Loud and clear

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You ever feel like you are under-appreciated?

We just passed a holiday of sorts – Father’s Day.

I remembered my dads. I have three (dad and two FILs). It’s an easy thing to do, right? Talk to one, remember the others. Acknowledge them, appreciate them, take time out of your day to help them feel special for a moment. Doesn’t take a long time, but it is important.

Now, background here…I married into a lot of kids the second time around. Most of them adults by the time they came into my life. So now, including spouses of the kids who are married, there are eight.

Could of days ago, I heard from three.

That’s it. Three.

Didn’t hear a peep from 5 of the 8. There haven’t even been any “after the fact” acknowledgements either.

So, now full disclosure, you know the source of a LOT of the Piss and Moan material.

I try to deny the fact and ignore it, but there just isn’t any denying it.

Look, I realize they have another dad. I haven’t ever expected to be the top of the list. But at the very least acknowledged? Yes.

I am not looking for anything fancy, lord knows that most of them can’t afford crap (see other, numerous, posts about adult children living in our house or on our property). But it doesn’t take much to make someone feel appreciated, right?

Is it wrong for me to feel this way?

 

Tag-alongs

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Nope. I’m not talking about small, over-priced cookies distributed by your little local vested gang…

I am talking about family members (adult children, really) who don’t ever make any plans on their own, but just “tag-along” on the plans of others.

Birthday parties, Thanksgiving, Mother’s/Father’s Day, etc…never their own plans, always the question that comes one of two ways, “What are the plans?” or “What are you doing?”

Both of those questions are then followed up by the assumption that they are automatically invited to the event (even if it doesn’t really involve them) and don’t have to put in any effort into it. Sure, sometimes they offer to bring something minimal but most of the time they just show up and consume with little to no appreciation.

I have watched from afar and up close and personal, so here’s an example of which I speak:

Mother’s Day planning is done for an elderly mother. Plans are made, set, decided upon, and food is purchased for said get together. Planning has been done by the child of this mother BUT what soon follows is the children (the adult grandchildren of the elderly mother) of said mother doing the planning don’t plan anything for their own mom. Instead, the children just horn in on the plans for the grandmother – they don’t make any effort to plan anything for their own mother, other than just going to the gathering for the grandmother.

Does that make sense? I tried to explain that as clearly as possible, but I am not sure I did it successfully.

Anyway, this kind of tag-along thing happens all the time and, quite frankly, the mother needs to say something about it but doesn’t have the heart to speak up and tell the kids they need to do their own planning.

Of course, I can’t speak up either because that is a battle I can’t win no matter how I approach it. I am sure you can assume you know how that would all go over.

Irritating, really. And all I can do is sit back and watch it happen…

Unsolicited Advice? If you have are an adult child with parents who are still around, make your damn own plans! That might be challenging depending on family situations and timing, but the effort is noticed and appreciated. DON’T just tag-along (even if you are invited to). Grow up, be responsible, and truly appreciate your parents instead of just relying on them.

 

Expenses and new adulthood

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Here’s a TOUGH question for you?

At what point do you have your adult children fend for themselves?

Specifically, a child has graduated from high school almost a year ago and is now 19. Oh, and I’ll add that the child is not currently living in your home. Said child has college expenses covered already (tuition and housing), but has no job.

What do you think?

What do you continue to support/provide and what do you not? What would you consider “extra” versus necessary?

There are some difficult discussions coming up and I am curious how you see this topic. I realize this is a bit of an open ended question and can be taken in a lot of different directions, so I am open to any and all responses.

Babysitting

photo of a boy reading book

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I have known for quite a while I don’t like little people. That’s why I didn’t become an elementary teacher. I just couldn’t handle it. It drove me nuts.

Then I had my own child and I survived the little people stage. It wasn’t as challenging as I thought it would be, but I was glad when it was over. I definitely didn’t want to repeat it again. It’s one thing to watch your own young kids. It’s another to watch someone else’s, no matter who they are.

So, naturally, I hate babysitting.

But, I find that I am required to do so once in a while for a family member. Mostly it is because I feel obligated and can’t really say no, even though my selfish heart really tells me I should. I have no desire, at all, to spend time with little people. None.

Unfortunately, my sister needed some help this last Saturday and thus, I am obligated to watch my 3 year old niece. She is smart. She is relatively well behaved. I still don’t like it. I can’t wait for nap time to come.

Like really.

Nap time for her. Nap time for me.

Why do I say yes to this torture……??

“Emergency”

dead end road sign

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Why is someone else’s “emergency” suddenly mine?

How does someone’s repeated poor choices, bad decisions, and terrible money management become my problem?

Why am I forced to suffer the consequences of others’ stupidity?

These questions, unfortunately, will never be answered. I am just unlucky enough to have to ask them on a frequently repeated basis.

I had to buy a used car this weekend so that I could loan it to a family member for a short period of time. Because they have no transportation and desperately need to keep their job, which is needed to keep other disastrous things from happening…which might still happen anyway.

