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Should I go to SD's Sweet 16

RedRedVines's picture

I'm thinking no. SD turned 16 this week. We already went out to celebrate (and she picked a fancy restaurant where we couldn't bring DS1, of course) but her big Sweet 16 party is this weekend. We have a sitter for DS1. I bought a nice dress. But after all of this I'm not in the mood. DH will be socializing with family and friends and having a great time and I will have a permanent sour face. I floated the idea of DH maybe going by himself and he said whatever I felt comfortable doing was fine but he thought we would have a good time.

Things have calmed down at home. Last week was spring break and BM took the skids on vacation, so I got a breather from the hostility. DH did not hear much from them. They came back this weekend. SD is tanned and relaxed and in a great mood enjoying her special "birthday week". The anger from her last visit is gone and she is back to her old self again which means one word answers or silence with me/DD/DS.

DH and I start marriage counseling in a few weeks. In the meantime I'm seeing my therapist and I went twice last week. DH came to one of them and it helped a lot. We all agreed that SD needs real consequences for her behavior which DH has attempted to give her. But therapist also pointed out several things I was doing that are not at all helpful to the situation and I'm working on that.

DH and I talked about consequences for SD. We finally agreed on chores for the next month (2 weeks of which she is here). I had him add more and more things until I felt it was suitable in both quantity and grossness considering her behavior. I felt vindicated. That's not the right word. But even though there was no apology she would have to take time out of her birthday week and ruin her manicure scraping our garbage cans clean. He gave SD the list of chores and the deadlines on Sunday morning and she had no reaction. She just shrugged and said ok. Yesterday I saw SS out in the garage scrubbing away at some spilled paint and I told him SD is supposed to be doing that. He said his birthday present to SD was doing her chore list. I had been feeling pretty good and I got angry again.

I am thinking I'm not going to have a good time at a party celebrating SD16. If DH told his family DS1 was sick and I had to stay home with him they probably wouldn't think there was anything strange about my absence and they would not take it as a snub. But I'm also thinking I would love a night out with dancing and an open bar at a fancy country club even if I have to see SD's face everywhere. But I probably won't go.

Comments

Indigo's picture

RBF: Resting Bitch Face. Great minds, but you posted faster!

If I could gracefully decline, I would. Sweet 16 is all about SD and if you're already feeling a bit resistant, maybe the party would be more difficult. Stay home with DS1, then sitter to go out with friends or watch an inappropriate movie or ...

Disneyfan's picture

My niece had a big sweet 16 last year. My sister and BIL went all out for it~silk dancers, a couplenof dresses for my niece, food, (drinks for the adults)..... We had a blast.

They get to do it all again in 5 years for their youngest daughter.

Cover1W's picture

Go if you think you can have a good time, regardless. Think of it as a fun party, not a sweet 16. Who has those kinds of parties any more for a 16 yo?
Wierd.

Regarding the chore list sneakery...nope, not buying it. Conned!
DP chuckled to me recently about how SD12 was trying to talk her sister, SD10, into cleaning her room for her. I cut him short, told him not to laugh that it's NOT funny she's trying to shirk her responsibility onto someone else that shouldn't ever, ever be doing it. And if i caught SD10 cleaning ANYTHING for SD12 I'd step in (apparently SD10 has been cleaning up ALL of their messes if both girls were in SD10's room - SD12 just leaves it for her sister to clean up which also PO'd me to no end).

twoviewpoints's picture

The clever stink out of consequence punishment, first. H*ll no. Not acceptable. Those weren't just routine weekly chores to be bartered out between sibling . No. These were specially designed and assigned due to an individuals nasty disrespectful behavior. Kid did the crime, kid pays the time so to say.

Her father needs a new list and SD needs to 'do her time'.

Now the birthday bash. The decision has to be what makes you most comfortable. If you think you can dance and have fun with DH and actually enjoy yourself, go. If there is any chance of you being ostracized and treated unlike any of the other invited guest, skip it. You can have a nice evening out with DH another night.

Disneyfan's picture

Maybe you should read the OP's blogs. Based on what she has posted about her husband, it kind of hard to believe that any woman would want him.

The BM the OP has to deal with, has her shit together.

Disneyfan's picture

I vote for not going.

