Not sure... w/ a little dread!

imamommyJune 20, 2010

I have a short vent.... not sure what I should do.

SD is with BM for the summer. She is with us on the weekends during summer. Every year, the county fair is in June and ends on Father's Day.

Background: Two years ago, I thought it would be great to surprise DH with tickets to the fair for Father's day. SD & I went to buy the tickets for the three of us while he was at work, so she knew I bought me a ticket. We got to the fair & midway through, she is crying. DH asks her why she is crying & she takes him aside (not very far) and tells him (loud enough for me to hear) that "I didn't know SHE was going to be here!" which hurt my feelings and made me angry because she was with me when I bought the tickets. I vowed not to bother next time, so last year I just skipped the fair altogether. DH didn't take her as he won't go unless I plan it...

Current issue: This year, I am taking DGS. I wanted to take him last Thursday, the first day of the fair because SD was still with her mom. I do not enjoy going anywhere with her lately & figured it would be the best solution. Well, I couldn't go because I was catering a wedding on Saturday & needed to prep Thursday & Friday. So, my last chance is today, Father's Day. We are working until 4 and SD is supposed to be picked up at 6. I asked DH if he was going to take SD to the fair, he said no. Then I told DH that I was planning to take DGS but I would wait until after SD was picked up. Then he decided to call BM's mother & arrange for SD to be picked up tomorrow so he can bring SD to the fair with us.

I am a bit irritated with him for that. I just want to spend a couple of hours taking DGS to see the animals & maybe a few kiddie rides, if he's big enough. I don't really want to listen to SD ask DH to buy her everything & he tells her no, she whines. It just is NOT pleasant for me to be around her anymore. She came back from BM's wearing short shorts & tight tank top (trampy clothes) and wearing lipstick. Unfortunately, things have progressed to where I don't really do anything for her because she treats me as if I don't exist.

So, our options are to separate... he takes her one way, I take DGS another... or we go together & I can suck it up when she annoys me. Either way, I won't enjoy myself as much. I know it's just the fair, but it's indicative of how things are and it's just plain sad. I hate feeling this way & don't know how to change it.

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I dont think a child wanting to spend the day alone with bioparent, especailly after not seeing him/her for a month.

Her father should be allowed to supervise clothing decesions while on your time.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 8:38PM
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I suggest you go two different ways at the fair. It has more to do with the age differences of the kids in my thinking. GS is going to love just being out with all the nose and excitement going on around him.

I took the little ones on rides where I could ride too, like the merry-go-round or the petting zoo area always had the babyseats and the guy would escort the pony round and no chance of falling off. Kids loved it.

With the older SD, she likely won't like the things GS can do and see. Why give her the chance to whine? DH can take her off to do stuff she'll enjoy and it will give those two some one on one time...afterall it was his idea to bring her.

Go to the fair, enjoy the time with GS, don't let the other two tag-alongs spoil what you planned to do. You want everyone to have a goodtime and have fun.

As a rule on shorts at my daugher's school, the girl's can't wear shorts any shorter than the bottom of their fingertips when they hold their arms down to their side. As that's what she can wear to school, that's all the shorts she has. So far , knock on wood, she has not questioned it or wanted something shorter for home/summer.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 9:08PM
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go separate ways at the fair, let SD enjoy her dad (and whine with him LOL) you enjoy your GS, blame it on age difference. They can't really participate at the same events. It does not sound like a fun time with whining SD, sounds like a torture to me.

as about clothes though...I am not sure if i totally agree...

short shorts, how short? DD used to wear shorts (not at school) at 11-12, until her thighs got too big for that LOL. tank tops could be OK too. DD used to wear those, and she certainly is not trampy/trashy at all. Shorts and tank top in a hot climate could be OK. Depends if they are too tight of course. Lipstick is not appropriate at 11.

I was able to wear shorts until late 30s. I was very small and could wear anything, I never looked trashy in my life. I just don't have it in me. I think some women are trashy no matter what they wear and women can be classy in short shorts. Class is either there or it's not, no matter what one wears. It goes deeper than that.

But I agree if clothes is too revealing it is just a bad idea.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 11:08PM
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Well, Ima, if it helps you feel any better about being treated like you don't exist, I will commiserate: I was blamed today for that DH took away 30 minutes of SS's computer time when SS mouthed off. I was taking a nap at the time of the incident!

I'm with JustMeToo. I hope you decided to go, but to go separate ways and say it's because of the age gap of the kids.

