Friday, January 04, 2008

More On The Grabber

The playdate went very nice yesterday, much to my surprise as well as Bigdogg's and my neighborhood gal pals.

We recently gave Jackson his own room, prior he was sharing with Sullivan for bondmenship, but being that he's 6 and we're lucky to have the room, we decided it was time to give him his own space. With all of Jackson's Lego's, the perfect place to create isn't in the basement, family room, dining room, or zen room, but his room. Now he'll be able to sit privately and peacefully at his Lego's table/desk and create his magical wonders.

Perhaps that was a bit helpful during the playdate yesterday, the two boys were able to close Jack's door, and not be "followed" around by Sullivan....

"What did you get for Christmas from Santa?" (That's me speaking to the child yesterday as they were raiding our fridge looking for a snack.)

"I got an archery set with my own arrows, with an outdoor board. The bow is so big!!"

"wow, "the child," that's a wonderful gift from Santa.." (that's me talking to him as I'm Thinking to myself, I feel for the little kitten his mom recently purchased for him at the humane society because he-"the child," was lonely.)

So, more on the mom.
"The Child's mom," owns her own law practice, and is either working or out with her friends. Matter of fact, "the child" and his "ass-grabber" dad accompanied our other friends from the next block to visit Santa. Meanwhile, mom was out with her girlfriends and wasn't too happy that husband and child went without her to see Santa.

Mom recently took "the child" along with her to New York over New Years without Dad to visit her friend. Maybe I'm old school, or odd because I enjoy being with my husband and children, but who celebrates New Years or Santa visits without their better halves? It boggles my mind, as well as our friends minds: "Kina, Stacy and Cathy"-all of whom live over on the next block along the same side of the street as the "ass-grabber."

Who celebrates New Years without their husband?
Who takes their child to see Santa without their wife?
Who gets a vasectomy because he can't stand the fact that his little 6month old is diagnosed with Colic. (His words, not mine.)

I just don't get it, plan and simple.
I realize dynamics of families are different, and believe me I think that's a positive thing, it doesn't mean that I have to like the way other families parent, nor is it fair to judge them for those oddities, but I can express my frustration over the fact that regardless of those three Who's listed above, the fact of the matter is this:

The Family is just very very different.

They have no structure, and when they pick up "the child" from after school care so dad-the "ass-grabber" can work from home, as that's what he does, he works from home and cares for their very disrespectful 5 or 6 year old boy, he walks over to our home around 6pm and asks if Jackson could come over and play.

No structure-my feelings? In order to make life easier on parents, it's important to teach routine, structure, some level of guidelines to prepare them slowly for the ever structured way of living. Yes, it's okay to have wanderlust, and yes it's okay to bend rules, to have a mental health day, yadah yadah, but all the time? I know, I know, I sound like an old school fart, but to me education is sooooooo important. To me it's best to get my boys in the mindset that school is important no matter what grade.
That TV will not run our home, but rather, books and music, art and imagination.
That when it's dark out, and you're 6 years old, and it's a school night, you're not going to go over to some friends house and get riled up only to come home cranky because you didn't want to leave, therefore making bedtime much more difficult and creating a cranky tired child for school the next day.

Yes, things will change when they grow older, but to me, to Bigdogg and I, education is going to be taught in this house as a privilege, as something to respect. The teachings that are given to you by caring people must be accepted with a fresh mind, to learn the fresh ideas that will put our children one step closer to gaining their own personal goals within the school walls.

Now, this dad will just "show up," at our door after having his son gone at school, and then in after school care until around 5:45, and THEN he comes here asking if my son can come over to play, or if his son could come in and play?

umm, what about dinner?
We're not on Summer break here, and again, I realize it's "only Kindergarten," but come on people, maybe part of the issue with this family is the fact that they have no routine.

I'm certain it's not easy with mom gone all the time working and running her law firm. But when she has an opportunity to go out every Friday, every other Saturday, and on weekdays to have dinner with friends, personally? She should be home with her child.

Here's my Crustybeef idea on this family:

1. The dad is in over his head, he has no tolerance for being bothered by his son, and that's one of the reasons they bought him a kitten, and are constantly asking kids to come over to play and vice versa. So that dad doesn't have to be bothered with his rather hectic child. He dropped him off at our neighbors Christmas gathering a few weeks back so he could go to another Christmas party. His wife didn't even go with him, she was out with her friends, and when they made mention of who would be picking him back up, and what time, when the time came for "the child" to be picked up, not a phone call, or an arrival. The time was 8:30. "Ass grabber picked up his son after 10:30pm.

