Tuesday, August 23, 2016

I feel like so many conversations are about rape

I feel like I think so much more about raising G and M than I do N.

I don't know if it is because she is a girl or because with having two boys, I feel like I'm having to do everything double.  Or maybe it is because I am a girl, so I think I know, based on how I was parented, what works and doesn't work.  Raising boys is all new and weird territory, especially now that they are getting older.

It occurred to me that I feel like I am giving a very, very long, life-long, lecture on rape and domestic abuse, even though I have never actually talked about rape and domestic abuse specifically to my sons.

Most of our rape conversations concern the cats.

G is a pest.  He loves to pester anything breathing, but especially the cats.  I really don't think he is trying to be mean, but I think he is bored or curious as to what kind of response he can get out of them.  He isn't cruel in that he doesn't hit them, but he is cruel in the sense that when they mew or walk away or kick at him with their back legs or nip at him, he generally doesn't quit until I screech at him to LEAVE THE F*CKING CATS ALONE!!!

I stress to him that the cats are telling him, in the only ways they know how, to STOP.
I ask him would he like for someone to continue doing something after he has told them STOP.
I tell him that when he gets to be an adult, if he bothers someone after they have repeatedly told him to STOP, he could go to jail.

I'm not sure what else to do other than to continue having these discussions and waiting for someone, somewhere, to knock his freaking head off his shoulders when he won't stop whatever it is that they have asked him to stop doing.

The other night, I felt like we had a discussion of domestic abuse, even though we didn't actually discuss it.

After listening to G be completely disrespectful and mean (while I was trying to bath him and get him to bed), I lost my sh*t and went off on him.  This certainly wasn't a good example of "remain calm and be the model your child should emulate," but I had simply had it with him and his mouth.

I said, "Do you know what I would do if Daddy ever talked to me the way you are talking to me?  I would divorce him.  I have to raise you, but there will come a time when I do not have to be a part of your life.  And if you treat me like this, I will divorce myself from you."

That might be pretty heavy stuff for an 8-year-old, but I think he got the message, and this, I feel, is one of our conversations about domestic abuse and about treating people, especially women, with respect.  I know he sees his daddy behave appropriately, but I hope that seeing mom not tolerating disrespect will be important as well.  

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