Burned bridges

Photo by Marek Piwnicki on Pexels.com

Well, the time has finally come and home is no longer a dreaded place. The subject of many of the rants on this blog has now burned a bridge and there is no chance of home turning into a place of total turmoil again (well, there is a large caviat to that I guess. More on that later.) It’s tough to go all the way back in time and cover all the ground that could be covered to properly put this whole thing into perspective, but that would be a lot of work and I am not sure you all care that much to have a complete picture. If you have been around the blog for a while, you can probably put things together with just the few posts mentioned here today.

I have tried to help those who couldn’t help themselves. I have been trying for many years and it finally came to a head this last weekend. The trouble with this is again that it is self-inflicted and someone thinks, yet again, they are the vicitim. Really, it is by choice and being unwilling to take any advice. Unfortunately, it’s the five grandchildren that will suffer the most.

When my step-son and his five kids were allowed to move in back in November there was hope that maybe there would be some changes in their lives that would lead to a postive outcome (and it might still but seeing that at this point is hard to imagine). Things that have been discussed here previously (see above as well as the following) was about wasted food, not parenting the grandchildren, and the outright disregard for sanity in parenting.

It finally all came to a head last Saturday.

The night before (Friday) by son had been up a large ortion of the night with the youngest grandchild because she was sick. As requested, he let us know he needed more sleep (he requested an hour) and we agreed to take over childcare duties so he could get some sleep. That request was abused and turned into four hours.

As a result, the five grandchildren were left in our care and we did everything we could to keep them occupied, busy, loved, dressed, fed, and entertained. We kept them from going in to wake their dad, even though he totally went beyond the time requested and agreed upon. At one point in the morning, the second oldest (age 6) got a little too rambunctious with the middle child (age 4) and repeated hit him “accidentally.” The 6-year old had been warned repeatedly and was asked at one point to stay on his bunk bed as a time out until he was released. Again, there was unusual noise and I checked on the commotion…the 6-year old was on the floor wrestling the 4-year old, having him pinned below him and him crying. I took one step into the room, delived a single swat to the backside of the 6-year old with my hand, which sent him crying back to his bunk.

He and I chatted about the incident not five minutes later and he admitted that he disobeyed, that he was playing too rough with his sibling, and that he hadn’t “accidentally” hit his sibling either. He went to far as to admit that he deserved the swat. He was back to playing and didn’t cause any other issues the rest of the day.

UNTIL. Until, he skipped into the room while his dad was making dinner and blurted out, “Grandpa hit me.”

I was there. He’s six, so his recollection of the events and why he got the swat weren’t entirely accurate. My son then proceeded to say, “Stop hitting my kids.”

Long story short, the discussion after that point corrected the events as told by the 6-year old, involved a threat of calling the police if I continued to discipline the children in a way that he didn’t agree with, and an ultimatum that said they’d move out if I (well, we, because my wife has spanked them too) didn’t bend to his parenting style, which includes the lack of discipline.

Mind you, he has virtually no place to go except one friend’s house which is not ideal for any of them.

So, I recommended finding a new place to stay since I was not going to do what he wanted me to do.

My wife and I had already had the discussion that this would likely come up again. There was a blow up about it a week prior where he basically packed up the kids with no coats, no socks, no shoes, and no food, and left the house for about 12 hours. We were clear when he left the first time that nothing on our part would change since we love the grandchildren and we are constanly having to step in to pick up the slack. We had the agonizing discussion that the threat of law enforcement would eventually be used and how we would respond to it…the conclusion was that we would ask that they move out, knowing full well that that wouldn’t be the best thing for the grandkids considering the turmoil they have endured over the last several years. But, we also knew he would refuse to leave them behind with us.

At this point, they haven’t returned. As far as we are concerned, he has burned his bridges with us. We, his mom and I, have been there and picked up the pieces enough. We love our grandkids, but for him we are done. If it really comes down to it, we will take the grandkids back to live in our house but he will not be welcome.

A tough decision, but we see no other way around it. We aren’t going have someone (even our son) threaten us and force us into living and “grandparenting” into a style we believe is wrong.

Home is more peaceful these days. It sucks considering what our grandkids are going through.

But, we couldn’t be held hostage in our own home either.

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