Last year at my niece's Sweet 16, she did this candle lighting thing(16) where she called up family members and friends, said something sweet/funny about her relationship with them and had them light a candle. If this is the norm now, your SD may use this as an opportunity to humiliate you and/or your daughter.

There has to be a reason why shebwent from on extreme to the other and why she didn't throw a fit when dad handed down the punishment. She is up to something.

RedRedVines's picture

The special chore list is for her behavior before spring break. I resent that she usually avoids any consequences and no, I do not think 2 weeks of special chores is excessive.

RedRedVines's picture

I'm fixing how I interact with DH and the fights he and I have as a result of whats happening with SD. Not how I interact with SD.

Monchichi's picture

tommar, quite a few people think Chucky is lovely. They know he hurts other kids, they know he's violent but in their view it is alright for him to be that way because he is special needs. Admittedly he is completely rejected at his learning centre. None of the other children will befriend him.

By that same token, I should think he's lovely too despite seeing try to throttle my eldest, hit my dog with a hose pipe and attempt a beheading of a friends son. They know he swears and hurls abuse at his father.

Yet he is still a "lovely child".

Monchichi's picture

HRNYC, it is quite possible that Red and her child(ren) see a side of this girl that other people don't.

RedRedVines's picture

DD idolizes SD for the clothes she wears, how confident she is, how she knows how to wear makeup and flirts with boys. Not because of her kind and wonderful personality at home.

TwoOfUs's picture

Oh please. Lots of teen and pre-teen girls idolize people for the wrong reasons, including fashion and makeup choices. It's part of being a young girl and most grow out of it just fine.

The only people crucifying anyone on here are you and HR.

RedRedVines's picture

Thank you. Probably a million people want to be like Kim Kardashian, that doesn't make every single one of them shallow. They like things about her or her life, not who she is as a person.

Tuff Noogies's picture

it's sad proof of the state of humanity that their shows get so many high ratings, and their social media has so many followers.

ick.

TwoOfUs's picture

Oh please. Lots of teen and pre-teen girls idolize people for the wrong reasons, including fashion and makeup choices. It's part of being a young girl and most grow out of it just fine.

The only people crucifying anyone on here are you and HR.

Pokeyketchum's picture

I think shallowness you describe is culturally part of the U.S. There are studies of how CEOs are very rarely less than six feet tall, how more attractive people make more money than less attractive folks, and how obese people are discriminated against in the job market (as well as older people). The more attractive people, younger applicants, and more fit folks are not "better" people as a whole, they are just treated better by our society with much more value placed upon them.

That may be the case with SD who red red said was very attractive, popular, and rich. Also, the school heard her use extremely bad language and disparaging remarks against redred's son, so they are choosing on what information they disseminate to "like" SD. And teenagers are not known for using discriminatingly high standards in choosing friends.

Also, the other "adults" that "all" like SD of whom we have read are her dad, BM, and teachers, etc. People who may have had different types of interactions with SD than redred's. I think most people act differently at home than at work, or I hope so. Let us not forget that the caught serial killer is almost always described by neighbors and coworkers as a "nice and helpful" guy. This mask helps the serial killer from detection. (Not that I am saying SD is a serial killer, it is just a contrast into what society views as "normal" or "nice" may be far from such.)

Disneyfan's picture

I think the girl needs to know when to speak and when to zip it. Clearly she a smart kid with a bright future ahead of her. I find it interesting that she only mouths off to the OP. She great with all of the other adults she encounters, but a total bitch to the OP and her children. That leads me to believe that dad has given her the green light to disrespect the OP.

TwoOfUs's picture

I think SD16 sounds like an entitled brat, actually...so RedRed isn't the only one. Of course the kids mom and grandparents don't think she's a brat...they're the ones creating her.

At any rate, we have an 18 bday party coming up in April and a 16 in May. DH has recently told me that both skids have asked if they can have their parties here at our house. Guess I'm not doing a good job being evil and scaring them off Wink

No...but seriously. I know they want to have the parties here because: 1.) It's spring and we have a huge, cool backyard with a fire pit, and 2.) I plan parties and events professionally, so I have catering gear, decorations, etc. In other words...I know that "can we have our parties at your house?" REALLY means "will TwoOfUs cook and decorate and pull out all the stops like she does for your work parties or our Christmas party?"

