Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I'm Crabby Woman

So obviously yesterday I was feeling a little cranky and crabby about the influx of children into my house and was not quite sure how to handle it with the mother. Clearly there are issues.

To me, the major issue is the difference in ages of the children. Because Joey is 13, he has certain privileges that would not be appropriate for children who are 8 and 6. And he is allowed to do things that they would not yet be allowed to do.

This isn't a problem when they are hanging out outside and often they will get together just to play their Nintendo DSi dohickies. Joey is only into Mario and Sonic and Kirby, so it's not like he's playing Call of Duty or anything.

When it becomes an issue is when these much younger children want to play in my house. I no longer have toys for small children and I don't keep fruit snacks and goldfish on hand anymore. The youngest child, who is in kindergarten, gets easily bored when they play here and will wander around my house asking if he can get into my hot tub, checking out my pantry, and making me generally uneasy because I am probably watching R rated movies on cable. Yesterday, he was eating at my kitchen table while Ryan Gosling was getting naked with Rachel McAdams and, while you can't really see anything in the movie, what's going in is pretty clear and I don't think his mother would approve of him watching it.

When you think about it, in fact, almost everything that is on television these days is something that you wouldn't really want a 6 year old to watch. Even the Cartoon Network. I wouldn't want my 6 year old watching South Park or King of the Hill. My 15 year old finds them hilarious though and I'm fine with that. Because he's 15. If you have cable, you need parental controls until your kids are teenagers. What happened to The Love Boat and The Carol Burnett Show and Happy Days? Too tame for viewers now, who want to be entertained by 16 and Pregnant or Intervention. Joey doesn't have cable, by the way.

I guess having sports on while they visit is a child-friendly option, but it certainly isn't an option for me. In my fantasy apartment (in which I live alone and visit this house sometimes to spend time with my husband and my kids), sports of any kind are blocked from my even having to view them in the lineup. It's also very pink and purple and has a sleep number bed and lot of cats. (This is a fantasy. If you would like to add anything to make it more testosterone free, please let me know. With three boys and a husband, I need a mental place where there is no pee on the floor and the jeans aren't covered in mud and sweat.)

But, to get back to my point, it's probably much more my issue than Joey's, because he is very happy playing with these children. Clearly, there is a communication problem between me and the other mom. And there is also an issue for me of there being no understanding from the other mom that I am not physically capable of caring for her children in addition to my own 13 year old. (I don't really take care of Jamie and Ben anymore, except for washing their clothes and yelling about grades. Otherwise, they'd prefer I don't spend my time with them.)

I did the elementary school years three times and it was hard for me to parent my own children. Between having bipolar disorder (which, many years ago, before I was diagnosed, made it impossible to be a good parent) and fibromyalgia (which makes getting around and going up and down stairs and fetching meals, etc., etc. very difficult at best), I struggled to get my kids to the age where they can be independent and take care of themselves, for the most part. And now we're there and Joey's friends are half his age.

My own kids understand that I have issues with noise and they were raised to keep it down in the house. Seriously, if you came over, you would probably never know I have three boys. (Which might be a little strange, now that I think about it.) I've had people come over and say, "Where are the kids?" or "Don't you have three boys?" or "Wow! It's so quiet in your house. Can I come live here?" The answers are: The kids are here, but they are very quiet; Yes, I have three boys, but I gave them all their own technology to keep the fighting to almost 0; and It depends on who you are, but probably not because I don't have an extra bedroom right now. Check back with me when Ben moves out.

One of my friends suggested that I put a sign up on the door when it is too early for these children to ring the doorbell or not a good time and letting them know that when the sign is up, they are not to knock, ring, or peer hard into my windows to see what we are doing. When I told Justin this suggestion, he countered with "It wouldn't make any difference to them." Unfortunately, he's probably right. They haven't been taught that when they are shooed out of their house at 7:00 in the morning, they are not to go immediately across the street and wake up our teenage boys by ringing the doorbell repeatedly. This. Is. Not. Okay. Why is this not obvious?

It's clear to me that I have a problem. Me. Myself. And I am looking like the weird one on the street because I don't like noise - construction or children. I am becoming the cranky neighbor that yells about the lawn mowers, the dogs barking, the kids playing, and the old car that sounds like a Harley that comes out when the temperature goes above 60.

When did I become my grandmother? It's sad, really. I should be in the prime of my life. And in most ways, I am very happy with my life. I just don't want to allow everyone else's children to be a part of it and that's a problem for my kids. I'm working on it. It would just be nice if I had a little bit of "give" on the other side.

1 comment:

  1. I'd be furious if someone's kids were ringing my doorbell at 7am too!Does the mother know that you have health problems? She needs to know. If she does, then she's very insensitive to other people's feelings.I feel for you as I'm very glad that my kids are grown up now. I hope you are able to resolve this problem somehow soon .


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