2. I think dad is extremely unhappy, and has a drinking problem.

3. I think Dad was damaged mentally back when he was in the army, it's still no excuse for whatever his behavior is with his child, and I don't want to find out the reasons, frankly it's none of my business, but I'm sure there is more there, in regards to that time in his life.

4. I think Dad is really really depressed. I guess he had quit smoking about a year ago to train for the marathon, only to blow out his hip. We all are given challenges, unfortunately they can at times break us, and how we react and manage is up to us. We've all fallen, we've all crumbled at some point in our life, how it impacts us is one thing, but how we allow it to impact our children is another. The truth of the matter is this man needs help, and he's not giving himself the gift to use help. Shame on him.

5. This dad, this stay at home dad tries too hard to be liked, and it's difficult because we all have children in the same class, and grade for that matter, and I have this ache for the child. Regardless of how disrespectful he is, I have that annoying mindset to "pick up and rescue and fix." I know it's the wrong approach, but at least when "the child" is here, he's getting attention, he's seeing structure (we have to with three boys 6 and under!!) and he's able to witness what respect is.

So, my issue is, how do I bring it to their attention without hurting their son's feelings, that I'm just not comfortable with my son going over there. There is only so many excuses one can use. As you guys all know, for someone that excelled 100% and beyond in my past sales ventures, when it comes time for social, I have a difficult time "saying no." Put me in a sales environment and you'll see an entire other side, but socially, I don't want feelings hurt. I'll use excuses as to why "today isn't a good day."

I can't sell out my friend "Stacy" for telling me about the gun, and I don't know what type of gun it is, but I don't give a damn if it's just a bb gun, that can still do damage, and a 6 year old child should NOT be aware of any type of "gun" in his fathers home.

I can't sell her out and tell the assgrabbing dad that I am not comfortable having a child in my home that walks up to adults -Stacy- and whacks her on the back of the tush for no reason.
WHO DOES THAT? According to Dad's response when Stacy informed him of what the child did, he, the dad says, "oh, well, him and "mom" play that all the time, I'll have to have a talk with him, I don't know why he'd do that.."


I can't talk to "ass-grabbers" wife about her husband, how insulting would that be? Obviously the family wasn't invited to the New Years bash, but we didn't want any scenes, and we weren't sure how "ass-grabber" would react with his drinks when his wife and son were gone in New York. I know, I know, just avoid them, right? It's not my place to tell the wife how to run her family. I'm not their therapist, nor lawyer, or mediator. I can't tell her that I'm sorry but, your husband makes me feel terribly uncomfortable, and that I can't allow her son to play with my son at their house because of the lack of social skills that the father has.

I dread after school only because if Dad hawkeyes any one of us moms out walking our children home, the first thing he wants is for "someone to come over and play with "the child." *(or vice versa)

I have it in my gut that something is off. I've witnessed the tickling and his fingers are so intense with the children, he's too rough with them. His child has everything in the world, remember he's the one with the tree house and rope pulley to his bedroom window. A built in desk in his room to shelve his large TV and a perfect storage bin for all of his video games.

In spite of the fact that they have no monitoring over what they allow their son to watch on TV, or play on his video game system, there is something off.

In spite of the fact that the dad is clearly annoyed that he got "stuck" with the responsibility of raising their only child basically alone so mom can go off and have social hours with her friends, there is something more there.

It's obvious thru the way "the child" plays or rather, interacts with other children:

THE CHILD: "You be the dog and sit down on your knee's and whine for me to come get you..."

A lovely Child: "Okay!..whimper, whimper.."

THE CHILD: "NO! You're a BAD DOG, I don't LOVE You anymore, You went to the bathroom on the floor, You're BAD BAD and I don't LOVE YOU!"

A lovely Child: {{{looking up at "The child" as if thinking, this isn't what I signed up for in interactive role play..}}}

THE CHILD: (instructing a lovely child in what to do, he tells the lovely playmate to bow his head and be sad that he's in trouble..)

The lovely child does what "THE CHILD" asks of him.

The CHILD: (crouching down to the lovely child that is acting like the dog as THE CHILD is playing his owner) "it's okay, I love you, (as he pats the pseudo dog on his head) don't worry, I won't yell at you ever again..

Upon request to do a role reversal as "THE CHILD" being the dog and "a lovely child" playing the owner, this aggressive boy wouldn't switch.
This boy demands control, and uses material objects of his own to try and control the situation with other children. Remember that post I had over the summer with the boy and the football? this is the same child..( I'll try and find it and link it here after posting....)

