My adopted 12 year old son, E, has been a champion arguer and negotiator pretty much since he could talk in complete sentences at age 3. I decided long ago that he would grow up to be 1 of 4 things; a lawyer, a politician, a pimp or a con-man.
In light of the events of the past several months, I have definitively concluded that he will become a great politician. E speaks in coded messages and it has taken his father and me several years to break the code. For example, when he says that his stomach hurts, this is E speak for "I really want some ginger ale". During the past couple of years he has started stealing money out of my wallet. I have discovered that "I'm going to ride my bike" is E speak for I've stolen money out of my mom's wallet and I'm going to spend it before she figures it out. This happened only last weekend. I am so fermisht (Yiddish for I don't know if I am coming or going) all the time that I can never remember to hide my purse or remember how much money I have in my wallet. I have taken to putting all my cash in a small csometic bag and keeping it in the pocket of my jacket. I'm sure that E stole $5 from my wallet last week but I wasn't entirely sure so I didn't confront him. This time I was sure since I had made a note of how much money I had in my wallet. When I confronted him about it, he said the following: "I took the money because I don't like the chores you give me to earn money. I want to cut the grass or rake the leaves, but I don't want to clean my room". You cannot believe the state of this kid's room. I am not kidding. Even his friends (and we are talking 12 year old boys, reknown for their messiness) can't believe how messy it is. The thing is that he never "gets around" to cutting the grass before it is too long (we have a push mower) and I've never seen him rake the leaves.
Then there is the incident with the empty Pepsi cans in the backyard. You never, ever want to see E on caffeine. He got hold of some Pepsi when he was 3 and he was literally bouncing off the walls for hours. He knows that he is not supposed to have caffeinated drinks. So, when my husband found 2 empty cans hidden next to the air conditioner, we asked him about them. With a poker face, he denied knowing anything about how they got there and reassured us that he does not like caffeine.
Finally, there is the soccer shoe debate. Despite claiming that his soccer shoes hurt his feet, once he puts them on for his weekly Saturday morning soccer game, he refuses to take them off and so he wears them all day. They are not designed to be worn for 12 hours a day. So, when the shoes started to fall apart 2 weeks before the end of the season, he demanded that we buy him new cleats which didn't make sense since the 2nd half of the season isn't until next April. His feet will almost certainly have grown and the soccer shoes won't fit. I mentioned to him that soccer shoes are not designed to be worn for some many hours at a time. You play your game and take them off. Little did I know how he would twist my words. This past Saturday, I had to drop him and his father off for his soccer game and continue downtown to see a massage client. E was being his usual uncooperative, difficult self. We finally got him out of the house and into the car sans shoes. When I beseeched him to please get his shoes on, his response was "but you told me not to wear my soccer shoes all day". It's so hard to imagine what goes on in his brain. I started to respond but then thought better of it. He can outlast me when it comes to arguing, so I cut my losses and kept my mouth shut. Just another day.