I Feel Like Alpha Dog With Only Three Legs.
I got an email about another missing assignment for Dylan.
“When are you going to do this, Dylan?” I asked. He only had two days of school left before the holiday break.
“I guess I’ll do it at school tomorrow,” he said.
“You still have two tests to make up in school, and eight missing assignments in Spanish. You need to do this tonight.”
“I can’t do it tonight.”
“You can,” I said. “And you will. I will be here at 8:35 and you can get it done tonight.”
“I can’t do it tonight,” he said. “My brain is just fried.”
“I’ll see you at 8:35,” I said.
At 8:40, I went up to his room.
“Let’s go, Dylan,” I said. “You’ve got to get this done.”
“I have like two whole days to get it done. I’m not going to do it now.”
“You are going to do it now,” I said. I rarely put my foot down on such things, since it’s his right to fail, but he had been begging to keep his role in the play, which he can’t do if his GPA drops is below a 2.0.
He stomped downstairs.
I sat with him for half an hour while he stared at the computer. Then he typed some crap about hating school. Then he had a major temper tantrum and stormed upstairs raging. Then he left the house (in the freezing cold) and didn’t come back for half an hour. Then he came back, still screaming about how he simply couldn’t possibly do this work tonight.
Dylan had a major meltdown.
Frustrated, I asked Bill to sit with Dylan and make sure he got the work done. So Bill sat with him until almost midnight.
But Bill didn’t “make” Dylan do his work. In fact, Bill sat there and philosophized instead. So Bill got points for being Savior of the Day and Kind Soul, while I was branded Wicked Witch of the Schoolwork.
So now I know – beyond a shadow of a doubt – that I can’t trust Bill to do any disciplining – which, quite honestly, I already knew. I know Bill would rather avoid conflict than stand his ground.
It’s why I have to be in charge, tired as I am of being in charge. I feel like Alpha Dog with only three legs.
The next day, Dylan texted about how evil I am. He said I need to stay out of his life and that my “love” feels like “hate.”
Later in the day, he told Shane that the reason Dylan gets bad grades is because I stress him out.
And Shane believed him.
If I weren’t so awful, Dylan would be getting wonderful grades. He would surely be turning in all of his work on time. He would absolutely be doing fine without any interference from me.
So I stopped interfering. Again.
Because it’s been proven, time and again, that Dylan has no trouble at all handling his schoolwork all by himself. (Note the sarcasm dripping from this sentiment.)
Dylan thinks he’s going to fly through the rest of the quarter, getting everything done without talking to any teachers or checking his grades online. He thinks he’s going to miraculously figure out what’s due, and turn it in on time, for the first time in the history of the world, without changing any of his behaviors.
He thinks he’s going to keep his lead role in the play.
But he will not.
And somehow, that will be my fault, too.
Merry Christmas to me.