"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." ~ Benjamin Franklin

I Must Be the Aunt From Hell

>> Thursday, June 23, 2005

Or I certainly feel like it.

Doug's nephew came home with him Sunday. He has been here 4 days. Honestly, I am ready for him to be gone. (Doug knows this so it will come as no big surprise when he reads this. I hope.)

It's not that Chris is a bad kid. He is just not used to our house and the expectations that I have. I do remember being a teenager (Chris turns 13 in a month). I don't tell him when to go to bed or when to get up. I don't tell him when or what to eat. I really don't demand much from him at all.

Yesterday he spent the day at Adventureland, a local amusement park. Because he arrived with no money I asked him to mow a few portions of the yard the day before to "earn" the money for his outing. (Not a cheap outing, either.)

I didn't ask him to do anything that I haven't done myself. And I didn't ask him to do the whole yard. I showed him the areas I wanted done; even showed him how to use the mower. And I went in to feed Brenna.

Now, it takes me about 20 minutes to nurse the Princess. About the time I finished, Chris came in announcing that he was done. Knowing that when I mow those sections each takes about 30 minutes (to do right) I was skeptical. As I had every reason to be. I really didn't see that he had done anything. So I showed him again where to mow and how to do it. Another 10 minutes and he announced that he had "finished". I left it at that, called Doug, and told him that he would have to explain to Chris that it really wasn't "done". I then told Chris that Doug would be checking it and, he, being much more picky than myself, would have the final say.

I'm sure that I don't need to tell you that Doug & Chris worked in the yard that evening.

Yesterday when I took Chris & his cousin to Adventureland I handed him $50 for his day. Not even a thank you. Man, if someone had handed me $50 when I was 13 I probably would have kissed their feet...

And today. Again, I don't tell him when to eat or what to eat. There are fixins for sandwiches, hot dogs, microwave mac & cheese, lettuce, fruits, chips, etc. in my kitchen. I did, however, tell the boys (Chris' cousin spent the night) that I want them to eat before Chris' grandmother gets here. I tell them this at 1pm, an hour after Brenna & I had lunch and after I offered them some of the mac & cheese with cut-up hotdogs that we had (yes, folks, Brenna had hot dog today!). The reply I got was, "We'll eat whatever you make us."

Oh hell no! I said that I wasn't their chef, that they knew where the food was.

So, my question to my faithful readers who have young teens: What should I do? We have arrangements to return Chris to his family on July 7. Any tips for keeping my sanity until then?

Man, I just know that he is gonna tell his grandmother how I wouldn't feed him today...

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