A Boomer Lifestyle Blog

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Ok, the story about my son and staying at his house. 

This year the Grand Girls' mother went out of town for Christmas with the new husband and new baby girl for an extended visit.  The son's girlfriend who helps him a lot was also out of town for the holidays.  That left the son with no backup for the days he had to work.  In steps Nana.  

I've posted before about how tired their visits leave me.  For the last year, each visit seemed to get worse.  It took me until this Christmas to realize how bad it really had gotten.  

The Girls were here three days before Christmas and three days after Christmas.  By the third day of each visit I was so angry and nearly in tears and that was with my daughter and I tag teaming them.  The last day of the last visit I had to tell my son I could not keep both of them together anymore.  They were wild Indians and their behavior unacceptable.  

We talked for a long time about how hard it was for him as a single parent.  How the girls were talking and getting in trouble in school.  How the girls were bickering 24/7.  How the girls created a mess every single day.  How he was barely hanging on.  

I should have seen this coming.  I saw the change in the girls but I didn't read the writing on the wall. 

My son also told me he wanted to move in with his girlfriend.  I know that she will hate the Girls if she lives with them full time and she has to act like a parent.   I think that it is almost impossible for the step-parent to be the governing parent unless you have accommodating children.  Most children will use their angst at the loss of a parent through death or divorce as a mechanism to vent anger.  I'm sure there are people for whom this wasn't the case.  According to what I hear, they are the few, the lucky ones.  

So in comes Nana because I love my son and because I love my girls.  I did not do enough to save the Grandson from the Girls' mother.  Grandson spent most of his life grounded in his room and other wrong actions by her.  I say that but I wasn't there.  I don't know how wrong she was or, in fact, how wrong the Grandson was.  I just want to make sure there is no way I will have to live with the Grand Girls saying to me what the Grandson has said - why didn't anyone protect me from her.  

So first step, get the girls expending energy.  Some simple outside play time will help but I think they need more.  They used to go to daycare and maybe that change influenced some of the problems.  The littlest one, already the talker, now has no one to talk to but her loner, artistic sister.  You hear the bickering don't you.  

The youngest, besides being a talker, is also very movement oriented.  I don't know how else to say it.  Her body is always in action.  Turning, dancing, singing, performing - always something.  A little is cute, too much is please sit still. 

Yep.  Expending energy in interesting ways, that is my plan.  Get them active after school so they won't try talking/horsing around in school.  Get the youngest involved in some organized play plan where she can move and talk and play with some other little girl beside her sister. I'm thinking the Y, gymnastics, dance class, something like that will work for the youngest.  Finding her an outlet will be my first and probably easiest adjustment to make.   

For the artist who is turning into her father's son.  She wants to go hunting, fishing, atv riding, etc. with him.  This could be wanting time alone with him but I also think she is a tomboy at heart.  I am trying to think of something that is done individually but gives you a sense of accomplishment.  Certainly art does that for her but I'm trying to think of something that has a physical aspect also.  By the way, she also ruled out all of the activities I listed for her sister.  I thought of piano lessons.  Something she can do in her room, alone and at her own speed but with an accomplishment level that can be shared with us.  I'm just not sure yet but I intend to ask her some leading questions.   

There are many facets to this program I am about to undertake.  I'm not going to be a cook and cleaner.  I'm going to be like that tv program, Super Nanny.  At least that is my hope.  To give my little family some guidance in hopes they can get back on track.  

Luckily my son has a room for me because like the oldest Grand, I too need a place to shut the door.  I will spend the night on Wednesday and Thursday.  I may add days if I see I need to be around on the weekend for a while but I am only committing to those two nights right now.  That will leave me 5 days uninterrupted at home.  Two days a week.  Eight days a month.  I can do that -- I think. 

Any advice about activities for these two different little girls will be appreciated and considered.  Good gosh.  So much trouble and they are not even teenagers yet.  Boy, I gotta be out of there by then.  Just kidding ... sort of. 

So yes, I am back in my happy place but leaving for a little bit each week.  I even joined an online dating site.  Hahaha.  More about that story later. 


  1. Well, I'm no expert on kids (to say the least) but perhaps the oldest would be interested in an individual sport (not team sport) of some description, like tennis, golf, swimming, diving, something like that? And it sounds like your son needs some parenting classes at a local social services agency or somewhere so he can learn coping mechanisms and ways to parent them better. That's his responsibility, not yours (as I know you know).

    Good luck, Barbara! Don't let your son get dependent on you fixing things for him.

    There, I'll shut up now.

  2. Thanks Debra. Good activities. Individual not team helps me clarify in my mind. And no, I won't let myself get "stuck". Hahaha. They may want to pay me to move out before it's all organized.

  3. Since I dont have children I can not help you. I know my sister took her rambunctious kids to the Y. They had so many different activities for them to choose. Is scouting an option for the tomboy? camping etc? I admire what you are doing. Stopping the bad habits and behavior now will help into their teens. one would hope anyway.
    Now the dating app sounds like fun!😄

  4. Gymnastics was a life saver for our granddaughter. She was part 9f a team but her routines were all her and something she could work on by herself. I'm not artistic but am definitely an introvert. Reading saved my sanity as a child and it still does. And I agree that your son needs to find a place to learn parenting and coping skills. Good luck with the dating. Keep us advised.

  5. It's so hard to watch our children struggle. This may be presumptive but I could only focus on getting them all into therapy. I hope their school has guidance counselors who can help with school related behavioral issues. Honestly, my stomach flipped when I read your son is considering moving in with his girlfriend -- like watching a train about to hit a stalled car on the track. And yet, he has his own life and happiness to consider along with the girls.
    I worked with troubled kids. I wish that there was a magic wand for them and their families.
    You are such a caring, loving grandmother to take this on and do what you can do. Offer them that love and caring and doing, but remember that they are each on a path of their own and that is beyond your control.

  6. The individual sport sounds like a good choice. Music, like piano or guitar is a good option too. You are a “great” grandmother,

    Take care of yourself too!

  7. Not having raised kids, I have no advice. Debra makes some good points. Good luck.

  8. I raised two kids, and so I know ... not much. But the idea of getting them involved in a sport, a class, a team, or a club of some sort sounds good to me -- anything that will engage their interest and focus their energy into something that they think is worthwhile.