As for the clothes, don't mention anything to SD about it being a trampy outfit. Just make sure you always have a change of clothes if you can't take her home between pickup and wherever you are headed. Use the excuse of "It's cold in there so you need more layers" or "It's a fancier sort of place but you've got some jam on your top" or "It's a messy activity, so we'd hate to take you back to Mom's with a stain on your clothes."

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 1:07AM
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I only mention about the clothes because it's another summer of BM letting SD do whatever she wants. She's been gone 2 weeks & has gained about 10 lbs. The shorts she was wearing were so tight (maybe from gaining the weight) that they were riding up & the tank top was skin tight. I agree, shorts & tank tops are appropriate during summer... and she can wear what she wants at her mom's house if her mom lets her. She could wear what we deem appropriate for our house, but she doesn't care what WE think. She knows that's not allowed here but she comes back wearing it & has an attitude of "my mom let me wear it here so what are you gonna do about it?" It is just irritating. It is really sad to see what she is becoming but she is not my daughter & I have nothing to do with it... she has made up her mind that she is going to be like her mother & I guess that is normal for girls to want to be like their mothers. Unfortunately, her mother is a tramp that thinks the only things important in life are having a man & being hott 'n sexxy. Whatever! I only mentioned it because it's part of what I find irritating. I don't say a word to her about her clothes. It is not my problem to worry about what she wears, I just find her attitude annoying.

As for the fair, we went together. Our agreement was that DH pay for himself & SD. (he is terribly tight with money) I paid for DGS & me. My daughter joined us after she got off work. For the most part, it was fairly enjoyable. It started out with me taking DGS to the animal section to look at the farm animals. SD rolled her eyes & did a few deep sighs to let us know how she felt. Then she ran into a friend from school & told her she was not having a good time... loud enough for everyone to hear. More than once, I told DH he can go take her on rides, etc. He wanted to stay together. He bought a funnel cake for us to share & he asked he to hold it for a minute. While he was turned around, she shoved half into her mouth... and then whined that she wanted some when I took a piece. He ran out of money (he only takes what his spending limit is, which isn't much) and then she asked him for an ice cream. He told her he is out of money so she asked me to buy her one. I guess it wouldn't annoy me so much if she didn't have that attitude... unfortunately it's the same one her mom has with us, which makes it harder. BM will be snide & full of attitude, but when she wants something she will put on the 'nice' and all is okay as long as she gets what she wants. Tell her no and feel her wrath. SD is becoming more & more like that. I told her no to an ice cream and gave her half of mine.

and kkny, she spent the whole weekend with DH. I went to the wedding on Saturday, she stayed with DH. I would have been fine with him going off with her at the fair, I just would have enjoyed it more if she had gone back to her mom & we could go to the fair together with the baby.

I guess I was feeling a bit guilty because I really would rather have gone after she went back to her mom's. But, then why should I feel guilty for wanting to spend the evening with my DH & DGS? SD was supposed to go to her mom's so it wasn't going to affect her normal schedule. SD went to the fair a couple of weeks ago at her mom's house too. I sorta feel bad that he hadn't planned to take her, but it also annoyed me that as soon as I planned it for DGS, he wanted to bring her along too ~knowing how she has been treating me~ and in a way, expect me to lead the show... which was why he didn't go off on his own. Then I felt guilty every time I bought something for DGS in front of her because DH won't spend (waste is his word) on stuff (junk is his word) at a fair.

Anyway, it's over & was fun for me. Not sure if SD had a good time.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 4:13AM
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she gained 10lb in 2 weeks???

shorts riding up and skin tight tops certainly is a terrible idea, especially if she is not a small girl. Hopefully at this age you could still control it.

I think it is wrong for DH to drag along but then not buying for SD and not taking her on rides while you were buying stuff for DGS and entertain him.

It is like if i would go with my brother's family to a fair and then I would be buying stuff for DD and they wouldn't buy for their kids because their money is tight, it would be mean to their children to watch DD getting stuff. SD and DGS are part of the same family. How is it one kid cannot get stuff because money is tight, then why is the other treated differently?

either people buy for all kids in the family or go separate ways at a fair. I think if money is tight and there is a spending limit then he MUST go separate ways so she does not see that. And no matter how annoying she is why did she have to do 1-year-old activities while she really should be doing rides or some other age appropriate stuff.

