Monday, April 19, 2010

manners matter part 3

thank God the visitors are gone, it was not a pleasant visit at all.

I am probably taking on more stress than is truly mine but it was so frustrating watching this family in action

The child (horrendo-kid) remained badly behaved for the entire week and as she became more comfortable in her surrounds became increasingly cocky in attitude. I swear if my children acted as she has I would be horrified and would not have hesitated to bring them into line. Her mother is not of the same opinion, she made excuses for her, played down how she was acting and basically gave in every time to the child.

But then the mother was no better herself, without being clear about her intentions when she approached my MIL about staying with them, she had decided she was coming over for complete relaxation which obviously meant she had no intention of lifting a finger to help around the house, expected babysitting favours and letting her child run wild in someone else's home.

The grandmother was no better and kept saying out loud to MIL how exhausted she felt watching MIL running around all day (catering to them mind you), which infuriated MIL.

Her husband was over here for an athletic meet (he coaches) and things did not go as well as hoped for his athletes so he spent much of his time sulking when we came over for lunch one day because other people had an unfavourable opinion about his coaching performance on some internet forum. Awww diddums!

All these people took enormous liberties with my inlaws hospitality. Both husband and wife are the type who have been looked after (and spoilt) all their life and so expect it of everyone apparently. So I guess it isn't so surpising that their child has turned out the way she has.

We kind of kept our distance.... we didn't see them everyday, that would have been too much of horrendo-kid and avoidance seemed the best way to manage them plus we were still on holiday too and had things we wanted to do. I was sorry to know MIL was lumped with them so I helped out as much as I could when we did go over.

And I avoided horrendo-kid when I could, I am quite sure she picked up that I'd sussed her out and wouldn't be manipulated like most adults she is around. However I did pipe up at one point when Miss 5 came in crying, she had a big red mark on her arm and was saying horrendo-kid had hit her. Horrendo-kid had shot in to her mum as well saying she didn't so I asked her directly (in front of mum) why she had hit her, of course she denied everything saying Miss 5 was lying. Turned out in her haste and determination to be the best and "first" she'd slammed a child safety gate onto Miss 5's arm in a race to get somewhere. I was furious but what can you do when her own mother won't discipline the kid?

Suffice to say we're all glad to see the back of them. Unfortunately they are a family who we will cross paths with again. We can't go to Adelaide (when Hubby travels with us) and not see them but we have agreed that when we do, we will not be staying with any of them (last time we stayed with the grandma for a few nights but I felt uncomfortable about it once we got there) and our catch ups will be brief and under our own steam / terms. MIL has vowed they will never stay with her again.

This kind of visit may never happen again in any case but you know I can't help but think they thought it all went swimmingly.... that's the ignorant type we're dealing with GAH!!!!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

manners matter part 2

not that this post has as much to do with manners alone but I refer to my previous post and the child involved.

she's back

for a week this time

and with avengence

definitely no sign of good manners or good behaviour for that matter

she, her mother and grandmother are staying at my MIL's, I had pre-warned MIL about this little girl's previous behaviour and she has stayed true to form.... perhaps worse

MIL is extremely unimpressed and I am guessing rueing the day she offered to have them stay (all in the name of doing the right thing)

I will blog more about this no doubt but for now I will just say this... I am hurting for Miss 5. This child has effectively bullied Miss 5 and unfortunately her attitude seems to have stemmed from her mother.

MIL whispered to me last night that the mum had mentioned (making excuses for her kid's awful tantrum) that she was feeling left out because she was smarter than Miss 5 and wanted to read Miss 5 a story at bedtime (Miss 5 was staying over and didn't want to get into bed with this kid who had demanded she do it, because Miss 5 is used to sleeping upstairs with her Nan). MIL was livid and I was left unimpressed.... perhaps it was a case of a poor choice of words by the mum but what was said was said and hurtful words like that have a tendency to stick around.

Today MIL was left stuck with horrendo-kid and Miss 5 while the mum and grandma went shopping, horrendo-kid threw a few tantrums but MIL wouldn't have a bar of it (good for her) so she turned her aggression towards Miss 5. Taunting her that she wasn't as smart or bright or good as her because she couldn't read etc etc. MIL told me she saw the cogs turning in Miss 5's mind as she obvoiusly was thinking "well what she says is true, I can't read yet", it broke my heart to hear this.

These people have no idea of Miss 5's capabilities (and she already shows enormous academic promise as well as great social skills and that's not just a proud biased mum talking) and yet they have made such broad and hurtful assumptions.

Impossibly the 2 girls went on to play nice as pie again, it baffles me. Seriously!

I am infinitely glad we only see these people once or twice a year and I get the feeling later down the track when Miss 5 becomes more sure of herself she'll avoid contact with this girl. I definitely won't be pursuing or prolonging the link that's for sure.

More later...

Monday, April 12, 2010

a self assessment

we have just come home from a couple of nights down south in the Margaret River wine region, intended as a breakaway for the family. there was no wine tasting (more's the pity) but what fun is visiting wineries for kids? I remember trailing after my parents to winery after winery when we visited my grandmother in the Barossa Valley and it was not fun. In hindsight it can't have been fun for my parents either listening to whining kids... anyhoo we decided that we would focus on family oriented activities and Hubby and I took a holiday from the routine of cooking.... a lot of junk food was eaten by all.

