difficult child has been visiting home a week now. I'm thrilled to have him but there has also already been some very familiar 'want to strangle the kid' feelings going on. While he did spend some time home last summer, we were still so angry with him at that time he really tried to avoid and not annoy us. And other than that he haven't been home more than two or three days at time for year and half, not after getting caught of gambling and thieving. So this has really been my first opportunity in long time to observe him and how he is behaving. I have tried to keep my emotions in check and really see him, not just react to him. This is what I have noticed: He really knows how to annoy. Oh Heavens, he knows. Most of the time he isn't doing it on purpose, I think, but he can up it, if he wants. I can easily see how he annoys his team mates and coaches and that may cost him a lot. I'm not sure if he even understands how annoying some of his habits and ways of doing things and just being can be and how much it has to do with his social problems. And I'm not sure if I should talk about it to him. He already has so much in his plate. More things on 'to do'-list just sound so unreasonable for him to handle. Then again, this annoyingness is really hurting him. The way he carries himself, looks at others, all his mannerism, a way he sounds, his tone, all of it, is very off-putting to many. We, while living semi-rural area, are living quite near a major city, difficult child moved to much more smaller city middle of countryside. There is some of regional stereotypes going on between these two places, about arrogant, stuck up city people and backwood hicks. Somehow my difficult child manages to ooze those most stereotypical and annoying entitled city boy stereotypes and I bet it is not making him popular there he lives. (What makes it funny, it is very possible, that in his team difficult child is the only one who has been watching cows from his bedroom window as a child.) Sport teams, as any other companies, have different organizational cultures. Team difficult child played before is known also of their arrogance. It is one of the biggest teams in the league, one of the oldest and one of the richest. And through the organization the stereotype (which even has some truth in it) is, that they are keeping themselves better than other teams, even when the evidence like results is not supporting that. In that culture it is cooler to be very talented and lazy than less talented but hard working. Even when they work hard, it is often downplayed in how they talk. The team difficult child is now has almost opposite culture. They are one of the smallest and poorest team, they can't afford flashy talent so they make up with hard work. Even those who actually are lazy talk the talk so to say. difficult child really doesn't seem to learn how to change his behaviour to fit in to the new culture. He does work hard, always has, but he does talk it down. And because his playing position lots of the work is done in smaller group, with his positional trainer or alone, so some may not even understand he is indeed doing his work well. And downplaying it is bound to annoy even those who do understand that he is in fact working hard. It doesn't help, that unlike most pro athletes, difficult child looks decidedly unathletic. He carries himself like worm that is somehow reared up, he has half a metre too much hands and legs and he doesn't know what to do with them etc. This of course only until he puts his body to work, then it changes, in reality he has incredible coordination, agility and is very, very quick and surprisingly strong for someone so lanky. I'm not sure if difficult child doesn't understand how poor image he presents or if he does in it purpose and it is some kind of rebellious act that begs people to look deeper. Those are of course superficial things, but also that matters, when you are (or should be) trying to fit in. Other thing I have observed is that during the week difficult child seems to have flip flopped between three different persona. One is familiar few years back. Whiny, entitled, blaming others, not taking responsibility, passive aggressive. (And the reason I at times feel like strangling him.) Second is familiar even farther away. Enthusiastic, wide-eyed, curious, lively little boy he was a long time ago, not good with responsibility, but very sweet at times. This second one we also saw at times during his teen years, but not often. In fact now it seems we see this one more often than in long time. Then there is this new acquaintance, mature young man, who is rather reasonable, calm and very, very driven. Can be also quite witty guy, great sense for self irony. I kind of like that guy. He really flip flops between this personas several times a day with little rhyme and reason. Well if hungry or tired the whiny teen is likely to emerge and feeding him or calming down the situation is likely flip flop it back to other two, but other than that you never know which one you get. I of course very much like to see this new mature version of difficult child and I also like that he is relaxed enough to show the more enthusiastic side of himself, but going back and forth so quickly and so very dramatically is exhausting to watch. With this there probably is very little to be done. He can't yet maintain his more mature side all the time, But hopefully he will learn. I'm wondering how much I should talk about these things with him. If he could present better image of himself, it could help him with peers and make his life easier. Then again, he is already working with so much and some of these things are things he probably doesn't even notice. They are difficult to change and it would take a lot of energy. And if he is not able to do anything about them now, talking about them may only make him feel worse of himself and that is not something he needs. After all I at least wouldn't feel too good if someone came and said that I talk wrongly, stand wrongly, look wrong and am really annoying and not able to adapt my surroundings.