• 4/15/2011 2:30:50 PMI'm gonna get you backMichael came home from school yesterday and with a revealing voice that reeked of tattling and parental negligence said, "Guess what mom?".  "What?", mom answered.  "Today at school, when I went to have the secretary put my eye drops in, she noticed that Dad forgot to put my eye drops in from this morning and she had to put them in to make up for that".

    So there you have it.  Proof of parental negligence on my part.  I forgot to put his eye drop in his eye this morning.  What Michael neglected to tell the secretary about this obvious sinister act on my part was that he likes to play games with his eye drops.  For example, Michael likes to not tilt his head or open his eye in such a way that makes it easy for mom or I to put the eye drop in.  Basically, he doesn't like getting them and his plan to "get back at us" is to make it difficult for us to put the drop in.

    Another thing Michael failed to mention is that he had knowingly skipped taking his bath from Tuesday night.  On Wednesday morning after he awoke and walked passed me, I smelled his body odor and asked him if he took his bath as scheduled.  "No", he replied.  Keep in mind that he has been on the same bath schedule for approximately 3 years.  When he is irritated about something, he likes to "get back" at either mom or I by avoiding the bath tub.  Since it was too late for him to take one in the morning, I sent him to school on Wednesday thinking he could take one on Wednesday evening.  That didn't work out and he missed his bath again.

    On Thursday morning, I remembered to remind him to take a bath.  I had his eye drops out on the counter and ready to go for when he got out of the tub but I forgot about them.  In addition to reminding him to take his bath because he cannot be counted on to remember and follow through on his own, I spoke with him about pulling more stupid games with his homework.  For example, he has been working on the same book report for three weeks now.  Both mom and I very tired about having to tell him to make the same corrections on his report over and over again.  This is a source of frustration that is worthy of its own story.  In addition to the book report, Michael got more F grades on his homework.  In one example, he brought home a science study guide that he was supposed to work on in preparation for a test.  Michael likes to write down crazy nonsensical answers and then pretend to be shocked when confronted about them.  Needless to say, all of this was going through my mind on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings.  For that matter, this sort of thing goes through my mind every day and has been since Michael became part of our family.  It is non-stop Michael games.  Please forgive me if I forgot to give him his eye drop.  It was a simple oversight.

    So this morning I asked Michael why he wanted to get me into trouble with the school secretary.  "I wasn't trying to get you into trouble with her", he responded.  "Ok, the next time I won't tell anyone".

    You have to be very careful with Michael's words.  To me, this sounds a lot like, "Ok Dad, the next time you are a neglectful parent, I will keep this a secret from the school authorities who are protecting me from your poor parenting".

    "That's not what I'm saying Michael.  I think you wanted to get me into some kind of trouble with the school secretary.  You wanted to make her think I'm a bad parent because you're angry with me about something."  I said.

    "That's not it Dad", said Michael.  "You always think I'm angry about stuff and that's why I do stuff like this".

    "You are correct Michael.  That is exactly what I think.  When you do stuff like this, how often is it because you are angry at someone?", I asked.

    "About 95% of the time", responded Michael.

    If I went to the casino and I knew that 95% of the time if I bet a certain way that I would win, I would call that a virtual guarantee and I'd be super wealthy.  95% is very, very, close to "always".  Of course Michael has no idea what he just said.  His main goal is to be disagreeable and he does not have the mental ability to follow a path of logic that is longer than 5 seconds or 2 sentences.  Michael will say or do anything to be oppositional.  In most cases, his oppositional position on any subject makes no sense.  In summary, Michael does not like my words so he takes the alternate position so that we can be on opposite sides of an issue where there will be a clear "winner" and "loser".  If he can show me to be the "loser" or "wrong", then by default he is the winner.  When asked what he would "win" if he is proven right, he can't answer because he doesn't know.  His "victory" is hollow.  All he knows is that if I'm right, then he is wrong.

    Take tooth brushing for example.  If I tell him to brush and he does it, then I got MY WAY which means he didn't get HIS WAY and he is the loser and we all know that with the RAD kid, losing (in any form) is the same as death.

    I demonstrated the meaning of 95% verses 5% on the kitchen counter.  Then I asked him if this eye drop incident was one of the 95%.  "Yes." he said.  I'm sure it must have "killed" him when I told him that he had just agreed with me and proved me correct with his own words.

    "Ok then", I said.  "What are you so angry with me about that you wanted me to be in trouble with Mom and the school secretary?"

    "You're always teasing me and trying to bring me down", said Michael.

    "Really?", I asked

    "Yes, you're always teasing me about my nervous habits like petting my head or rubbing my nose", said Michael.

    These are things that Michael does when he has been confronted with something such as being caught in a lie.  "If I stopped teasing you about these things, would you stop trying to get me into trouble?", I asked.

    "Probably not", said Michael.

    You have to appreciate that kind of honesty from a kid.  I often wonder if he realizes what he just said.  Is he just leading me on a pointless conversation where he throws out accusations and statements that are not based on facts and have no point?  Statements which take me time to explain and then refute?  I think that Nancy Thomas would say "Yes.  He knows what he is doing by holding his end of a conversation in this manner."  Mrs. Thomas has said, "If you feel like you're getting confused when speaking with a RAD kid, it is because they are intentionally trying to confuse you."

    "Ok", I said.  "That's obviously not the reason you're trying to get me in trouble then.  What is the real answer?"

    "I was angry that you were yelling at me about cheating on my science and making up answers.", Michael answered.

    Now we are getting somewhere.  In basic terms, Michael frequently sees other people as being in his way and causing him some kind of harm.  In this case, Mom and I made him not only do his school work, but we would not allow him to scribble down any nonsensical answers.  Michael likes to hurry and do his school work on the bus ride home to avoid having Mom or Dad make him do his work according to the instructions.  (i.e. correctly).

    One of his main goals in life is to repay people for what was done to him.  Again, in this case the offense was making him do his homework.  Many times there is no specific offense for which he is paying someone back.  The actual reason could be as simple as him being irritated about something where nothing was actually "done" to him.  He is just crabby or irritable.  That is enough reason for him to seek revenge.  The only thing left to do is to find the appropriate candidate for him to repay.

    Generally speaking, the requirements for selecting the correct person to "repay" is as follows:
    1. If the person is mom
    2. If the person has recently irritated Michael or is Mom
    3. If the person is preventing Michael from acquiring something he wants or is Mom
    4. If the person is telling Michael what to do or is Mom
    5. If the person, animal, or object is loved by or is special to Mom

    Michael went on to say, "I was angry.  When I saw the opportunity to get you back, I took it."

    "What kind of trouble did you think you were going to get me into by telling the secretary and mom?", I asked.

    "I don't know.  I thought that mom would have a talk with you or something.", he answered.