For these two, I am happy to oblige if it's really ok with their BM. For the OSD (now 19) I never lifted a finger for any of her birthdays. She never wanted parties, anyway, because she's anti-social. We went out to eat as a family, including BM, for her 18th...and I hated that we picked up the whole tab for dinner...but I would have resented it so much MORE if I'd cooked and cleaned and put together a party for an ingrate.

Say all this to say...only go if you can truly have a good time. If you can't be happy for your SD at this party...if you find yourself resenting her instead...just stay home. I know it's hard now...you feel bad...etc. it will get easier. I have very little contact with OSD now, and I love it Smile

TwoOfUs's picture

Oh...I know that. But a kid doesn't have to be a bad kid to be entitled and bratty. And the fact that she's good to others doesn't excuse her behavior toward her stepmom and half-sibling.

My main point to RedRed is that if you're already struggling with resentment toward a kid (which, clearly, she is) then don't do something that will intensify it. I have a similar situation in that my DH started his own business right after we got married, so we've had lots of hard work and financial stress in our marriage. Thankfully, I believe in what we're doing and know it will pay off. But DH's parents are rich and worship their grandkids...so it can be tough to struggle so much, work hard to afford child support...and then watch each kid receive a totally free car on their 16th birthday from the grandparents...a trip on their 13th birthday...MAC air laptops on their 18th...etc. The OSD spilled hot chocolate on her $2100 laptop less than a year after receiving it and totally ruined it. Oh well! This is the attitude with a lot of their stuff...the youngest two kids are great, hard workers, respectful, funny...but I still think they're awfully entitled.

I used to go all out for them all...all the time. Now I don't. If I can't do it without feeling resentment, I don't do it. I think having a resentment-free relationship with DH and his kids is more important than doing for them all the time.

TwoOfUs's picture

Yes. Because the SD is a raging bitch to her.

Not sure why you seem so personally invested in defending the SD no matter what. You think it's OK for a 16-year-old to be this entitled? To tell Stepmom that her baby was a mistake? Stepmom has made mistakes, too, so she "deserves" whatever the SD wants to dish out! Huh?

I'm super confused.

Disneyfan's picture

But you have to wonder why the OP allows the kid to speak to her in that manner.

I have a hard time understanding why any grown woman would allow this behaviour. She should have put the fear of God in that kid the very first time she came for her. My goodness, the OP lost her kid because of her SD's nasty mouth/actions. No man is worth that.

Disneyfan's picture

It would also be hard on the parents who don't see this a frivolous.

My sister, my mom and I take her girls (17 and 10) to get manicures and pedicures all the time. We have done this since the girls were in kindergarten. It's super cheap and isn't a big deal at all. It's no different than taking them to the salon to get their hair done.

Getting their nails done is cheaper than going to dinner and it will last longer. LOL

Disneyfan's picture

Why ruin something the child has instead of correcting the behavior??:?

What happens when mom comes after you for ruining something she paid for?

Disneyfan's picture

*****

Disneyfan's picture

*****

RedRedVines's picture

BM is paying, but BM and MIL are co-hosting and MIL probably did most of the coordinating with the party planner. There will be close to 100 people there including a bunch of his family, thats why DH wants me to come. There would be no way for him to pop in and out.

MIL also sent me a reminder to get my hair and makeup done because there will be a professional photographer there. So while I don't think I will be in many of the pictures if I'm not in any of them that's on me.

Disneyfan's picture

I think the hair and makeup comment was a backhanded jab from the MIL. :sick: I can see where the kid gets it from.

Gimlet's picture

dancing and an open bar at a fancy country club

I think there is a lot I don't understand about this situation because I was not raised in this social class, and I am unfamiliar with the mores and social rules that would pertain to a party like this. I would not have invited my ex and his family to a birthday party I threw for my daughter, but it certainly would not have been an affair at a country club, so maybe I just don't get it. This feels like a wedding level celebration to me. Perhaps the expectations are different?

