I am sitting at the computer listening to the radio. There's a local station on, and they are playing a series of local ads. What I like to call "homemade" ads. They're pretty bad, I must say. There's a skeleton of a daddy-long-legs on the wall to my right, next to its uninhabited web. Got to clean the house and probably change the radio station, but I'm just that lazy. Al took the boys to visit their cousins who also just got a new dog. Their's is a puppy, a Portuguese water dog, to be exact. At least 2 hours of quiet.
Alex went to the city yesterday, and the boys and I had a good time. H always behaves better when his Dad is in NYC, which is frustrating for me. I spend a day or two with a sweet, wonderful, thoughtful boy who takes his time, plays relatively well with his younger brother, and listens more often than not. When Alex returns, he's excited, which is to be expected, but good God! It's like another person. Yelling nonsensical sing-songy stuff, hitting his brother, threatening to "kick your butt," rolling on the floor, etc. What's strange to me is that he sees his dad A LOT. Alex is a very present parent. He only goes to the city once or twice a month, and only for a day at a time. It's the blink of an eye. But the change is huge, at least to me. Of course, Alex doesn't get to see the different boy I experience when he's gone. The boy who likes to carry bags for his mom, to take out the garbage, to help his brother build with Legos.
Oh well. My challenge is to try to detach, instead of becoming frustrated and yelling at him, which is what often pops out, unfortunately. I'm thinking that he's trying to impress Alex, in some twisted H logic. He talks over other people (me and Lire, mostly), as if to assert his power, and he eliminates any potential for a normal conversation between me and Alex or Lire and Alex. I do know that he wishes to be Al's favorite being on this earth -- he and I were talking about his personality change yesterday and he said "how did you know?" when I posed this idea to him. What's equally interesting to me is that the dogs display similar behavior. Cassie/new dog and our frequent visitor, Sammy the aggressive Jack Russell, are competing for my and Alex's love. They take turns "guarding" us from the other and look devastated when we show affection to the other. Fortunately, Chauncey is confident enough in our love to mostly stay away from this fray. I look at what I do with the dogs and wonder if I should try it with H. Our friend, Chauncey's breeder, told me that she has employed these tactics with humans, too. She said it worked with her granddaughter. What I usually do with the dogs is make sure I give both of them the same amount of attention and tell each girl how lovely and good she is. Except when Sammy poops on the floor. Which she did yesterday. Then I ignored her just so I wouldn't get angry in front of her.
Fortunately, H doesn't poop on the floor (anymore!), so it should be easier, right? It's not. It's hard. But it must be done. This pattern has to stop. It's wearing on me.
Ok, enough of that. I'm off to enjoy the quiet and make a lasagna.