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#1 of 46 Old 06-10-2005, 02:39 AM - Thread Starter
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This is probably not quite the forum for this, but I need to let go of some steam.

We're currently living with friends of ours who also have two kids. Long story short, we had to move twice in two months because of chaos in our lives. Finding mould, mildew, and mushrooms in that appartment of ours was the catalyst for the first move (nevermind a landlady that refused to comprehend that I would not beat my "special needs" ds into silence because he screams when he can't get his way. Yes, she told me to do that!). The second move was initiated by a potential job offer (which didn't pan out) and was catalyzed by the former tenant of the trailer we were supposed to have been renting trying to run me over.

So, friends of ours offered us a refuge at their place.

We have been trying to co-exhist here the four adults and four kids. Most of the time, it works. But there are times when it doesn't.

We have nicknamed the kids after the four Ducktale's Ducklings for starters. 3 of them, "Huey, Duey and Luey" are either 4 and a half or 2 and a half. DD is "Webigail." Huey, Duey and Luey are playing the four parents off of each other and we know it. The eldest, in particular, is trying to get away with anything that they can get away with. Huey does go up to everyone and asks for candy, treats, etc. Or will just take it. It has gotten to the point where both DP and I will tell Huey No just on principle. We don't want to counter what GF and BF tell us that Huey can or can't have and more importantly, we don't believe that any of the ducklings should be getting the amount of sugar they are getting in their diet here.

Then there's Duey and Luey. Luey is DS. Yesterday, Duey decided to throw a giant die that DP had bought and it hit Luey right under his right eye. The poor kid ended up with a giant gooseegg and now has a black eye. I was furious, but instead of spanking Duey, I ordered Duey to their room. That's when GF and BF decided that a spanking was in order. And he was spanked.

Yeah, spanking's legal in Canada, but constantly threatening and then carrying through with it is driving me up the wall. All three of the ducklings have been spanked by us adults (yeah, we're not innocent on that mark), but the amount is frustrating us. DP and I believe it should be used as a last resort, not as a constant threat. They, on the other hand, constantly threaten it with all the ducklings for every single infraction the kids do. Be it not wanting to eat, sleep, play together, hurting each other, etc etc etc. They constantly scream at the ducklings, constantly threaten them, constantly send them to their room.... I know there's discipline but what I'm seeing, worse, what we have to imitate because these are GF's rules we have to follow for all three ducklings, is making me extremely concerned for DS's emotional health. The ONLY child not being disciplined is Webigail.

Just today, GF went on a tirade that DS couldn't have anything else to eat until he ate his two pieces of toast. When I took DS out today, I "let" him steal some stuff from my purse because I knew he was hungry and needed something to eat even if it was just candy, but when I brought him back, instead of letting him eat lunch and forgive him about the bread (no butter, no nothing on it, still sitting there from breakfast) , GF freaked when she found him eating an apple - until she found out that he had eaten the bread.

Then there's the bedtime rituals. I wanted DS with us last night because of his head and he was breathing "wrong." I'm glad I did because his asthma was acting up. But BF decided to scream bloody blue murder at him and threaten him with spankings if he didn't go to the ducklings bedroom right then and there. I would have intercepted but I was.. ur... stuck on the toilet. So there was my DS being screamed at by a huge man who wasn't his father.... He spent most of the next hour whimpering in bed beside me. I wouldn't let him sleep in my bed but instead moved his fold out toddler bed beside mine.

And there's more.... Both Huey and Duey are toilet trained, Luey isn't so somehow I'm a bad mother because Luey is 3 mo older than Duey and so he should be. Yet she gives her kids candy (a ring pop if they do a #2 or chocolate for a pee) in order to get them to use the bathroom. And because of that, I've had to promise Luey the same thing. Not that its helped train him at all. He still refuses.

Then there's how Huey tattles all the time. Worse, tells us, the parents, what we should be doing to Luey. Which, of course, meant that we have told off Huey a couple of times already about that. Huey is also very sassing to all the adults here. And Huey, like I said earlier, will try to get any candy or treat possible.

Ah yes, the candy situation... how can a woman who has purposely had all her teeth taken out and gotten dentures because of the amount of sugar she's eaten over the years tell me how I should be brushing my children's teeth? Especially when her eldest already has two teeth capped?

DP and I know that this situation is only temporary. We will move out again within 3 months. Sooner preferably. But this is also driving us up the wall and down again. We're expected to treat the ducklings the same and in fact are told we have to. So DP and I have been trying to do GDish type discipline (talking, getting down to their level, guiding) instead of yelling, screaming and worse. But we're "failling our parenting checks" as he puts it.

We need ideas on how to cope and to show them that spanking isn't what they should resort to on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis for not only their kids but DS as well. I just did some GD with Huey and sent Huey back to bed, so I know it can be done. DP knows it can be done. How do we do it when we're trying to keep these two families from ending up as enemies? It doesn't help that both moms are Alpha females. I'm going to keep on trying to GD the kids as best as I can, but even I know I have limits.

Telling us to leave isn't a good idea. And I won't report their parenting styles to the local CPS because I loathe CPS here. Unless I took the kids with me and went to a transition house, there is no place that would shelter the four of us and we'd be on the streets. And after nearly getting run over 10 days ago, right now I need DP with me as much as I can get. I'm just a little ... frazzled from it. And yes, I did report it to the police. Any advice on how to handle Huey?
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#2 of 46 Old 06-10-2005, 02:44 AM
 
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what a challenging situation.

I have been lucky to observe how my preschool teachers handle issues - with GD.

This might help.

Conflict Resolution by Bev Bos

Maybe post on the GD board too?

10 - boy
5.5 - girl
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#3 of 46 Old 06-10-2005, 02:53 AM - Thread Starter
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i would, but I'm not "gd enough" for there.

