Parental Peeves

My shrink once told me that I have slight sociopathic tendencies. At the time, I laughed because it sounded kinda cool. Now, I wish it were true because I can’t for the life of me figure out how to talk myself out of this mess. I’m trapped. I’m living in a hotel, paid for by my employers. Originally they stated that they would pay for it for two months (2 mo = $4,000), during which I was supposed to save money and look for a permanent place to say. Well, I found a place. I want to move. Only problem is that I haven’t actually gotten a paycheck from them yet and I’ve spent, literally, every penny I have on this move and on my car. They didn’t pay me to relocate, which I now realize I should have tried to negotiate beforehand. Basically I’m in a position where I need their money. The security for this place is $1300. They are willing to advance me the money so that they can take a little bit out of my paycheck every week until it’s paid off. This is good. Except that there is no way I want to be in debt with them for three months. The idea I put forward was that they use some of the money that I saved them by moving out of the hotel a month and a half early on the security for my deposit. Afterall, if the money was going to be used on my housing anyway, wouldn’t transering it make sense? Makes perfectly good sense to me. Erm, no. Not to the selfish assholes that are my employers. No. According to the father, what they were doing by paying for my hotel was them generously investing in my getting settled. Generosity my ass. I moved out here on the condition that I would have a freaking roof over my head. That I would have two months to save money for a place to say. Well, the instant I got here, I got e-mails after e-mails with listings for apartments. It was clear that they wanted me out of the hotel as soon as possible. They even loaned me a company car when mine broke down so that I could drive around looking for places to stay. Not because it might be a bit dangerous and scary for me to be stranded in a strange town with absolutely no means of transportation. No. So that I could look for apartments. So I did. I found a place. It’s a house share in a beautiful home that’s owned by a really sweet Indian couple. Well, because this isn’t a regular apartment, they didn’t ask for a lease agreement. This is a problem for my employers. They feel that it’s too big of a risk to hand over so much money without a written agreement. Okay. That makes sense. I get it. I agree to get a written agreement the following day. Half an hour. Half an hour I sit there listening to the husband explaining all the risks involved and the reasoning behind their pressing this. I get it! Really. I get it. I nod. I say, okay. I understand. Over and over again. I feel like I’m listening to my father telling me about boys and why they can’t be trusted. Broken record. Really, I get it. I get it. Finally, I approach with my idea regarding the money saved on the hotel and my security deposit. What do I get it? A patronizing smile and yet another rant about their generosity and how it isn’t as though they has allotted a certain amount of money for me. That it wasn’t intended to be transferable, that my getting an apartment sooner wasn’t some sort of incentive to pocket money, though that’s clearly not what I’m doing. And so I’m pissed. More than pissed. I’m pissed at me. I’m pissed at them. I’m pissed because they are being godamned misers and over what? $1300. That’s fucking pocket change for them. It wouldn’t make a dent in their checkbooks. And it’s not as though they weren’t intending on spending nearly double that on my housing anyway, right? But on the otherhand, I don’t want to be a begger. I don’t want to have to plead for this, because damnit, I’m too proud for that. However, I definitely do not want to be in debt with them for three months. Either way, I’m still a charity case. Either way, I’ll owe them. Owe them for their generosity, or literally owe them money. And I’m starting to hate them. For being affluent assholes. For talking to me like I’m twelve. For making me feel like I’m in a vault with no way out. And there is no way out. And I hate it. Because I’m here thanks to them. I can’t leave. I can’t escape. I’m completely flat, fucking, broke. So I’m lassoed to them. Completely shackled and trapped.


