This was the weekend from HELL!
Here is the set-up:
Friday was the wedding of a friend of the 24 y.o.
Camping, canoeing and hiking, in Kentucky, Saturday thru Tuesday for Hubster and the 24 y.o.
An XC meet followed by Homecoming filled the Saturday of our 16 y.o.
Magic the Gathering pre-release events for the 18 y.o. Friday night and all day Saturday.
This is how things played out:
Friday night the clock was approaching midnight and the 24 y.o. was not home yet. Normally this would not be a big deal, BUT she had said she would be home early, since she and Hubster were planning to get on the road early for their big father-daughter weekend. Just after midnight, the phone rang... (Everyone knows that after midnight it is never a good thing when the phone rings.) I had barely said hello, when a much panicked 24 y.o. informed me that she had just been in an accident in Hubster's new (to him) car. So, in a flash, we drove 45 minutes to retrieve an adult child who was too upset to drive home.
Thankfully, the damage wasn't horrific, at first glance. She and a jeep met side to side in a lane change debacle as she was trying to transfer from one highway to another. Our car has a GIGANTIC black tire mark on the rear passenger door and we will need to have repairs for wrinkles extending from the front door to the rear quarter panel, though I am no expert on car damages. She said his jeep only had a tiny white scuff... Based on the lane configuration, he was either coming around her on the right to make the same exit OR he was advancing down the on-ramp which merged into her off-ramp. (It really is a most perilous set-up, especially if you are unfamiliar with the layout!) Whatever else may have contributed we don't yet know because she was so freaked out that this happened that she cannot remember what exactly happened, other than she NEVER SAW the other guy. By the time we got there he was gone -- having called the police and initiating a police report, he had no reason to stay. Thankfully, the police officer opted to remain on the scene until we arrived. In all the emotional turmoil that a parent experiences about their kid having been in an accident -- that was a lone beacon of light that made me feel a tiny bit better. If he had left her by herself at that time of night, I would have been PISSED OFF!!!
Once home, it was decided that their trip would go ahead as planned, but they would come home Monday night instead of Tuesday night in order to deal with the insurance and arrange repairs for the car etc... Personally, I was unhappy about this decision, but it wasn't about me or what I wanted. Mind you, I did not want this trip to occur on this particular weekend in the first place, simply because SO MUCH ELSE WAS GOING ON and there would not be enough ME to cover all the bases alone! When I expressed that it was not a good weekend for this, my concerns were deemed invalid -- according to the 24 y.o. The fact that we have 4 children, (even if 2 are 'adult aged' -- they both live at home...) plays a big part in how and when I schedule stuff. This weekend would have been fine IF the camping trip had been scheduled for another time. In fact, given that the 24 y.o. had a wedding on Friday, she should have planned on staying over at a hotel. The accident never would have happened and Hubster would have been home to help balance things out on Saturday.
6 a.m. Saturday morning came and the 16 y.o. went off to her XC meet, none the wiser about the events of the previous night. It would only have interfered with her mindset, so there was no benefit in telling her. The plans for Homecoming that evening had been sparse in their reveal and I had been nagging for details for ages. She and her friends were meeting up immediately after the meet to ready themselves for the evening at one of their homes. Other than that, I had no details. When some information finally came my way, I expressed to her (not for the first time) that I was against the idea of going 3 towns away to a park that none of the group lived anywhere close to and asked her to just stop at home so I could get a quick photo and she could be off on her way to do whatever else they wanted. Instead, she called and informed me that they were leaving in less than 15 minutes so I needed to come fast if I wanted pix. I told her that I was really irritated that she waited till the last minute to call me, since I didn't have enough time to even get there! Not only that, the boyfriends had already come and I had not even been aware of that and therefore missed out on that part of the doings. While I knew where she was, I did not have any clues as to the time frames they were working their plans around -- in spite of asking NUMEROUS times.
Let me say here that the 16 y.o. daughter is a wonderful and kind child -- as long as you are not her immediate family. She is absolutely unkind, rude and despicable in her treatment of her siblings. She is manipulative, conniving and devious. She carries the idea that we should sit at her beck and call, finance her every dream and whimsy and whatever she and her friends decide are the only concerns that matter. There is never any consideration for inconvenience or what the others in the household have going on. In fact, she thinks that because she is the ONLY kid who has religiously participated in sports, she is somehow a goddess in comparison to the other kids. As far as her treatment of her parents, she intentionally leaves out important details and information. She intentionally misleads us and seems determined to make us the enemy. Truthfully, when the 24 y.o. was a teen, she was a real pain in the ass, but she was predictable and easy to figure out. This 16 y.o. is less easy to read and is far more devious. While I love all my children, I do not much care for this one as a person. She has not been raised to be this way either, just to be clear. I am fairly certain that THIS child is my Mother's revenge for my own poorly behavior in childhood and teen years. That said, I personally feel that she had it easy with me as compared to this kid!
