2 situations...would like your thoughts.

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Shari, Jan 10, 2010.

  1. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    You guys gave me lots of food for thought with regards to my sitauation with my list and husband. Just got back from a wonderful weekend with my family back home and had a couple of "things" happen that I wanted to bring back...my thoughts on them, and family's thoughts on them were very different...would like your take, if you don't mind.

    easy child 2 has started wetting her pants. I am very concerned about why, but also about keeping my house from stinking and laundry from molding. Back in Oct was the first time I confirmed it was happening, but still don't know why. She had taken a pair of my pants she borrowed and wet in, wadded them up, and stashed them. husband told her then that she needed to deal with it - wash them out, let someone know, something.

    She did it again this morning. Today's incident was purely waited too long to go. Happened in the kitchen. I knew it when it happened but said nothing. She went to the bathroom and changed and took the wet clothes and wadded them up inside clean, dry clothes in her suitcase, and left them. I confirmed it, found a soaked pair of undies, damp sleep pants, and wet socks (the sleep pants were very baggy so most didn't get on those...). I told husband. He did nothing. An hour or so later, I told him he needed to handle it. He asked easy child if she needed to take care of her clothes. She said no. He asked if she needed to do some laundry, again, she said no. He asked if she wet herself. She said no. Later, when I asked if it was dealt with, he said she said there wasn't a problem. So I sent him to find the clothes. He came back and said they were just damp (6 hours later). I said DUH...its been 6 hours and they're wrapped in dry flannel. Of course, more was damp, now, but nothing was soaking anymore. He wasn't goign to do anymore.

    Later, I pulled him aside and asked him if , way back when, he told her to deal with her peed in clothes or not. He said yes he did. I asked him if she'd dealt with them. He said no she hasn't. I said fix it.

    He told her he knew she wet her pants and she needed to wash them and nothing more was said.

    Scenario 2.

    husband got pulled over for speeding. easy child 2 was in the back seat. She sat up on the edge of the seat, turned around backwards, and looked at the approaching patrolman. I got onto her to turn around. husband scowled at me.
    When he got back in the car, he was unphased about the ticket. The cop reduced it to 10 over the limit.

    Wee difficult child was anxious about it. The last time anyone got pulled over it was because he took off his seatbelt and stood up in the backseat at a stoplight with a patrolman behind us. He thought this time was his fault, too. He was afraid husband was goinig to jail. Just worried in general, and able to say so.

    With anxiety rising, he started wiggling and singing. 15 miles down the road, I asked him to stop. He didn't. I asked him again, or to sing quietly. He started singing "I'm sorry", but very loud.

    husband SLAMMED on the brakes, whipped the car to the shoulder, turned around, and SCREAMED at difficult child to do what he was told.

    The brake slam would have been sufficient, but difficult child quieted and went to sleep.

    My fam witnessed these. Their take and mine was very different.

    Given my feeling that the "team" is missing....any thoughts?
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2010
  2. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Yes, but you probably wouldn't like them. I've been single and a single mom for a very long time.

    Suffice it to say, I would not be happy with how husband handled wee difficult child; especially given how he doesn't handle issues with his own child. And I would let it be known. Honestly, I wouldn't tolerate it.

    But, there's a reason I'm single, too.
  3. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Shoot. Brutal honestly works for me. I'm not shy.

    As I said, my take and my family's take were very different. I think some of you here "get" how I'm feeling...so really would like input.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2010
  4. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I think husband is not a team player. I think you carry far too much of the load and husband only reacts when something is bothering him. Note I used the word "reacts". He doesn't seem to be proactive.

    I think he was out of line in both how he reacted to wee difficult child and his lack of action with easy child 2. I think he expects you to carry everything and he just skates by. I think he is really only concerned with how things effect him. I don't think he sees this as a partnership and - brutal honesty here - I get the feeling that if you weren't there, he would have his mom taking care of him, so to speak.

    But, those are just my thoughts based on one side of events and I'm sure I'm quite biased based on my own experiences (still haven't worked that out in therapy...heh).
  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Heather, I agree with you completely.

    I wouldn't tolerate it either. And I've been married to the same man for over 30 years. And he knows I wouldn't tolerate it either. So it's not the reason you are single.

    You are entitled to your views and any bloke who doesn't agree with such views deserves to be shown the door. Don't feel that you are wrong.

  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Its very early for me so I may be off base here.