Gimlet's picture

Yeah, well, my dad got a keg for Easter once, so I am probably not qualified to comment on the social niceties involved here. Smile

Tuff Noogies's picture

lol i had ONE barbie dad got me when i was four. i used to carry her upside down and chew on her feet. i'd also shove her head all the way down her neck... i later got the horse and the jeep with the winch - THAT was awesome!!!!

my time was far more spent on playing matchbox cars, fishing, riding my bike, or baseball.

TwoOfUs's picture

The thing that cracks me up about the responses of HR and Tommar to posts like this is that they both spend a lot of time lecturing other commenters...saying that we only have RedRed's side! We only know these things about the SD because it's what RedRed has told us! We can't possibly know the whole situation and, therefore, our conclusions are faulty and invalid!

Well...you only know the SD is "popular" because of what RedRed has written as well, right? You only have RedRed's words to go on as well, just like the rest of us. Or did you get a special dispensation from God that wasn't available to everyone else? Why is RedRed trustworthy when she says SD is popular but completely untrustworthy and most likely exaggerating and lying when she says SD is bitchy and entitled? It makes no sense.

Seems like some people need a basic logic course.

Tuff Noogies's picture

i'm still working on my first mug of java and *literally* cannot keep up w/ ya'll! my brain is still in warm-up mode Wink

TwoOfUs's picture

lol. I totally agree about Kim Kardashian. Never idolized her, never watched anything she's done. My only point is that young girls are young girls and are nearly universally impressed by hair, makeup, and fashion choices.

Why is it wrong for people to jump on a skid...but it's totally cool for you to get all judgy-pants about the OP's young daughter? You're calling her shallow, etc. based on ONE piece of information? And something that is VERY common for young girls? I know because I taught high school for years. I'm not saying the behavior is right or good...just that it's common and most grow up and grow out of it, if they're taught. It's not something to judge girls for, just a chance to teach them what to value.

I don't think anyone is jumping on SD here. Most are saying that the expectations her parents are setting up for her are unreasonable, especially considering her dad's change in circumstances. People's circumstances change...and I'd say MOST kids understand that and have empathy for their parents. Not SD, though. That seems odd to me, and I've lived a similar situation. Rich parents, lots of prospects...dad gets horribly ill, nearly bankrupts us, then dies at 49. Guess what. I didn't turn into a brat because of it or feel that I'd been cheated. I miss my dad, of course. I wish he hadn't gotten sick. But I had to scale back my college plans considerably, despite the fact that I was popular, a good athlete, and a star student...and that was fine and I turned out fine. I don't understand why you're so merciless to a dad who lost his job. It happens. Things change. Only in divorce is that somehow "illegal" or does that somehow make the dad a horrible person. I guess if my parents had been divorced when my dad got a debilitating illness for 10 years...I should have pouted if my new stepmom didn't want him to further hurt them financially by paying for a 60K a year school? I would have been right to act that way? It would have been unfair to me if they hadn't been willing to do that, considering how hard I worked in school? (Newsflash: school isn't hard...doesn't even begin to be "hard work")

Anyway. I don't think anyone is jumping all over SD or over-reacting here. Yes, I think it's entitled to expect more for college than your parents can reasonably give you and to act like a brat if you're told no. And, no...I don't think you are extra good at judging character or seeing "the big picture" compared to others here.

TwoOfUs's picture

Oh trust me...I think this problem is 95% DH-caused. And I think most commenters here and OP agree. He should have been forthright with his wife.

But my point still stands. If OP is taking on all of the expenses for their child so that DH can pay college tuition...that's not right or fair. RedRed isn't jealous, as many have suggested here. She feels resentment. And she should. She's in a situation where she's shouldering far too much of the responsibility for a child that is both of their responsibility. So, in essence, she IS footing the bill for SD's education if she enables DH to make these payments. Who cares if he's willing to use his bonuses to pay? He's married now, with another kid to provide for. As I said before, circumstances change. It doesn't have to be illness and death. It can be loss of a job and a new kid. The reality is the same.

I still think SD needs to learn kindness and respect. It's clear from her comments and her attitude that this is about making SM and Daddy pay, not about whether or not she gets a good education. That is going to happen regardless.

