If you'd like to use this space to tell stories/secrets/confessions of your dangerous maternal (or paternal!) mind, send me an e-mail and you too can enjoy the refuge of the Basement...
I'm plopping on the couch here in the basement. I have a confession that I cannot tell anyone about. Maybe my best friend (ok, I did tell her), but it's something I cannot even mention to my very loving husband. If I did confess, he'd be furious with me and see me differently. I also know that my confession would hurt him deeply, and so I keep it to myself.
Confession: I despise our 8 year old niece. With a passion. One might read this and say, "Big deal"...after all, who doesn't have an annoying relative? But this is complicated...you see, I am currently responsible for watching the spoiled brat several days per week-and this responsibility is going to continue for a while.
I am off during the summer months. Hubby's sister is a single parent, doing the best she can-and not making it. Her loser of an ex pays minimal child support. She was able to land a job near us and is planning to relocate as soon as her custody hearing is over and done with. In the meantime, she has needed to start the new job, since she had to quit the old one. Since the new job is near us, and we are the only people she knows here, guess who watches the little brat while Mommy works? That would be ME.
I am trying. Really hard. The kid is going through a LOT...as much as we've tried to shield her from the custody battle, she's not stupid-she knows what is going on. Besides that, she suffers from a toxic case of what I refer to as "Only Child Syndrome" (those of you who are or have only children, please don't be offended-I was an only child until my teens, and I totally suffered from this very same condition-not all only children have it). She is SPOILED...because her mom can't afford nice things for her, the rest of the family spoils her...and yes, Hubby and I have contributed to that by buying her toys from time to time. But it's not just that she's spoiled by having the material things. She is used to having HER way, being first at EVERYTHING, running the show, and getting away with whatever. Her mother suffers from the guilt that plagues many single parents (again, not trying to offend, I was raised by a single parent who suffered this same guilt), and gives in to almost every whim.
And now I am expected to watch her while Mommy works. I ADORE her mother. I love her as a sister and a friend. But her kid is a pain in my ass. And not only do I have her to keep an eye on, I have my own child. A child, who, at almost age 2, is easily impressed and tries to do what Big Cousin does.
I feel like a horrible person...I've been entrusted to care for the most special person in the life of someone I care deeply for-and I can't stand it. I dread mornings when she is dropped off here and I count the hours until she's picked up. I make the effort-I take her (and my kid) to the park, I read with her, play computer games with her...and when it's just us two, she's not so bad...but heaven forbid, she share the spotlight with my kid-she turns into a brat. She complains about the brand of jelly I buy (it tastes funny), the type of ketchup I buy (which is the same effin stuff that's at HER house), she will mess up my kid's toys and refuse to put them away...
When I return to work, I'll be watching her in the afternoons after I get home until her mom gets home.
Yes, I signed on for this...it was the only way that my sister-in-law could take the job and get out of the rut she was in. I knew what I was getting into, but I guess I was a tad unrealistic. I truly thought that with the gift of time, this little girl and I would bond and that I'd come to love her like a second child. NOPE. Granted, she is reaching out to me more than she did before this arrangement was made (I was often viewed at the 'strict' aunt)...she calls when she's not here and asks to do stuff with me, so I know she's enjoying my company at least a little-so I must be doing a good job of pretending to like her. But I just don't enjoy her company...I can't say she's BAD...but she is annoying.
And that's so cruel to say of a child going through so much...it's not her fault. I also resent how watching her takes time away from me spending time with just my child.
I would never hurt her. I would never let on to anyone how much I despise her at times. I would never mistreat her or act differently towards her. When she sees me, I am all smiles, ready to take on the day...we go to the park, we read, we fingerpaint, we talk, we watch movies...and all the while I am rolling my eyes on the inside. CRUEL, I am.
Deep down, I do know that I love her. If anything happened to her, I'd be devastated. But I am frustrated and overwhelmed by her. Because not only do I have to watch her, I feel I have to be 'extra cool' in doing so...the court date for the custody battle is fast approaching, and the asshole of a father she has would love nothing more than to march into court and state that he's hearing how unhappy his little girl is when she's with me...so I REALLY have to turn on the charm and be sweet AND cool so that she'll go there and go on and on about how much fun she has when she's with me.
OK, I fessed up...call me a bitch, a cruel, insensitive human being. After all, I am a recovering Only Child Syndrome case...I was raised by a single mom for years...and I teach young kids for a living...though I dare say it's far easier to teach a room full of little girls than it is to babysit them all day. I should know better, I should be above this petty cruelty...she's a little girl.
But she's such a BRAT.