None of this is your fault, you did everything right. But your DH seems to rely too much on you to organize everything and then puts everyone in uncomfortable position. I admire his attitude about money (I wish i was like that, I spend way too much). But he overdid it this time. And really aren't you already taking too many responsibilities?

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 8:50AM
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That must have been so frustrating for you! You knew exactly what was going to happen, (you'd have SD around trying to ruin everyone's fun) and it did.

DH has done the same thing to me a few times with his older SS17 over the past year or so. Honestly I think sometimes he was just worried that SS would be in one of his teenage moods and DH didn't want to get into an argument or disagreement and thought perhaps if I was there that it was less likely to happen or something. Actually, come to think of it, it usually worked. Maybe your DH thinks you have some kind of calming female super-powers and/or wants SD to be around you as a good female (non-trashy) influence.

When we took SS8 to the fair last year we headed the whole "I want" thing off at the pass. We told him as soon as we got there how much money he was allowed to spend (not counting dinner money). He was told he could spend it on snacks like ice cream, rides, attractions, souvenirs, or he could save all/any part of it and take it home to put in his bank. That worked spectacularly! We still stopped to look at all of the fair trash but as soon as he saw how much it cost and knew that it was coming out of HIS money it was suddenly much less desirable. He ended up bringing half of it home for the piggy bank to save it up for a toy (he's a very good saver).

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 10:15AM
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mattie: That's the thing. I think he felt guilty that he was going and maybe regretted not taking her because we had discussed him taking her on Saturday but he decided not to. He did forewarn her about pestering to buy things because I told him privately before we left, that if she incessantly asked for things that I was going to pack up & come home.. I am not going to spend the entire evening listening to their usual "daddy can I... " and "NO, stop asking!" I don't know what he told her but she didn't let me hear her asking for much, except when he ran out of money. (and money isn't THAT tight... DH is tight with spending his money.) It would have been a good idea for him to give SD a set amount of money. I was buying things like a picture & mousepad with DGS's picture that says "Love You Daddy" to give my son when he returns. I got a few things that were personalized like that & took lots of pictures for my son. My daughter took SD on rides.

I have come to accept that SD is who she is. None of my influence seems to rub off on her, nor DH's mother who also tries. SD wants to wear make up, talk to boys, wear skin tight clothes, listen to songs with nasty lyrics, watch movies she is too young to see, and she eats WAY too much. (personally, I think the eating is a problem because it is probably how she deals with her feelings & she is full of frustration/anger/resentment regarding her situation with her mom & us.) She is there for summer, her mom is not working & is staying home with the new baby, and SD has been spending lots of time with grandma's & babysitters. & her mom lets her do all those things she wants.. eat whenever and whatever and however much she wants, stay up as late as she wants, showers/brushes teeth when she wants, and apparently wear make up like her older sister & the tight clothes.

I do agree with finedreams that trashy isn't always the clothes. A lot of it is the attitude BM & SD & SD's sister all have that they are hott & sexxy chicks. The worse part is that none are all that attractive. BM smokes/drinks/partes & looks years older than she is... even when she was younger not pretty. All of DH's other ex girlfriends are pretty & with BM, I don't get it except that he was fresh out of his divorce. SD's sister is kinda plain/homely and looks exactly like BM did at her age. and SD has changed her looks a lot in the last year. She started combing her hair into her face to cover her eyes, she started wearing glasses & chose black frames that make her look like Waldo and with the way she combs her hair, she looks dorky/goofy. & the added weight does not help. I am not saying that to be mean, but I think there is a psychological reason she is changing her appearance so drastically... she doesn't even look like her school picture anymore. (kinda like these kids that dye hair black or colors & dress weird...) she is heading that way & BM lets her do what she wants which sends a message to SD that mom doesn't care about her enough to guide her. I see the trainwreck in the distance & so does DH but he feels helpless because SD is adamant in being this way. She lies, sneaks & defies us. We take her to counseling, she lies & manipulates the counselors.

It IS very frustrating. It goes much deeper than DH being a clod about planning things & being tight with his money. I have thrown my hands up because now I have my DGS to worry about and take care of. I can't fix SD's life, neither can DH... she has her mind set to get her mom's attention and until she wakes up or realizes how much she is hurting herself and is not going to get what she wants from her mom... she is not going to be receptive to our influence. She just rebels at it now. (and if it were up to me, I think I might send her back to live with her mom full time & she would see that her mom does not really want her there... but sadly, she already sees that mom does not want her during the summer. It is probably a strain on her relationship with boyfriend so she sends her to grandma's house or with babysitters. But, it's not my decision, I am just a stepmom)

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 11:12AM
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IMA it sounds like you are doing the best you can in the situation you are in. All you can do is control what goes on in your home and hope that eventually she sees the differences and comes to appreciate the stability and boundries of your home.

