There are some differences that we have that will need to come into alignment. One thing I am not willing to budge on and that's a clean house. It doesn't have to be immaculate, but it does need to be presentable. To me, that means if a guest comes over, they look around and think nice clean place, not, gee, what a hell-hole. Her house is a disaster. I am not dissing her, but her kids run amok and they literally throw trash on the floor.
I - flatly - informed her that this would have to change. If that had to happen after my arrival (permanent), then so beit, but those boys and those little girls will be in for a rude awakening. I don't care how long it takes, I don't care how much resistance I get, that house is going to get cleaned up and it's going to stay that way. It is a veritable disaster, though this time around the living room was pretty clean and the kitchen wasn't too bad. The rest of the place, though, not a happening event. I cannot possibly live in such an environment and I have let her know that several times over.
The other issue that we don't see eye to eye on is how to treat those kids in terms of giving them things. I did not withhold things from my son when he was growing up. I gave him things and helped whenever I could. Yes he had to do chores and all of that but I never told him he could have something and then yank it from him because of whatever he did "wrong". We made things right and then he got whatever. I understand issues with money, but this is a mindset she has and it is a very stern mindset. Should they work around the house? Absolutely. Should they be deprived of things that, at least for me, are a normal part of growing up? Absolutely not.
The most recent example is her desire to do away with internet in the house. I did not grow up with the internet but that is because it didn't exist at that time. Now, it not only exists, just about everyone has it. It is used for communication, work, socialization, finding out things, some bad things, yes, but it is a relevant part of much of Americana. She stated she has it on her phone, she is going to pull the plug on the house internet. I just couldn't disagree with her more on that one.
Another issue was of her 17 year old boy. He wanted a TV for his PS3. Instead, she gave him a computer monitor and they bought an adapter for it. Turns out the wrong adapter and they don't much such a thing. So the boy is all flustered. Fast forward, he comes home one night while I'm there with a new 23 inch flat screen from Walmart that cost about a hundred bucks. But, he owes her money for phone and car insurance. She makes them pay for that which I did with my son - but not all the time. There were occasions when I let it slide. Many of them. So they get into it and she turns to me, putting me on the spot and asking me what I would do. I didn't want to make her look bad in front of her boys, because if it were me, I would have already found him a TV on Craigslist LONG before this ever got to the point it did, bought it for him and given it to him.
They have no TV access in the house excepting her room. She has something called Sky Angel which is apparently going out of business and she is going to have nothing. I am not a big fan of TV, but I always have it in the house for everyone else.
I can see where the boys are in a pressure cooker and come to explosions frequently. No Wifi/internet, no TV, no "luxuries" afforded to them hardly ever. I'm a giver. Especially to my boy, I gave my son things when he was growing up. I told the 15 year old I would buy him a new motocross helmet, his current one is a piece of junk and now he's going to be on a much larger bike, he needs a good one. Well, he got tude' with everyone yesterday so she texts me and tells me "don't get him a helmet" because of it. This is not my first reaction to such things. My reaction is to find out what's going on with the boy and then discuss how to change it, not automatically tell him well you did this, so you can't have that. I just don't think like that. I like solutions. So I got on texting with the boy and he admitted that he couldn't get the bike started and he was pissed about it, came into the house and took it out on everyone.
He KNEW that bike wouldn't run when he got it, it needs a new carburetor. So I discussed with him about his attitude and asked him if he could find it within himself to go and just apologize to everyone. I also told him that regardless, I told him I would get him a helmet, I would get him one, I wouldn't tell him things and then go back on it. So, next thing I know, both he and she are texting me that he apologized, admitted he had gotten pissy because of the bike and basically took everything back.
To me, that's how you deal with kids. Give them the tools to figure it out for themselves. I have been discussing with her about how to make her life easier by not making life so difficult for those boys. Her approach has not been working and that's what I said to her. For example, when one of them doesn't finish a chore the way she wants it, try something different. Gee, that is a great job you did there, but I need to you do this and that and then it will be done versus cranking all over them, never giving them any positive reinforcement and always dumping them with negative stuff. She got the message, not only from me but her best friend and has started to try and change her attitude towards them. It will only make her life that much easier, especially considering how many of them she has.
Yes, there is give and take, I just figure anything like that the might create an obstacle after the knot is tied is better to be discussed before hand and everyone understands where each other is coming from and how are we going to work through it to resolve the issues.
I am incredibly exhausted today. I did not sleep well, at all, last night and I paid for it all day today. I am still extremely tired from the lack of sleep and yes, a bit cranky and irritable. She wants me to call her and as much as I want to do that, I also don't want to come off foul because of my lack of sleep last night and the cloud that is over me right now. What to do, lol.
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