What disturbs me with this was that I witnessed it in my front yard with "THE CHILD" and my son, Jackson. I witnessed this aggressive boy create this game, and saw how he just belittled the pseudo puppy, only to turn around and show over sappy compassion after the scolding had been played out. Naturally when I interfered and told the child that "this isn't a very pleasant game, that unless he wanted to play fair and switch being owner and puppy, that they weren't allowed to play that type of game in my house anymore, or yard for that matter.." he walked away from me without a nod, and found something else to do.

It was so much easier having toddlers because all of this growing up and interaction with the Coneheads is very difficult.

I read all of your comments on the previous post and I can't thank you enough. I will definitely look into picking up that book at my library, and will just go forward with the thought that I have to care for my family even if it means my son is sad because I won't allow constant playdates unless it's under my supervision.

My friend "Kina" has the strong approach that she doesn't give a damn if the dad feels ostracized, as she just won't allow her kids to play down there. The aggressive child can come to her house with a time limit as I did yesterday, but no way will you ever see her three down the block playing inside.

No matter what the obvious factor is this, there is no structure, the child has too much freedom, and they do a horrible job of keeping an eye on their one child. For that alone, it's not worth the risk.

Welcome TO Crustybeef~
Lets see if I can find that post about him over the summer now.

FYI~Things will return to normal on Monday with break over, and my routine can settle back into the norm as far as visiting and blogging.
I'm going to enjoy this last day of break with my boys, before Jackson returns to school on Monday.
Before I delve into a new wonder that soon I'll be able to talk about after the paper work is signed and sealed. :)


Mary said...

I know how tramatic this situation is for you. The game you described paints a most unfortunate situation. The person who said (in previous post) that you are in training was correct. Be tough and stand your ground. I think "Kina" has the correct attitude. Let her coach you until you can assume her attitude with ease. You'll need it often during the next twenty years.

tex said...

This is an incredibly troubling story.....
I wonder if there were any cases of this in our neighborhood when we were growing up, do you remember?
This has disfuctional written all over it.

Kcuz said...

Wow, this thing is actually letting me leave a comment! :)
This is a horrible situation and I feel extremely sorry for the little boy. Why do people have kids if they don't want to invest the time and energy to raise them? It's NOT a basic human right to have's a priviledge and should be treated as such. I think you should continue to let the boy play at your house (limited of course)...that way he has some exposure to a normal family...otherwise he'll be even more messed up. But I definitely agree that you shouldn't let your kids play over there. NO WAY would I EVER let my kids play somewhere that I knew they had a gun!!

SOUL: said...

hiya crusteeeeee.

Kelly Jene said...

I'm so sorry for this child. That role play is so obviously showing what he must go through at home. Having been an abused child myself, I can look back and know that I too would play out the abuse in odd ways when I was away from the family.

Not being in the situation, please take what I say with a grain of salt, I can't even imagine how difficult this must be for you. You're dealing with wanting to protect a child and wanting to protect your own kids.

So, I say to heck with hurt feelings or insulting someone else, something either needs to be said or cut off all communication. It's when people get worried to say something, that a horrible act happens. Our church calls it "fear of man". What will they think, how will they react, what if I insult them? Who cares. The child needs to be helped and as you said, so does the father. Maybe its not you who needs to do something, maybe its your hubby (as the man of the family) or another neighbor, or maybe you just need to call in some sort of official. I don't know. It's not my situation, but I can tell you really want to help the little boy.

Hugs to you, Crusty, and your children. I hope something can change for the child.
(sorry for the soapbox)

Palm Springs Savant said...

Crusty- that is disturbing. I am very protective of children as well...they should be allowed to grow up in safe places and "be kids" without getting screwed up by seeing things like that.

Portia said...

Sounds like a very sad situation all round. I hope and pray that this family finds their way, but it doesn't lie on your shoulders. Don't feel bad about doing what is best for your boys and family. You are SuperMom!!!

abbagirl74 said...

Well, I would definitely say something. When it concerns you or your children, sometimes you have to be the honest one and tell people what they don't want to hear or fail to see. If something were to happen, and you didn't speak up, you would kick yourself afterward. Honesty is always the best policy, no matter how much it hurts. I am sure you can talk about it in a way that would be yielding.

austere said...

Hi Crusty.
Sad, dunno what to say.
You take care and all.

Cheryl said...

I'm playing catch-up here and am off to read your next post.