    I dont understand why husband wont deal with his own child when she is there at visitation. I might understand somewhat if he only got visitation on rare occasions if he was more of a disneyland dad but this child is at your house very often. It would be like our family never disciplining Keyana. Wouldnt be logical or good for her. It isnt good for your step daughter to have her dad not give her discipline. It will make her confused and act out to test what his limits really are.

    Now the fact that he gets so over the top irritable with wee difficult child is also a bad thing not only for wee but also for his dtr because it sends mixed signals to both kids. Actually dtr may think dad loves wee more because he actually tries to set limits for him!
  7. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Shari, I am with Marg and Heather both on this one. But then... You are describing my husband as well.

    Screaming at a child accomplishes nothing. Ignoring a situation accomplishes nothing. Somewhere in the middle would be the best situation, I would think. Gentle discipline. Given what I have heard about your situation... Yes.
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    My husband used to scream at Wiz if he didn't do what I said. It was the ONLY way/time he would put ANY limit on Wiz. He would bellyache about Wiz' behaviors, but NEVER tell him to stop or model better behavior. He would not even tell Wiz what he expected before an outing. At the time if we had 10 minutes of unpleasantness in an entire day of great behavior and fun then my husband would LOUDLY whine about the entire day being ruined.

    It did NOT last long because I had enough. I blew up a few times, tehn I got calm. If I am loud husband ignores it. If I am quiet he gets scared. Change happens when he is scared. He NEVER got better at setting limits, but he DID stop yelling. He left it all for me to do.

    He now regrets it mightily - esp after my docs have said my body breaking down is a direct result of having to deal with it all on my own.

    My husband mostly avoids parenting when I let him. I make him live with the consequences. It doesn't bug the kids, but it does bug him!

    If your husband refuses to change then you may have to leave. I would NOT tolerate anyone treating my kids like that, esp not a stepparent. Refuses to parent HIS child and then SCREAMS at yours?

    Oh, no no no no no.

    Time for some consequences for husband. BIG ones. You have to decide what you can and will tolerate, and what will motivate husband.
  9. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Thanks guys. I appreciate the input.

    These 2 scenarios happened within 4 hours of each other. And they pile onto the other little things that peeve me and then I just get royally miffed.

    I was actually not upset with husband when he only did the bare minimum to keep me happy with easy child 2.

    I had come to the conclusion that at least he'd said something. It did not go un-noticed. I decided I would tell easy child 2 that if she continues to hide peed in clothes, I will stop washing them. And leave it at that. In my mind, he had at least done something and I was halfway happy about it. Definitely ok with it.

    Until scenario 2 with wee. When wee gets "stuck", often it takes something "jarring" to get him unstuck. A compelling conversation, something really cool to look at or talk about, something, but its gotta be a "big impact" something. We were on a boring stretch of highway and I was getting nowhere. Sometimes, I will tap the brakes and say I almost hit a rabbit or something to get his attention and that's enough "jar" to jumpstart his noggin again as he'll start looking for the rabbit or something. But yelling at him wasn't needed. But even that didn't bother me...that was far more appropriate than doing NOTHING with easy child 2, after wetting herself again, lying about it again, lying to her Dad, again....all I could think was...how much better would easy child 2 be if she occassionally had the fear of God put into her by daddy...

    And then my sister in law made a mention of it. She was really unhappy with husband's lack of action with easy child 2, and I realized she's right. I've been so used to complete inaction that I was gonna walk away happy with almost complete inaction with easy child 2...while his reaction to wee was entirely over the top. Not terrible or child abuse or anything like that, but over the top, nonetheless. And his reaction to easy child 2 was absolutely nothing.

    Its not gonna take easy child 2 long to figure out the only one she has to hide from is me. And I tell ya, I'm ready to throw in the towel on that situation.

    Even husband's mom, beleive it or not, has asked me to step in and take on another bad guy role with easy child 2. I'm sure she doesn't see it that way, but I dang sure do. Why should I be the one to tell her daddy and grandma thinks she dresses like a homeless tramp? I'll buy her new clothes (as I already do) to replace the trampy koi, but I'm not gonna be the one to tell her why.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2010
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Uhhh...why are you going to go buy her clothes? Why cant daddy take her to buy clothes? Its not that hard! I am under the assumption that your husband is at least a few years older than Cory and Cory manages to go to Wallyworld and buy Keyana some clothes. Granted toddler clothes are rather easy to shop for because they are all laid out there in groups or on hangers in outfits but he does a pretty fine job of it. Im sure your husband could manage a few outfits if he knows his dtr's size and the fact that he doesnt want her to look like a homeless tramp...lol.

