’t be able to say we didn’t give him the chance), but these things don’t happen overnight. None of them have any sense of responsibility, it seems... as if we didn’t know that already.

President’s Day weekend rolls around, under the unskilled aegis of the worst president ever. Daughter Dearest & even your humble correspondent get Monday off. But not Lobster (nor Mrs. Fetched, because chicken houses never rest, but anyway). That private school has some good points, but they’re seriously weird in others. The Boy and M.A.E. decide they want to go to a movie, along with Lobster. Since it was 8:30, I figured they could go, be home by 11, and I’d be able to get Lobster off to school. I fiddled around, did a little exercise (been slacking on that lately, bad FARfetched, bad!), and called Lobster’s smellphone around 11. No answer. I told him he needed to be home ASAP to get to school the next day.

Around midnight, still haven’t heard anything. I called his phone, he picked up & hung up. I tried it again, same result. The third attempt went straight to his voice mail, and I left him a rather pointed message. About five minutes later, I tried again, got the voice mail, and started leaving a real happy note when he called. “Oh, we decided to just come home around 6 and you can take me to school.” I told him at that point to not bother coming home, he could get a ride to school with whoever was carrying them around.

“But what about my bookbag and uniform?”

“Not my problem,” I told him. He whined about my trying to “control” him, and I told him it had nothing to do with control and everything to do with responsibility. After some more whining on his part, I just hung up, turned off the phone, and went to bed.

So of course they don’t show up at 6... it’s almost 8 a.m. sharp when The Boy calls and says, “we’re outside, can you unlock the door?” The three of them came in and all of them, including Lobster, got in their beds. Uh-uh, Lobster, you’ve got school. I said I’d take him there but not bring him back; he could find somewhere else to live and whoever takes him in can come get his stuff.

On the way to school, I told him I really do hope he succeeds at whatever he decides to do, but we obviously can’t help him take the next step. He wants to be his own person, it’s time for him to step out on his own, and The Boy and M.A.E. will be gone just as soon as he gets his car legal. He just grunted, as if I expected anything different. Now Mrs. Fetched starts criticizing me about how I shouldn’t have said anything about the others leaving, and Lobster has paid rent through the end of the month, and M.A.E. still owes us $270... and that, in a nutshell, is why I haven’t made much effort to play much role in what goes on around here: when everything you do and say gets criticized or negated, why bother? I told her as much, and she clammed up after a couple feeble attempts at self-justification. As far as M.A.E. is concerned, there’s such a thing as cutting your losses.

So that’s my day off. Now I need to get The Boy up to help pick up some brush trimmings....


  1. Hang in there and don't give up, you're doing the right thing, don't let them "beat" you at their game.

    They hope by whining enough you'll cave, and they'll get their way. Maybe I should send you a poster of the cat holding on to the tree limb.

  2. Send me a picture of them holding the tree limb, and me sawing off the freeking branch! >8-)


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