Thursday, March 3, 2011

T & Communication

For anyone who has followed my blog or read it, you are well aware that I have a teenage son, T.  T has begun the final countdown until his 14th birthday.  He recites the clothes that he is getting that have been tried on and purchased over the past month or so. 

He is intelligent and articulate.  He is almost responsible.  He IS a good kid.  He is after all a KID.

T and I have decent communication skills.  I would even say that they are better than decent, that is until I realize that we aren't on the same page.  That maybe it should be better.  Maybe if I knew the right questions to ask without sounding like the psycho and/or nagging mother.

How exactly does a parent know when to ask the right questions and when to wait to be asked or told?  When is a matter of meddling versus being concerned and interested?

Tonight at the dinner table I asked T what he thought of dinner.  I tried a new fresco chicken sausage and wanted feedback.  Personally, I didn't like it as much as the apple chicken sausage, but it wasn't bad.  I had grilled it and sliced it on top of angel hair pasta with spaghetti sauce and fresh sauteed green peppers, onions and mushrooms.  He didn't answer.  I rephrased the question.  He still didn't answer.

Then he said, "When do I get my retainer off?"

T has had a permanent retainer for several years as Phase I of his braces.  The four frontal braces were removed almost two years ago, it's so hard to keep track of the time these days.  To be honest, I am not really sure of the purpose of his retainer.  I ask him why.

He replies, "Because it is hard to swallow." 

There are tears welling in his eyes.  He is struggling to swallow the pasta.  He tells me this has been happening for...A MONTH.  A MONTH?

I am so glad that he chooses to tell me now, a month later on a Thursday night.  The orthodontist is closed on Friday.  He has already gone a month, what is the rush to get him in soon? 

Why is it that just when I might think I have this parenting gig under wrap, I get blindsided with another confirmation that I don't?

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