Its hard... especially with food allergies/weird diets - luey can't eat carrots, I can't have shellfish or coffee, BF is a lacto-ovo vegetaria and GF is lactose intolerant. At least DP is an omnivour. So the meal times are interesting to say the least...
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#4 of 46 Old 06-10-2005, 10:51 AM
 
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Sorry - don't know how helpful this will be bc I got a bit confused by the nicknames and pronouns - can't quite tell whose kid is whose!

I think the only thing you can do in the circumstances, if leaving is not an option, is to lead by example and set clear boundaries around what is and is not acceptable treatment of your own children. That means no spanking by anyone (I know you say you sometimes resort to it, but you're not going to get it through your friends' heads that they spank 'too' much if they see you doing it AT ALL). That means you discipline your own children and that you clearly state that the other adults may not yell at, threaten, or hit your child. That means (if it were me at least) that you state clearly that, where your children are concerned, candy will not be used as a reward, or punishments set up around food issues. And then you police those boundaries like crazy, so far as your children are concerned. You have a duty and a right to set these boundaries, and not to let other people unleash their lousy parenting skills on your kids.

Oh, and I'd bend over to be kind to their poor little ones. Even if you don't feel like you can be as direct as you would like to be about what's wrong with the situation, because of the precariousness of your own living situation, please do what you can to make their little lives a bit saner. Any way you can get out of the house, too, with yours and (volunteer sometime, I think) theirs as well - to the library, a neighbourhood house, a playgroup, a park without the crazy disciplinarians?

I realize it's their place, and there's an element of 'their house, their rules', but that extends to things like whether you leave the toilet seat up or down, or not running the washing machine late at night. It does not extend to letting them threaten, yell at, or hit your children.

Sounds like a rough situation - good luck!
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#5 of 46 Old 06-10-2005, 11:16 AM
 
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Yuck yuck yuck. I'm so sorry you are going through this, it sounds very difficult! I lived with my mom until DD was 3, and she still babysits her fairly often. We had some general parenting rules that we came up with so she didn't step on my toes. The main one is that I am the only one to discipline DD (and now DH does too, of course). Period. If she was being really difficult and I wasn't around, they could and do give her time outs sitting on the steps (its boring there, so a good place to calm down) but that's it, and if any actual punishment is needed, I take care of it when I get home. I did think I believed in spanking when she was small, though I've never actually hit her, but I would have never ever let anyone other than me spank her, because I'm the mom, and it's my job to discipline.

I really think that would be reasonable--just asking them if they have a problem with your kid, to let you know and you will handle it. If they don't agree with how you do it (GD as opposed to spanking or whatever), you can just say "well, that's how we discipline in our family".

I don't let people yell at and frighten my DD, and I do think you can protect your child from that without completely offending them, by saying you would prefer to handle it yourself. You could also possibly "punish" (or discuss it with your child or whatever you choose to do) in the privacy of your bedroom or something, so they won't necessarily know how you handled it.

I do agree that it's easier to just say you don't spank anymore than to try to explain why this particular behavior doesn't warrant a spanking while another one does. Besides, you may be surprised--I kept saying when DD was small that she may "need" a spanking at some point, thinking I might "have" to spank, but I always managed to come up with a better way to handle the situation, and it did work well, she's a pretty good kid.

Good luck, I hope you are able to work this out.

Mom to Liz (14) and Dillon (3) and Mitchell FINALLY born 7/11/10!
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#6 of 46 Old 06-10-2005, 12:04 PM
 
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How about some way to seperate your families? I realize space is probably at a premium, but maybe your family needs to sleep all in the same room for the next 3 months, so you children have somewhere their own to be, for a couple months even some kind of tent or if you have a large enough closet or big box that could be thier own space that they can retreat to and be alone.

Maybe there is some other way you could keep your family seperate from thiers, at least part of the time. Could you just try to be awake and asleep at different times? Like if their family goes to bed early could you stay up later and sleep later. I know noise and space problems again. Maybe a tv in your room so you could have family movie time.

Could you spend the weekends at least somewhere else? Camping, visiting friends or family, something

I think the first issue needs to be that two familes can live together and still be two familes, they can each still have their own rules. And if you want to be firm about them not disciplining your children they you will have to not discipline thiers. So to handle Huey you would either work it out or retreat yourselves, not send him to his room.

I don't know if any of these will help any, but I sure hope things get better. When I left my husband about 1 1/2 years ago we also spent about 6 months staying with friends or familes, and it was very hard.
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#7 of 46 Old 06-10-2005, 12:50 PM - Thread Starter
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I don't really want to bend over backwards to be kind to their little ones because Huey will do anything to get candy and unless I'm giving the kids, especially Huey, candy, I'm not being kind to them. That and if one parent is extremely "nice," it'll throw all discipline out the window.

Duey was the first one up this morning. BF leaves for work at an ungodly hour (about 4 am, but comes home by 3pm latest). So, because we're sleeping on the living room floor, instead of getting the sleep we need, we're up when the kids get up and we don't get to go to sleep until the tv has finished being watched.

They have an entire room they could have emptied out for us to use, but instead have decided to keep it as an no-kid-zone office where all four of our computers are. So privacy is at an issue. I don't know how many mornings so far I've woken up to Huey sitting on the couch staring me in the face. Ugh.

Yet, BF and GF get the privacy of their own room, DP, Webigail and I don't get any privacy. Luey shares with Huey and Duey in their room, but often joins us in the living room to sleep on mattresses on the floor with us.

I'm trying to be patient with the kids. Honest. But this is trying. Very trying. We are trying to do seperate things with the kids (but Huey and Duey's grandpa showing up and taking them for the day and bringing them back with McD's and not anything for Luey... UGH. Anytime I go out I try to make sure there is stuff for all the kids, not just my two!) but it doesn't always work.

