It's the inconsistency that really throws me. I'm trying to figure him out. Is he sweet and misunderstood or is he sneaky and moody? Is he a negative complainy pain or just struggling with insecurity? Sometimes he acts like a jerk and then the next minute he seems to go out of his way to be good.
This past week Orangeboy went to an art day camp. He seemed to enjoy it pretty well, but he was under-enthusiastic with his endorsement as usual. If he says something was "Well... okay" I take that as a positive. But on the last day of the camp, when I pick up Orangeboy and his sibling antagonists, I hear that he did not choose to make the project for that day. When I asked why, he said that he didn't want to and "she said it was okay."
So I informed him that it wasn't "okay" with me and that he could either pay me back for that day of camp or he could sit down and make the project - and do a good job. He said,
"Ummm, I guess I'd rather do the project."
I was hoping for that. I knew he would be loath to forfeit any of his stash of cash. He decided a couple of years ago that he should save all the money he came into for his college education.
I still don't know why he decided that he just didn't want to participate on that last day. He had this sort of cocky, silly demeanor going on when he told me that he hadn't wanted to do it. If it had been just about any other 9 year old, I would have thought he was being a little brat; but with Orangeboy, I'm just not sure. He may have truly thought it was fine to opt out for the day.
When I got him to sit down and do the art project, he worked diligently and did a great job. Go figure.
Another inconsistency happened a few days ago when he suddenly started complaining about one of our little dogs. He doesn't interact with the pets very much. He lets them be and they let him be. Our latest canine addition to the family is a three year old female rat terrier that came with a few behavioral problems and needs a bit of rehabilitation and training. This affects me the most, as it is my job to do the training. But almost out of the blue, Orangeboy starts complaining about what a bad dog she is and says, "I think we should just dump her off at the pound."
I said, "What!?"
I have NEVER dumped a dog off at the pound or even threatened to do it! Where did he come up with that idea? I thought it was an awful thing to say and totally unfounded. This was a case of Orangeboy acting like a jerk again. Then later the same day, he came upstairs to seek me out and thank me for the good supper I made. He seemed very good and sweet then. I was just as surprised by the supper compliment as I was by the awful dump-the-dog comment.
Likewise, he was excited about getting out of school for summer break, but has been very moody and hyper most days since. He jumps around giggling and jabbering to himself and scribbling pages full of numbers and codes, or he bursts into tears at the slightest provocation and sits and sobs like a baby. He's like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - or Mr. Orangeboy and Dr. Mad Scientist Monkey-man. The question is... which side will win? And which side am I rooting for?