M kept quite an impressive verbal toolbox – in an instant, he could pull out an excuse for any situation.
I didn’t have my head completely in the sand this summer, but it still seemed like I was forever realizing that he had gotten away with something else. For instance, it took me weeks to figure out that what I thought was an animal walking around on our roof at night, was actually him on the roof smoking. And eventually I learned that when he was making a milkshake at 3:30 in the morning, it was really not because he “was thirsty.” When I heard the kitchen door opening into the garage, it wasn’t because he was “throwing something in the recycle bin”…it was actually him coming home through the garage.
It had become difficult to get a full night’s sleep this summer; simple sounds became mysteries. Early one morning I followed the noise to the family room. The television was blaring, lights were on, and he was asleep on the couch. Between M and the coffee table sat an empty bottle – it was an empty bottle of Southern Comfort. “M!” I shouted. Then I started yelling something like, “What is this?” (Yes, I realize that does sound like a stupid question, but he was about to throw me a stupid answer.)
Standing over him, with the bottle in my hand, he finally started to open his eyes. And this is what he said…
“Mom, that is so old.”
What do you say to that? There isn’t a response that makes sense – but that was one of his favorite responses. If I found matches…”Mom, those are so old.” If I found a beer bottle lid, “Mom, that is so old.”
Another favorite response he used when I questioned certain behaviors was, “Mom, are you serious? Nobody cares.” Or if we grounded him we heard, “Mom are you serious? Nobody else’s parents do that.”
His quick answers became automatic, and the truth no longer existed. Unfortunately, this has put us in a position to question anything and everything he says.