I'm thinking about taking mine swimming today. I want to go, DP probably needs the vacation too.
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#8 of 46 Old 06-10-2005, 01:58 PM - Thread Starter
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UGh...

GF today says she only had 2 hrs of sleep so DP and I are trying to give her some extra time to sleep (cutting in on DP's job hunt, but nevermind that...).

Anyway, Huey decides to go and interupt mom's sleep and so I do a time out punishment (go to the corner for Xtime=kid's age) and I swear the kid sounded like I just beat them even though I didn't come near. Ugh.

We can only do gd and non-pd when GF and BF aren't around. If they are, we have to stick to their standards or the four of us get into arguments.

Ugh. I think I'll go get some DQ. I need ice cream.
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#9 of 46 Old 06-10-2005, 01:59 PM
 
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That sounds pretty awful! Obviously, you're working on getting your own place as soon as it's feasible, but you feel stuck for now.

Do set up boundaries around who disciplines your kids (i.e. not them). Keep in mind as well that, although spanking is not illegal, nothing in the criminal code protects anyone who hits someone else's kid. Plus, if the authorities believe that you permitted this, you could be in trouble.

BTW, I'd just leave off with Duey about the toilet training. He probably has enough going on right now, and the one thing he can control is where he pees and poops! No wonder he's not giving that up.

Put on your flameproof suit and ignore GF's comments. If GF/BF start giving you trouble about how you deal with your own kids, just say something general like, "We feel it's important that our children learn that every family is different." They know you've had trouble with CPS, right? Blame your choices on that if you want - say "our social worker said we really need to make an effort to X, and so we're trying to make it work for us and stay positive about it. I'd appreciate your help with that."

So far as being 'nice' to the other kids goes, I'm sure it's tough, with them throwing things and being so candy-oriented. But I don't think 'nice' = throwing discipline out the window. I've found that when I'm around kids who are used to being disciplined through yelling and smacking, the kids usually end up being better - behaved out of sheer shock at having someone use a normal tone of voice with them! Huey may not 'get' it at first. The poor kid thinks that someone being 'nice' to him means giving him candy as opposed to more positive kinds of attention.
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#10 of 46 Old 06-10-2005, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
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They've also had trouble with CPS. Different trouble than us.

Duey's theirs and is toilet trained. Luey, ours, isn't toilet trained and honestly, until we get our own place, I'm not going to pressure him, but will give him lots of hugs and more if he does use the toilet instead of his diaper with no 2s.

Huey just complained about Webbigail crawling on her. Oi vey... DP rescued our daughter from theirs. (yes, Huey is a girl).

Duey is currently in the hospital with mom. Something happened outside so now we have to watch Huey as well as our own (nevermind being a taxi service).

See, we had originally agreed that we would stick together in discipline and that if we were going to discipline their children, they wanted reciprocation. This also extended into chores and more (although I think I am doing more chores than GF at the moment.... but then again, we aren't paying her rent, but we are paying for hydro and phone use and buying groceries). This was all discussed last month before we moved and it was all agreed on.

That was before we realized that they aren't even really AP parents. We thought they were, but boy have we been proven wrong.

I need to go find my sling. DD needs some cuddling time.
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#11 of 46 Old 06-10-2005, 04:22 PM
 
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Mamid, boy are you in a tough spot! Ive been in similar situations before - twice, but in the other position I guess... twice I've allowed another family to stay with my family when they needed a place short term. The first time was a friend and her bf with their only ds, who was about a year older than my oldest. They used harsher discipline and it was agreed to discipline our own. However the issue became the reason it didnt work out.
the second time I had an overly permissive parent who let her ds get into everything and never disciplined at all. she never bothered with safety either - I had to insist on a carseat and frequently would find hers not strapped into the highchair and standing - once he fell. This mother was asked to leave finally because I could not parent her child as well as my own - I have enough on my plate with 2 sn kids.

What made sure that my family made it thru these hard times was insulating us as much as possible. Like others have said, you need to get as much time away as possible - go for a swim or a walk or out anywhere without them!

Quote:
See, we had originally agreed that we would stick together in discipline and that if we were going to discipline their children, they wanted reciprocation. This also extended into chores and more (although I think I am doing more chores than GF at the moment.... but then again, we aren't paying her rent, but we are paying for hydro and phone use and buying groceries). This was all discussed last month before we moved and it was all agreed on.
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That was before we realized that they aren't even really AP parents. We thought they were, but boy have we been proven wrong
Are these people prone to angry arguments, or could you try to explain this to them? That you thought your discipline style matched but you feel that its actually quite different, and you would prefer to change this agreement to : discipline your own, only. Do you think this would fly? If you feel that you can't even talk rationally with these folks, is there anywhere else your family could stay? I would really exhaust all possibilities, to find a place to stay that will not be traumatic and scary for your kids.

I wished I lived up there in Canada to offer you a room to stay in.

~Sadie fly-by-nursing1.gifintactlact.gif  guitar.gif sewmachine.gif - mom to dd 9/15/01, ds 11/12/03 {ubac}, and ds 4/29/2011, wife to Mitchell.  pos.gif coming soon in late June!
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#12 of 46 Old 06-10-2005, 04:56 PM - Thread Starter
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we were supposed to have originally moved into a trailer with acres of land around it. When that fell through and my sanity was in question, we started to look at other options. That's when GF and BF offered us their place as a launch point to find our own here.

It has sorta worked. Not quite, but sorta. What is really driving me up the wall isn't so much their style (what we used to do) vs ours (supernanny wannabees if you can believe that), its that their Huey will try to get away with anything and everything she can.

Her dad, BF will be home in a bit. Then he's going to go out to the hospital to sit with his wife while waiting to find out if Duey has a broken foot. They might take Huey with them. If they do, then I'll be stuck cleaning the house - AGAIN - and DP will be dealing with cooking supper. I'm already working on the laundry.

