Dear Mouthy Housewives,
I live with my boyfriend who has two girls, ages 8 and 10. I have older kids (18 and 20) who are in college. I like his girls a great deal but the younger one will straddle him on the couch when we are sitting together. It really bothers me and makes me uncomfortable. I don’t think it’s a sexual thing but she is very needy sometimes. She has also climbed in bed with us in the mornings a couple of times. I don’t like that either. I know I need to say something to my boyfriend…but what?
I don’t want to sound jealous of an 8-year-old but maybe I am?
Am I Really Jealous of a Tween?
Dear Am I Really Jealous of a Tween?
Here’s the thing about kids. They are extremely needy. Since your children are grown, you might not remember just how needy because parenthood is about suppressing the past. It’s a natural defense mechanism so we don’t become completely insane.
But let me remind you… needy is what kids do. It’s their top skill. They want food. They want attention. They want help with their homework. 16 extra hugs at bedtime. 47 books. More food. Now they are thirsty. Now they have to go to the bathroom. Now they want to be tucked back in. And on and on and on.
Your boyfriend’s 8-year-old sounds pretty normal. She’s still a little kid and wanting to climb on top of her dad and hug with him shouldn’t be cause for alarm. Many fathers and daughters have a special relationship and she wants to be close to him. It’s also quite common for kids to want to climb into bed with their parents in the morning. In fact, as long as it’s after 7 am, I love snuggling with my children in bed…until they start screaming at each other because someone has 3 extra inches of space and well, then it’s time for breakfast.
I think you need to figure out where your jealous feeling are coming from. Do you feel like you don’t get enough attention from your boyfriend? If yes, you need to talk to him. If you constantly see him being affectionate with his kids and not you, that will understandably lead to feelings of envy and resentment for you.
If you want to be with this guy, it comes with a package deal. I would try to embrace and bond with his children, instead of seeing them as a threat. Because if you want to be with him in the long run, you are building a family, not just a relationship.
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
I am attending college and still living with my parents. After my sister and her husband had a child, they decided to move back home while saving for a house. It’s totally ridiculous because there is no room here. Anyways, my father and I finished the basement so they could move in, and now pretty much the entire house is theirs.
Their child, my nephew who I love, cute as a button, if not cuter, makes absurd amounts of noise and throws his toys on the hard wood all the time, and this behavior is encouraged. They also play movies like they are at the theater, so i can hear every word through the floors. Ive asked my mother to regulate this as I cannot study, however that seems to have fallen on deaf ears..
My BIL has yet to wash a single dish in this house and my sister finds it very difficult to clean up after herself, throwing passive aggressive tantrums, or flat out tantrums. (My BIL is 37–yes 3-7–and my sister is 22.)
My mother wont say anything to either one of them because they are both so “sensitive” and she fears my sister will be a vindictive bitch once she leaves and wont let my mother see her grandchild.
What do I do, as to not hurt their poor little feelings, and actually get some piece and quiet?
This House is Not a Home
Okay, let’s start with some positives here:
1. Good for you for going to college and not getting pregnant by a twice-your-age man and moving back home with your parents!
2. Double good-for-you for helping your dad refinish the basement! I couldn’t bring myself to paint my own nails in college!
You sound like a super sweet girl, and I love that you’re trying to figure out a way to “fix” this problem without hurting anyone. But, that said, here comes the negative:
1. What’s happening in your parents’ house sounds pretty dysfunctional, and you alone cannot undo that mess.
2. It’s your parents’ home–not yours–so you don’t have the authority or right to affect any change, especially since your mother cannot bring herself to stand up to your sister and her son-in-law.
Buzzkill, I know. But wait, it gets worse, because when you add this mess together, I see only one or two bleak solutions.
1. Spend more time at the library.
2. Move out.
I realize moving out may not be practical or possible while you’re in school, but I’d encourage you to get out of that stressful environment as soon as you possibly can. And while you can’t control what your mother or sister will do to fix things, you can control yourself. Fighting this fight will be a waste of your time and energy. Maybe you and your dad can do a little reno work on the side and just get your own damn place.
Best of luck!
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
This probably isn’t one of your usual questions you get asked, as it has nothing to do with sex, but I wanted some opinion from outside the realm of people I know personally.
I’ve been in childcare for well over a year now, and I’m job hunting for a better job – currently I am a sitter – but I want something more full time and a job where I don’t have to worry about paying back a ton of taxes (as I recieve a 1099) either at a daycare or being a nanny filling out a w4.
I have the chance to be a nanny full time in August but I’m unsure if I should take it because I’m also in college trying to aquire my Associate’s degree in early childhood education. I want to be a nanny but I also would love to have my AA.
