“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#1 May 30, 2014
DEAR AMY: I am the mother of three children, ages 3, 7 and 9. My father (their grandfather) is very involved in their lives and he and his wife often take one of them for the day or the weekend.

When my children are returned to me, typically they have not eaten anything but snacks and candy, they have uncombed hair, dirty clothes and other indications of disarray.

For example, my 3-year-old son recently spent the night at their house. He came home the next day wearing a diaper (he is potty-trained but he wears a diaper at night), and when I asked about it, I was told that they had not bothered to take it off in the morning. He had slept in his clothes, which were filthy.

I understand and support the notion that the rules should be relaxed when hanging out with grandparents, but it bothers me when my children come home in this condition.

When I have voiced my concerns, my father responds that I am "nagging" him about trivial things and not being appreciative.

I am grateful he is so active in my children's lives, but is it too much to ask that he feeds them reasonably well, changes their clothes and puts them to bed in their pajamas? This is just basic caretaking, right?-- Overconcerned Mom?

DEAR OVERCONCERNED: Your standards seem very reasonable.

So why are you consigning your children to spend nights in this household where they are literally lying in their own filth?

You don't mention what the kids think of this treatment, but even children who enjoy eating candy for dinner at their grandparents' house also have an awareness of when they are not being well cared for.

Grandparents enjoy indulging their grandchildren with junk food, ball games, occasional late nights or missed naps. But what you report is serious neglect, and because you are aware of it you are as responsible as your father is when you let your kids spend the night there.

You should make sure he and his wife are able to take care of these children in an even minimally responsible way. They should not have overnights there unless the adults can show some basic ability to feed, bathe and clothe them.

If this makes you a "nag," then wear the badge proudly.

DEAR AMY: I have been in a relationship for over a year and we are both in our mid-30s. We anticipate spending our lives together (our friends and family expect this too).

I know that differences between people can often provide balance in a relationship, but our differences may be too great. I consider myself open-minded and compassionate, while he is bigoted. I like to save money, but he is frivolous and spontaneous. He craves adventure and lacks focus; I want structure and security.

To top it off, I believe strongly that he is an alcoholic. While I may be willing to subject myself to that journey, as a child of an alcoholic, I feel it would be selfish to bring a child into a potentially volatile environment.

There are many positives to the relationship. We live together, spend every day together and genuinely love one another.

I know I won't change him, but I don't think it's too much to ask for someone to work on being a kinder person and a fiscally responsible, mature adult. He's not budging.

What's your take?-- Unsure

DEAR UNSURE: My take is that you need to get out. You may love this man, but you don't seem to like or respect him enough to make a positive and loving life together. Furthermore, the thought that you would be willing to (in your words) "subject yourself" to the "journey" of an alcoholic sends shivers up my spine.

As the daughter of an alcoholic, you need to make different choices. So start now.

DEAR AMY: Oh Amy, I loved your response to "Sad Sister," who excluded her sister from outings, seemingly because she wasn't classy enough. Every once in a while I think it's good that you simply call people out on their outrageous behavior.-- New Fan

DEAR FAN: Thank you so much.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#2 May 30, 2014
1 Your father, "His" wife. That says it all right there. Your mother obviously raised you, and your dad was the bread winner. He never bathed you, did a load of laundry or cooked a meal. Now your mother is gone, and his wife feels no obligation towards these children, and your father lacks the parenting skills necessary. You need to teach your father how to do those things. If you had not run your husband off, he could probably have helped.

2 Screw the hack, you and your friends see a wonderful life for the two of you, chase that dream...

3 I think amy twisted her arm patting herself on the back!

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#3 May 30, 2014
Although that stuff would get on my nerves, Amy is full of shit calling it serious neglect. Its one fn night. Sorry, but not taking a bath or not wearing pajamas for one night is not a big fn deal.

Since: Dec 07

DuPage County

#4 May 30, 2014
1. If it bothers you so much, cut down on the time they spend there. Oh? It'll cut down on your barstool time? Never mind.

2. He sounds like such a winner, the broke bigoted alcoholic! It's a wonder you even had a chance! Quick, marry him and he'll automatically become the man of your dreams.

Since: Dec 07

DuPage County

#5 May 30, 2014
Mister Tonka wrote:
Although that stuff would get on my nerves, Amy is full of shit calling it serious neglect. Its one fn night. Sorry, but not taking a bath or not wearing pajamas for one night is not a big fn deal.
Some people just don't put as big an emphasis on keeping kids immaculately clean as well. There's always a kid in the crowd at that age that looks like Pigpen.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#6 May 30, 2014
Mister Tonka wrote:
Although that stuff would get on my nerves, Amy is full of shit calling it serious neglect. Its one fn night. Sorry, but not taking a bath or not wearing pajamas for one night is not a big fn deal.
Not changing a diaper? Presumably the kid wears them in case he has an overnight accident and presumably someone has a couple Pull-Ups around.

Grandpa may not be comfortable cleaning bottoms, but still, this part crosses teh ick factor line for me

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

United States

#7 May 30, 2014
Mister Tonka wrote:
Its one fn night. Sorry, but not taking a bath or not wearing pajamas for one night is not a big fn deal.
Or a weekend. And not changing the kid's diaper? I think that IS a bfd

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#8 May 30, 2014
Pertaining to the diaper. Yes. If the kid peed on them overnight, then yes. Needs to be changed. No question. But lw did not say that was the case. She said these were the overnight training diapers. My kids wore those as well while potty training. The goal was to go the whole night without peeing in them. Some nights they succeeded. Some nights they didn't. I think we had the goal of 2 straight weeks without an acident before we would go to regular underwear only. So i could easily see the kid wearing them at grandpa's and not peeing in them. Hell, we used them on more than one night if there were no accidents.

If she's gonna complain about uncombed hair. I think she damn sure would let amby know the diaper was peed in. But she didn't. So I'm assuming the diaper was not soiled.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#9 May 30, 2014
L1: I do think grandpa should be in hot water for not changing the kid and not feeding him at least chicken nuggets. The mom could send easy to make food for the kids to help with that. I have to agree with Amy. Why do you continue to send your kids on overnight trips there if they are not caring for them as you wish? Oh! I know, free babysitting!

L2: Seems to me this LW is hanging on to this relationship b/c it's what other people are expecting. Dump him. You will eventually drive him nuts as well.

L3: I dislike it when people congratulate themselves.

Since: Dec 09

Smalltown, Colorado

#10 May 30, 2014
LW1 - RACE hit it on the head on why Grandpa doesn't do anything. But it is still icky per PEllen. It is neglectful not to feed kids something decent. But Grandpa's wife is so sick of waiting on helpless Grandpa day in and day out that the kids are just extra work for her and she isn't going to do anything for them.
LW2 - Oh, yeah, marry this prize! He will turn into a compassionate, money-saving, teetotaler the day after the wedding. Honest...

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

United States

#11 May 30, 2014
Toj wrote:
L1: I do think grandpa should be in hot water for not changing the kid and not feeding him at least chicken nuggets.
Chicken nuggets? Why did you say chicken nuggets?

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#12 May 30, 2014
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
Chicken nuggets? Why did you say chicken nuggets?
It was an example. An easy-peasy thing kids will actually eat. It's not likely he'd cut fruit and veggies into kid friendly shapes or anything for a main course that would take more than heat it up. Just my take on the letter.
blunt advice

Hoboken, NJ

#13 May 30, 2014
Race nailed this one. Step granny can't cook or clean and gramps never learned how.
2. Move on. Your marriage to this guy would be miserable.
3. Agree that Sad Sister is an evil pompous witch but Must we repeatedly rehash this?

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