I need to go fold some cranes and stars... I can't knit at the moment cause I have a huge gouge in my one thumb so I've resorted to kawaii origami to deal with my stress. You don't want to know how much stress I've had lately. Even dealing with them and how they parent their kids is far less stressfull than having to deal with a meth abusing b-rhymes with snitch who refused to leave even when evicted.

I've had to seperate Huey and Luey from each other right now. Every other minute she was saying that Luey scratch/kicked/bit/stole a toy/did something and since she didn't want to watch the video that he picked out (the first time since we've been here), she was going to get him in as much trouble as she could in order to get to watch HER choices. So I have since seperated them and told her to go for a nap in her parent's room. That's not what I want to do to her......... but I know forcing her to take a nap is not what she wanted.
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#13 of 46 Old 06-10-2005, 05:51 PM
 
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Huey's 4 and a half, right? Take a deep breath and remind yourself of that There's folks in her space all the time, other kids to compete with who weren't there before, and she's probably as stressed as you, but not as articulate. If they're at each other's throats, try to take them outside and let them run off a little steam.
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#14 of 46 Old 06-10-2005, 10:57 PM - Thread Starter
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well, gf and dp were following my lead and sending the kids to their rooms/corners instead of spanking...

until Duey decided to eat all of gf's breath mints that are on her backpack on the floor. Gee.. they taste like candy, don't they? And they were left on the floor too? And he decided to feed them to Webbigail. *rollseyes*

Luey decided to try to go potty and instead got the toilet, the bathtub, dumped 3/4 of a roll of toilet paper into the potty... Gee.. shouldn't someone have been watching him? I was busy with Webbigail, DP was 10 feet from Luey during all this...

Not sure if BF is going to get a hint... Maybe, maybe not. We'll see what happens tonight.
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#15 of 46 Old 06-11-2005, 04:09 PM - Thread Starter
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WTF??? She decided to do a bare butt spanking on the boys over catching them playing with Huey's lipstick? A 10$ lipstick???? WTF is she giving her 4yo a 10$ lipstick in the first place????

UGH!!!

And I know as soon as she gets back from whatever urgent thing she's doing she's going to spank Duey because he won't stop crying.

I need to go get some ice.

Huey shouldn't have left the lipstick out where the boys could have gotten it in the first place. Secondly, I would have simply taken it away and sent them to their corners instead of what she did...

Oh gods! What have we moved our family into?
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#16 of 46 Old 06-11-2005, 06:55 PM
 
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What is really driving me up the wall isn't so much their style (what we used to do) vs ours (supernanny wannabees if you can believe that), its that their Huey will try to get away with anything and everything she can.
Seriously?? You have more of an issue with their daughter than with the way they "discipline" and the way they are treating your son??

I'm sorry, I know you're in tough spot right now, but when someone abuses your child (spanking on the bare butt), you either stand up for them or you become a part of the problem. Maybe I'm being too harsh, I don't know. It seems as if a part of you is offended at how they act toward children, but it's just not enough to make you take some action. I'm sorry, I would knock on a complete stranger's door for help before living in a home where my child was being abused both mentally and physically.

I'm honestly not trying to condemn you. Please think seriously about what you're allowing to happen to your family in the name of having a roof over your heads.
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#17 of 46 Old 06-11-2005, 08:43 PM - Thread Starter
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It came down to dealing with the aftermath of a drug user who tried to kill me with her car (see my original post) which put us in this place. We thought she was one of the best parents we knew of cause she knew how to deal with this one completely out of control kid who she used to watch so her mother could work.

What I'm seeing now isn't the woman I knew two years ago. She also had problems with CPS but different ones.

Anyway, I had a little chat with her today after she came back. I had both boys lying on the floor and was putting ice on their bums to cool them.

"why are you doing that?"
"because some mothers would call CPS if they saw the red marks on your son's butt." She was taking her son to a dance recital and is still there as I type. I tried to explain to her that if any of them had seen what she had done, CPS would grab first and then sort it out later. She grunted and went "oh, okay." and then went on a different subject.

You can't force GD down someone's throat. We're not even trying to GD, but to try to keep our son happy and stuff from being wrecked. I wouldn't have struck the kids over the lipstick. Instead, I would have taken it away and told them to go to their naughty spots.

One of the problems is Huey's knack of playing one parent off on the other. And she currently has four of us to do this with. If she can't get what she wants with one, she'll keep on going till either we all say no or she gets what she wants. And she's such a drama queen it is driving me up the wall. She tried 4 times this morning to interrupt her mother in the shower because >>I<< dared to open her cheese strings instead of letting her do it herself. UGH. Last night it was the popcorn and she got her way and got popcorn even when three of the four had said no. One said yes so she and the other kids got some.

Trying to teach by example... Harder than it looks. I hope DP finds a job real soon so we can get out of here.
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#18 of 46 Old 06-11-2005, 09:46 PM
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Mamid's DP here....

You know I have to look at all this with a sense of irony. We have gotten heck from some of the folks here for things we have said have done/ would do with our kids and here we are turning around having basically looking at the couple we are staying with as if we were the GD'ing parents and they were us. The Gods have a strange sense of humour. The thing is we have changed just from being on this forum. We haven't always gotten along with everyone but we have changed, in many ways for the better I think. Mainly we changed because we were willing to admit some things just plain did not work and sought out alternatives. To me that is what being an adult is all about. Make your choices, accept responsibility for them, be willing to recognize when those choices might not be the right ones and have the strength and humility to make the right choices.

Now if we can just convince the couple we are staying with that they might not know everything and they might just start to change too....
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#19 of 46 Old 06-12-2005, 01:37 AM - Thread Starter
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I don't know what's more disheartening...

listening to the ducklings cry because they really don't want to go to sleep...

not being able to stop spankings let alone the threat of being spanked

or trying to use gd type discipline and getting cut short by GF or BF who yell out their orders while I'm trying to reason with X duckling...