The way she looks when she is with you and dh reflects directly on both of you. I would tell her that it does and that is why you have guidelines for her. She has to shower and brush her teeth! As for the clothes I would not have a problem with telling sd flat out that her clothing is too tight and looks inappropriate and then handing her clothing that fits her correctly. I also would not have a problem enforcing a no make-up rule at my own home when she is there. My sd's are older than her and don't wear much make-up. They are both allowed to wear shiny clear lip glosses or even lightly tinted lip glosses. That is the extent of their make-up really. For special occasions (school dances, etc.) I have helped them apply some eye liner and really light eye shadows.

I know it is frustrating to watch her bm neglect her and send her off and then see sd craving her mothers attention and love even more. For some reason that is just how things work out. The worse the parent treats the child the more they long for that parent. And then good parents like you and I sit in the background getting stepped on and taken for granted. I think that is one of the hardest parts of parenting/stepparenting.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 12:42PM
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What a mess... And I think you're right. It's hardest to see the trainwreck you're headed for in the future and not be able to head it off...

Have you ever seen a web site called PeopleOfWalmart dot com? It's a mean-spirited collection of photos taken of people shopping at Walmart with snarky comments, and a large number of them are of overweight women wearing too-tight clothes and too much make-up. Most of them make you want to just bang your head on the table and rant "Don't they know how they look?!" Anyway -- I'm wondering if a few minutes spent with SD on this site might not make a bit of an impact on her fashion sense?

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 2:31PM
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sweeby, you are in rare form today! I love it.

I do think it's hard sometimes for young ladies to know how to properly dress - as finedreams said, an outfit that can be very cute if properly fitted on a trim girl can look absolutely appalling when too tight on an overweight girl.

Even if money is tight is there any possibility of a shopping trip to a second-hand store? Maybe there's a female (or gay male!) relative she gets along with well and it could be a few hours of looking through fashion magazines and finding treasures? It could even be put forth as "Let's get a new outfit and hairstyle that is outside of our norm". That might work especially well if followed by any kind of family event where everyone is prepared to oooh and ahhh at the transformation.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 2:52PM
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I am concerned that if ima shows SD that website and SD goes home and tells mom that ima and her DH made fun of white trash-excuse my language (because pardon me but that's what the website does), then BM would think that ima gives SD hints how BM and SD and her whole family are w.t. Seriously. I wouldn't do that under the circumstances. I am going to email the website to DD though, some people on the website dress exactly how our local wallmart visitors. LOL

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 7:37PM
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I spent too much time on that site today too. Gave me a laugh.

Finedreams is right, BM calls herself a "redneck" and to be honest, some of the pictures on there, SD might say they are "cool". What is that saying... you can take the girl outta the gutter but you can't take the gutter outta the girl? Sometimes it's just who they are and they are proud to be white trash or 'rednecks' and nothing wrong with being proud of who you are. Sometimes, we have to accept people are different & I totally agree that SD would tell her mom that I was putting her down or making fun of her. That is why I say nothing to her at all about her clothes or weight. We have thrown some things away as a consequence when DH tells her no she can't wear that & she sneaks it & gets caught, goes straight to the trash. She protests that her mom bought that & she is told that if she isn't going to follow the rules, she can leave things her mom buys at home. Then it is not about the clothing, it is about following the rules. BM has not yet argued with that rationale. It would be world war 3 if we were to say we tossed something because it was trashy looking... BM would get offended. She can't argue that SD should be allowed to break the rules... not successfully anyway.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 8:29PM
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That website cracks me up. Yeah, I know, it's mean-spirited...but still...LOL.

Ima I think you handled everything really well. And don't feel guilty for wishing it could have just been DGS. He is an innocent toddler and SD has given you a lot of crap over the years. I know a lot of how she is isn't *her* fault---it's BM's---but all of that certainly takes its toll on you. The relationship now is totally a product of all the drama that's gone on. Don't feel bad for not wanting a part of it anymore.

Hopefully down the road, SD will come around but if she doesn't, there is no point in allowing her to ruin your life. You have done a good job of distancing yourself while still being a caring SM and supporting DH in parenting his daughter.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 4:31PM
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