I have been spending a lot of time unpacking this week, but have also had time for some fun. We promised Boot way back before his 13th birthday in December that when he turned 13, we'd take him to a PG-13 movie that his brother was not allowed to go to. He has been wanting to see "The DaVinci Code" since before it came out, so this week, I took him. We had a really good time together, splitting popcorn & talking about the movie afterward. I hated the book, thought it very poorly-written. The movie was better. Boot can't understand what the big deal is & why the movie & book have been so controversial. Of course, I have no answers for him on that because I don't get it, either. Both of us think that since it's fiction, there is no reason for it to threaten anyone. Also, so what if it is true?
When J got home, we went to the bookstores, Borders first & then, at cranky Pie's insistence, Barnes & Noble to try & find an Ironman book. Boot got a Boondocks book & Pie did find his Ironman book. I personally like Sandman comics better, but he is not interested. Probably just as well. J got another vampire book & a book on tantra, along with some books to send her dad. I got Lamb by Christopher Moore and a Red Hat Society novel.
In the car, the boys, who were both wired, started talking about how women suck & all the things women can't do. I teased them, saying, "our little misogynists" and Boot started going on & on about how much we hate men. Excuse me, but I could name any number of men I simply adore. I have no reason to hate men, since I don't have to try & be in a relationship with a bad one. I go by the individual person, not their gender. Although the boys' father has accused me of "engaging in gender politics" I am probably one of the least likely to actually do so. I was about to enumerate the men I adore as we pulled into the parking lot at The Winking Lizard, but Boot got out of the car, surly & temperful. We had chosen to eat at The Winking Lizard at Boot's request. Left to our own devices, we would surely have chosen Brio. But, his bad mood was well-activated & when his mom requested that he leave his cell phone in the car, he refused. Ever since his dad got him this cell phone for his birthday in December, the rule has been that he may text message his dad as much as he wants, but that when we're doing family things like eating dinner out, as well as for school & bedtime, it is to be left behind. He usually complies, although he & I had one showdown on that in which he grabbed my arm hard enough to leave a red mark. No compliance that night, though. I followed up J's request with, "Boot, do you want to put that in the car?" "No" was his response. Thinking he hadn't understood, after J's original "Leave your phone in the car" & my request, I said, "Boot, you're going to leave that in the car." He became belligerent & stalked over to the dumpster. I thought he was going to hide behind it so J couldn't take his phone, as she was following him trying to talk him into putting it in the car. Nope. He chucked it in the dumpster. Crazy! "I am so mad at you that I am throwing away my most prized possession, the one that you are annoyed by! Take that!!!" Of course, he didn't say that.
So, we got them back into the car & went home, where Boot went in his bedroom & refused to eat. J made Pie some soup & sandwiches, we had some goat cheese & caper puffs from the freezer. In the morning, J tried to get him to call his dad & tell him either what happened or that he lost it so his dad could have it turned off. He refused, saying he'll tell him this weekend. I bet he'll try to blame us somehow. Wonder if Pie will lie for him or tell the truth. Wonder if it's at all safe for him to tell the truth. He's had bad repercussions for truth-telling before, from both of them, but especially from his brother. Sometimes I wonder if Boot has to act badly toward us when he's had a particularly good time with us because he feels like he's betraying his father. Other times his temper has flared out of control have been when we've spent the day at Ohio Caverns or at COSI. I think his dad has him all messed up. Luckily, he woke up yesterday in a fine mood & apologized. I feel awful for him because he should be allowed to love & enjoy both his parents, without guilt. Whatever we may think of his father, we do not talk smack about him around the kids, ever. I don't think his father employs the same policy toward us. I expect they get fed all kinds of misogynistic & homophobic crap by him all the time.
More successful family dinner times have been when we've grilled down at the pool. J made sausage sandwiches & burgers the other night & hot dogs last night. They played in the pool & I read & enjoyed the hot tub. Boot has been helpful, cooperative & fun at those times. Weird.
So, I am left wrestling with how to get a teenager to comply when he doesn't want to. Losing privileges doesn't phase him. Nothing seems to.