The moment she called to say I had to drop everything and come along ASAP, the 11 y.o. was out with friends riding bikes around our neighborhood, without her (very dumb, but functional) phone. I could not simply pick up and leave. The 18 y.o. was at a gaming event for the card game he plays and was not home to mind the house or his youngest sibling once she returned. When I started to say that I couldn't just pick up and go then, the 16 y.o. started going on about the plans they had made. I finally got pissed off and told her to do whatever the fuck she wanted and hung up. It was obvious that she cared not at all that her way of doing things left her family out in the cold. In truth, I believe that is exactly the result she wanted. She has always painted a picture of her family being evil and uncaring to her friends and their parents. There is little that can be done to undo it as she somehow has managed to keep a wide boundary between the inconvenient existence of us and her preferred life with her friends and teammates.
This is the end result:
I have no idea what she looked like in her dress. I was not allowed the privilege of seeing her boyfriend present her with the corsage. I was not able to get to the park in time to participate in the group photos, so who the hell knows what all the other parents think of me. I assume she had a good time, who knows. Do I care? Maybe a little, but right now I am very angry.
Today has been a day of numerous chores and and getting ready for 3 kids to go back to school Monday. I have done my chores, as well as the Hubster's, plus a few unexpected things that popped up this weekend, as was necessary. I have not had 2 seconds for myself all weekend. I feel like I might come off as petulant, but I am truly not. This whole weekend has been a stinking pile of SHIT and the truth is -- there was no reason for it to be... Some days, I really hate parenting. Some days, I really dislike my kids. Some days, I wonder what the fuck I was thinking when I decided that all I ever wanted was to be a mother. It brings more heartache than anything else in my life.
All of this comes on the heels of the discovery that we have an invasion of very bad caterpillars eating everything in the back yard to death, the hot water heater dying a very puddly death last weekend and the not so inexpensive ceiling fan in our bedroom dying a very slow and un-air-moving death the previous weekend. Three's... They say bad stuff happens in Three's... So, either I have 3 bad weekends in a row and things are looking up OR I am up to 5 and having had one set of three, I still have another crappy thing yet to come to complete another set. In all seriousness, I am not sure I want to know!
Monday, March 21, 2016
Bullies. They are a fact of life, no matter how much we all wish it wasn't so. As a parent of 4 kids, whose ages are very spread apart, I have had a long range of years to hone my radar for spotting them. Unfortunately, in my opinion, there seem to be an exponentially greater number of them now than when my older kids were younger. Unless my radar is just that much better.
We teach our children to respect the adults in their world, but even that has become difficult. How do you teach a child to respect parents of their peers, when a fair number of those parents are condoning their children's bullying behavior OR are endorsing it by allowing their children to associate with it?
Even worse? The teachers that downplay it, ignore it or are so conditioned to the behavior that they don't see it, until it is out of control. By this point the damage has been done, making it difficult -- even impossible to teach your children that their teachers can be trusted to do the right thing and protect them. Schools have a zero tolerance policies in place? I say BS. It is so ingrained into our culture, that they ignore much of it, which only serves to perpetuate the problem. Here again, how do you teach your kids to respect the very adults who so obviously have little respect for them?
Instead of the bully being made to understand their behavior is wrong, to apologize or learn how to STOP the behavior, their parents allow it to continue to happen. They are so uninterested in examining the bad behavior of their children, because they might have to examine their parenting or even themselves, that they actually perpetuate the problem by making the victims of their children further victimized by lying and/or spreading stories to other parents that turn the victim -- or even the victims parents -- into the problem. Parents of other children who, either believe it and don't discuss it with the parents of their children's friends or ignore it as not being their problem are just as bad. Hell, they happily allow their children to play with the bully, but eventually the bully will show their true colors and by then they have burned the bridge with the other victims and their families.
My kids are far from perfect and they can be pretty damned mean to each other, but they are called out on it when it happens within earshot of me. Unfortunately, at least one of my kids has built such a barricade around themselves, that it is damned near impenetrable and another is beginning to do the same. The end result of this is that the victim slowly becomes like the tormentor. Cracking that armor and getting them to let others in makes them vulnerable -- especially to bullies. It is a difficult and heartbreaking situation for a parent.
at 8:33 AM