Being rock in the stormy sea and all-around referee is exhausting!

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by SuZir, Jul 3, 2015.

  1. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    In other words, nothing new under the sun.

    Two weeks of Ache at home and now he seems to start settling and calming down. He so knows my and hubby's buttons and has been pushing all of them. We have stood that surprisingly well. No big showdowns at all, but instead backing down and giving him more room. Seems to have frustrated him quite a lot, but this week he has been starting to get a grip better all the time so that seems to be easing a bit.

    but playing referee between the three of the; hubby, Ache and Joy is still as fun as ever. Currently merry-go-round is over firewood. Our big old house needs a lot of it and considering it id free for us, we prefer to it over other heating options. But it being free means that first father in law has spent weeks thinning his forests, has brought and piled trunks to their, our and sister in law's yard and at spring he has made firewood from those.

    Help is very welcome in using firewood processor so one of us has always helped father in law both making our firewood and his. Hubby hates it, and while I'm of help, someone stronger is more help. So as soon as Ache was old enough we have started enlisting boys to help father in law. Joy hates it as much as hubby. And because father in law making our firewood is such a huge help for us, we have been reluctant to saddle him with such a grouchy helper, though father in law has said that he feels it would be good for Joy to help and learn also that skill, and that he can handle grinches on his worksite, and reminded us that he even stood having hubby sulking through about almost any 'real work' as a young man. Still, when Ache has been available, we have not wanted to force Joy to help and sent Ache instead. This was true also this spring.

    Now those firewoods are in huge pile next to the barn and someone has to move them in and pile them properly. It will take about 35-40 hours of work. I may do some of it, I may even guilt hubby to do some, but rest of it should be Joy's chore. After all, Ache spent much more time making those firewoods out of his vacation time. Joy again finds this so very unfair considering he does have a summerjob and "Ache does nothing." Of course considering that Joy's summerjob includes answering a phone few times a day (and telling that person they are looking for is at vacation), maybe taking some copies for someone, making some mailing and sometimes running some errand or archiving something or shredding some of what does not need to be archived any more, but mostly sitting there and playing with his phone or computer, I'm not so sold that he would be too exhausted to do any chores when he comes home.
  2. This is so familiar. Our Difficult Child is like this, too. Everyone else can be working and working in the yard at physically exhausting jobs. Then if we sit down to rest for a few minutes and ask him to help, "it's not fair" because the rest of us aren't out there working at the same time he is. Sigh…

    Hang in there. It's so draining.
  3. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    How long will Ache be home? If it's in a few weeks, is there a reason he can't help for say...20 hours total (10 per kid) and then Joy do the rest after Ache leaves? Sounds like he had 3 years head start on Joy helping his grandfather as it is. But, he does get the benefit when he's home, so he should help some.

    Reasonable and fair. And will likely not seem that way to either boy. There are some times that I'm glad we had just the one.

    Hang in there.
  4. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Problem is, that Ache has already put maybe 50-60 hours or more work on those darn firewoods if I remember correctly. I think they did them over a week with father in law in April and most days were long. Okay, some of that was for sister in law's or grandparent's firewoods, but again, considering the work father in law puts into them, that is the least we can participate. Joy has put in maybe three hours (he has piled some of them in few evenings now.) We can of course ask Ache to help Joy in putting those in, but then he will be a one doing vast majority of the whole firewood work in our family. And considering he spends less than two months in the house and other of those months is light warming season and in other we do not use much of them at all, it is a bit much.

    Ache will also be home three more weeks (or he will likely go to visit his girlfriend abroad at some point and likely also visit other people) and piling the firewood can't wait till August. Early summer was wet this year and that is only reason they are still out. Nights start to turn humid in couple weeks and we need to get them in before that happens and they start to get wetter instead of drier. Usually we try to get them in before end of June.

    It is a three part process. First cutting the tress during early winter which father in law usually does alone, then making firewoods out of them in April in which father in law needs help and then piling our part of firewood to our own barn in June when they have dried a bit outside first. Last part is often easier to do alone than with anyone, because there is limited room in our firewood section of the barn. If there are two or even more people they just hinder each other.

    And to be honest: It is Joy's job. He is very busy during his sport season with sport and school and we ask him very little on house chores. Now he is not busy. The kid could actually take part of the house chores for once. If it wasn't that I would likely do it myself. I have time and while it is not the funniest job in the world, keeping peace would be almost worth it. But it would feel selling Joy short.

    If this last part would also be working with father in law I would probably need to prohibit Ache getting involved to keep him out of it. He has always gravitated to direction of any worksite or project father in law has going on. Though we do not any more have spot from his nose in the kitchen window from him waiting for grandpa to come and pick him up to work like we used to have twenty years ago, you will more often than not find Ache from father in law's worksites even now. And Ache is his first grandchild and after none of his kids showing much interest to farm work (sister in law only got more interested later in life when she got enough of her job as a corporate lawyer) father in law was more than happy to involve a grandkid, who was a total enthusiast.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2015
  5. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Read all the quoted parts, put them together, and that's what you tell Joy. It's his job. Ache did his part.

    Sure, he'll be grumpy and such...but he's the "easy child" so it likely won't be any worse than any other teenage belly-aching.
  6. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Oh, he most certainly is rather typical kid, even has much cheerier disposition than most. He will whine and mope and be over it in no time. Normally we would have no problem keeping our ground in this one.

    It's again Ache that makes situation more complicated. Or sibling dynamics to be precise. Ache and Joy have never really had a go, but it has mostly been because Ache refuses. Either he is so preoccupied with himself he doesn't really even notice Joy or he has been feeling adoring big brother who let's about anything slip. From Joy's side it has been building up and I fear it could turn ugly. And to be honest I do fear what it would do to Ache's mental state if someone he cares so much as his brother would totally rip him to pieces.

    I of course do not know how it would go, it could easily be one huge crash and then them being best buddies again. But it could also go a lot worse. And honestly I do not want to know. Not right now. and that is why I have given myself a job of a referee.
  7. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Sorry SuZir. I have no other ideas. Hope it all works out better than you think.
  8. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Truth is it likely will. I'm just very good at considering worst case scenarios ;) I can also be a very good referee.

    Likely we will just wait till Ache is not home for the moment, read the riot act to Joy about it, hope Ache isn't back before Joy calms down and if he is, just try to keep them separate. Or threaten Joy silly for trying to make it about Ache.

    And luckily it is again a short time. Ache will leave before end of July and be again some hours away from home. My summer vacation starts today and I will still have few days left of it when Ache leaves, and the firewood issue has to be resolved in couple weeks, so hopefully even I will have some relaxing vacation time too. Playing referee isn't that , but seems like it isd an only option I can think right now, though it would be tempting to just pile those firewoods myself and I likely will end up helping Joy more than would actually be 'fair', just to make things easier for myself. But letting Joy totally off the hook would feel almost negligent. He may be 19 and legally adult, but he is still in high school, lives home and while our legal responsibilities over him concern only financial support at this point, we honestly are not done with parenting him either.

    So I'm basically doing same as Joy, pissing and moaning over something I know I need to do. I just lack his sunny disposition so may take longer for me to get over it ;)
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2015
  9. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Phew! Ache is out from the house for a season (hopefully.)

    No one got killed. No one was hospitalised. No relationships were shattered eternally.

    Hubby relapsed to smoking again. I had a drink on quite a few nights just to relax a bit. Some material damage happened.

    We will all survive.