He doesn't get it. Really. He does not understand boundaries, and I have had it. I changed purses today. (That time of the yr.) When I pulled out everything from my old purse, which was hanging on the kitchen doorknob, I found an empty, small tulle sachet bag with-a drawstring. It had my brand new headphones in it. I've never even used them before. A friend of mine gave me an MP4 player 2 Christmases ago. I never got a chance to use it because it disappeared. I thought I had hidden it so well that I'd forgotten where I'd put it. Nope. Found it in difficult child's bedroom last mo when I was cleaning. He insisted it was easy child's. She said she's never seen it before, and besides that, after what he's done to her, why would she give him anything? On numerous occasions, he has asked me for headphones, the little earbud kind. He already has a pink set; he bought it for his old girlfriend b4 they broke up. So he started using them. Yesterday, I found a black pr in the LR. "Where did these come from?" I asked him. He just glared at me. Alrighty, then. I figured that he'd traded them for the pink ones at school. Today when I found my earbud/headphones missing, I texted him and told him he needed to give them back immediately. He was to come home directly from the bus, do his chores and give me my headphones. I told him I was cutting off his phone. (Actually, we talked at one point and I told him over the phone, that it would be cut off for the rest of today and all day tomorrow. That was husband's idea; he likes to keep the punishment as closely aligned with-the crime as possible, and I agree.) I also reminded him that he was on probation and that he could steal absolutely nothing. "Should I call the probation officer? The police? What would you do if you were the mom?" (by the way, I normally sleep with-my purse, but forgot and left it hanging on the kitchen doorknob last night.) He did take the bus home, but of course, his new girlfriend, D, was with-him. They are joined at the hip. I cannot have a single private conversation with-him. Very frustrating. I told him to meet me upstairs to talk. "First," I said, "We'll talk about your chores." "NO!" he shouted. "I want to talk about the headphones. He went on for 5 min straight about how I was over the top with-my discipline and even dad thought so. I have learned not to listen to difficult child when he says things like that because he is very manipulative, plus, if husband did say that, I will get on his case for sharing that with-difficult child when I am in private but it's not a good thing to talk about parenting differences in front of difficult child. He just uses it to his advantage, as you can see. He said he understood completely why I was upset by his taking my rings, he deserved the punishment, blah blah blah. But he couldn't see why it bothered me that he just took my headphones. I told him he didn't just take them. He stole them. "I didn't steal them! Stealing is when you take something with no intent to return it. I was going to give them back!" "No. Stealing is when you take something that doesn't belong to you. Period. End of discussion." He tried to block my way (I hate it when he does that at the top of the stairs. Reminds me of Gone With the Wind ... ) Not to mention he has been repeatedly told by us and the therapist not to block me, physically. I went downstairs and his girlfriend was in the kitchen, looking over a printout I'd given her to choose another movie. He continued the argument in front of her (lovely). Finally, he said something like, "You have no reason to take away my phone and are totally overreacting!" I had just had it at that point, and blurted, in a cold voice, "You've been stealing since the day you were born." Not a great moment, but I'm sure you've all been there done that. I tried to change the subject, walking to get my purse 2 ft away and saying, "I will give you about $5 for a snack at the movie ..." He totally ramped up and shouted that he'd never stolen anything else (meaning the rings and earbuds) and I said, "You broke the lock on your sister's door because you were stealing from her. You ruining the lock on my office door because you were stealing my computer." (Technically, he was sitting in the chair and doing porn sites, not actually carrying the hard drive out of the house, but that's nitpicking. There is a lock on the door for a reason.) That's when he totally blew up and raised his fist to me. After that, the F-bomb flew fast and furious (remind me to wash my face; it's covered with-spit). His girlfriend had her face buried in the movie printout and I felt badly for her. I said, "Then again, I guess I won't be giving you $5 for tonight." He said he was working really hard to control himself and that he was going to leave the house RIGHT NOW and NOT COME BACKJ. He must have seen me raise my eyebrows because he said, "I know I'm on probation and my curfew is 10 on weekends so I'll be back by then." Alrighty, then. I texted the girlfriend's mother and told her what happened and I was sorry that her daughter had to witness that. She asked if she should not take them to a movie and I said (text) that it was separate from the headphone issue, it was a treat for the kids' 1 mo anniv, so she could go ahead. (Besides which, I think it's wise to keep difficult child away from me, and vice versa, at this point. By the time difficult child gets home, husband will be home and he can handle it. I was going to paint tonight but I think I need a nap.