I didn’t post about my first week earlier because I honestly couldn’t figure out how to cram my entire 48 hour week into a concise, coherent post. And I still don’t know if I can pull it off. Hell Week. That’s what it was. I really think it’s a bad sign when I’m dreading getting up on the second Monday of a new job.
The funny thing is that the kids are relatively easy to handle. If it were just them, I could totally do this. But just like before, the hardest part is not caring for the children but appeasing the parents. And these people have been repeatedly smacked with the crazy stick. If the dishwasher is not loaded just how he likes it, the father will literally, take out all the dishes and re-load it. I can’t just park randomly in the parking area of the house. No. I have to park next to another car so that it looks neat. I’m not allowed to be in the kitchen at the same time as anyone else. I have to slice roma tomatoes in half before I can pack them in the kids’ lunches. I can’t “overcook” the kids’ laundry in the dryer. I have to call the mom after I drop of the kids every morning to let her know that they’re at school. I have to clean and vaccum out the car every other week. Etc. Etc. Etc.
Just keeping all of these rules straight in my head is driving me looney. It’s like walking on eggshells with these people. I’m absolutely terrified of inadvertantly screwing something up. And the mother makes no qualms about letting one know when she’s not happy about something.
Did I mention that this family is uber wealthy? As in multi-millionaires. As in they own practically the entire town that they live in. As in they are widely disliked in this same town. As in, I had only been working for them for four days before someone gave me a pitied look for having to work for them and then launched into a diatribe about why they are snooty and evil.
And yet another rule is that I’m not allowed to talk about them. To anyone. Because they are so ubiquitious in this town, anything that I say will undoubtedly get back to them. I didn’t ask if this covers blogs …
So yeah. I don’t know if I’m strong enough to do this. And I honestly don’t know if it’s worth it. Is it worth $15 an hour and health benefits to work 40-60 hours a week, rasing two children for a family who is this anal and controlling? Is it worth this much stress and anxiety? *sigh* In any case, I’m seeing this through at least three months. That’s the promise I made myself. Three months. And if I’m still completely and utterly miserable after that amount of time, I’ll give them my notice. In the meantime I have to find a way to stay relatively sane.

Oh, and did I mention my car died? Yeah. Icing.

If I wanted to be squished and kicked and unable to listen to my ipod over the din of a temper tantrum then maybe I would have gone to Philadelphia with Mrs. P and Dr. Doormat. Instead, I chose to attend a family wedding this past week. Big mistake. On SO many levels. Of course, the universe had to remind me that my life revolves around munchkins because my seat was directly in front of a family with two children under the age of six. My seat in particular was directly in front of the boy’s seat. Boy looked about four or five and he didn’t stop kicking and/or jostling my seatback for the entire three hour plane ride. Three hours of getting kicked in the back. Glorious. The litttle girl on the other hand, who looked to be three or four had three tempter tantrums throughout the flight. One hour into the flight and my devotion towards humans under the age of ten completely dissipated. I wanted to strangle the little tykes. As I sat there fuming though, I realized that it wasn’t the kids’ that I should be irriated at but the parents. These children had no concept that their behavior was affecting everybody else on the flight. Not only were they disrupting me, but they were loud enough to be heard by every single person on the plane and yet they seemed fully oblivious to this. And the mother? She would simply sigh and mutter soft words of lord knows what to them. The father on the other hand, said absolutely nothing. I know not all parents are cut out to be “bad cops” but for both parents to just sit there and allow their offspring to disrespect an entire plane full of people apalls me. It’s rude and shameful. These parents clearly could not set boundaries nor could they discipline properly. The kids were wild. I’m not advocating corporal punishment but enough is enough. Bunny, for all his faults would never have had the gall to behave that way. And had he lost control of his emotions, we would have instantly been in a tiny plane bathroom having a timeout together and talking about his behavior and it’s effect on the people around him. I know it’s embarrassing when kids act out in public but that’s no excuse for avoiding discipline. Children need to understand that there is a world outside themselves but continually catering to a child’s inherently self-absorbed moods can’t come to any good. Sometimes children need to be humored but any sort of public arena is not an appropriate time to do that. Mr. T knows that if he disrupts other people or is unable to behave in an appropriate manner, he will be removed from whatever social situation he’s in. Granted that’s not possible on an airplane but at four he is already beginning to understand that other people’s needs are valid as well. Humans are inherantly selfish beings. Empathy is a learned trait and the longer children are allowed to behave as though they alone matter, the development of important social skills are delayed. Being able to function in any society involves having a degree of compassion. I see more and more that children are not taught the value of other people’s feelings and it worries me. I hope for the sake of that mother that she comes to her senses because already those children are far too self-absorbed. I wish parents would realize that there’s more to parenting than making your kids happy. Parenting is about teaching and children need to be taught, now more than ever, the art of compassion.

