Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Lil, Mar 26, 2016.
So. Today he got up and rode to the office (well, the parking garage) with me, the plan being he would go ahead to the cafeteria, grab breakfast, wait until it slowed down a tad and then talk to someone about a job...then he could hit a few other places nearby and grab a bus home. I asked him if he needed laundry done. No. He has no decent clothes, but what he does have could be clean. But no.
He did get up and come this morning. He didn't do much along the line of cleaning himself up; literally no shower, wet his hair a bit in the sink to tame it and put on a hat, I did see him brushing his teeth. I suggested he put his clothes in the dryer with a dryer sheet to take the wrinkles out and freshen them. "What wrinkles?"
He just does NOT get it. I tried to explain in the car, but he's like, "No one who doesn't live in the house with me can tell I didn't shower." I told him, that when you are looking at job candidates, and two people show up, one clean and neat and clearly making an effort to look their best, and one who looks like he just rolled out of bed, you're going to hire the clean one. At a minimum it's the difference between being the guy who stocks the salad bar and being the guy emptying trash cans and doing dishes.
His response is that he doesn't have B.O. so why shower. In his defense, while he does have a bit of a funk, it's more of a stale cigarette odor than B.O. and it's often fairly faint. But still!!! He's literally brushed his teeth twice since he's been back with us. They are awful, with tarter so bad it looks like he has white bread from a sandwich stuck in his gums. It's disgusting! I'm literally a person who NEVER goes to bed without brushing my teeth. I've brushed them when I was deathly ill, when I was falling-down drunk, when I was out in the woods and had to use my finger and water! I can't imagine letting my teeth get like that. He's going to get gum disease and lose them! Not to mention it just turns my stomach.
I do NOT understand him. I don't understand the lack of hygiene. I even said today, "When you were a kid, you loved baths. When you were a young teen we yelled at you for taking 1/2 hour showers!" His response was, "When you were a kid you hated naps. People change."
I give up.
I get it, Lil. I really do. Sounds like something my kid would come up with.
Lil, your post rang bells for me. Sonic stank of B.O. but because you cant smell yourself he'd insist he smelled fine, including his well worn, unwashed clothing.
It took an outsider to influence him to at least wash his laundry each week and to shower more. After all, what do parents know? He still.has bad smell days, but his work boss will whisper to him to bathe that night. Her he obeys. Of course.
For a long time he neglected his teeth, but doesnt now. Somebody must have told him.
Do you think you can get your son to lose the hat?
Never. At least he's switched from a beanie to a ball cap.
The teeth are the worst part. I just don't know what to do. He's going to get gingivitis. He's going to lose his teeth. He won't brush. He had braces and the second he went to college at 18 he threw the retainer away, so now they're all snaggy crooked again. They are so yellow that at times I swear they're brown, with all that yuck at the gum line. I think that it will take several dental visits for a cleaning at this point. We'd pay for a dentist, but I don't know if he'll go. I guess I'll start dropping hints that we'll pay for it if he wants to go. But if he won't brush, what's the use?
Haha. He's a FUNNY Difficult Child! Thanks for the laugh, that was pretty good.
Unfortunately Albatross, he was completely serious.
All I can say here is that we do this for love. Responsibility, yes. But love most of all. Lil, I could barely read your posts about the hygiene. Because it is so painful. We endure it for the greatest of love.
The head wear. The clothes. I am in the same spot, Lil.
My son *27 years old, has been living closer to us than he has in 4 plus years. He is staying as much as he can with us and the rest of the time at a rental house we bought with the idea that he work with us to remodel it and live there himself while paying rent.
It is one step backward, 2 forward, and so on.
He has improved in so many ways. But only with extreme pressure. I walked into the rental house last week. It was a mess. I swear it smelled like a marijuana bonfire. He gave me lip accusing me of trying to take over control of his SSI. (I have applied for my own social security and they have contacted me that my son needs to apply for SSI under my number, which he resists doing.)
M told him: You need to leave if you do not treat your mother with respect. The marijuana needs to stop in this house. You will pay the utilities next month. I want you to clean this house from top to bottom. No. I will not bring the utility vacuum. If the house is not clean by Friday, you leave.
We walked into the house Friday and it was nearly spotless. The air was clean and fresh.
I agree one thousand percent with this. The hardest part of having them close in again is to want to do it for them. And seeing up close all the things they need to do and need to see and need to care about--without trying to take responsibility or get mad (me) that they do not.
Yes, it is. But oh how good it feels when they are here, close, and OK. I had forgotten how that felt. How it feels to have him close, to hear his voice, happy. His sense of humor. To hear him laugh and to want to hug and kiss him with happiness, and to do so.
