"Grrrrrrrr, don't throw my phone!" Gamer yells.
"I can if I want!" Pickle screams back.
"No you can't! I'm telling. You need to listen!"
"You bastard!" (out of the mouth of babes from a four year old to his ten (almost eleven) year old brother.
FD: "You never listen, try it sometime!" to Gamer.
Not exactly the nicest way to wake up, is it?
In fact I still think I had one eye crusted shut before this battle took place.
My heart was pumping, both boys and hubby were ready to draw their weapons out and attack each other, and what should have been FD and I talking to the kids about their attitudes toward one another and using their words with each other, and Pickle's use of hearing a teen outside swear and using it as armor as being wrong, turned into US fighting with each other instead.
This is typical in our house. It happens all the time. Ahhhhhhh the joys of being a blended family. Not only a blended family but a family of special needs, which can make dealing with these types of situations difficult. Why?
Well for starters, FD doesn't remember what he has said, he can be nasty when he says things, due to his brain injury and he will even make stuff up. Not typical behavior for a grown man--no, but it's how his brain works, especially if he's challenged with finding words for his emotions.
Pickle also has a brain injury and sees everything black and white. I explained to him we don't throw phones, that his brother's cell phone is expensive and the play phone he has isn't real. But to Pickle all phones are real and his brother made him angry and so when faced with these anxieties, it's only natural throw the first gauntlet, right?
Gamer is eleven and thinks he is the father of his brother and doesn't always understand his dad's brain injury or the fact that five minutes after his dad says something, FD completely forgets the words that come out of his mouth... or the tone he used saying those words.
And me -- well put a big black and white striped shirt on me and give me a whistle because Dixie is just around the corner. Game on!
I hate this! It destroys my soul. It makes me unhappy. It makes me cry. It's difficult--and it's the worst part of being a mother to boys and a wife to a good man with a special need. I feel like running away to the NO KIDS - NO HUSBANDS - mommy club for a cocktail and it's only 10 am!
Being a blended family is never easy. Many times it's like the lines have been drawn in the sand.
Gamer is my son from my first marriage.
Pickle is my son with FD and we raise them together.
FD has been in Gamer's life since he was four and one would think as a family dealing with our differences and our special needs and understanding one another would make us stronger.
But everyone has weak moments.
Sometimes it's FD and Pickle (those with special needs) vs Gamer and I (the outsiders who don't understand), and nobody is waving a white flag!
We will get past this army of darkness that took part on the battle grounds this morning.
Gamer and Pickle will still be brothers who love each other and make each other laugh in a way I've never seen before and there will be more times where they get angry and don't understand one another.
FD and I will still love each other, we will forgive each other for some of the shit we said this morning to each other in anger, go and on and still be best friends.
Because that is what families do - blended or not - special needs or not - you don't give up and you never - NEVER stop loving one another because of disagreements or because you sometimes might find yourself behind enemy lines.
We have to. The alternative is Divorce and well - that isn't an option in this household. Instead we go on and tomorrow we will play a different game, with different team members. I will still wear the black and white striped shirt, but maybe the boys will play fair.
That's a game I don't want to miss!