    Now I think a really good question is why is dtr wetting herself? Is she having bladder infections? Is there another problem? She is really too old for this behavior. This needs looking into in a major way.

    Ugh...why are so many husband's turning into pumpkins on the board right now? LOL.
  11. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I'm not. lol But I was asked. husband's mom gave me money and asked me to throw out particular items of easy child 2's wardrobe and replace them because she looks like a homeless tramp and its getting worse and worse and someone needs to do something (I complained about this 4 years ago - when she went out and bought easy child 2 a bunch of clothes behind out backs....hmm....)

    And yes, I'm having a hard time with the wetting issue. I do not want to contribute to the situation, whatever the problem may be...at the same time, I feel very trapped in what I can feasibly do for her. I have brougth it up to her counselor, and am debating talking to the school counselor, because she needs help there and she's not getting. At this point, I'm just trying to be matter of fact. LIke I do with wee, who pees the bed. It happens, we take care of it. He throws away his pull ups, puts his wet clothes in a particular spot, and is responsible for telling me if his sheets need to be changed, and I pull them and put them in the washer while he's taking a bath in the morning. (if he doesn't tell me, he "deals" (as best a 7 year old can) with his sheets at bedtime). I am trying to just expect the same from easy child 2 at this point.

    This incident was waiting too long. But I know she's wet the bed and wet herself at school, and I can't see that being a bunch of cases of all of a sudden at age 12 waiting too long to pee. So I am concerned, but again...what do I do? What can I do.

    I guess I just wanted to make sure I'm not being overly biased or expecting too much from husband and am seeing the situations clearly. AS I said, I had made how husband handled the incident with easy child 2 "ok" in my own mind...until the thing came along with wee and then my sister in law, and then its like "this is ok??? WTH?" Yet another giant "split" in our supposed "team".
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2010
  12. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Tonight husband told wee to stop acting stupid.

    Uh. Don't think so, Tim. We do NOT use the word stupid. Period.
  13. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Oh, HELL no.

    (resurrects her southern accent and mumbles under her breath) Mama Bear would have been all over that like white on rice. *snap snap snap*
  14. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Shari, it's time for you to set up a formal written contract with husband.

    Pull him aside. Do this at a therapist session if you need to.

    The contract - "I will not undermine you in front of the kids IF you pull your weight as a parent.
    Pulling your weight as a parent means - treat each child equally. That means when I ask for help to sort out a problem with easy child 2, you follow through as far as I have asked you. And if weeGFG is annoying you to the point where you are about to scream at him, ask ME to handle it."

    Add in the phrase "I will teach you how to be a good parent for easy child 2. I require your involvement. I am happy to guide tis and to even do a lot of it, but YOU must be present in every sense of the word."

    I know this implies an "or else..." but really, it sounds like the "or else" is tat the marriage will be in trouble.

    What you need to do is become SuperNanny. You know those scenes where she is talking the parents though using her methods? Where she says, "Now what you need to do, Mummy, is take her by the hand to the naughty chair. Now get down at her level and tell her how unhappy you are with her behaviour and what you want from her." They do this in front of the child (which I've never been happy with) but it does seem to work; the child does accept this as coming form the parent and not SuperNanny.

    So next time you know easy child 2 has hidden wet clothes - make husband get easy child 2 and together, get the clothes. Talk husband through it if you have to, tell husband what he has to say to easy child 2 and make him say it, even if all he is doing is repeating what you say. In other words, treat husband like another difficult child who has to learn the steps of a procedure.

    Similarly with buying the new clothes - make husband come along. So what if most blokes hate clothes shopping with women? Tough bikkies! It's HIS job, she's HIS daughter. YOu can help but frankly HE needs to be there to see her try the clothes on so he can learn what is a good fit and what isn't. She needs him to be involved so she can hear him say, "That looks nice, honey."
    Then afterwards, reward him by taking him for coffee somewhere.

    Don't do this. It will only allow the problem to escalate. PLus she will get very good at ignoring the wee smell and will wear the contaminated clothes. Others in the family are being affected by this (she borrowed your undies and did this to them) plus the clothes will literally rot if left (I speak form experience).
    What you have to do is teach her how to do her own washing. The BEST way to hide an accident, is to completely clean it up. If the clothes are washed, dried and put away, who will know? Plus it's the grown-up way of dealing with it.
    I firmly believe that as soon as a child can walk, they can clean up their own accidents. No punishment aspect to it, merely learning to meet personal responsibilities.