Oi vey... Thank goodness Webbigail is too young for this..
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#20 of 46 Old 06-12-2005, 03:33 AM
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Penalt again....

Firstly, (&^*%^&*()&)^&*%&^$#%^&**(())!!! and so forth. Secondly, things kinda came to a head tonite. Mamid will post the details but basically we are going to be parenting just our own kids from now on and the other parents will parent theirs. Mainly because the other parents thought we were interfering with their parenting. I probably should have realized that this was gonna be the big stress point. After all, the most important thing to any parent is their children and if someone feels that another person is interfering with their parent-child bond....look out!

The other couple do not AP, they bottle fed both children from day 1, immunize for everything and their primary mode of discipline is spanking or the threat of spanking. We do AP, breastfeed with voluntary weaning, choose not to vax and spanking is a last resort with us. To be only threatened after all other methods (reasoning, talking, etc.) have failed. I would not even begin to classify with GD parents but if there is a halfway point between so-called traditional parenting and GD parenting we are at it. So there is just a little bit of difference in our parenting choices.

The real thing is that this couple have been very good friends to us over the years and I most definitely do not want to see such a long friendship go down the crapper because of the gap in parenting choices and the unlikelyhood of either of us convincing the other of the correctness of their position. I can only hope that we can live with each other for as long as we are stuck togeather without throttling each other. The stress of this plus the past two months has not been good for my blood pressure. 155/105 with a pulse of 92 at the drugstore machine tonite. Dug out some of my meds left over from my AF six months ago to try to lower the pressure. Gonna go to the local health food store tomorrow for some capcacin(sp).

Basically I think the seperation of the parenting will help. If we have to parent the other children we are going to our dammdest to do it in a GD way. That and we are going to seperate the kids at night for going to sleep. They just bounce off each other waaaay too much otherwise.

BTW, thanks for letting me and Mamid rant at length about this. Just being able to type about it helps even if our accounts can get a little hyperbolic at times.
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#21 of 46 Old 06-12-2005, 03:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Bedtime tonight... Huey decided that she was going to stall for as long as possible - again - and get what she wanted - to sleep in her parents' bed. So she started to use us against each other. Again!

DP started by being the "bad guy" in putting everyone down for the night. Huey started right away and fussed about how it should be her mom, not her dad, helping her get her pjs on. On and on and on she went and finally she came into the living room bawling and I started to talk to her. BF then yelled at her to go to bed, that's when I started trying to do some reasoning techniques to get her to go willingly to bed. He interupted me three times getting louder each time till she finally left the room bawling.

That started the other two caterwaulling in the bedroom. DP would quiet them down for a few minutes at a time and she'd start them all up again.

Eventually, she demanded that her glow-in-the-dark pound puppy get activated by her mom. DP said he'd ask her mom and GF was slow in getting up and around to doing it that by the time I started towards the bedroom, DP and I tag team parent to keep the frustration level between us down, she had already pestered and gotten her dad to do it for her!

That's when I caught her once again using us against each other. So I got down to her level and told her that she shouldn't have asked her father because she had asked DP to get her mother to do it and that I was very disapointed in her and that her behaviour was completely unnacceptable. I had to emphasize this several times. Without laying a finger on her, she started to bawl her eyes out. I also told her if she did it again - specifically with that stuffie of hers, she wasn't going to be allowed to have it to sleep with.

In the bedroom, once again, all three kids were caterwauling, so this time I went in. I said to them that I was very disapointed in all of them and addressed each one individually. Duey calmed down and I told him that I was proud of him. I tried to tuck him in but he made a fuss and I told him that it was fine and I wouldn't. I tucked Luey in and gave him a kiss goodnight. Meanwhile, Huey was louder still. I told all of them that the next person who was going to come in was going to be her father and it wasn't going to be pleasent. She got louder still. I restated that it was bedtime and that they all had to go to sleep.

That's when I told BF that it was his turn in there with them. I went into the living room and found a bombshell waiting for me.

GF told DP that "no parent likes being told how to parent." DUH. And it was discussed that we only parent our kids and they only parent their kids. UGH. Parenting techniques were discussed - except the "no spanking" thing because I'd also have to emphasize the "no yelling" as well. I suggested writting out a list of rules for the kids that should be followed "but the kids can't read yet." We can read and having a list would help us out as a group to parent all the kids.

One of the things I really don't like is waking up every morning to either GF yelling at the kids to shut up, opening my eyes and seeing one or the other of her kids staring at me first thing in the morning (especially Huey! that kid is unnerving first thing in the am!) or GF not bothering to get up at all because she has a "migraine." Excuse me, but even with a bad hip, IBS and headaches, I get my ass out of bed tears, pain and all to deal with all the kids without yelling at them and Webbigail is still very much an arm baby.

UGH. Its 11:35pm and Duey is screaming in that bedroom. He's woken Luey up and we've moved him to our bed. It took DP giving Duey to his dad who had to be woken up by DP to get them to take care of their poor injured child. (no, he didn't break a bone in his foot, but he did mangle his toenail yesterday)

Yes, they have been friends of ours for a while, but listening to them scream and yell at their children I know is damaging to ours even though there are times when we loose it as well. Thank god we still cosleep with Luey, cause that helps him sleep.

Oh yeah, about one of our suggestions... we were planning on doing the "parent in the room" thang where a parent sits in the room without making eye contact with any of them until they are asleep, moving further and further away each night until the parent is down the hall and in the living room (yet another supernanny trick). They don't want to do that and in fact kyeboshed the entire thing before I had a chance to explain it because they don't want to have to do it after we leave!

And we know that its BF that is going on about this too because both times he's been the parent who we have had to "interfere" with when it comes to parenting their child. After all, as DP says "the most important thing to any parent is their children" and I interefered with that bond twice tonight even though I had a good reason to.

