Son coming Monday for 3 nights. Suggests babysitting!

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by LucyJ, Sep 12, 2014.

  1. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    I last saw my son in June. It's been a hectic time at the squat since the illegal eviction attempt. Court cases are ongoing.

    H is away with work next week which drops me in it as I work in the evenings and we have a 10 year old, so I usually go out not long after H gets home from work. I presumed that I would cancel students for next week.

    Texts from my son suggested it was about time he came and saw us (and brought his smelly washing), fine I suppose as long as the usual rules apply - straight in the shower etc. H is away next week and my son usually picks these times to visit. Son then suggested that he could watch his sister while I go out to work in the evenings.

    Now, that's a quandary isn't it?

    Can I leave her with him in the house for a couple of hours?

    Will he definitely come or should I cancel my students anyway because I can't solidly rely on him?

    Should I cancel my students anyway and just spend some time with my son if he does come for a few days?

    At least I'm not thinking whether or not he can come, so that's a big step forward. But he's still a smelly, bonkers hippy. Leaving him to look after his young sister? What could happen ...
  2. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member


    I used to wonder these same things, or similar. Mostly because I travel for work a lot, and I have a dog and 3 cats (and fish in a fish pond, and a rooftop container garden that needs watering). I usually pay a 20 something to stay in the house, so I used to wonder...should I let difficult child stay there and take care of things instead? He does love animals. He CAN be very responsible, making check lists, checking things off....

    but you know what? I never did it.

    In your case, though, he wouldn't be alone in the house day and night, so he can't veer too far off course without you knowing it.

    If you weigh the pros (in this case, you would get to work, and your son would get a place to stay and a sense of family and responsibility.) and the cons (scenario 1, he doesn't show up and you are scrambling...that is bad but survivable--scenario 2 he shows up and does something lousy while baby sitting? what would lousy be? She is 10, so she won't fall down the toilet or wander out the front door...what is the worst that would happen? I am asking this seriously, since I don't know him or her...)...and then feel what each scenario feels like in your gut, you will know the answer. don't need to answer or decide in this second!!! think on it.

    Let me know how this evolves.


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  3. Childofmine

    Childofmine trying to do this thing one day at a time Staff Member

    Lucy, that IS a puzzle. Hmmm....I'm just responsible is your 10 year old? If he left, did something nutty, whatever, how would she react/handle it?

    I know we WANT to give them a chance, but....

    I would do that gut check that Echo talks about. If it's reasonably okay, then try it the first night. Can you cancel after that?

    If your gut doesn't feel good, cancel your students this time, see how it goes this time, and maybe you can try this next time.

    Let us know. I'm glad you are seeing him, and I know you are too.
  4. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    His nuttiness seems to be wrapped up in his lifestyle. It doesn't seem like he is violent. I would give him a chance maybe cancel one night of classes, call and forewarn the second night of classes, and then plan to teach on a third night.

    This allows you to spend time with him and let him watch her without making a three night commitment to it.

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  5. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    The worst that could happen is that he'd get wound up about something (maybe some political report on the news) and his mood would worry her and he'd storm off as soon as I got in. He'd never hurt her or neglect her. Yes, she's 10, not 3, and is pretty responsible. She'll probably just take herself off to bed at a reasonable time and read for a while and he'll raid my fridge and help himself to H's beer.

    Yes I'm glad I'm seeing him, it's been a while, he can fill me in on what's been happening. I'll use my toolbox of non-committal phrases and nod and smile and get a good sense of how he is and where his head is. Hopefully it will be ok and then I can go another few months without dwelling too much on him and how he is.

    I've done this almost exactly. I've cancelled my Monday night class and plan for the 3 of us to go to the beach for a walk and supper. I'm going to work the second night, as long as I judge everything to be ok, and let him spend some time with his sister and know that I trust him to be responsible and also for him to feel that he's doing something useful for me too. I've warned the Wednesday night class that I might have a problem and that I'll let them know asap, then I'll decide what to do once I see how the Tuesday night goes (and if he's still here - 3 nights in a house is long time for him, he gets stir-crazy after a while so might want to leave on the Weds morning anyway). I've also spoken to the 2 middle kids and they both said they'd call over and see him while he's here.

    I'll let you know how it goes - I'm nowhere near as anxious as I used to be about him coming here - I just feel laid back about it really, whatever happens, happens.

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  6. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Sounds like a good plan. Hope you have a great visit, Lucy!
  7. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I like the way you have decided to handle everything, Lucy. Flexible, yet prepared.

    Glad to hear the other children are aware, and will be on scene if needed.

    I admire your response, Lucy.

    I was all set to recommend cancelling the classes.

    This is better.

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