Imagine if this was not a COD situation. If I was promised a fancy college as one of two kids...then my dad and mom decided to have two more kids. Would people think I was entitled to be angry about that? I mean, sibling rivalry always exists, especially when kids are little and want attention. But if I were 16 and pouting because a new baby, even a new, unexpected baby, meant that I had to contribute more to my own college fund or else choose a more reasonable school. Wouldn't people think I was selfish? Kind of a brat? Why is it OK for her to treat her half-sibling this way if it wouldn't be OK to treat a full sibling this way?

TwoOfUs's picture

I'm aware that they split funds, but they have agreed to split baby expenses and DH isn't doing it. By shouldering his half of the responsibility for the new kid, SM IS contributing to SD's lifestyle.

Who cares if it's an 'oops' baby as you say. Does that make it less in need of food, clothing, shelter, etc? Should he just disown the poor kid so that his 16-year-old daughter, who is thoroughly cared for, never has to lift a finger?

MollyBrown's picture

I am a long time lurker who used to post back in 2007. But I divorced.

I have followed Red and her posts and I agree with Tommar and Hy. Red's posts drip with jealousy. Which I totally understand. But I wonder how her actions have effected the relationship between her and the stepdaughter. Personally, I think Red should act like the daughter doesn't exist. She is fighting a losing battle. I also think she should let her spineless husband handle the punishments., although it seems Red would have taken great joy in seeing her manicure getting ruined.

furkidsforme's picture

What in hell is with parents not only allowing, but ENCOURAGING this self absorbed, entitled, insane birthday celebrations that last all week?

Who the f#$% has a "birthday week"? Sure as heck not ME!!! Pretty sure even the royal family just has one day.

Why the entitled princess act of a week long celebration? My lord, no way. It's ridiculous, over the top, ego-feeding, and sends the complete WRONG message.

How about teaching your kid to celebrate in a meaningful way? With those she loves? Or to give back in gratitude?

Instead, you are teaching her ATTITUDE.

TwoOfUs's picture

Totally agree.

My SS is about to be 18, and he's specifically told us that he wants to have a party here at our house...but that he wants it to be simple and not a huge deal because he thinks birthday parties for grown-ups are "stupid" and "embarrassing." Our SD is about to be 16 and has said the same. Wants it to be more of a get-together for friends and family and not a celebration of all things SD for an entire week with special dresses and... I am proud of them. I love to throw parties and will do a good job on the food, show hospitality, etc. But what's with the narcissism surrounding birthdays?

If my parents had tried to get me to do some weird "candle-lighting" ceremony at my 16th birthday to welcome me to adulthood, I would have been mortified and died a thousand deaths.

MollyBrown's picture

Exactly. I never can understand why people get upset when people spend their money the way they want as long as it is not illegal and have money for their bills. This party is providing employment for the night.

We have no evidence that the step daughter is not a positive member of society.

Now about that car the daughter is getting. I wonder if it will be better one then the one Red drives. I would feel jealous if it was.

MollyBrown's picture

Exactly. I never can understand why people get upset when people spend their money the way they want as long as it is not illegal and have money for their bills. This party is providing employment for the night.

We have no evidence that the step daughter is not a positive member of society.

Now about that car the daughter is getting. I wonder if it will be better one then the one Red drives. I would feel jealous if it was.

Tuff Noogies's picture

my oh my mustang you certainly do feel strongly about this!

it used to be a welcoming into adult society (think like Little Women, or Gone with the Wind, or Sense and Sensibility), but i think that meaning is long lost.

regarding your comment above about the "right sex", i totally get your meaning (although how it came out is a bit abrupt) - so, meeeee tooo, i'm totally blessed with three boys. i dont know what i'd do if there was a girl thrown in there, especially with all the horror stories of pads left out, mini-wives, sd's just hoping to get knocked up, and all that. dh says the same thing "God knew better than to give me a girl!"

some people just understand/get along better with guys, and vice-versa. nothin' wrong with that!

Gimlet's picture

Hah I am the opposite, I cried with relief when I found out I was having a girl. Boys seem like such loud, sticky creatures.

I wouldn't trade my little pack of evil bishes (BD and nieces) for all the money in the world. Smile

Disneyfan's picture

LOLOLOL

" I also don't want my girl completing HS and college to find a MRS degree. I want to raise self supporting women, who have their own financial value besides landing a mans paycheck."