What gets me is that this is a man who parents his kids for maybe a few hours a night after he gets home from work and that's it and he's the one who is demanding that the other three parents parent the kids the way he wants us to, not the way we have been since we came here if not for months now. UGH. See, we beleive in tag-team parenting. That if one parent is too frustrated with the kid(s), the other one should step in and take over while the first one takes a time out. It has worked for us for a long while in keeping us from wanting to throttle DS, nevermind other people's children. After all, people at jobs get breaks, why shouldn't people taking care of children?

At least now DS won't be spanked anymore by them if he misbehaves. That's a small victory. :
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#23 of 46 Old 06-12-2005, 07:18 PM - Thread Starter
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the place we had lived at was incredibly toxic. Our son was screaming bloody blue murder all the time and we couldn't figure out why he was constantly sick. That is, until we found mushrooms growing in our window sills and from the carpet. Add in an upstairs neighbour who kept on calling the management who would then "stand outside and listen" but never actually knock on the door or ask us what's up would constantly call cps on us over how he was acting out. So we moved. Our social worker KNEW we were moving but conveniently, the weekend we moved, we got an eviction order (this was after being told the month earlier that if we didn't give her our notice, she'd give us an eviction on the same day I was going to the hospital to visit my sick with pneumonia son).

So we moved to what was supposed to be a good place to live. But the tenant that was living in the trailer we were supposed to be renting refused to move so our landlady moved us into her basement instead. The tenant refused to the point where the trailer was almost declared abandonned. She also abandonned her senior cat (which I had taken to the SPCA), had the hydro turned off for non-payment and we found out a bunch of other backstory that scared the hell out of me and made us start to look at other options. CPS showed up again and once again ran roughshod over us. What's funny is that our actual worker understood our son's special needs, knew we were moving, but went on paternity leave and conveniently forgot to add info to our file that we were moving! So when we "dissapeared" we raised "red flags." We kept DS's daycare up and his routine as normal as we could. DP kept on saying that there was bound to be something terribly wrong with the trailer because the rent was way too low and it just seemed too much like a bargain too.

CPS also took an extreme interest in the trailer as well which raised flags with me. The woman was a drug user and had essentially abandonned her 14yo son to the streets. They saw pictures we had taken of the inside and were more interested in what she was up to than us. The "investigation" was closed within a week after we had moved.

So we stayed there for two months, found out all that backstory and crap that our landlady was dealing with and more, found out that the tenant was a drug user, that our landlady, although she was an angelic woman and a retired special ed teacher (what luck was that?) the shit she was going through to get rid of the other tenant was wearing on her as well. But once she got possession of the trailer, we were sure she'd get it fixed up pronto.

That's when we had decided to visit the mainland and friends there. GF and BF decided to offer their home to us to give us a landing point if we were going to move here. We weren't sure if we were going to do it until we got back to the basement suite where we were crammed in and most of our stuff in storage and found out how little had been done to the trailer.

So we decided to make the move to jump. Getting nearly run over just synched the deal - especially when the cop who came to "talk" to me told me it was MY fault in the same tone of voice they tell victims of domestic assaults that they should have known better. (2000lbs vehicle and driver vs pedestrian with a limp. which one has the weapon?) It took my nearly getting run over to kick the landlady into gear into cleaning the place out. When we left, the fridge still wasn't done and all the junk that was all over the place originally was now piled into one room and the garbage thrown out back.

2 years ago, BF and GF were at least on the surface very much AP parents. I don't know what happened to them, but they have become stricter and harsher.

Getting told off for using "shame techniques" just makes me mad. What would you rather have me do? Beat Huey senseless when she disobeys her parents or uses the four of us against each other? I don't care if DS sleeps with us, it was BF who was yelling at DS, not us.

We are ASKING for HELP instead we are getting criticized. Other than leaving - which we can not afford to do because we have no money to our name and there is no family transitional housing in the area (and subsidized housing only has 34 beds!)(me taking the kids to a transition house would not be a good idea either) - does anyone have any good ideas for handling the kids specifically trying to undo the damage BF and GF do to not only DS but their children?

Before you flame me again - ever since we left that appartment DS's health has improved 100X what it was. He is no longer on his asthma meds except when he needs them. He was on one med 2X/day and the other one 3X/day minimun. No matter how much stress we're under now, getting out of that mouldy, mildewy, musty and mushroom infested appartment was an emergency. My son was getting sicker and sicker and his temperment was getting hard and harder to control. Since leaving, he has gotten loads better but still needs to improve.

Now, Can I get some realistic help instead of being told that I am an awful parent for living here? My children needed a safe place to live first. Dealing with parents that don't know or subscribe to Ap or even remote GD parenting is another problem. Can we get some help with that?

Gotta go referee... oi.
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#24 of 46 Old 06-13-2005, 12:01 AM
 
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Yes, your son needs a safe place to live. Can you tell me your children are emotionally safe? The childhood years are obviously a critical time in a person's development, and they will not benefit from this environment. Maybe your son's respiratory problems have improved, but what about the unseen things that will surface later after you've lived in this environment for a while?

Look, I'm not here trying to make you feel worse. I, however, do not have any advice for you other than to get out, no matter what. You can't make it work with these people. They are not positive models for your children, nor for you as parents.

Neither you, nor your DP are working for pay, right? Did one of you have a job when you were renting the trailer from the retired woman? I guess I'm not understanding this part of the story. You might have explained it, but I missed how you had the funds to pay for the second rental. What kinds of job skills do you and DP have? There has got be something... anything... that you or he can take until you get back on your feet. I feel frustrated reading your posts, because I don't hear that you have a plan in place to leave this toxic environment you've landed yourselves in.