Mrs. P has decided to “go back to work” now that her baby is 8 months old. This means that for five-eight hours a week, on Friday’s only, she is a working mother. But more importantly that means that Fridays are freaking fantastic. I can get Bunny ready for school without her constant reminders that he take his vitamins, that he have fruit in his lunch, that he eats breakfast BEFORE he gets dressed and that he put on his sunscreen prior to putting on his shirt and shorts. You see, there is a VERY specific order to everything that happens in that house. But on Friday’s? Oh no. Fridays are glorious. I can get Buddha down for both of his naps without her harping about whether he’s pooped yet or if the fan over his crib is on too high or if I forgot to put on his air purifier. I can feed him his rice cereal without her worrying if it’s getting in his hair. I can play with him outside without her freaking out about the sun or the horrible chemicals in (Water Babies) sunscreen. I can feed Bunny his snack when he gets home from school without her reminding me to mix 50% water into his 100% organic cranberrie juice. We can *gasp* sit on the couch and color with crayons and amazingly not get any on the fabric. We can get out more than five toys at a time and manage to get them put away. We can turn on the radio really loud and dance. But mostly, we can relax and enjoy our day without Mrs. Pinochet on our backs. And when she gets home in a foul mood, I can grin because thank god I wasn’t one of the people having to deal with her all day long. Fridays rock. Tomorrow is Friday.

Bunny’s Mom whom we’ll kindly call Pinochet has very strict rules regarding pretty much every aspect of her sons’ lives. She basically attempts to control how they get dressed (no. really) what, and how they eat, and yes, how long they sleep. This sounds like a nomal concerned parent? Wait and see. I don’t kid when I say that the hardest part about working for Dr. Doormat and Mrs. P is keeping in line with all the freaking rules. One of my least favorite rules is the rule that states. “Bunny must get up from his nap at two regardless of when he went to sleep.” She leaves me notes, continually, reminding me of this fact. I may take one to scan it for disbelievers. Now, this rule doesn’t sound so bad. Especially not considering the fact that his (attempted) bedtime is seven pm. However, the lack of any leniency whatsoever is what distresses me. 2:00 means 2:00. Not 2:05. (though I like to stretch those five minutes out. shhh.) Not 2:15. She went APESHIT on Dr. Doormat one day when he “undermined” her by allowing me to let Bunny sleep an extra fifteen minutes. Now, there are several problems with this rule but my biggest issue with this rule is the whole “regladless of when he went to sleep” part. I HATE that part. Mrs. P insists that we are always on time and on (her) schedule however she has no issues continually changing that schedule without notice so long as SHE’S the one making the changes. So, if she says she’s going to be home with Bunny at noon and wants me to have lunch ready so I can get him down for his nap before one so he can get up by two, then by golly, I will have lunch ready to go a 11:55 sharp. However, Mrs. P is like clockwork in the sense that she is almost always never on time. That of course, doesn’t preclude us from always having to be on time. It just means that we have to be on her time. So, when she gets home at a quarter to one with a cranky, hungry four year old who decides that he no longer wants pizza for lunch but mac and cheese the whole “up by two regarldess …” rule should logically amend itself to her being late, correct? No. Absolutely not. I’m supposed to make up for the lost 45 minutes. And if he doesn’t actually fall asleep until 1:49 can I give him an extra 15 mintues of sleep, so that he can have a total of 26 minutes of naptime? Hell, no! And when she asks why he’s in such a foul mood and I tell her it’s because she only allowed him 11 minutes to sleep and why the hell can’t she loosen the fuck up? She comes to her senses and apologizes for being such an anal control-freak and offers me a raise in repentance … right? Wrong. Instead I just mutter that he’s tired and she nods and says something about an early bed time tonight as I ponder ways that I could grow, steal or buy marijuana to slip into her tea because I fear that that is the only way that she could ever relax.

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