It’s something I really didn’t have much of a choice in because I am damned if I do, and damned if I don’t.

 

I don’t want you…

white and black soccer ball on side of green grass field during daytime

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Kids. They can be so confusing.

When my daughter was really young she used to tell me that she “didn’t want me.” I, of course, knew she was mad at me and knew that she wasn’t really speaking truth, at least the truth of a 2-3 year old.

Now I find myself in the later years, as she is a teen, saying more things that start with, “I don’t want you…”

Most of the time is related to a request for her independence and I respect that. I shouldn’t need or want to do everything for her. I am willing to let her explore things on her own and allow her the freedom to have success and to make mistakes. I may not always be happy about the choices, but they are hers to make. I can, of course, choose not to honor the “I don’t want you…” if I know the choice or decision isn’t in her best interest and is dangerous.

She now has a job. It’s doing something she likes (kinda, kids don’t really like to work) and in a sport she has enjoyed for a long time. She has been reffing soccer games for the parks and rec. For the most part, she has enjoyed it and she has been successful at it this year.

I once said, shortly after she got the job, that I was going to come watch her some time. Her response was, “Dad, I don’t want you to come watch me ref games.” When asked why she said that was just weird, that parents aren’t supposed to go to their kids’ place of work just so they can watch them. OK, get that. We visited my son at Taco Bell shortly after he got his first job just to tease him a little but it wasn’t to sit and watch him during his whole shift.

So, to honor her request, I have stayed away. Part of me wants to go watch her and be proud of the job she does, but I can also do that just sitting at home. I don’t have to see her to know she is doing the best she can, really enjoying what she is doing at the time, and be proud of her too. Right?

Am I correct in honoring her “Dad, I don’t want you…”?


Why can’t kids come with a damn instruction manual?

white and black soccer ball on side of green grass field during daytime

I’ll stalk you for power

close up photo ofg light bulb

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That’s right, I’m watching. All the time.

I am just waiting for you to make a move. A move out of the room you are in to another room. I am waiting for you to fail at something you have been instructed hundreds of times, at varying volume levels, to do and yet still forget to do.

Again, I am one of those dads…

If you leave the room and leave the light on, you better dang well know I will be right there within minutes to make sure you know you left the light on. TURN OFF THE LIGHT!

I am not Tom Bodett, and I will NOT be leaving the light on for you (in case you didn’t get that reference).

Why is it so hard to remember? Why can’t you turn off the light when you leave the room and turn it back on when you come back in? Why do I have to be the power police?

Perhaps I will install motion detecting light fixtures and remove all the light switches…Oh, then that might actually have to make the teens get up and move once in a while. I might be on to something here…

Anyway, can we just do one thing today? Turn off the lights.

Who else has to deal with this, every. single. day.?

When is it enough?

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Question of the day: When is it enough?

Let’s put some context into the question…

When is it enough charity? Gifting? Generosity? Especially, when it comes to adults who should, by now, be able to fend for themselves and stop making choices in life that keep them from being able to do it? Thus, requiring additional help (on a seemingly regular basis).

Does the answer of “enough” matter if they are a stranger? An acquaintance? A good friend? Family…children, grandchildren, parents, siblings? Sure, I understand every circumstance is different and have their own complexities, but there has to be a line, right?

Where does the line get drawn and how do you draw it? Do you just continually allow it to happen?

Yep, I’m THAT dad

blue and gray concrete house with attic during twilight

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Temperature is an important thing. It can’t be too hot and and it can’t be too cold. That is why I commissioned as scientific study (not really) of the atmosphere in the house and I have set the thermostat to the perfect temp for every occasion and every moment of the day.

So, SO HELP ME if someone touches the freaking thermostat! Period. It was perfect where it was at both in temperature but also on energy consumption. Leave it alone!

I swear the next person I see touch the thermostat…IMA BOUT TO COME UNCORKED!! I’m gonna break their fingers, and the next person after that (since they didn’t learn from the previous example) will get their fingers cut off and feed to the dog (ok not really, but it sounds good)!

Just. Leave. It. Alone.

If you’re hot, wear less clothing. If you’re cold, wear more clothing. Just don’t touch the thermostat.

Anyone else have to deal with this? Am I insane? It is really that hard to just not touch?

 

New car clean

automobiles automotives black and white black and white

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You know how bright and shiny that car looked when it came off the lot? You know, sparkling, dust free interior, the chromy parts chroming, and the black plastic on the outside hasn’t started to fade to gray…

Is it ever like that again? I mean for a BRAND SPANKING NEW CAR?

Probably not. I don’t have time to wash it daily and I don’t have time to clean the inside on even a weekly basis…so it gets dirty, like the car I just got rid of. That old car rarely got washed and rarely got cleaned on the inside. I mean, it was old, so who cares, right?

But this new car…can I just put a bubble around it?

All I want is for it to stay clean!