Is it still your wish to try to stay with these folks and somehow make it work? How can you risk your children's well-being just to see that your "friendship" works out with these people? I'm sorry, I have yet to hear that you have eliminated all your housing options. Do you have any extended family that would help you out? A good friend from high school? Do you have a church around that could help you? Don't settle. There are good people in the world who don't treat children like your "friends" do. And they just may want to help a struggling family get on their feet.
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#25 of 46 Old 06-13-2005, 12:23 AM
 
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you don't have to stay there. Get out.

Penault, funny I was thinking exactly what you posted. Maybe it's time to revisit the GD forum, no?
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#26 of 46 Old 06-13-2005, 02:26 AM - Thread Starter
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DP had a heart attack last Thanksgiving (Canadian) so he wasn't working and was on EI until the end of last month. His EI cheque was being deducted dollar for dollar from my disability check and will be next month cause according to our former worker, we were getting money we shouldn't have been when he was getting EI. (ARGH!) So we are short this and next month.

In other words, no he wasn't working and hasn't been since just before DD was born last September.

We aren't church goers. Both of us have been abused by our respective churches when we were growing up. Didn't help that my biob* was also one of the "leaders" of the one I was raised in either so unless we both convert right now (we're heathens, doncha know. ) we are sol in that department.

I can leave and go to a transition house, but there would have to be more evidence than a red mark on DS. Broken bone, sprain, burns, preferably something facial that needed stitches in order to guarantee that the three of us (the kids and I) got in. There have been so many cut backs that the liberals have done to strike at the heart of the social safety net for families and women in specific that there isn't really another place we could go.

Strike that - there is, but it would not physically be healthy for our children. And I'd want to kill the owner of that place before a week was out.

Unless we were willing to stay in our tent and camp for a month or more (cheap rent that!) we are SOL for a dry place to live.

Our son seems to be recovering fine. He had a major outburst today, but compared to the other two kids, he was easy to deal with. Duey's poor toe from being too adventurous on Friday is really causing him problems. Doesn't help when he won't keep his bandaid on. He's whiny because he can't do all the running around and more he wants to do. Nor is he as strong as DS or Huey, or as smart as the other two. Huey was trying her level best to drive us all up the wall again.

But what really frightens me is that Huey and Duey both seem to enact their parents' wrath for the smallest infractions that I would either ignore or remove from temptation in the first place. And the threat is always a spanking. DP and I were outside in the un-attached garage today and were listening to GF yell at Duey for whatever infraction he was doing that was making her mad.

Then there was the half hour or more when I was trying to occupy the four kids with what I was doing when BF just sat on the couch even though I really could have used his help with DS. (DS disapeared and dumped nail polish all over their nice kitchen floor... Gee... think that would have happened if I could have had some help????!) DD is enough of a handful, nevermind the other three.

DS is currently sleeping in his fold out couch beside where we put our mattresses every night. He has rarely not joined us in bed since we've been here, but that's normal for him. DD spent a good two hours asleep on me and we've found one of my slings (YAY!) so she can spend more time in my arms which makes her happier. We're trying to undo the damage with DS while we are here and work on their two, but it ain't easy, especially when you don't have the resources to back you up.
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#27 of 46 Old 06-13-2005, 02:33 AM
 
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Okay I just read this whole thread. First of all big to you both! I'm a little confused about whose kids are whose.

I have lived with my IL's or had them live with us for up to 2.5 mos so I can relate somewhat to some of the issues. Other things I just have thoughts about. Maybe they are useful to you, maybe not.

1) Kids will always misbehave when there is a change in family dynamics. They need to test whether or not rules still apply, who is in charge, that sort of thing. Abi's behavior was horrid, horrid, awful when the IL's were here the last two extended (read: way the heck too long) visits.

2) Would you consider having your kids sleep with you until you find another place to stay? You have a toddler cot, right? If the other kids want to act up at night, don't let your ds be a part of that. I gather from your post that you don't have a room of your own to go to? That is *so* tough!

3) Preserve your family unit. This is very, very important. Besides the family bedroom thing, try to find ways for just you four to get out *often*. Maybe do a simple dinner out, ice cream, a nightly walk in the park before bed, bedtime snuggles and story time. If you don't have your own room you can ask the family you are staying with to clear the kids' room for 30 minutes so you can have quiet bedtime stories. If that's not possible, read to your ds while he's in the tub before bedtime.

Also, remember that they need "family unit" time, too, with just each other. So let your friends have that time, too, and just get out of the house for awhile with your ds. When my IL's were here we gave them the girls' bedroom and they would often shut the door all afternoon just to get away from dh and I, because they needed their personal space, too.

4) Don't expect potty training to take place under these circumstances. It sounds like you don't. And don't allow them to pressure your ds or you. You all have enough to deal with right now.

5) Lay down firm boundaries with discipline. Sounds like you have after your last post. Children will, as you observed, pit adults against each other in order to find out who has what limits. You should never be expected to manage their kids, or reinforce their discipline of their kids. One of their parents should always be in charge of them. Don't spend any alone-time with their kids, take them places, anything. THey are not your responsibilty OR your liability.

I hope you are able to find a new place very soon. Just hang in there. At least you know it's temporary.

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#28 of 46 Old 06-13-2005, 09:49 PM - Thread Starter
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OH MY GOD!!!!

BF just did some GDish discipline on DS! Got down to his level and all!

I think I'm going to faint!

* * * * * * * * *

Well, that lasted a whole.. what? 15 min? : Then BF and GF were right back at yelling, screaming and threatening their kids with spankings.

At least now I have them talking about Supernanny and Nanny 911 as at least alternatives to spanking - even though they have never seen the shows.

Right now, anything would be better than little red bums.
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#29 of 46 Old 06-20-2005, 05:22 AM - Thread Starter
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I am in a bind.

I'm not a gd'er. A gentler d more than less.

