Sunday, July 31, 2011

I Haz The Rage...

Do I expect too much from people?

All I want is some common sense, follow through on plans, and act like an intelligent human being.

The SU and I have been together now for 20.5 years. When I met him, I was only interested in friendship; he took me out to eat when I broke up with my boyfriend, and he was available to pick me up when I wrecked my car on my parents' 25th anniversary. And two years later, I'd not seen him in a while and he offered a way out of a disastrous relationship.

We began dating; I didn't see it lasting. He was full of plans and ideas for the future, and when circumstances dictated we get married, well, I did a stupid thing.

I allowed him to yell at me and make me feel guilty. I tolerated it for several years, taking the blame when everything went wrong financially. After all, I was the one who caused it, and was not contributing.

And then I found my backbone. And decided to find happiness in my own small ways. And for a while, I was content with life.

Yes, I married a man who talks a good game, but never follows through. When he has the time for things, he never has the money to do it. Conversely, when he has the money and the means to do certain things, there's never any time. Or, his heart acts up. His sugar spikes.

The past two months, his 'grandkids' have been with us. Here's the family dynamic: His adopted sister has a daughter whom my SU practically raised from the time she was 18 months until age six. She calls him 'Uncle', but sends him Father's Day cards. Therefore, her two children are his 'grandchildren', even though there's no blood relation. Confused? Don't worry; you're not alone!

Anyway, back in May, J calls me, b/c Miss Drama Queen and Mr. Energy want to spend a week with us. ME has summer school, beginning in June, so if we do not take them Memorial Day weekend, then it won't be until July. Since she has car issues, and we were going to be in Indy anyway, and she happens to live w/in walking distance of the 500 track, it seemed logical to grab them then, so we did. Three days later, she calls. Turns out her deadbeat boyfriend didn't pay her May rent, so she has to move. Summer school won't be happening. I decided to keep the kids for the summer while she got her act together.

I start Aunt Molly's Summer Reading Program for all three kids, since mine needs tutoring and a friend offered to do it. Well, things went sour on her end and now we've only had three tutoring sessions all summer. I hope my efforts have paid off; I'll find out soon. Anyway, back to MDQ and ME.

During the month of June, ME had anger issues. Hit his sister, picked fights. In July, he's doing better with the anger.

MDQ, on the other hand, sometimes acts as if she doesn't have a brain in her head. She whines over the littlest thing, and overreacts to pain or different situations. Drives. Me. INSANE! Sometimes I feel we need to just wrap her in bubble wrap to keep her from injury. Granted, when she arrived here, she had strep throat. But since then, she's had a UTI and is now heading for a sinus infection. Plus has been through six boxes of Band Aids. We bought 4 three weeks ago, and thankfully only one has been used. Maybe the injuries are starting to become fewer? I don't fuss over her injuries; I simply clean her up and send her on her way. Or, if it happens too often, then yeah, I get annoyed by her 'OH it HURTS!' Shut up; there's no blood; get over it!

I've noticed if she's not the center of attention, suddenly she's pouting; has a headache; 'everyone is being mean' short, 'Poor Me' (can I gag?)

I must be suffering from an extreme form of PMS, because I unloaded on everyone today. All summer I've been talking about my mini-HS reunion. I decided to skip a local festival a) b/c I wasn't expecting any releases until September and b) the reunion is the same day. Plus, it's the Grandkids' b-day (yup, born one year apart on the same day.)

So I've tried to pin down my spouse as to plans. I would like to take them to the water park; then to my mom's; and off to my reunion. On Sat, take the kids to Indy; go swimming with them/celebrate their b-day; return to my mom's in time for pitch-in, karaoke/concert.

He starts yelling about gas prices and how all I want to do is spend his money. I start offering compromises; I'll be willing to forego Sat night. We can come home after the kids' b-day party. He still isn't happy.

Fine; I'll have my dad come get me Friday, and have him drive me to Indy to meet everyone on Sat. He says that's not fair to my father. And that's where he stopped talking about it.

I unloaded on the kids at the library. Every time we go, I tell them to WALK, not run. What does ME and my youngling do as soon as we get inside? Run for the Youth Dept. Jump down the stairs. I heard a shriek in the sunroom as I was looking for a particular book.

I'd had enough. I rounded them up and we went to the car. Took them home, and then went back by myself.

