difficult child 2's 16th birthday is tomorrow. He is still barely attending school - in fact school has called for an attendance hearing that they have scheduled for Thursday. His behavior at home varies from annoying to threatening. Yesterday we left the house with his sister and our dog for an hour to de-escalate things. He was threatening us and knocking over small furniture and tearing up papers in anger after we told him point blank we would not be getting him an air soft gun for his birthday and said we were going back to removing the TV every night because he was lying to us about having Xbox equipment stashed (he is getting up and playing it at night unless we take the TV). Overall things are better than they were for a while. We haven't called the police in at least 2 weeks. He went to school for 3 or 4 days at least 4 hours every day for 2 weeks but not last week because he said he was sick to his stomach the whole week, throwing up a couple days in a row. He isn't up yet so I don't know if he'll go to school today or not. He is not leaving the house except to go to school and sometimes for a walk in the neighborhood. We could not get him to go with us to the new Sherlock Holmes movie yesterday even though he loved the first movie and has been talking about going for a couple of weeks. I'm not sure he will come with us Tuesday to the birthday dinner we have planned to have with his godmother. His wish list consists of Xbox games. The Xbox is a huge source of conflict and we don't want to get him more games. I talked to him about including some other ideas on his list like books, audiobooks, clothes or gift certificates to places he could get clothes and he just got mad. Informed me that would be like getting socks for Christmas. I am struggling with grief today - his birth was such a joyous occasion. It hurts to be reminded of how different this reality is from the one we hoped for 15 years ago. It feels like I can't see clearly how to handle the whole present thing because of the grief. So what do we do about a birthday present? On the one hand we want to give our precious son a birthday gift. But we don't feel much like giving a present to someone who is treating us like this or giving him what he wants because it will only fuel the fires. But to not give him a gift is unthinkable and anything less than what he wants will almost certainly lead to conflict.