Transition days...anyone else have issues?
I dread Wednesdays. That is the day my SS comes back to our house, either after a two day stretch w/BM or a 5 day one. The 5 day ones are always worse.
Yesterday was particularly rought b/c SS had been with BM for two 5 day stretches in a row---she got two weekends in a row to makeup for DH's holiday weekend on 4th of July.
So in the past 14 days, he's only been with us for 4 days. That is VERY unusual.
Anyway, when I say the transition is rough, I just mean that SS is in an ornery form when he gets to our house. I KNOW that it's tough on him---different homes, different rules, expectations, etc. The first day is always a period of adjustment and testing boundaries. By the 2nd, 3rd day things are fine.....that's why I honestly think it would be EASIER if he never left! I am really looking forward to next summer b/c DH and BM will do the modified summer schedule which is 2 weeks with one parent, 2 weeks with the other, and so on for 12 weeks.
Last night sucked! And my DH was really ticking me off b/c he didn't handle anything.
DD and SS are both in different camps this week. As part of DD's camp, she camps out tonight. She is a tad nervous---not about the sleeping away from home--but about wearing pull-ups. She doesn't mind in front of her school friends b/c they have never bothered her about it---but she is just worried about a new group of kids. And when I say worried---she really is not THAT concerned. She is a pretty confident kid, and nothing phases her too much. Anyway, per her request, I went on a special trip to find pull-ups that look like regular underwear. Found these goodnite things that are supposed to look like boxers---and they're pink. They are okay, not great, but okay. DD was looking at them w/me last night and SS came into the bedroom to see what we were doing. DD asked me in front of him if I thought the pull-ups looked okay, and I said I tohught they were great. SS says "they look like baby diapers to me." I just gave him a LOOK and said "stop." He proceeded to say it THREE more times. "They look like baby diapers to me." All with a big grin on his face.
I was fuming! I mean, if it had been reversed, and my DD saying it to him or to ANYONE---well, i don't know what I would have done but I definitely would have removed her from the room and laid out some sort of consequence. The second time he said it, I said "ok, you need to stop talking and leave the room" and he said it again, still smiling. That's the thing about kids and words---they are powerful weapons and, really, you cannot MAKE someone stop talking.
After the third time he said it, I told him that he needed to go to his room and wait for DH. Which of course he didn't, he said he "had to go to the bathroom." This is a SS tactic. EVERY SINGLE time he gets sent to time-out, he has to pee. Every time! DH sends him to his room--all of a sudden, his bladder is gonna explode, he cries, and DH lets him go to the bathroom. It is soooo annoying. And he never pees, just runs the faucet and stays in the bathroom until DH yells at him to get back to time out. I've pointed this out to DH but he never does anything....he usually starts off telling SS that he has to wait, then SS cries, says he has to go really bad...and DH finally relents. UGH.
So DH comes in from mowing the grass about 5 mins later and I recapped it to him. He took SS upstairs to talk to him, and SS starts in with "I was just telling the truth. We're supposed to tell the truth and DD asked if they looked okay....and they didn't!"
So this is what ticks me off---DH comes down and replays THAT to me and then says "well, it was your own fault for letting him be in the room. You should have made him leave before he saw them. You know he would make fun."
GRRRRRR. I Was in DD's bedroom, doesn't get more private! And yeah--I probably should have asked SS to leave, but I didn't want to be rude from the get-go. I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt, and I honestly WAS surprised that he was mean about the pull-ups b/c usually he is a pretty tender kid. He has never really made fun of DD like that. So---I attribute it to a transtion sort of issue.
Whatever. It's just tough b/c with disengaging, I don't really want to be a disciplinarian w/SS, especially when DH is home to handle things. But then--I also don't like *tattling* on SS either.
So then---we had dinner. I had done a pork tenderloin in the crockpot, just a very simple recipe. Tenderloin, 2 cups of water, little bit of onion powder, salt, pepper, 2 bags of baby carrots, and 4 potatoes, peeled and cut. I make it w/chicken all the time and the kids love it. Both kids like pork, too, so I thought this would be yummy. And it was---but SS was just so awful about it at dinner. The WHOLE dinner was constant "this is terrible. This is the worst thing I've eaten in a hundred years. I hate it. I am groing to throw up."
I mean, it was UNREAL. UNREAL. He is generally a picky eater, but has gotten better lately, and this was the first time in many months he's been rude at dinner, and this was definitely the most extreme example. It must have gone on for at least 10-15 mins.
And does DH do anything? Not really. Kept telling him to stop...but SS kept right on and finally I said "I've lost my appetite' and left the table.
Once again--I was fuming. I was VERY quiet and calm about leaving but inside, I was boiling over. All the while, my poor DD just sits there not saying a word and I am kicking myself mentally for exposing her to this stuff.
And then the rest of the night was just lots of inappropriate words---"turd, crap, stupid" etc over and over. All the while DH is saying "stop, stop, say it again, you'll go to bed, say it again...." and NOTHING happens.
I KNOW it's hard on SS because these are all words he uses at BM's but we don't allow them here. And he tests b/c it's a transition, but that doesn't make it any easier for us.
It just feels like the transition days are all fighting and arguing and tension and I HATE IT. EVERYONE feels the tension and it's just not what I want for anyone in our family.
Step-parenting is the HARDEST thing I have ever done. I just think to myself, "well, if he were my child, this is how I would handle it' but he's NOT my child and I can't handle it, so I just grit my teeth and wait for DH to do something, which never seems to be the right response IMO.
I am not really blaming SS here, either. DH is the one calling the shots here. He could be firmer, etc. He doesn't. I don't know why.
EVERYONE Has commented about this to me. Both my parents, on many separate occasions have mentioned to me that DH never follows through with anything, that he threatens a lot, or keeps repeating thigns, but never follows through. It's true.
I don't say anything about it really anymore b/c there's no point. I just handle DD and think I am doing a pretty good job. She is polite, outgoing, confident, and well-liked at school, with friends, family, etc. I mean, sure, she has her moments like any child, but for the most part, she is really so well-behaved. Everyone from teachers to parents to family members comment on that. I am NOT saying I am a perfect parent by ANY means, but I do my best, and it seems to be working so far.
UGH. I just want to scream today. I mean, really---it gets so bad that I just feel like maybe I should leave on Weds. or something!