It's possible to have a Sweet 16, AND become a self supporting woman who doesn't need a man to support her.

Just because some kids have parents who are able and willing to splurge on their kids doesn't mean they will all turn out like the OP's SD.

MollyBrown's picture

To answer your question, no I would not go. Your posts drip with jealousy here. I imagine it would be hard to hide at a party thrown for the human you are jealous of. There is no reason to give your husband's family more reasons to think you are a jealous person. Keep the sitter and go out and have fun.

What you need to figure out is if you want open war or uneasy peace at your house. If you want the open war, keep forcing your husband to punish her. You said originally he didn't want to. If you want some sort of peace, disengage. Sometimes peace is worth more then being right. I cannot imagine what it is about this man that s worth living the way.

MollyBrown's picture

First up, why start swearing in your reply? We have literally never interacted in any way. Weird.

Stayng is really working for her. Her son has moved out. Her husband doesn't back her up. He hides money. He lies by omission. I wonder what will come next.

MollyBrown's picture

Ah I see. You are unable to debate using adult words. Got it.

I swear like a sailor, but not at people.

MollyBrown's picture

Hmmm. I must have upset you that you are being obtuse. No big deal.

So how long do you think Red should keep giving it a go with Old Spineless? You pointed out she was working on her marriage. How many more fights? Lies? Maybe, when the daughter leaves, it will be enough?

MollyBrown's picture

I was not offended by the swearing (are we back to you admitting you swore? I cannot keep up). It came across as hostile from someone who I have never interacted with. I was amused for sure.

You believe these latest problems are the first sign of trouble in their marriage? I am not so sure of that.

Tuff Noogies's picture

well crap hrnyc, dont let my brother see this!!! he had WAY more (unpaid) chores than my s.sis and i had Blum 3

twoviewpoints's picture

The kid crossed the line with remarks of cottage cheese thighs. Is that your definition of being 'civil'? Seriously?? For you it's ok to go ugly just because someone you don't like but live with 15dys a month has the audacity to anger you?

What does 'tuitiongate' have to do with civility going out the window when in reality the college funding has not changed one iota? Kid is still going. Still fully funded. Kid knew when she arrived for her week that absolutely NOTHING for college was changing.

If your teen went on a vicious rant every time she learned of something/someone that p*ssed her off but didn't actually affect her, what would/did you do? Award him/her?

You've spent the better part of an entire day excusing away this kid's behavior. There is no excuse for behaving ugly. All these HRNYC post on this blog... did you ever get around to advising on OP'S actual question about attending the party?

MollyBrown's picture

It sounds like the disengagement that is so recommended here.

Disneyfan's picture

I'm also from NYC. I think that is why I have a hard time understanding why the OP didn't check that kid from the start. I can't imagine allowing a kid to get away this crap.

RedRedVines's picture

I have seen how she manipulates him with fake tears and how she is under so much pressure and stressed out. He crumbles. I have no doubt that she laid it on thick in therapy.

RedRedVines's picture

What do you mean by 'check that kid'. I can't (and won't) lay a hand on her. I wouldnt do that to my own or someone elses kid, and she would probably call the cops and have BM sue me for emorional damages in civil court.

Disneyfan's picture

You don't have to touch a kid to make it clear that you are not to be fucked with. :?

I teach in a public school in the East New York section of Brooklyn. I have never hit a student, but the kids know not to mess with me. It isn't just me. Kids know which teacher they can give pure hell and which ones won't put up with their shit.

MollyBrown's picture

I keep wondering what changed. The step daughter was punished and not brought along on a family vacation. But these past two incidents the father did not punish her. Red is the one who added and added chores until Red felt vengeance was reached. Previously she posted her husband wondered why he should even punish her.

I am willing to bet we have barely heard anything of the dynamics in that house. Before people jump on me, I would have punished my kidfor saying the terrible shit. I can think her actions are nasty and give Red the side eye. I am talented like that.

RedRedVines's picture

DH wanted her to write an essay on why being mean to people was wrong and how she thought it made other people feel. She has said horrible things to me. I dont think chores are excessive.

Gimlet's picture

I-m so happy This is absolutely perfect.

I do think the root of all this is DH. I feel bad for both the SD and for Vines.