This update has been sitting in the hopper for a while and I just didn’t get a chance to finalize it.
May 2012: The teenagers are fighting. Despite the slamming doors, the screamed insults and the threats to home and health, it’s a good thing. For over a year they have been polite to my husband and I and to each other. Standing side by side as a solid unit. They were the “big kids” and the grandchildren were “the littles”.
A natural division had been set into place, just by sheer age range, and seniority. My biological children were here first, they knew the rules, they had places for all their stuff. These new kids, the interlopers, trespassers, they came with baggage. They fought and yelled and stole. They snuck food into their beds, spilled things on projects and yelled some more. These three little people thoroughly disrupted our serenity. The teenagers bonded together in a united front. They shared the television and chores as I have never seen before. They sat together in the kitchen or in my bedroom sharing thoughts and feelings. They had always been close, but for one year, it was downright creepy.
Now, they are fighting. There is never a consensus on television show or activity. There is no pitching in for chores or offers to help. There is name calling, threats of violence and even once a questioning of parentage! It shouldn’t have shocked me, I knew it was bound to happen, but this was music to my ears.
My husband and I have also stopped being so polite to them. For a year we tiptoed, apologized, commiserated with and placated. We empathized with them. This change was so drastic, so fast it was hard not to let them break some rules, drop the grades and forget chores. We were stern but rarely enforced our discipline. We rationalized that they were good kids and had given up an entire lifestyle to make room for these kids. As the saying goes, all good things have come to an end. I lost my cool last week. The chores need to get done, the grades need to be brought up and for heaven’s sake curfews were invented for a reason!
The grandchildren don’t quite know what to do with this change. The privileges of the big kids have been pulled left and right! Justice is being doled out to all instead of some. My daughter and my son squabble just as they do! I can see relief on the grandchildren’s faces sometimes, just knowing that everyone makes mistakes and argues and still loves each other. That even if they aren’t perfect (as the teenagers most certainly are NOT) they will get to stay in this house. Perfect or not, we are a family,we will stand united against all challenges until someone steals the remote, and then all bets are off!