Posts Tagged ‘parenting styles’

It’s all part of family — paranoya, offense, parenting styles, etc

July 26, 2012

I always thought that Neokalypso’s posts were well written. she didn’t always tell you the exact specifics of the drama in her family, but she wrote in such a way that you understood her feelings completely. I am too lazy, too sleepy and probably not smart enough to pull it off. So, You’ll have to endure the narration of the entire situation and appreciate my openness over my wit.
I know that I haven’t written in a while — for a whole host of reasons, and I’ll apologize for that in a later post. But, I have to write this one while it is fresh.
My sister, T, the older one wants to take a small vacation with her husband. she has asked me to watch her twelve year old daughter, my niece, S. The plans were to bring S and her two younger brothers over Thursday afternoon. They would all stay until Friday afternoon when my daughter would pick up the boys and S and I would have the entire weekend. DH is gone to a beepball tournament (although they did not know this when they made the plans and would have been fine with him being home), so it will be just her and I and the baby. But, we also have a friend who is staying with us. He is DH’s friend and is on his last week of classes in this city. He goes back to his city on the weekends to work. He is a college boy. This week, since DH is out of town, he has been visiting as if he is DH’s little brother. I have had no problems. In fact, the baby enjoys him being around and honestly, I think that he enjoys the baby, also. He is kind of quiet and reserved and keeps to himself — which is what reserved means, I know. He eats whatever I make, even if it doesn’t taste very good: (which is much better than two years ago when he was quite picky and wouldn’t eat hardly anything). He has been willing to help out in whatever way I ask. And, he insists that I don’t have to get up to make him breakfast before the call to prayer. He makes his own breakfast and even puts his dishes in the sink. OK, I think that DH insisted on this one, but he is happy to comply; or at least it seems so. He took out our trash for me this morning. But, when my sister found out that he would also be at our house, she raised some concerns. When I told my mother, she raised concerns, also which was actually even more offensive since she lets her great granddaughter see her father (the grandson)) whenever he wants: despite the fact that he is addicted to meth and other drugs, steals, never has food, lets the children watch R rated movies and so on. ***anyway, At first it was: “Is he blind too?” “Is he from Pakistan??” I am not sure if one cancels out the other. I mean, Blindness might make him seem less frightening. I explained that he would not be staying the entire time and by Friday morning, he would be gone. At first, she was ok, but I think that her worries surfaced again after she told her husband. Yes, I am offended and told her so. First, do you not trust my judgement? Thursday night, all the children could sleep in my room with me, my niece could even be in the same bed as I am. I wanted to come back with a retort like:
1. Don’t worry, since the baby has been born, we have insisted that our friend keep his explosives at home and he has complied.
2. The punishment for rape in Sharia law is full castration, including part of the penus and lest you think that he is under the assumption that it doesn’t apply to him, his grandfather, uncle and cousin have already had said experience.
3. Muslims are only allowed one child bride and last year, he chose his religion professor’s daughter. so, S is safe. But, with my luck, someone would probably believe the part about his family members being convicted of rape and the whole thing would blow up in my face.
Honestly, I am a bit particular about the people I let into my house. I was tricked by the kirby saleswomen who asked to do a demonstration, then sent in a guy salesman who monopolized more than four hours of my time instead of the 30minutes promised. I drew the line at “Where’s the nearest bed, so I can show you how this thing cleans matresses?” I don’t want strange guys in my bedroom, thank you very much. Our friend doesn’t even come in our bedroom unless DH is home. That might seem silly to you and that is ok. It is just the way I am and have always been. I didn’t like my children’s guy friends in my bedroom either… … at least after they got a certain age.
Anyway, I wonder if she — or “they” (her husband and her) would have the same reservations if it was my daughter instead of “me” who was watching S? Does she not trust my judgement because I am blind? Would she feel differently if the friend was from America? .
the way it stands, The children’s grandmother, not my mother, will watch the children Thursday night and bring them over Friday morning (conveniently after friend is gone). I’ll watch the boys until my daughter can pick them up. And, S will stay the weekend.
I don’t know if it is her or her husband who is so skeptical. She texted me and even called me on the phone and did sound worried that I might be mad at her. Maybe she trusts me, but her husband doesn’t. She was afraid that I would be angry and I told her that I was offended. But, when it is all said and done, she has to do what she feels is best. I laid out good reasons why S will be safe in my home. But, if she is going to worry about it — or her husband is going to worry about it, then, it is not worth it. In the end, I told her that her convictions were more important than my feelings. Ultimately, she is responsible for putting her daughter in circumstances and if she really has a problem, then I would rather her do what makes her feel like the best parent, even if it does hurt my feelings.
How did I arrive at this conclusion? Well, I did not have to go far, actually. I was thinking about DH’s opposition to dogs. No matter what anyone says, he believes that dogs are dirty and he does not want the baby coming into contact with them. I understand it, but don’t always agree with his level of intensity. I have family members who would disrespect DH and say things like: “What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him.” But, for DH, this is a big deal. I want family members to respect the fact that we don’t always make the same choices that they do, but they should support our choices. And, then, I think that maybe — “maybe” my sister is not nearly as worried as her husband. We don’t parent alone. I understand that “maybe” she doesn’t fully agree with her husband’s intensity, but, must respect his fear, all the same.
and, lest we think that the paranoia is all one-sided, DH says: “don’t let them tear up the house. Make sure they don’t run up and down the stairs. Don’t let them carry the baby around.” DH has gotten pretty good at giving orders and making laws since we bought the new house.(smile).
I think I’ll write my sister a letter (or a really long text) and tell her my feelings and how I arrived at my conclusion.
I’ll say it again, though. I have had more opposition from my own family. Not exactly overt, but their fears do come out.