Hadn't been home two minutes when MDQ tripped and fell. I have a little bit of sympathy for her, because I did the same thing myself last month at the neighbor's house. But she's not bleeding. 'My fiiiiiinnnnngggeeerrrrrrr huuuuurrrrts.....I think I broooke it....' No, it's not broken. I had her run it under cold water and she's fine now.

Our shower is in the basement, and yeah, it's a little complicated. I take MDQ down and start the shower, then I sit down there with her until she's finished. She can shut it off; just can't start it. But what really drove me insane tonight is this: She stripped off her clothes and hopped in...'I forgot my jammies....and my towel...oh, and my underwear....and can you get me a wash cloth?"

The child is going to be ten years old next Sat. Her younger brother collects his clean underwear and towel before he gets in the shower; why the hell can't she? Before we cut her hair last week, yeah, I'd have to help her with the shampoo/conditioner. But now it's easier for her to do herself. When my daughter was ten, she was more than capable of taking care of her own hair!

And the hair itself is an issue: Granted, the spouse was only supposed to take an inch or so off. Well, he got clipper-happy, and her once-shoulder length hair is now around her ears. Looks cute. And as I stated earler, a lot cooler for her and easier to care for.

But she doesn't like the way it kinks up. "Everyone will make fun of my hair'. NO THEY WON'T! So what does her mom say? "I'm getting her hair extensions for her b-day." The CHILD is TEN!

Oh, and J was supposed to move into an apartment tomorrow. Well that's not going to happen now, because it's no longer available. Now her plan is to move in with her mom, giving her money every week. Kids will ride the bus and maybe stay with a friend of hers before and after school, since J works 7am-5:30pm and three times a week 11pm-6am. My question is, when is she going to be a PARENT?

I offered to keep them and send them to school down here. We have the TIME to be involved; both kids want to be in scouts. That ain't gonna happen if they go home. But J misses her kids and wants them with her. I just saw my SIL post on FB "I feel very overwhelmed at this point

in time. When you try to keep things simple one moment at a time you get hit with so much..."

I wanted to comment, 'Oh, did J tell you her 'plan'?

J and the kids lived with her from 2009-2010. SIL was NOT happy with the way things were

going then. Last year at this time, J sent the kids to another aunt's in Wisconsin, with the plan

being she would move up there. Well, her health went sour. Kids returned Thanksgiving, after

J had her appendix out, gall bladder checked, and is still having issues. Oh, and according to

the kids, her deadbeat boyfriend cheated on her twice, but she took him back 'because I LOVE

him' (insert whiny voice). MDQ can't stand him. Get a clue; your kids come FIRST!

SIL has said if J hasn't gotten her act together by Aug, she's taking the kids away permanently.

I'm waiting to see if that happens, or if she's another one who won't 'follow through'.

Sorry about the extended rant; I'm a little hot under the collar over this whole mess. And I

can't get anyone to listen to me, because 'I'm not the best housekeeper' (YOU try having a clean

house with seven people in a 2 BRM, 1 Bath house, where only one person seems to give a

damn!) and 'they're not blood related' and 'you can't afford it'....Damn it, this is the only home

they've known where discipline is consistant; they aren't being dragged all over Hell's Half

Acre; and where someone actually cares about THEM, rather than their damn career/

lovelife! Yes, my SIL has just moved her boyfriend of the past year into her condo.

Who's the stable family unit here?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Making and Breaking Promises....

I'm wondering if I've a right to be upset with a certain person. She knows about my little one's issues and offered her help, but it's been one postponement after another. Here it is, July 1st, and she's only been over ONCE this summer, to evaluate him. I thought she'd be over once a week (so now she's missed 3) for intensive tutoring.

I can't do this all by myself. I've dragged the child to the library; had him reading game board instructions; historical markers; and every time the words 'I'm bored' come out of his mouth, I shove his library book at him and tell him to read me at least one page.

Last week she emailed and said she'd come on Thurs. Yesterday it was 'I'll be over after my shift'; and a few mins ago, a message 'A co-worker's home caught fire and we're all going over to see what can be about if I come over on Tues?.' I had to restrain myself from sending a snarky comment about commitment to children.

In the end, I just 'sighed' and said I understood about emergencies, and told her about my only appointment next week.