I know, odd dilema, right? I will be almost done with my classes before next August, but I have to do 10 credits of Student Internship at a teaching facility (school, daycare, etc) and I’m pretty sure being someone’s personal nanny at their private residence doesn’t count.
I’ve applied to various daycares around Seattle/Lynnwood and haven’t heard much back, so I’m concerned if I should put my AA on hold or not.
To Finish AA or Not
Dear AA-Bound, Possibly,
First of all, congratulations on taking that first important step and admitting you have a problem. Alcoholism is a serious disease and I’m heartened to know that you are addressing the situation through the assistance and support of Alcoholics Anon- What? Hold on.
AA stands for Associate’s Degree? Shouldn’t that be AD?! This is exactly what’s wrong with kids today. And letters today. Oh, I see. It’s an Associate’s in Arts. Got it. We will now proceed with the advice-dispensing. I’ll wait until you get a pen and paper to take notes.
Personally, I’m of the school that believes education is always a great thing, and if you are on track to receive a degree, and have an opportunity to do so, grab it! Of course I’m also of the school that believes that on-the-job experience is crucial, and no one should give it up without careful consideration. As you can see, I am enrolled in two schools, probably incurring student loans in each. Send cash.
There are several questions you need to ask yourself: How much is the time commitment to the August job? How secure is the position? Is it possible to have the job and do an internship at the teaching facility as well?
I know I’m suggesting a heavy workload, but please consider the possibility. Your new employer may be very happy that you will be getting hands on experience at a teaching facility (after all, taking care of children is an art form) and if there is flexibility with your working hours, perhaps you can do both. Or maybe it’s possible to extend the time that it takes you to do the internship and do fewer hours over more semesters.
However, if it is a true one or the other situation, I recommend getting the Associate’s out of the way. Then you will have the degree for life, and the invaluable experience and contacts that comes with the internship.
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
I’m not a mom but I do babysit and take care of two little boys - one that is 3 and one that is 5. They play house and their father is worried about it. I’ve seen them play and it is a bit unusual. Is it okay to let them play or is this a sign of homosexual behavior?
Just Want Boys to be Boys
Dear Just Want Boys to be Boys,
You know what is unusual about two little boys playing house? Oh, I know. Absolutely nothing. Because some boys like to play with trucks. Some boys like bouncing balls. And some boys like to play house. And some boys like all of it.
My 2 1/2 year-old son spends countless hours preparing food in his play kitchen. And guess what, the kitchen is PINK. Did I make you faint? Am I worried about his behavior? No. I can only hope and pray that he grows up to be the next Mario Batali and I get a reservation every night at one of his four star restaurants.
In our society, a great husband is an equal partner when it comes to taking care of the home. For little boys to start exhibiting these skills early on is nothing but good news. Hey, give them a Dustbuster and get the house cleaned too!
By the way, you know what is a sign of homosexual behavior? When a little boy grows up to be a teenager and says to him mom and dad, “I’m gay.” Yup. That’s when you know. And then you hope he finds another great guy and they live happily ever after.
You and the children’s father should worry much less about these boys playing normal child games and focus on teaching them things like kindness, compassion and tolerance. Oh and how to make a delicious pappardelle with white truffles and parmigiano.
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
My first grade kid is in the midst of class elections. His teacher is really doing it up: primaries, debates, interviews, three tickets of kids on different platforms. Some parents, all of whom tend to be a bit more serious than my own mouthy self, have suggested that this is too much stress for the kids. They think it’s too devastating to lose and that the teacher should turn this into making up referenda for the school instead. I think the way the teacher has set up the process is a lot of work but a great learning opportunity. I also think she has done a great job preparing the kids for possibly losing. My kid says that everyone in class looks forward to Social Studies because they are all so into the elections. I want to write back the other parents and say, “Settle down,” but I fear being the lone dissenter to the dissent.
Dear Electoral Coddle-ge,
It took me a while to be able to respond, because I was having too much fun imagining a debate between three 1st graders. You know, the kid who runs on sugary snacks, extra recess and longer nap-times is totally pandering.
Anyway. About these other parents. I am with you sister. These kids are going through this exercise during one of the most contentious presidential races in history. If the point is to teach them how it all works, their election should mirror the actual process as closely as possible. Demand to see birth certificates! Who paid less taxes on their allowance! Which kid believes in choice time, and which one only believes in choice time when the life of the teacher is at stake?! Huh? Oh. Hmmm. Sorry. Got a little carried away there.
Yes, I am sure the kids that lose in this election will be upset. What’s so wrong with that? The sooner the parents help their kids manage that, and teach them that there’s always the next election, or the next game, the better off they will be. As far as you speaking up and letting your opinion be known, I think with the right approach, you could come across as the voice of reason. Point out what a positive experience it will be for the kids, and perhaps give examples of actual politicians who lost their first elections and then went on to win later.
May the best kid win!