Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.
I yelled at Adolph, the horrible carpool boy, twice today.
Well, "yelled" isn't exactly right. Let's say I reprimanded him.
The first time was this morning, when he screamed at his brother to shut up. I said, "Adolph, it's inappropriate to scream in the car. If your brother or anyone else is bothering you, just ignore them."
The second time was this afternoon, mere moments ago, when I was driving the boys home. Adolph had been going on for some time about how he and his friend were going to build ballistics in his friend's backyard. They were going to build a cannon and also make hand grenades with which to attack the neighbor's house. First, of course, they were going to build a fire wall (fortunately, his friend's mother has some expertise in this area), to protect themselves in case anything blew up prematurely.
When Jack wondered aloud if his friend's mother would really approve of her son and Adolph building ballistics in her backyard and then launching them at the neighbors, Adolph assured him that she was completely cool with their plan. When Jack began another line of questioning, Adolph himself went ballistic, yelling, "Mind your own business, Jack! I don't want to talk about it!"
I have been listening Adolph being rude to me and my children for over a year now, and I just can't take it anymore. I said, "Adolph, you are not to yell at other people in this car or use that rude tone of voice. I just can't tolerate it. In this car, we speak to each other politely or we say nothing at all."
Weirdly, he didn't seem to take great offense at this, and a moment later was talking again, in much gentler tone, about how fun it was going to be to build this stuff in his friend's yard. I managed to change the topic to baseball.
I don't know if I can do this. I actually talked to Adolph's mom (a very nice woman, by the way--how she spawned such a child, I don't know) this afternoon before pick-up and mentioned the incident this morning. I tried to be nice about it--"I'm not a morning person, either," I said, "so I understand how each it is to lose your temper first thing," and she assured me that it was okay to reprimand Adolph, and that she'd been having some problems with him as well and would talk to him about it.
Maybe she will, and maybe it will have some good effect. I sort of doubt it. I suppose if Adolph's rudeness continues, we will all have to sit down together and have a big showdown and come up with rules for communication, etc.
He's moving next year. That's the only thing that's keeping me going right now.