I WANTED a weekly tutoring schedule. What I'm GETTING is a once-a-month 'let's see if your mom's doing as good a job as I can'.

Right now, I only hope my efforts ARE paying off, and that in six weeks he will get the 2nd grade teacher who will work with him, or the school allows him to go to 1st grade for reading until he catches up. Otherwise, I'm in for a rough school year, and having no choice but to hold him back.

And to make things more stressful, my stepdaughter is living in a motel, having lost her home, and her kids are living with us and wreaking havok. Why is it if one member of the family gets something to eat, EVERYONE has to have the same thing, even if they just ate an hour earlier? OMG....cereal in the morning....then if daughter wakes up and fixes ramen noodles, both kids are like, 'I want some too!' Uncle Dad gets out tacquitos and queso dip...'I want some...' I swear, these two could hear a Doritos bag being opened if they were three doors down at the neighbor's house! I miss my hour where I could safely melt a square of chocolate almond bark and enjoy some chocolate-dipped pretzels. If these two end up with us for the next school year, I'll have to wait six more weeks.

But having them here is my choice; they have a stable home life with us; they aren't being constantly dragged around or being yelled at by a grumpy, sleep-deprived parent who insists on 'working things out' with her deadbeat boyfriend 'because I LOVE him'...even though he has 8 kids with three other women....thank GOD she had her tubes tied!....get a clue; your kids are supposed to come FIRST, not a leech whose SSI checks go for child support.

As I ranted to a friend a few weeks ago: This is what's been going on since she moved to the 'big city', where opportunities are better:

She moves in with 'a friend' but suddenly car breaks down/gets sick/kids get sick/gets fired
or laid off from work. Then she's looking for another place to live/new job.

2005: Began working in Indpls, but since day care was too expensive, her kids
came to live with us, with the understanding she would come over, have dinner
with them, and tuck them into bed (she worked 11pm-6am). But gas prices shot
up, so she only arrived Friday mornings...then Fri night....then Sat
morning....Sat get the picture. Sometimes she didn't show up at
all (We lived half hour from her job).

May 2006: She lost that job, and her apartment, but went on a temp job and met
a new friend. Suddenly, the plan is she'll move in with her, and since the
friend will be working days instead of nights, J will watch her kids and vice
versa. This is when I had my meltdown and hoped she'd get her act together.

July 2006: Kids are back in our care b/c things went sour with her new
'friend'. She's met a guy who'll help her out.

Sept 2006: She and new b/f move in together; kids now staying with their dad,
who's out of jail, since MDQ (Miss Drama Queen) has to start kdgn.

2007: She and b/f find new house; take kids from dad permanently.

2008: My hubby stays with them for five months instead of motel room, and she
literally nickels and dimes him to death every week for help with bills/car
expenses/internet hook up/twenty bucks here and there. He tells me he'll never
stay with her again.

2009: She moves in with her mom 'to get her finances straightened out'. Has
medical probs in fall; can't work. Drives my SIL crazy.

2010: Surgery in Feb; supposed to return to work. Nope; complications keep her
from working.

Aug 2010: Ships her kids to aunt's house in Wisconsin. They're back by
Thanksgiving. Meanwhile, she and b/f find house and move in. Her brother gets
her a job.

May 2011: Discovers b/f has been cheating and not paying rent. Meanwhile, kids
are back in my care. She asks if we can keep them until she finds another place
to live. I tell her I'll keep them for summer, and maybe longer.

June 2011: She's staying in motel for a week, then moving in with another
'friend'. Her car's been repo'ed, and she's looking for a better paying job.

I'm fed up with her. My SIL has made noises about taking the kids away from
her; I say the same thing. We have the time and energy to give them a stable
home, since I work at home and hubby's retired. SIL works full time plus
consults, and her new b/f just moved in with HER. We have seven people in a two
bedroom/1 bath house. Mr. Energy sleeps in Will's bed; MDQ on the couch; my youngling
on air mattress with his big brother, who's home from college.

And in the meantime, I discover one of my release dates has been moved up to July 6th! Time for my hubby to step up and help out around here so I can work on my edits and do my JOB! I'm now editing four books, one of which has a deadline of Monday, if I hope to keep that release date. Fortunately, there isn't as many errors as the other three, so this should be a breeze. I'm only seeing one comment where I need to rework it.

Anyway, that's my rant for the month. Sometimes I neglect this space too long.