I know you have heard the saying “too many chiefs, too little Indians”. Well, I learned the meaning of that the hard way. Many people know that I help raise two nieces and two nephews. It was not an easy task to do. Even though they lived with me and my mother majority of the time, they assumed they could live by their own rules. Then, their parents, my brothers and their ex’s and other relatives, would add their two cents on how to raise them. It lead to confusion, frustration, and anger. I was always called to “fix” everybody’s mess. Eventually, I learned to just be quiet and step aside.
My niece and her Rugrats have had to move back in with me. They wear “Auntie Grandma” out in more ways than one. (Smile) I am watching my niece, my mom and Man- child battle over how to raise them. My niece and mom agree on just about everything but Man-child steps in and gives his opinion. For instance, the kids like to come home from school, eat and watch TV. Man-child said “Do your homework then you can eat and watch TV”. My niece says “Well they need a break and they can get it done”. Well, it doesn't get done and they are usually up at 7 pm trying to finish homework instead of going to bed. My niece will allow the kids to eat snacks before dinner. Man-child takes them and hides the snacks so they have to ask him for snacks. It goes on and on.
I am often called to settle the arguments. I have to tell Man-child that he can give his opinion but remember, he is not the parent. He puffs his chest out and says “NO, they need to learn the right way or they won’t get it at all”. I laugh at all them even though it drives me crazy. The kids often look at their mom and Man-child and then come to me to tell them what to do. I try to stay out of it.
More than anything, it has made me look at Man-child in a different light – again. I think where did he get it from? I wonder “Is this how I treated him? Was I that bad?” Hmmmm…. It makes me wonder. Then, it makes me raise my eyebrows at what kind of parent he is going to be – although he says he will never have kids after living with the Rugrats. Laugh, laugh, laugh…how many times have I heard that one. At any rate, after seeing him with the kids, I think he is going to be an awesome parent – PRAYFULLY, a long time from now.