I’m sitting here tonight upset. I’m not even fully sure why I’m upset. But I think it has to do with pettiness. I’m pretty sure it’s pettiness. It’s either that or being less than truthful…sort of two faced if you will. It’s either those things or it’s irresponsibility. I’m not sure. You be the judge. I can go any of those three ways frankly.
Two weeks ago my husband says to me light heartedly…hey do we have plans next Friday…to which I said no I don’t think so. He said well we do now. I asked him what was up and he said we had been invited to a good bye get together party with a group of people he used to work with. A nice group of ladies. I said ok cool. I reminded my hubby that the girls were with their Mom this particular week to which he said I’ve already arranged for (insert daughter’s name here) to watch our little boy. Ok I said.
Today I remained ever mindful of the time at work as I got into the bottom half of my day. I was run clear into the end of it in a meeting. An important meeting. So I dash out, danged near tear up the highway as I work about 1/2 hour from home. On the way I’m in a pretty good mood, and my husband calls upset that he can’t find the dress shorts he wants to wear. Bad mood. Swell. So I come in and our daughter, little boy and husband are sitting in the dining room and I can tell from the look on his face he isn’t happy. For added flavor I’ll say that other daughter had told me she was coming to spend the night so that we could sleep in as she is helping me work a habitat for humanity project for my work. So greet everyone and the air is thick. I shoot upstairs try on four outfits, reapply my makeup, fix my hair perfume up…to come downstairs and have my husband say..”I don’t feel like going, I think we’ll just stay home. Really? So I look at our daughter and she says “he can’t find anything to wear”. What is he a woman? So I look at him and he proceeds to tell me that the girls mother said they had plans, could daughter bring our son to her house. Um… Nice as that might be…probably not. So in the matter of a few minutes I’m sitting there made up, daughter says goodbye with a genuine air of hey I tried.
In trying to pry out of my ever emotionally forthcoming husband….not! What was wrong, he says the girls’ Mother says she had something planned, wants to know if (our boy) could come to her house…not fair we should always expect the girls to baby sit. I am immediately irritated because these girls, who by the way have always been paid to watch their little brother ( I don’t like it but that’s what we do) in the sum total of the about 1280 days their baby brother has been on the planet, maybe between them have been asked to actually babysit him about 10 times. Taken as a percentage I have to go out three decimal points to even hit a number it’s so low. I am not counting times when he’s just gone down for a nap and I put the monitor near them and run get groceries or something and ask if they’ll listen out for him. I don’t count those because really they dont even get up off the couch or off the computer or cell phone to do anything as a result. Those times do happen and no I don’t pay them to sit there and listen. So reality is that we don’t always ask them to baby sit and when they do it’s paid time. I don’t see the beef. At any rate my gut reaction is that it will be a cold day in the nether world before I will ask my daughters to ever babysit their brother again. I figure since I pay a fee anyway…even if it’s their night with us…and I hire a kid to come sit right beside them and pay that kid to watch our son…so be it. That’s what they want…that’s what I’ll do. So upstairs I go and out the sweat pants come. I text our other daughter because now that she’s not going to be with us that night I wondered if she was still going to work on the Habitat project with me. She writes me back and says she’ll be over early that next morning. To her credit she was. My husband doesn’t get asked out that often so I thought it really stunk that for whatever the real reason was, he felt like he had to cancel our plans.
Our daughter shows up the next morning early WITH a coffee for me. Knowing her as I do, she obviously feels bad and partially responsible for the night before or she wouldn’t have brought a peace offering. During the course of the day and remember this girl can’t keep a secret…can’t can’t. I find out that babysitter daughter had actually been complaining to her Mom that she always gets stuck with baby sitting…blah blah…so then their Mom sent a text that was hurtful to my husband and that’s why he shut down. You know what the previous plans were? They stayed home, watched a movie and made s’mores. Ok….
I am left with the following possibilities. 1) our daughter who was supposed to babysit lied to us that she was happily totally there and ready to babysit but Dad just inexplicably called her off. 2) our daughter who was supposed to babysit for some inexplicable reason lied to her Mother and greatly exaggerated how often she’s actually inconvenienced by babysitting her little brother, 3) our other daughter had a hand in flipping the evening for whatever reason then felt guilty she did it 4) their Mom just saw an opportunity to throw a wrench in her ex-husband’s (and consequently my) plans and since technically it was her night with the girls, she did. No reason…just because.
Really none of those appeals to me, which brings me back to my original statement. Sometimes I just feel bad the way things play out. I have no control over it. I don’t understand it, nor do I really even know what the truth is…or what the motives behind my kids or their Mother’s actions are. I know we don’t do that to them nor to her…create hard feelings for no reason… It’s not necessary and just drags us all through the mud for no good reason.
I have come to believe that there are really three basic personality types. Those who thrive on drama and create it, those who strive to maintain calm water and those who are neither of those two personalities. In my family we have our girls. One neutral, yet with smart mouth tendencies. The other a pot stirrer. We have my husband….neutral yet hot headed. Me, I’m a calm water gal. We clash at times and don’t always understand the others…but we love each other never the less.
Kids need to learn that when they are less than honest, exaggerate and play sides…there are consequences and sometimes it all gets bigger than they intended. I hope they take those lessons out into the world as they try to operate in it. It’s one thing to cause unrest in your own family…but friends, jobs etc…not going to work out so well for them I don’t think.