    Another important part of the post-accident clean-up - washing the child's body. Even if it's just wee, she needs to wash her skin clean to avoid ammonia build-up and the smells plus skin irritation. We use wet wipes.

    You've reminded me - I found the bathroom door shut yesterday morning. It's normally left open, so I asked difficult child 3 why the door was shut. He was embarrassed, didn't want to tell me. I was thinking, "OK, 15 yo boy, boxes of tisses time..." because he was saying, "You really don't want to know."

    Turned out he had a rather messy "number 2" as he said, and he had gone in to the bathroom with a paper towel from the kitchen to wash himself. I asked him what he did with the paper towel - he said he flushed it.
    I said, "good thinking, but wrong. Our sewerage system can't cope with that, I know it sounds yukky but it should have been put in a plastic bag and put in the rubbish."

    I showed him that we have special bins in the bathrooms, there for the ladies of the house and those who visit. Those bin contents are thrown out in plastic bags, in the household rubbish. Also in the toilets we have boxes of baby wipes and those are there for all sorts of reasons, including cleaning up after a messy No 2.
    I wasn't angry with him because he really tried to sort things out. But I used the opportunity to teach him the right way in case there's a next time.

    Oh and I almost forgot - when dealing with ammoniacal clothing or any body fluid/excrement soiling (including sweat stains and BO) spray the clothing with white vinegar. or splash on some white vinegar. Then toss them in the laundry hamper. It won't matter if it dries before washing day, but it does greatly help deodorise clothes as well as knock out a lot of body origin stains. We bought a cheap spray bottle and some generic vinegar (not the stuff you put in your salad! Just the rough stuff) and keep it in the laundry. husband uses the same vinegar in the rinse for the ham bag, to keep the ham fresh.

  15. ML

    ML Guest

    I think husband sounds like many men I know who do everything they can to avoid conflict and act out their anger instead of dealing with it head on.

    I feel bad for wee difficult child and easy child 2 both. Sounds like you are handling an awful lot all by yourself.

    Gentle hugs of understanding. been there done that. I am amazed that my husband is actually going to therapy with me and talking about issues he previously clammed up about. There is hope.

  16. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Yeah, "stupid" is my trigger word. We do not use that word in reference to a person. Period. My horse has acted stupid once or twice (you know, like when he was 4 and decided he would lay down on a tree to see if I'd get off...) But using that word around here is a rarity...

    Marg, thanks for the tips. I did not know white vinegar would work to delay washing...this will be good to know and good to carry, as wee still wets the bed, etc...

    I am entirely willing to help husband, but he has to step up and put forth some effort. If things continue as they are, all I can do is a) not be here or b) remove myself from the situations that I can do nothing about due to lack of help from the rest of the fam (ie easy child 2). Just like the email from the teacher today...what can I do? Really? She has told her mom and her dad that the work is done. They bought it. Again. I know its not done and the teacher...well, you see who she contacted. So what do I do? I just can't carry that load anymore.

    Thanks, all.

    Going to show husband the school report and the email now. Then I'm going to bed.
  17. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yes, I think I would serve him the school info on dtr to him for his breakfast every morning. Place it on his plate instead of his toast and eggs, right next to his coffee.
  18. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I call my dog stupid when she can't figure out that she should go potty after being home in her crate for eight hours and I let her outside instead of just being happy that she's outside. Actually, it's "big toopid girl - Go POTTY!" with a hug and a rub of the ears. All she understands is that I love her.

    But never a person, and never a child.
  19. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    That's forgivable, even in my house. lol

    My mom has a "stupid room" in her house. Its a great big play room and the kids can go there and run about and play baseball and build forts and whatever else they want when everyone is there together. I still don't like that name, my brother named it based on what was permissable in that room, but its tolerable. Its a room. Not a person or the people in it.
  20. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Exactly. After an incident in which Jett was hitting himself in the forehead and saying, "stupid, stupid, stupid"... WOW. "Stupid" and "shut up" are taboo in my house. So is "that's gay" when Onyxx doesn't like something. I pointed out to her she was actually saying it was a happy thing... LOL

    Shari, I'm starting to wonder if you and I are alter egos or something, and so are our DHs...;)