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Toxic Plants, Teenage Attitudes & Controlling Behaviour

Yesterday, we spent the afternoon at The Mommy’s. It was a lovely sunny afternoon, with a hearty breeze that kept the heat to a manageable level. Pup sat on my lap in the car and although stressed, was far happier than on previous occasions. He drooled a little and yawned a few times, but otherwise was fine. He got treated to a couple of slices of puppy friendly pork salami and a few slices of strawberry. Then he was allowed to come off the lead as Bear decided that with the back gate closed, he couldn’t get into mischief…..

Until he decided, having raced around the grass and sniffed his way around the patio area, to investigate the flower/shrub/tree borders and started eating dried Hydrangea petals and a small cut off of wood, pruned from the main bush some weeks ago that was lying under the bush. Having no idea what the bush actually was, he was allowed to chew on the wood until The Mommy mentioned that it was Hydrangea and perhaps he shouldn’t be chewing on the wood. Fuck.!! Hydrangea is toxic to dogs, as is the Rhododendron that is next to the Hydrangea in her garden.!

How the hell did we not know what it was.? Of course, pup was immediately removed from the border and re-attached to his lead and offered water and kept an eye on for any signs of a reaction, which thankfully happened quite quickly as he vomited everything he’d eaten since we got there. Petals and wood included. He was fine afterwards, although whimper-y because he wanted to go back and eat the Hydrangea wood and wasn’t allowed. He won’t be going off-lead there again and I’ll be making a note of all the plants in The Mommy’s back garden to ensure he doesn’t eat anything that has the potential to poison him. Bloody glad he was sick, it could have been so much worse.

I have noticed this weekend that the boy child has developed a bit of a teenage attitude. With the severe buzzcut hair has come a sulky, know-it-all, fuck-my-life attitude that I know well from my own teenage sons. I foresee some serious clashing of attitudes ahead because I’m not taking that shit from him, just as I didn’t take it from my own kids. He already seems to think he’s intimidating because he’s taller than me and I’ve had to disabuse him of that idea a few times over the past few months. He may be tall, but I’m faster and meaner and it’s me he needs to be wary of.

My own lads have called me a bad-ass in the past because experience has taught them that it doesn’t matter how tall or muscular someone is, or how sly and clever they think they are, they fuck with me or my loved ones and I’ll take them down. I have no problem going full-psycho if I feel it necessary. The boy child may have to learn that in the course of time and perhaps his father will too. Bear still sees me as a sweet, loving, little darling despite knowing of my past (mis)deeds. Just because I’m nice to him and his family. Talk of rose-tinted specs.

When I last spoke to #1 son on Wednesday, he revealed that he and her ladyship had split up on Monday. No surprise there, it was definitely coming. He was understandably upset and had cried and ranted and raged against the decision (hers, obviously), but otherwise he was fine and in no way in the kind of state he was in the last time a relationship went south. Her ladyship of course blamed him for the split, telling him he was too negative (true) and that she felt she’d been forced into the engagement (false) and that she didn’t feel ready for marriage.

Not that marriage had been mentioned beyond the engagement, at which she was over-joyed and had advertised it and her ring all over social media, calling herself a fiancee and telling everyone how happy she was. Doesn’t sound like someone who was forced into her engagement. I did have a lot of concerns however, not just about her level of maturity and obvious lack of a clue about what she wanted out of life, as she listens to and believes what everyone else tells her about life in general.

She’s always lived in the house she was born in. She’s never left her home town. Never wanted to. She’s never been on holiday, only seen the world over social media, never expressed a desire to visit anywhere else, which leads to a very narrow minded view of life and a limited appreciation for all it has to offer. She has no experience or education of anywhere other than her own town, so of course she has no idea what she wants. She’s still attached to her father and he likes it that way, giving her no encouragement to live her life.

#1 son has a wealth of experiences and education, having lived with the Military and been shipped around Europe, living in Germany for 7 years and visiting Belgium, France and the Netherlands, as well as Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and The Republic of Ireland. He has so much experience of life and other cultures, far more than someone his age should have. He’s had to toughen up and has put up with his father’s narcissistic, vindictive behaviour towards him and his neglect.

#1 son sadly feels it necessary to be controlling too. His perfect woman is someone who wants to be wrapped in cotton wool and told what to think, what opinions to have and how to behave. She has to love only him and never even look at another man and be happy with an isolated life away from people who might fill her head with nonsense and a reality that’s not his. His attitude is his father’s. And I fear for any woman he sets his sights on. We’ve discussed his need to be controlling and he understands it’s not healthy and it’s very destructive.

He can’t help it though. He has a clear idea of what he wants out of life and the kind of woman he wants to live that life with and in that, he’s setting himself up to be hurt over and over again as his taste in women is seriously questionable. He goes for the frail and fragile, like a knight in shining armour. The woman who needs a hero and a father figure to make her feel safe again. No woman will be happy with him who has a mind of her own, a life of her own and a need to have friends and people around her.

I only hope the woman who takes him on has the emotional strength to deal with his insecurities and the kindness to understand and communicate on his level to help him understand that she needs to have a life too, without his suffocating control. So far the women that have been in his life have been skittish, fragile and secretive, which has made his need to control them worse. It seems both my sons have strong elements of their father in them. 😦


Nationally Syndicated Editorial Cartoonist

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