(Written in April 2009)
Nothing can get my blood pressure higher than hearing the word “whatever” during an argument. It was the basis for every conversation that Matthew had with me over the course of a two year period.
“Matthew you have got to clean this pig sty of a room. Homeless men sleeping under bridges are keeping their cardboard box shelters cleaner than this room.”
The rolling of the eyes begins.
“Roll your eyes at me again young man and I will slap your eyeballs right out of your head.”
“Matthew – I am serious. This room is a disaster. If you don’t straighten it I am going to take away your x-Box.”
“And your phone.”
I must admit that the first time I fussed at Matthew for rolling his eyes at me actually made me laugh. He was about 5 years old and we were having a heated discussion when his eyes rolled around in his head.
“DO NOT ROLL your eyes at me young man!!! Do NOT disrespect me!”
Obviously he had not been listening to a single word I had said because he said “Hey Mom. Can you see your own eyeballs?” I could not help but laugh, but then again at the time he was still my innocent little man and not my demon possessed pubescent son.
But, back to the teenage years. In one conversation with me doing the majority of the talking, he lost his x-box, his phone, his computer and he was also grounded. As I look back on it now, it seems like he was grounded quite a bit during his 12th -14th years of age. His voice mail message on his cell phone actually said “Hey, this is Matthew. I’m either skateboarding, playing hockey or I’m grounded so just leave a message.” He also loves to tell people how awful of a mother I was that I grounded him on his 12th birthday. He had given me more grief than I cared for so I snapped.
“That’s it. You’re grounded!”
“But it’s my birthday!!!”