Melting Pot

Shoot Me…

If you want something done… you have to do it yourself.

Notice that I did not say if you want something done right. I just said if you want it done. At all. That is the way it works in my life, anyway.

My oldest niece is here for the weekend. Every time she visits, she says she will pick up after herself, and that she will help me with the housework.

Her purse and shoes were in the middle of the living room floor, she has the couch filled with stuff. And she’s sacked out on the couch and has been for a couple hours despite my best efforts to make her get up.

And while she has slept, I’ve done all the housework myself.

As usual.

I love my niece but she is definitely in full on teenager mode these days. And the scary thing about that is the fact that she’s not even celebrated her 12th birthday yet. O.o

She’s fallen into the habit of sleep at day then be awake all night. I’ve tried and tried to tell her that she just can’t have sleeping habits like that. Especially this time of year when school is starting again soon and she will HAVE to wake up early every day and be awake all day. Today is a perfect example. We picked her up this morning between 9 and 9:30 and had a pretty nice day out. She only complained of being bored once. But then within five minutes of being home, she was making a mess of things and sitting on the couch playing games on her iphone.

Oh, did I not mention that? My 11 year old niece has an iphone. And a Coach purse.

I don’t even have those things. The purse I could care less about, but I have to admit I want an iphone. But I know that I can’t afford one and even if I had the $500 to get one, there are a hell of a lot of other things that are more important to spend that kind of money on than a phone. So I live without it and I get along just fine. I work hard for the things I do have. My niece is spoiled and gets whatever she wants by throwing tantrums like a two year old. It should be noted that this does not happen when she is with me – she knows she can throw a fit all she wants and I’ll ignore her and she won’t get whatever it is she wants. But her mother and maternal grandparents who she lives with… the child has never had to do chores in her life (except when she was younger and stayed with me most of the time but those good habits I tried to instill were quickly lost when she started staying with her mother full time) and she has no clue what the value of a dollar is. When we were out today we were at the toy store so she could get a birthday present for her little brother and we told her she could get one small thing for herself too. She found something she wanted and I said it was too expensive. Her response was “It’s only forty five dollars!”. To some people “only forty five dollars” may be nothing. But for us, that’s quite an investment to make, especially in a toy. When I asked her what else she might want, she picked out a $200 item. I told her she’s crazy because if we don’t have $45 for the other toy, why would we have $200 for something else? She finally settled for a $20 stuffed animal. Honestly had it been up to me she would not have gotten anything but my dad is not like me when it comes to these things.

The kid doesn’t have anything for school yet. Her mother was asking my brother for money for back to school shopping. But here’s the thing. Her mother recently got a HUGE check from a settlement from a car accident she was in a couple years ago. So, she SHOULD have plenty of money for back to school shopping. If she blew through all that money already I would love to know what the hell she spent it all on because her child should have been a top priority in how that money was spent. But whatever. We couldn’t really afford to do it but we got her some essentials for back to school; notebooks, binders, pens and pencils etc. We told her that maybe after her brother’s birthday party if my mom has given her a little shopping money we can go out again to get more back to school things. She doesn’t want to wait, she wants to go out again tomorrow. Yet again today I was telling her we just do not have the money. After the bills are paid and we get groceries and set aside gas money for my dad to be able to get to and from work for the week there is never much left, and my own income is pretty insignificant and is rarely even enough to cover my bills anymore. So this extra shopping today has really strained us, and no matter how I try to explain this to my niece she just does not get it.

I WISH her mother would give her chores at home so she could learn responsibility. I wish she would get an allowance, based on doing her chores, so she could learn the value of a dollar and how hard you have to work to earn a little bit and how fast it goes once you have it. But it’s easier for her mother to just do things herself and to give my niece whatever she wants. That’s how it always is with her. Whatever is the easiest, not whatever is BEST. And it drives me crazy, particularly when the kid is here to visit and I see and feel the effects of her being raised this way.

But I’m “just the aunt” so what I think is of no importance to anybody in this situation. So I keep my mouth shut. Except the occasional venting session such as this one.

I’m going to try, again, to wake the kid up. She’s going to be up all night. Whatever. Nothing I can do about it. It’s about time for supper too. Oh don’t get me started on that child’s ridiculously picky attitude about food. She’s “food psychic” so she doesn’t have to taste things to know whether or not she will like them. Then if I do manage to get her to taste something new, even when I can tell she does like it, she’ll still insist she doesn’t like it. Brat. I’m not cooking tonight, I have had a busy day and I’m tired and there’s a huge bowl of leftover goulash in the fridge. I’ll be reheating some of that. If she doesn’t like it, tough. She can eat it, go hungry, or learn to make her own food.

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5 thoughts on “Shoot Me…

  1. It sounds to me like what that child needs is some extreme measures taken – like taking away absolutely everything she owns or plays with, and making her work to earn the privilege of having it back. She wants to sleep all day; fine – keep her up all night, too. See how she likes that. She doesn’t want to pick up after herself – well, don’t do it for her. She expects to be waited on, and she knows if she leaves things long enough, someone will get fed up and do it for her. She has to be out-waited. It’s called “tough love”, and it sure sounds to me like she needs a humungous dose of it. I don’t envy you being in that position, my friend, and I hope you can find a way to get through to her…

    1. Unfortunately it’s up to her mother and maternal grandparents to do that, and they won’t. I do the best I can when she is visiting, but given that 99% of her time is now with her maternal family the little time I have with her to try to make a difference doesn’t seem to be enough. But I keep trying.

    1. I don’t think you’re crazy for it. I sometimes think I’d like to have one or two of my own some day. And then there are other times when I’m around other people’s kids and I can’t help but feel like being a parent is not for me. I don’t know if I’ll ever have any. For now it’s still a “maybe”. But I definitely understand your choice to not have any kids.

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