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Disengagement with One Skid While Building Relationships with Others

ChamomileTea4Me's picture

It's the Monday after visitation weekend and time to decompress!  SS11 (SS10 had a birthday) and SS15 were here for the weekend and it was actually pretty darn good.  For the first time ever, SS11 asked MR. ED if he could have a couple of buddies over to our house for a birthday sleepover.  We were both surprised at the request, but happy that he actually wanted to invite people to the house.  After living through the girls and their teenage years full of "I hate my home and everyone in it and I'm going to hide everything I do and everyone I associate with" was like a breath of fresh air to have some sort of skid normalcy!  So, he had his buds over and it was so nice to have kids in the house that were excited about playing hide-and-go-seek, exploring outside, playing board games and video games...just being kids.  They had FUN! Smile They were all polite, picked up after themselves, and were pretty self-sufficient.  I had told MR. ED ahead of time that I was fine with the sleepover as long as he ran the show...and he did.  That was a bit hard for me, because it reminded me a lot of when my son was that age...good times, but I had to keep in mind this is not my son, I am not the parent, and it is better in the long run if I take a back seat on this one. I helped out here and there, but still setting those boundaries, friends! Wink I think this was good for MR. ED to see how other kids behave and that SS11 seems to be on a pretty good track.  The happy break did us all a bit of good.

Now, leading up to the sleepover was a different story!  We have one bathroom downstairs and one up.  The skids' rooms are upstairs so they share that bathroom.  SD17, as you may remember, is filthy and there's no telling what she may have lying around in plain view.  She was told by MR. ED repeatedly that she needed to clean up her room before her brother's party and the bathroom in particular.  She didn't do it, didn't do it, and then on Friday she came home from school, took 10 minutes to shove all her crap under her bed, shut her shower curtain, put the toilet seat down, and left with her friends for the whole weekend without even a text to MR. ED who was still at work.  There's more SD17 chaos going on behind the scenes, but I'll save that for another day once I see how things unfold this week.

SS11 and his friends were going to be arriving at about the same time as MR. ED, so I was left with the I clean the nasty freaking bathroom myself?  I decided...yes...partly.  I certainly didn't do it for SD17 or even for MR. ED.  I cleaned the crusty, crunchy toilet, nasty sink area, funky baseboards and floor to save innocent bystander birthday boy SS11 and honestly myself from embarrassment while his friends were visiting.  When I pulled out the toilet brush, I swear that thing looked brand new.  We bought it a year ago when we moved in!  This is one of those times I wish we could post pics to our blogs...toilet...ew.  As soon as MR. ED got home, I reminded him he had some work to do upstairs.  He had a broken toilet seat to fix (SS17 broke it standing on it to smoke into the vent or take selfies, I'm sure) and broken razor heads and hair bands to fish out of the bathtub drain.  I left the wastebaskets for in the bathroom with used female products left in all their glory for all to see (no 11-year-old boy needs to see THAT!), and the other wastebasket in her room full of half-full Redbull cans and other food trash (hard to explain, but the boys kind of have to walk through her room to the bathroom in this semi-open upstairs). I could have taken care of all those things, but I opted out.  Just as he was saying, "What's the big deal?" a female product stuck to the bottom of the wastebasket and he started cussing as he had to reach in with a paper towel to remove it.  Then as he was emptying the trash from the other basket, he spilled some of the cans and Redbull went all over the laminate floor...again he was visibly ticked.  As HE was mopping it up, I asked, "Didn't you tell me that you told SD17 not to leave any more drinks or food in her room?"  He replied, "Yes, yes I did. {sigh}"  I gave a little, "Huh," and walked out of the room.  When SS15 arrived and saw the bathroom, he asked, "OMG, who cleaned up the bathroom?  It looks SO nice!"  I told him MR. ED and I did and he busted out with a genuine sounding, "THANK YOU!"  Now THAT was nice to hear. 

I know there are hardcore STalkers out there who will say I should have left the mess entirely, especially when it's SD17's mess and MR. ED fell through on the oversight of his expectations of her.  Normally, I would agree with you which is why that area was has gotten so nasty dirty in the first place.  But, SS11 was reaching out to us in a positive direction, so I decided to help the poor kid out for the special weekend.  I wholeheartedly believe there are situations and skids that we need to disengage from, but if we're lucky there are those skids who are really trying to make the best of the blended family cards they've been dealt, if only at some point in their childhood.  If we proactively disengage from those skids, I think we run the risk of actually adding to the dysfunction, creating unnecessary resentment, and depriving ourselves of potential happiness and positive relationships.  Keeping hope alive for brighter days ahead...with healthy boundaries. Wink


hereiam's picture

I don't think you did anything wrong by cleaning the bathroom, I would've done the same thing.

Now that it's clean, it's up to those who use that bathroom to keep it clean and MR. ED needs to be on top of that.

If there is no reason to disengage from the SSs, don't.

Your SD17 sounds disgusting.


ChamomileTea4Me's picture

It's not always black and white, so thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!  Yes...SD17 and her big sisters are pretty foul.  There's stuff she leaves lying out that I don't even mention here because it's so disgusting that it is probably inappropriate and offensive to most readers!  MR. ED and I have our creative clutter in our offices, but we're both pretty darn clean people.  It's baffling how she doesn't get embarrassed about the stuff she leaves out for others to see.  I draw the line at piles of food trash, though and thankfully MR. ED is preparing to make some major changes with her.  As another poster recommended in one of my first posts...the mattress is going on the floor this week and the side table is getting taken away.  Should be an interesting week!

Siemprematahari's picture

I'm glad you had a nice weekend overall and that SS enjoyed having his friends over. These are  nice memories that he will always have. Now as for the SD's nasty bathroom she needs to be addressed and given consequences for not doing what was asked of her (to clean the bathroom). How does your H go about handling this?

I would personally lose my mind if I knew a bathroom was in this kind of state especially with female sanitary napkins and a dirty toilet. SD may be ok living in filth but others shouldn't have to be exposed to it and have to clean up after her....I hope he's shutting that whole thing down.

You've been handling this well and seem to be finding a balance that works well for you. Keep on doing you!

ChamomileTea4Me's picture

Yeah, there's progress, but a long way yet to go.  He did remove the trash can from the bathroom and told her she has to use the one in her room (really just outside a few feet from the BR) for everything.  Yes, the toilet has had me in an internal tizzy...I feel ya.   So we shall see what else he comes up with.  I do know he's taking the bed frame away and putting the mattress on the floor so she can't shove trash under there anymore.  He's also taking away her side table so she can't set drinks and food next to her bed, even though she's not supposed to have them there anyway.  We're getting close to her not having anything to take away, so MR. ED and SD17 are definitely coming to a stand-off.  Any other suggestions on what he could do as consequences are more than welcome STalkers!  I can at least put a bug in his ear. Wink