I’m trying to write, and my soon to be 17-year-old (yikes!) is outside on the swing set, making so much noise I can’t think. I pound on the window, and the dogs start barking. Great. That’s much better.
Cameron likes to swing. And he makes these noises while he’s swinging. Neither of these activities are what would be considered socially acceptable behaviors for a 17-year-old. Both of these activities are becoming somewhat of an annoyance. Well, truth be known, the noises have always driven me crazy. I guess somewhere along the line, I just started tuning them out. Other people aren’t so fortunate, I gather. Cameron and I were at the gym last weekend, and I could hear his vocalizations and high-pitched chattering throughout the facility … with my earphones on! At one point, I overheard two gym goers discussing the strange behavior of the boy on the treadmill. I seriously contemplated just ignoring Cameron while they were around, so they wouldn’t associate me with the “strange” boy. Instead, I walked over to Cameron and let him know that his noises were echoing, and I asked him if he even realized he was doing it. As expected, he said he hadn’t realized it, and was quiet … for a moment or two.
The vocalizations are one thing, but then there’s the swinging as well. Cameron sees it as a NEED. It used to be enough to jump up and down on a mini-trampoline in his bedroom. Unfortunately, we don’t have the headroom to accommodate indoor tramping anymore. Cameron now gets his energy release in the backyard on a well-worn swing set. It’s so well-worn that I’m a bit worried about its structural soundness, especially considering the daily workouts Cameron puts it through. But what’s a mom to do? Buy a 17-year-old a new swing set for his birthday? In the not too distant future, I see Cameron living independently. Must I add “close to playground” to the list of amenities we will be looking for? Surely that won’t go over well when parents see a young adult male hanging out on the swings.
So how do I transition Cameron to a more age appropriate way to satisfy his need for swinging? How do I make him aware of his noises and their effect on people around him? And are there other behaviors I need to consider transitioning him from or to that I’ve overlooked? Should I wean him off of Sponge Bob, or will that eventually happen on its own? If it doesn’t happen naturally, does it matter that Cameron’s entertainment choices are the same as most 10 year-olds? Going to the movies with friends might prove to be challenging if his interests don’t mature somewhat.
I’ve noticed a rise in the use of my question mark key. Just when I think I’ve figured out what I still need to figure out, more stuff to figure out appears. And how can I think straight with all that noise coming from the backyard? The first reader to answer all these questions correctly wins a “slightly” used swing set!