Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Woo hoo, he hates me

I've joked here before about being thrilled when Max acts in a so-called "age appropriate" way. "Age-appropriate" doesn't really apply when you have a child with disabilities, and you mostly stop caring about milestones and all the typical stuff. But human nature is human nature, and when Max acts like a clich├ęd teen it's exciting—even if he's getting on my case or being obnoxious, as teens excel at. Like that time when he got annoyed at me for reminding him about something. Or when he recently left me off a Valentine's message because, as it turns out, his plans to move to Jamaica do not include me.

This weekend, I was the proud beneficiary of extreme teen behavior.

"I hate you!" Max proclaimed.

There wasn't even a definitive reason. I wasn't forcing him to do homework. I wasn't commenting on his outfit. I wasn't commanding him to tear himself away from his iPad. He was just hanging out on the driveway with Dave, and I'd popped my head out the door to say hi.

"Love you!" I said.

When I heard his response, I wasn't sure I understood him correctly.

"What?!" I said.

He repeated himself.

Oh, yes: "I hate you."

"That's not nice," Dave said. "Mommy loves you!"

So then Max walked over and gave me a big smile. Because he knew he was being obnoxious and he was clearly taking great pride in his ability to do so.

Latent in my feelings about all of this is the gratitude that Max can talk and communicate and tell me such things; that he has the cognitive awareness to do it in the first place; and that he has a sense of humor about it all. So maybe I am the first mom in the history of moms to be happy to hear the words "I hate you!" from her teen, but when you've been through the wringer about your child's future, even the bad behavior can be a milestone.

Who knows what other scores lie ahead: Could Max master the eye roll? Learn to do more stuff by himself because he doesn't need me to? Figure out how to shampoo his own hair, uncap the toothpaste, and dress and undress himself—then leave the empty bottle lying around the shower and the toothpaste uncapped and his clothes strewn around his room? Learn to text me with urgent requests such as "I neeeeeeeeeed a new pair of sneakers pleeeeeeeeease and I like this pair and they are only $120!" like one of his siblings who shall remain nameless?

I'm pretty sure this is going to get old, fast. But for now: He hates me. He has teen bona fides. And that's a pretty cool thing.


  1. In the middle of a Special Olympics basketball game my son (15) walks over to me and uses sign language to say "no" - telling me not to cheer him on. So I only cheered for the other kids the rest of the game and he was happy. Other parents cheered for him.

  2. HA! My daughter is three and already so so sassy, I'm not ready to see what the future holds in that department for her.



Thanks for sharing!

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