When we entered the rental house I knew it looked good, the job he had done, but I held back to let M make the determination, because he was the taskmaster. I heard M say (in Spanish): good job Son.
I began to gush. J, you did I great job. I hugged him and kissed his cheek. He beamed. He said: (in Spanish). Mi primer (and he searched for the right word) obra. Mi primer obra. (Translated means something like, my first accomplishment. They use the word obra to refer to artwork, or job, like a construction job. (Actually, it was far from his first accomplishment. But in the sense of self-renewal it was one of many new beginnings.
Yes. This is one thousand percent true. And then, when they are ready, they push forward on their own. It may be compliance, because they must. Or it may be, because they decide that it works for them to succeed. They are ready.
And then again. Like we say, Rinse, Wash, Repeat.
J is exactly like this and it's a crazy maker. He smells of body odor and cigarettes all the time. He doesn't wash his clothes and I will not let him leave his bedroom door open because of the odor. I hate it, but I can't see anyway to make him change. I get after him from time to time, but the only leverage I have is to kick him out or take away his car, which is unproductive at this point. Work hasn't given him a hard time and neither has his girlfriend, so I'm at a loss.
See...this really gets me. Right now he has no girlfriend, but I would not date anyone who was like this. I truly can't imagine kissing anyone on the mouth who's teeth are so gross! Why on earth would you let any man close who isn't clean? Ick! I mean, a little sweaty from working out or something is one thing, but not bathing for days at a time? Really?
Lil and Jabber, I believe that you high jacked my son. You can keep him.
I suppose it is a small thing in the grand scheme of things...but I have been in tears today over it. I really think he's going to lose his teeth. And how does one get a decent job when you look like you've just rolled out of bed? Just one more thing to pile on.
I once dated, for brief period of time, a guy in high school who had a beautiful little sports car. He was tall, dark and good looking. Perfect, right? Would not brush his teeth!!! So sad, but no deal. I told my friend who had lesser standards she could have him!
J went through the whole braces thing. Cost me about $7000. He was always bad with his oral hygiene. You'd think I was trying to poor acid down his throat instead of toothpaste. Anyway, the enamel on his teeth is not doing well now. He has a little bit of meth mouth, but it's not too bad. Even though he isn't brushing regularly, I still schedule dental appointments for cleaning and fillings. I figure it isn't costing me much and if it can preserve his teeth long enough, maybe he outgrow all these yuck mouth issues. Grrr!!!
Yep. I don't remember what our son's braces cost, I think around $5,000 - and we had to have them paid in ONE year! No idea why...they never would tell us why the underwriter's wouldn't give us 2 years, which is standard, and we have good credit. But what's done is done. Still kills me that we wasted that money.
Then again, we wasted close to $10k for college, $1,400 on an apartment...the list goes on and on. So I suppose that was just the start.
There are so many times I am honestly glad we dont have any extra money to do these things for my kids, even the grateful ones. Bart did have braces, but he took care of his teeth. Other than that my kids learned to work and save, buy their own cars, we helped them get funding for school, my kids are very careful with the thinngs they worked hard to buy...and are proud of their achievements.
Best of all, none of them come begging us for money ever.
They screw up, we cant help.them..thankfully none ever was in jail. We live paycheck to paycheck and they are aware and dont trash us for not having extra money to give. Yet theyve had every opportunity any other kid has.
Well to be fair no amount of brushing your teeth can stop tartrus you will still have it you have to go to the dentist to clean it once a year.
Yes, but not like a nasty dogs tooth. A dog with poor owners who don't even give hard biscuits.
SWOT, I'm thankful mine hasn't needed help with bail, because that's my line. He wouldn't get that and he's known it since he was 15.
Sometimes I wish that too. I grew up dirt poor, and I knew not to ask for anything. Put myself through college and am very grateful for all that I have worked hard for. J definitely got more than I ever had as a child and his attitude about entitlement is much different than mine.
The money was invested by loving parents to do the best they could for their child. The investment continues. It is all part of that, the relationship. The result is not arithmetic. It is love. All of it exists somewhere inside of him, acknowledged or not.
Me too. My partner believes that I gave my son too much and demanded too little. I think this view is simplistic. I think what unifies our kids is their immaturity and their failure "to deliver" in the time and the manner that we expect or would wish for.
We have the choice to keep looking at them to deliver or to change our expectations and let go of the belief that our wishes and dreams have any bearing on the matter at hand. It is the latter that I have learned (I backslide) in my year on this site.
My son's hygiene improved 100 per cent once he was put on the right medication (finally, after 12 years).
His nails are clean and clipped and he gets haircuts now without me prompting him. Much better.
I get it. It used to drive me nuts as well.
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