Problems With The Others

I know I’ve mentioned the others in the past, the two little ones I watch for peanuts during the week. Well Lucifer we’ll call him is 2.5 and his sister Mischief is 8 months old. From the moment I met these kids, I pegged Lucifer for a trouble-maker. He hits, pitches fits, breaks things (oh does he break things), he screams for no reason, looks at me like I’m speaking in a foreign language when I get on to him, refuses to clean up, eats like a slob, spills drink all over the floor, and his favorite words are “MINE” and “NO”. Oh, and he’s a snatcher, I hate snatchers! His sister was good to start with but then again, she was only 5 months old at the time. I truly felt sorry for their mother as she is very young and I had hoped that I could help her out in some way. I mean some kids are just bad right and with my experience with my old children, certainly I could help (so I thought).
As the days, weeks, months have unfolded, Lucifer has broken 4 drawers, countless toys, bruised my son’s face on many occasions, and even broke a window. Yup, this kid is just bad. His sister has now begun showing the same signs that lead to the path of destruction. She is 8 months old and is stubborn as the day is long. If you tell her no, she just continues to get into whatever you are trying to reprimand her for and she continuously has a bruised forehead (mostly from home) for doing it. She cries A LOT, especially when the simple word “no” is used or if you don’t hold her constantly. Truly, I was feeling sorry for their mother, her life was chaotic and full of broken and bruised things. It was sad and it’s not her fault her kids are just bad!
Well, the pity-party is over, it is her fault! I believe in discipline and rules. This is not to say that I am the best at adhering to my own rules with my children, or that my children are fantastically mannered (they are not as I’m sure I’ve already pointed out). They do however know the rules (all 6 of them) and although on occasion they break these rules, they know they’ve done wrong. They are reprimanded and the behavior tends to subside. For the most part, my children do not chew with their mouths open, they do not make a major mess at the table (or on the floor), they flush the toilet, they pick up their toys, they say please and thank you, yes sir and yes ma’am, and they do NOT talk back. They have been conditioned to know that these things are bad and if they partake in any of these behaviors, there will be consequences. So as I stated, I was trying to help out so as Lucifer and Mischief cause trouble or break the rules, they receive age-appropriate discipline, but it’s really not working. I mean, it works for a little while but then they go right back to the original bad behavior (especially on Mondays….Mondays are really bad). I kept wondering what I was doing wrong and why they weren’t learning like my own children, then I started paying attention to their mom and I figured it all out and now I’m just mad and feel sorry for these children and am certain that I will see them on a wanted posted one day. Harsh I know, but I call them like I see them!
You see, every day their mom would come to pick them up (usually late since she had to get gas or go grocery shopping or run an errand, and by the way, these are all things I do with my children so this bothers me in itself). Anyway, she would ask how the day went, so of course I would tell her. She seemed unphased initially and said nothing about all of the broken drawers (all 4 had been broken in a 2-week period) but I just figured she didn’t know what to say and probably handled it when she got home. When Lucifer blackened Bubby’s eye with a toy, I showed her the damage and expected her to do something, anything. She literally said, “Lucifer, that’s not nice, now tell Bubby you’re sorry”. Again, I just figured she was embarrassed so she would handle it at home. When he pushed Mischief down and bruised her forehead, I told her and she pulled him aside and said “Now Lucifer, that’s not nice, tell Mischief you’re sorry”. Surely she was doing something else at home. When he broke my dining room window, I called her at work. This one was pretty serious, he pitched a fit and threw the chair back with himself in it and it went through the window. Had I not been standing close and run over to catch him, he could have seriously been hurt. It was an hour and a half before she got off work but had that been me, I would have immediately left work and handled the situation, but I wasn’t surprised that she just apologized and said she would talk to him when she got here. She of course was over a half hour late and when she did get here, she handed me $40 and pulled him over to the window and said “Lucifer do you see that? That’s bad, now tell Christy you’re sorry”. WOW…this was getting to be too much. Just unbelievable! I have a strong no-kitchen rule (always have) for the children’s safety. There are chemicals, sharp objects, and stove tops in there, no place for children. So when she was here the other night (my husband was actually here this time), Lucifer was in the kitchen. I sternly told him to get out, he knew the rule! She looked at ME like I was in the wrong and got down on one knee to talk to her son and said “Lucifer, are you being silly? You aren’t supposed to be in there”. Silly? Did she just say silly? I saw my husband cringe. This wasn’t silly at all, this was a broken rule, one of many rules broken on that particular day I might add. All she had to say was silly! Yes, this was her fault that her children were on this path to a life of doom and gloom and I stopped feeling sorry for her the moment she said “silly”. That was my breaking point. Some people were just not meant to be parents at all, let alone at such a young age!
I am still watching her children for her but have been contemplating seriously terminating this arrangement. The money is not worth it and the bad habits my own children are picking up are bothersome at best (they are both hitting now). I have spoken with her about all of the problems and have been very clear about my concerns, but as you can see, it just keeps getting worse. But now I am actually worried about the kids (even though their mere presence stresses me out) so I’ve been hesitant to let them loose. Tell me, what would you do? I would welcome some feedback on this one!
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About Christy

Christy Gossett, managing editor of SoFabFood and creator of the healthy living blog, Insanity Is Not An Option, is a WAHM of 6 kids ranging in age from 27 to 8. She enjoys sharing her heart-healthy, low sodium recipes to help others with dietary restrictions enjoy a flavorful life while maintaining a healthy diet.

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