how? or what it is like to live with high functioning older teens with FAS/ARND

My eighteen year old son broke my vacuum cleaner. I am not sure how he managed it. He, of course,denies it. The broken off piece that holds the bag in place never existed in the first place. I wanted to cry. I was able to rig a fix. It should hold until the next bag change. This is the second mishap with this vacuum in the year and a half of it’s life with us. The first was when the kids ran over the cord until the insulation was worn away and bare wires were showing.
When things like this happen,we,the adults,are never told. We have to find out on our own. The kids will continue to use the appliance even though it is not working and just pretend. They never (and I do mean never) will say “Hey mom,the vacuum is spitting dirt all over the floor.” or “Mom there are bare wires on this cord,should we use it?” or “The computer isn’t working right” or “The Wii fell on the floor and cracked”or “There is water all over the floor by the washer.”
You get the idea.
It matters not if it is human error or a vengeful act of the appliance gods. They.Will. Not. Tell. Us.
We have to stumble upon it ourselves. If it is human error (purposeful or accidental-usually it is accidental) they vehemently deny any responsibility or foreknowledge.If something has just hit the end of its alloted life span, they will still deny any knowledge of the death.
We used to think it was fear of punishment,or fear they would be asked to make restitution,or something along those lines. We have spent years and years trying to change that particular response. We have tried every parenting strategy we can think of to no avail.
They still deny.
They still lie.
At this point in their lives it causes me more sadness than irritation. By eighteen my son should be able to come up to me and tell me he accidentally (carelessness or equipment failure, it matters not) broke of the piece of plastic that holds the vacuum bag in place and now the vacuum cleaner spits dirt instead of picks it up. I might have sighed heavily. I might have told him to please be more careful. I might have seem it was simply a design flaw and called Oreck. I also would have rigged it so it would work instead of making kids re- vacuum the rug and tell them they needed to do a better job. You see,all three kids have used that vacuum in the past week and a half and not one of them has come to me to tell me something was wrong . It wasn’t until I went to vacuum the living room rug this morning myself (as a favor to the kids -this is their chore after all) that I discovered the problem.
Instead, I am told that the piece of plastic never existed and I am remembering wrong. I am told it has not been spitting dirt. I am stared at.
My kids are very good at staring.
Exceptionally good at staring.
There is no use me getting upset. It isn’t a deliberate action designed to destroy my property like youngest would do. This is different in origin.
I did mention (for the three gazillionth time) that I need to know right away when things like this occur. I did mention that I know for a fact the little piece of plastic did at one point exist.I also mentioned we cannot afford to replace things,so please be more careful.
I was stared at in response.
Like I said,my kids are experts at staring.
They are professional starers.
They are also very good at lying and covering up.
Perhaps they could have careers as politicians???
No. That would break my heart.
We do have standards, you know.


About lenell

Wife to a very patient man and mom to 8 interesting kids via birth,marriage and adoption. Grandma to nearly 5,nearly perfect grandchildren.
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