Years ago, Hubs and I came to the conclusion that we will never again be able to speak to each other with any degree of privacy unless we actually have evidence that Son is at least 20 miles away. Even then we're careful. Son has also become more careful over the years. He no longer sits and eavesdrops in locations where he's likely to fall asleep and tumble down the stairs. Now he stands in the shadows in the hall.
It's somewhat difficult for me to fathom why a child who acts like he's being put through physical and mental torture every time we speak to him still feels he has a right to be informed of our every thought and word, but I've found as long as we're not addressing HIM, we have his undivided attention.
And so this morning, on this most glorious of all holidays, we decided to make this work for us.
Hubs and I went downstairs and began a conversation about Son's school performance. This is not a topic Son particularly enjoys discussing. In fact, he tells us the very subject causes his ear drums to melt, which is a problem because his brain is then in danger of just rolling right out of his head.
It's a chance we're prepared to take.
Right on schedule we hear Son making his way to the kitchen.
"...and so his counselor says if we want to, we can put him in that program and maybe he can be caught up by the end of the year," I begin.
"Hmm. Well it sounds like a good idea. Kind of a pain having to get up that early on Saturdays though." The sound of Son's sharp intake of breath assures us our unseen audience is paying attention.
"Yeah, I know. 6 a.m. is even earlier than he normally gets up on school days. Still, if we do this we can avoid summer school."
"I guess we can alternate taking him. That way we can each sleep in every other Saturday." I grin and give Hubs a thumbs up. Sleeping in on Saturday is something very close to Son's heart.
I continue, "There may be a solution that will work for both of us. His counselor said if we're within the boundaries, he can take the bus."
"Well...it's not the, uh, regular bus."
At this, Son can take no more. "WHAT?!? You're sending me to school on the short bus? On a Saturday??" I look at him reprovingly. "I'm sorry. But still, Mom! I'll get teased!"
"Oh, I don't think so. You're going to be going so early no one will be around."
"What do you mean 'early'? What are you talking about? They don't have school on Saturday!"
"Eavesdropping, were you?"
"I can't help it if I overhear you. You were talking about ME."
"Son, when we're talking TO you, you don't listen. Why do you care now?"
"I am NOT going to school on Saturday. I don't want to."
"Funny, I don't recall asking you if you want to."
"Son, you had a choice at the beginning of the year. You made the choice not to turn in your homework. And yes, you have a right to make that choice. Unfortunately, the consequence that is attached to that choice is your loss of freedom on Saturdays until school's out."
"It's out of my hands, Son. Your choice, your consequence."
"But...for how long? How long do I have to do this?"
"Until school's out."
"That's three months away!"
"No, actually, it's just two."
"March, April..." The light began to dawn. "MOM!!! It's April. April first." Relief and irritation warred. Relief won.
Then came the anticipated threats of retaliation.
"When I get home I am SO going to get you for this," he promised.
We're not worried. We're safe inside the house. Particularly after I have the locks changed today.