“Stop challenging the Silverback”

I have mentioned in previous posts that Beeswax is having a really tough time at the moment both at home (coming to terms with adoption order finality) and in school (clamping down on attitude to female staff) and heaven knows we are trying to stay calm and therapeutic with him but there is only so much the household can take. Buzzbee is picking up on waxy’s mood (actually he has usually picked up on it long before Bumble and I) and so he is like a “cat on hot bricks” all the time. Even the cats and Beedog see Beeswax coming and head the opposite way, which is unlike Beedog, usually she will stay near when the boys are struggling. And, where as usual I bare the brunt of most of his angst and aggression, a stranger dynamic has begun happening. He is challenging the ‘silverback’ (aka Bumble) for seniority in the home.

Everyone who knows Beeswax has always assumed that he views adult males as dangerous (women unpredictable and untrustworthy), and where he will consistently challenge women and not accept their authority, with men not only would he not challenge them but he goes out of his way to keep them ‘on side’.
However since returning to school in September his relationship with Bumble has become tense and in Bumble’s words “I am the adult but at the moment Beeswax can make me act like a petulant child”. All who know Bumble, know that he is placid and easy going but oh boy – Waxy is really pushing his buttons lately! The rescuer has needed rescuing from petty (and some not petty) arguments and Bumble is the first to admit he has lost his therapeutic edge at the moment.
It doesn’t take a genius to work out part of the reason for Waxy’s challenging behaviour. He is 12 and his body is changing. Currently the Hive is full of testosterone (even Buzzbee is having a boost of it, I believe), but because emotionally Waxy is so much younger, he is finding it hard to deal with the changes. Blend this in with his already complex developmental trauma history and significant attachment issues and the result is an extremely volatile young man.

So what is with the title of this post? Well I am thinking of having it carved into my headstone. No, only joking! But, I am finding myself using this phrase on far too many occasions to playfully ‘defuse’ Beeswax when he and Bumble have got into one of their war of words and neither are backing down and I have to call time on it. At the time I desperately need to be the one to remain therapeutic with Waxy and at the same time not undermine Bumble (although I know inside Bumble is kicking himself for getting drawn in again and needs an out). One particularly heated afternoon I decided to walk into the kitchen and start beating my chest. The first time I did it both of them stopped swiftly and in unison asked me “what on earth are you doing” too which I replied “I just wanted to see what it was like beating my chest like an ape”. It worked a treat, Bumble took the hint and chuckled and Waxy just responded with “one day women they will find your marbles” (with a fleeting glimpse of an amused smirk).

So although I may be no Dian Fossey. I do know my own “Gorillas in the mist”

Now I understand why my granddad left me this book in his will

Now I understand why my granddad left me this book in his will

This post written as part of the Weekly Adoption Shout Out (#WASO)

The Weekly Adoption Shout Out
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8 thoughts on ““Stop challenging the Silverback”

  1. Love your writing and this one made me laugh. Diffusing the situation with laughter is perfect. We still have a gorilla noise joke that we do when J is being “all hard” when she’s actually really soft. It always breaks the ice xxxx

    • Thank you. The boys think I am off my rocker most of the time but it is rare for me to get a smile out of Waxy but when he gives one of his “I’m amused but there is no way I am letting you know I thought it was funny” smirks it really makes me laugh “

  2. “I am the adult but at the moment Beeswax can make me act like a petulant child”. – this, yes absolutely. Mini and hubby are the same.
    We also try to use laughter and fun to diffuse situations…it doesn’t always work, but it’s almost always worth a try.

    Thanks for linking up to the Weekly Adoption Shout Out x

  3. Thank you….So good to know others are going through the same! As a work at home Dad I’m struggling with this too!

    • Thank you for commenting. I find that sometimes family and friends forget that Bumble works hard and is not only the breadwinner but also a parent to two complicated children, and my boys are expert button pushers. It is important to be kind to yourself. We are human and cannot always respond in the way we are expected to.

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