The weekend was a test of my patience. I love my friends. I love their children. However, I do not love the fact that their children, especially their youngest, has absolutely no discipline. I spent what little quiet time I had over the weekend thinking back to when Chase was two and wondered if he misbehaved like their little boy did. Chase didn’t, and I don’t feel he was the exception to the rule.
Their little boy has allergies (dogs, peanuts, tree nuts) and for a child that requires an epi pen, he seems to eat whatever is not openly categorized in his “Not to eat” list. I watched him consume two Coke slushies while we played putt-putt on Saturday. I watched him consume bread products left and right. He refused to eat many good, healthy foods, and was constantly fed high sugary goodies. It frustrated me. As this little boy spent most of his weekend shrieking for attention (and his parents would drop anything they were doing and he played that card over and over) I watched his face and his face rashes get worse. I felt bad for him.
I felt bad because the discipline issues are because his parents let him get away with everything. I think they feel that because he is “sickly” that they need to do anything to make him happy. I had to tell them about a little boy I saw at the park when I took their four year old daughter to the park with Chase. This little boy was not even a year old and just had his cleft palette repaired. He was so happy and so beautiful. When we came back to my home and I heard the sing-song story about how they just don’t know what his food triggers could be (all the while he’s gorging himself on sugary snacks) I had to hold my tongue and practice patience.
As I said, I love my friends and I do not want to lose their friendship. I held my tongue because I feared if I said anything about their parenting methods, or lack thereof, it would damage our friendship. Steve mentioned Sunday evening that it may be better to hear these things coming from a friend and not a stranger. I considered that, and I had attempted to talk to them about it Sunday morning, but they seem to be completely oblivious to the problems.
For now, I am thinking of how to approach them cautiously and not be in the line of fire. I don’t want any child to hurt or suffer. I don’t doubt that he is sick and he has some health issues. I think if the behavioral issues could get under control more focus could be put on to figuring out if there is more going on than allergies.
Sunday night, in the eleventh hour, and perhaps because I was so tired (screaming child meant no sleep for anyone in the house all weekend) I decided to drop my summer classes and allow myself the summer to rest and recuperate. I was only going part time, and it was more to keep myself busy for at least part of the summer, but I realized I have plenty to keep myself busy with. I’m okay with the decision and I think it is best for my family. This past semester tried my patience as I dealt with my downsizing from work, the death of two of my three grandparents within a six week period, and family stress that my mother is coping with (she was adopted and now her biological siblings are coming into the picture). I need the summer. I need to be able to sleep, to knit or write, to work with Chase in his garden. I want to walk along the coast line and watch Chase as he runs up and down the beach. I want to breathe. I want to Be.
So going forth I am going to remember to breathe, remember to think before I speak, and remember that life is too short to stress so much.