Wednesday, January 16, 2008

More of the same....

I know, I know - it wouldn't be a week without a posting about X's annoyances.... I do feel a bit repetitive with these posts... but for some reason it's therapeutic for me to get it out. Maybe to have witnesses? Validation? To vent? I don't know. I haven't hyper-analyzed myself enough about that. Give it time. I'll find out.

BUT - X called yesterday. He can't take the kids tonight. He's going on a business trip (Chicago!) and needs to prep. Also, he's anxious about his job (ie thinks he might lose it. Wait. How many jobs has he lost? That's right, I've lost count, too...) so really wants to be ready for it.

J and I have tickets for a show tonight. I haven't seen J in a week. I say to X - can't your fiance pick them up? He says no. That it's "not her responsibility." Huh? Ummm... aren't you marrying her? But no. It's not her responsibility. So then I say... "well, I'm sure if you don't go the 'responsibility' route & just ask her to do you a favor this once..." Nope. "How about asking if she'd do ME a favor?!?" Nope.

So I guess the crux of this is... as usual - he just doesn't get it. He doesn't get what being a parent is. He can (and does) love them... but sometimes it's not convenient.. and you STILL have to deal with them. And he has two people - two grownups - at his place. But it's still his job, his responsibility, his right and his privilege to see them once a week -- and if something gets in the way of that - he will let that take priority. NOT his kids and their need to see him. And NOT his job as a parent.

And you know what else? Pretty much every week he tries to get out of seeing them. Last week - he was really anxious about the job thing... felt that he couldn't handle having them. I told him we had plans (we didn't) and he took them. THe week before.. it was something... but I made him take them. So every week we really don't know from one day to the next if he's going to take them or not. Don't even know why I bother. I should just go back to him just having them every other weekend.... a little less stress in my life. (But of course, the kids like to see him...)

My sister will watch the kids tonight when we go see the show....

Ok, Ok

(Ok, G4! I got it! :)) I spoke to the reference yesterday. I told her. I said that I had only had the sitter for a month. That a big problem was that I was too involved in the sitter's personal life.. it was too much for me. I didn't establish appropriate boundaries from the start.

I said that she made me uncomfortable. That there was nothing concrete, as she had been a perfectly fine sitter... always on time, warm, loving... but that I always felt these red flags. That she made me uncomfortable. (I said that already, right?) I said maybe because I knew so much about her life... that those feelings made me anxious about her day to day job.. but that there was nothing concrete.

When the woman commented how the sitter seemed so talented in so many things... I said yes, but that was something else that made me uncomfortable.... (again!) it just didn't' seem believable....

I told the woman that I pretty much fired her. I told her that the combination of these uncomfortable (!! time for a new word choice?) feelings about her, plus her involving me so much in her personal life... I did not feel comfortable (not quite the same, right?) with her.

And you know what. The woman did not hear. She was enamoured of her. At least it didn't' seem as if she did. Sitter tried to phone me two times last night, but didn't leave a message & was too busy to pick up.

So I gave a totally honest reference. I said I felt she was kind, honest, warn, genuine, helpful and sincere - that she had never done anything "wrong" (except for the Max jacket incident.. but I figured that was one time so I didn't mention it...) but that she was too much for me. That she left me feeling ... well... not quite comfortable. (should I invest in a thesaurus?) And I had to find somebody else. I did not "diagnose" the sitter - saying that I felt she had judgement issues, boundary issues, was immature.. BUT I gave the mother the information to made that diagnosis herself... if she chose.

I'm not so sure she chose. But I did what I had to do.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Waving at girls costs man his arm | Oddly Enough | Reuters.com

Waving at girls costs man his arm Oddly Enough Reuters.com

Bet his mom told him a million times that that would happen.....

Sitter Stuff

So my new sitter is (dare I say it? Dare I jinx it?!?) Amazing. She has it all together. She is kind with the kids and yet doesn't let them walk all over her. She knows what's what. Plus she's smart and sweet. (Ok, I came home and she had eaten the last piece of bread and I had nothing to make the boys lunch with.... but they ate crackers and I got more bread...)

Old sitter (the 16 year old) trained her. She's still in the picture, helping out when needed. That has worked out really well, since she lives in the neighborhood and has the same school schedule as the boys. Plus she likes to be with them and they like to be with her. We've even invited her & her brother & sister to Nathan's birthday party. All's good with that.

The one I just fired... well.... Oy. She IM's me nearly every day. She was going to go to Hawaii for a (babysitting!!) job but was dissuaded because the mother who was going to hire her is a pot smoking, Ecstasy using, Passion Party throwing stripper - who told her within 2 hours of knowing her that she thinks her mother is Satan and that she was raped as a child. And not that there's anything WRONG with each of those things in and of themselves... but thrown together. In Hawaii. Far away. Hmmm.... let's think here for a second...

She kept asking me if she should go.. and I gave her questions to ask them (and herself) until finally she told me that she had decided to go. I told her that she should talk to her FRIENDS about it. (Maybe I'm too old to give this sort of advice? I've lost that "adventure" edge? I'm too careful?) They told her no. She's not going.

But here's the thing that's on my mind. She went for a job interview here in NYC the other day. Two kids: 8 & 13. The mother called last night for a reference & I haven't called her back yet. I'm really starting to think that it's more than just my experience with her.. that maybe she doesn't really have the good judgement to watch kids? But maybe because these kids are older it'll be ok?

One (cold) weekend, in December when I picked the kids up at X's I noticed Max wasn't wearing his winter jacket. Just a sweatshirt. When sitter brought them to meet X on Friday they couldn't find his winter jacket right away, they were running late - so left without it. Left. Without. It. In December. My apartment is not that big...the jacket was there. Somewhere. (Actually, when I came back it was right there on the floor of his room...)

I said to sitter: "Why did you let him go - a WHOLE WEEKEND - without his jacket...? YOU are the 'boss'. YOU are responsible."

That was, honestly, the only instance where I really had a problem with her judgement (related to my kids!). And I'm thinking that with this family.. if the kids are older... it'll be ok... Right?

Shit. I've never given a bad reference.. but I'm just not sure I can whole heartedly recommend her.. now that I know so much more about her judgement...

Thoughts? Am I being too harsh because I know too much of her outside life? Should I just focus on how she was within the confines of just being my sitter? Do I tell about the jacket issue? I feel like I have more of an allegiance to a fellow mother... but again... I've never given a bad reference... her kids are older...

Going round in circles now. Maybe I'll figure it out in the shower.