One of the challenges is to have minimal conversations with my son and give him a chance to take care of his pup without being "hounded". When I get home from work, I want to know when Sumter was taken out last, if there were any accidents and other pertinent information. This is usually met with a "Sshh" and "No talking." While we have not had any rages, we have been subjected to a few demon-like growls and a few times we were told, "I know how to kill you". I try not to react much other than shaking my head and smiling, "Really?!" I did mention the other day that he would not be able to live on his own if we were "gone".
Someone has to pay the bills and buy the groceries!
When told by my son that I had agreed that I would not talk to him, I mentioned that we agreed to talk about the dog. Colin countered that this was only to let him know whether we were able to adopt Donie / Sumter. Rather than get into an argument, I retrieved a laminated copy of my "Rules to Coexist" , slapped it down in front of Colin's place at the kitchen table and left the room.
I am realizing that I need to give my self breaks and leave my son alone as much as possible. I need to live in parallel as I have been with my older boys. Colin will come to me if he has any questions or issues. I also need to relax a bit about the puppy. I worry that Colin is spending too much time on his computer and not as much with his "baby". The worst that will most-likely happen is that Sumter might have an accident indoors or spend more time in his crate than is ideal. I have to keep reminding myself to back-off and give my son a chance to be responsible.
After Sumter gets his next round of shots, I will start taking him for walks around the neighborhood. I found a Puppy Training Class on Sundays and let Colin pick the time. He is still committed to taking his pup to training and having me stay in the background. I am fine with that.
Me-Time and Gratitude
Yesterday, I took some "Me Time" out of frustration. I took a short nap after dinner and had time to reflect. A few weeks ago, I would not have expected that we would be able to coexist in relative peace with my son. While we are not where we would like to be with Colin, things are not that bad.
I reminded myself that I have much to be grateful for and made sure to soak in the quiet time and be mindful of how far we have come. I will dedicate the rest of the week to making sure I take some alone time for myself and also to practice "mindful gratitude".
There is so much to be thankful for.
We are a work-in-progress.