Now we had debated at length whether we go for 2 or 3 nights, doesn't seem like a big deal does it? But factor in kids who are renowned for going off their tree when they become grossly out of routine and the answer sadly was evident to us, 2 nights would be our limit. 3 nights however lovely it sounded would leave us sitting in our apartment willing ourselves home on the last night whilst dealing with screaming kids.

With Poss it's to be expected, she still has 2 naps a day and while she can survive a few days with only one day nap and a decent nights sleep, one has to be reasonable and not push her too far.
Miss 5 isn't so bad on the out of routine thing now... to a point and then there's the general 5 year old 'tude whereby when she's had enough, she makes no bones about it and we all pay a hefty price. The price this time was giving her mum and dad lip and acting out for the sheer fact that she could. The foot stomping and pouting is extremely unbecoming.

It was disappointing and I guess upsetting to end our break on that kind of ugly note, it really made us feel like all we'd done.... the entire weekend where we focussed solely on the kids.... counted for naught (in Miss 5's eyes). Very disheartening indeed.

And as an aside... since then now that things have cooled down somewhat, Miss 5 has had a talking to and hopefully something might have sunk in. She was on her best behaviour today which is something.

So in a round about way the point of this post is this.... looking back at photos taken whilst away and how conflicts were dealt with.. I see things I'd like to change about myself.

The photos? Not going to show them here.... sorry but they provided me with one of those moments when you see yourself for how you really appear rather than how you think you look.... funny how I am remarkably slimmer in my own mind ;)
My hair, I've left too long between cuts, it's looking very frazzled on the ends and just so so sad and tired... it's embarassing.... easy fix is a trip to the hairdresser tomorrow.

A not so easy fix is dealing with my thickening waistline and my...ahem... double chin (dare not say it out loud and make it true?  eek!). A side profile photo burst any bubble of illusion I had of thinking I wasn't looking too bad.
Look I'm not about to jump on the health kick train to Biggest Loserville but I can see it's time to cut back. Enough's enough!

On the dealing with conflict thing... to quote Dr Phil quoting his father, "there's something about that person I don't like about me" I may not have gotten it right word for word but I hope you get the gist. When dealing with Miss 5 on the weekend, I wasn't entirely happy with the way Hubby reacted and then I realised I do the same thing. It's more of an emotional outburst from sheer frustration and is void of anything constructive.

And.... oddly enough.... it doesn't work... huh! who'd have thought?

So I'm looking at other ways for us to get our message and guidance across more effectively. I can see often it's more about me than her and that's when we clash big time. So while I'm still not going to let her get away with blue murder, I will be working on how I go about it.

A challenge has already arisen with our friends back for another visit (with the little girl whose manners leave a lot to be desired). We shall see how it pans out over the next week there..... I sense another blog post in the works but if tonight is anything to go by, it will be an interesting and bumpy ride. I had warned Miss 5 that she was to be on her best behaviour whilst her friend was here, in fact her holiday fun depended on it and to her credit she did well tonight. (Having said that the other little girl chucked 2 enormous wobblies for her mother in the space of a couple of hours... fun and games)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


sounds promising doesn't it?

and Yes! I have good news to report

Hubby & I got stuck into it and finished painting the dining room, with the both of us working it only took the better part of a day. He prepped and sanded, I washed the walls. I did the cutting in and he did the rollering. Done in a jiffy! And it looks a million times better, that puky yellow was really bringing us down
*big cheesy smiles*

Next painting project will be the laundry, probably when school goes back from hols. We've also decided to put some cupboards on the wall in there and replace the handy homemade wooden bench with a longer, even handier and more aesthetically pleasing bench. Should look great when it's all done.

Yesterday the bobcat fairy visited us and dug out all the stumps from our pruning efforts from a while back and the his friend, the stump grinding fairy also popped in and completely anilhilated the rubber tree stump... all in an hour. It would have taken us a lifetime.

Step 2 of the garden will be sorting out the retic then I think we're going to lay weed mat before planting and we're still debating whether to have pea gravel or mulch.... this will depend largely on $$$. I meant to have a photo of our empty garden bed to display but haven't taken it yet and it's dark right now so maybe I'll do a post with a step by step in photos of it all later down the track when I've got something spiffy to show you.

Having Hubby home has it's advantages (aside of the obvious ;) He has been bitten by the declutterbug too and has been ruthlessly sorting out the shed(s). Oh man the stuff we found! The stuff we forgot we even owned!
I knew we had a few bags of toys that have needed sorting for a long time.... stuff Miss 5 had outgrown but might be good for Poss and I had to be ruthless too. We simply do not have the space for more toys... especially soft toys. My girls only have one or 2 very special cuddly toys that they are attached to and the rest mean very little to them, so off they went to the charity shop.

Man it feels good to purge all that stuff. Stuff that we simply didn't need and didn't miss. There's still so much more to do but I am pleased that we've made significant progress

*more big cheesy grins*