But what happened tonight has me fearful for the kids.

If I didn't hate CPS so much, I would have called them on her tonight.

See, GF has "migraines." I don't know if they are real migraines or not but she has them. And she's been having them for the last week. Its been getting worse, or rather, she's been acting worse. She takes percocet, demoral and a bunch of other meds to "counter" the migraines.

Me? I have IBS and the beds we're sleeping on have been causing an intense amount of back pain. I have not been getting enough sleep as well because Huey and Duey have this habit of waking us up in the morning. And my carpul tunnel has been acting up to the point where I can't knit, cross stitch, or even do my origami.

But unlike her, instead of using the all glowing eye babysitter to watch my kids, I get out of bed and start my day even if I am in pain. I simply don't have any privacy to be sick. Not even the home office. No privacy. None. Nada.

So I simply can't be sick.

But her?

Tonight, she decides to go down with a migraine. She takes her pills, disapears into her bedroom and then all hell breaks loose.

Huey, Duey and Luey are brought in from playing outside. Huey and Duey are taken by BF to the bathroom to wash them. I have laundry going because, well, with 8 people, we need laundry done. Simple as that.

So Huey and Duey start getting loud. The place itself is a mess because GF had Huey and Duey do dance recitals all week and hasn't been able to clean much. DP and I have been trying to keep up, so has BF, but it is pretty bad, but no where near as bad as what GF thinks it is.

The kids are playing in the bathtub. Luey is being distracted by DP and I to keep him away from Huey and Duey so they can have a quick bath when GF comes storming out of the bedroom and screams to "STOP IT!"

We think its the noise from the kids. Because they stop and she dissapears. But no less than 10 minutes later (no more than 30) she comes screaming out of the bedroom again and this time she screams louder. "I NEED SILENCE! IF I DON'T GET SILENCE I'M GOING TO KILL SOMEBODY!" And she turns off the washing machine, spanks her kids, throws me into a full bodied flashback of what my mother did to me when I was a child, and terrorized DP, BF and Luey!

Luey comes screaming to me and all I can do is just hold him. I'm stuck between three things during the flashback too - 1: getting between her and all the kids and ending in jail for it. 2: packing a bag and getting out of there permanently. 3: calling the cops/cps right then and there because of how out of control she is.

Migraines don't give her an excuse for her behaviour.

Anyway, after the flashback ends, I check Luey for any marks from her. She didn't touch him. If she had, one of the three things I had mentioned before would have happened, no question about it.

So, while BF tries to put his two kids to sleep, DP and I try to keep Luey and Webbigail out from her area and we clean. BF comes and goes during this because GF is now vomitting and decides to have a shower to clean herself off. I tell BF to go tend to his family while DP and I continue to clean.

While cleaning, my mind is running full speed hating feeling like a fragging slave to this woman. Because she wants all the attention and is using her migraines to get it and get what SHE wants or else. And everyone is suffering for it.

So we clean and clean and clean and deal with her kids while she hides with her migraine and clean and clean and clean and clean and do it all manually without using the vaccuum, dishwasher or washing machine. After all, we don't want to disturb her.

Then Huey and Duey come out of their bedroom asking to go to the bathroom so I let them. Then Huey starts to try to negotiate and demands that she go see her mother and get a good night hug from her.

Both BF and I try to stop this. After what just happened, we don't want any of the kids anywhere near her. We, or at least I at that point am too afraid that she's going to hurt the kids worse. BF puts his kids to bed, I give them each a hug and kiss and leave.

By then, DP is finished with cleaning and we gather up our children and take off in the car telling BF that we'll be back later and that he needs to take care of his wife.

The last thing I do before I leave is lock the door.

In the car, we're not even a block away when I let loose with a HUGE string of profanity about her. Right now we're at a friend's place so I can type this up. DP and I have decided we're not staying with them any longer than we absolutely need to and will prefer to loose property than stay there. Because of our dealings with CPS in the past, we don't want to send the wrath of god on them because spanking is legal in Canada and we don't want to ruin what is left of our friendship, but she's treading on what is and isn't legal and if I knew how to stop her I would.

We've decided that GF needs help. We know we can't help her and her family. We have to think about what was right and safest for our family. If we had a place to leave and go to right now, we would.

What really bugs us about her is the amount of sugar she and her children eat all day long. Lollipops and all sorts of candy. Its affected Luey because if Huey and Duey get candy, he wants it do and he is throwing horrific tantrums because of that - which of course gets her started but because we're supposed to all parent our own children, she won't be touching ours.

And her constant threats of spanking... AUGH. Get some new threats woman!!

But then tonight... I had serious fear that she was going to hurt DP, Me, or any of the children with what I was hearing. I've tried hinting at it before that if some other mother were to see red marks on her kids, she'd be in shit with CPS here but she didn't get the clue. Come September, Huey starts kindergarten. Teachers here are mandatory reporters. I could just see Huey saying "mommy spanks me" and the gears start rolling against GF. Kids here are taught that any hitting is wrong (no matter what the Supreme Court says which is both a good thing and a bad thing).

This isn't really a cry for help, but just.. OH MY GOD!! And people think I'm a bad mother. GF makes me look GOOD.
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#30 of 46 Old 06-20-2005, 11:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Now, the next day, she has sorta apologized to me, but it isn't me she has to apologize to. Its the kids.

DP and I went out house hunting and we found a place but it won't be ready till Aug 1. The entire complex is being renovated and the two we got to pick from (there were two others but they were.. well.. nasty) one was a "warm" place - way too hot and across from the laundry. The second one has a tree in front of it so it will be cool during the summer.

So, the bad news is that we're stuck here till Aug 1. The good news is that we're only stuck here till Aug 1!

Both DP and I have decided if she has another outburst to call CPS. No ifs ands or buts. It just isn't good for her or the kids.
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