It started off good. Monday was of course a holiday which meant that dh and ds were out of work and school, so we spent the day at home, lounging around and just having some great family time.
Tuesday, I started a new babysitting job and so began my troubles. The child was a 2 1/2 year old little boy who I'll call "P". P is the son of a younger gal dh works with. Dh works alongside her dad which is how he knows of her. Apparently the gal is going through a nasty divorce and having some bad financial problems at the moment. Being the nice person I am, I agreed to help her out and babysit for the very low price of only $85 a week.
So, Tuesday morning at 7am, this gal shows up with P. P was pretty good considering it was his first time in a new place with a strange lady to babysit him.....at least for the first hour and a half. After that, it was like the demon switch when on and everything rapidly went downhill from there. Now, I know that 2 1/2 year old, by nature, aren't going to be the best behaved because they are, after all, still babies and learning but it was VERY clear to me that this kid has ZERO discipline at home. When his cartoon he'd been watching went off and I pulled up the on screen guide to see what was on next, he began screaming at the top of his lungs, "NO! NO! Me no want that!" until I turned the guide back off. The way our cable works, several channels have a "start over" feature that will automatically pop up five minutes after the show starts. Every time THAT would show on the screen, again P would start with the screaming.
As if that wasn't bad enough, the kid hits, bites, kicks and just all around generally behaves horribly, particularly come time to change his diaper. Considering the kid isn't potty trained AT ALL (despite the fact that ds was a late bloomer in this area, even he was at least partially potty trained by this point) that meant changing a LOT of diapers. At one point, I was changing a "#2" diaper and, of course, the kid is screaming that he wants up and thrashing all over the place. During one particularly wild thrash, the poop laden diaper started to flip and, instinctively, I threw my hand down to stop it. The diaper WAS folded over at that point so my hand WOULD have touched only diaper, not poop. Unfortunately, P's thrashing movements also caused the diaper to unroll so, yes, my hand landed smack dab in the poop. It was at this point that I am sad to say I lost it a bit and threatened to give him a spanking if he didn't stop screaming and HOLD STILL. I think he must have been shocked that I stood up to him because he actually stopped screaming and thrashing around long enough for me to finish cleaning him up and redress him.
But wait, there's more! The kid had chronic gas. Every few minutes, I swear, this kid was farting. You couldn't get within 10 feet of him without it smelling like he'd crapped himself. And EVERYTHING seemed to go into his mouth. The second he left for the day, I frantically soaked all the toys I could in a water/bleach solution and used Clorox wipes on everything else. Suffice it to say, come pick up time at 5:30pm that day, I was not only exhausted but VERY happy to see P going home! (It was also VERY apparent that three times the amount of $85 I was getting per week to watch this kid wasn't near enough for all I had to put up with.)
Forward to Wednesday morning - yesterday. I woke up feeling sick because I so badly did NOT want to have to watch P again. EVER. I seriously contemplated calling and telling his mother right then and there that unless she upped my fee to $200 a week, she needn't bring him back. I was that fed up. But, I put on my big girl panties (because we SO need the extra money right now) and sucked it up. 7am, P was back and so began another day of babysitting hell.
As the previous day, P was well behaved for the first hour and a half or so. He rode fine in the car to drop ds off at school. On Tuesday, I had had to carry P with me as I walked ds into school. Yesterday however, we were a couple minutes behind (because P HAD to take some stuff with him in the car, it was that or endure another of his screaming tantrums and I already had a slight headache at that point) and wound up getting stuck behind the buses in the drop off lane. Because I couldn't move the car and because I couldn't park it there due to it being the bus/drop off lane, ds had to walk into school for the first time all alone. I hugged him goodbye and told him to have a good day and I'd see him at 3pm but I was barely back in the car before I lost it. I just began sobbing. I wasn't quite sure what all that was about at first, I guessed it was just the stress of having to keep P again and not being able to be there for ds like I wanted to. Last night in therapy, my T pointed out that she thought perhaps I was crying for little DA since my NM never walked me into school when I was growing up and I was reliving that pain. Seemed to make sense.
Anyway, we got to be on our way just a few minutes later but I continued to cry and sob the entire way home and for about an hour afterward and then several times off and on throughout the next few hours. I was finally starting to calm down when P took an entire bin of small toys and dumped in on the floor quite aggressively. (Which is another thing about the kid, he was SO aggressive with his play, always trying to force this thing into here or throwing stuff hard, hitting it, etc.) I told him firmly but nicely to please pick that stuff up and put it back into the bin. Of course, P said, "NO! P no want pick up stuff!" (Another oddity - he was always referring to himself in the third person, "P no like this!", "P want that!", etc.) I pushed him and said, "P, you need to pick that stuff up please." and of course he continue to scream he didn't want to. After a couple minutes of me getting a bit firmer and him continuing to fight me, he actually grabbed a play teapot and threw it at me! Nailed me in the head which made my already borderline migraine launch into a full blown migraine. At that point, I was DONE.
I called up P's mom at work and told her I wasn't feeling good, that I had a horrible migraine that was making me extremely nauseous (which wasn't entirely untrue at that point) and told her she had to come get him please. She asked if she could wait another 20 minutes until her lunch break and I said fine, against my better judgement. She also told me to go ahead and pack up all of P's stuff that she'd brought over for him (she'd brought over an entire case of diapers and wipes along with a huge supply of food because, in her own words, she "can't be bothered dragging that stuff all over the place all the time") because she was going to put him back with his previous sitter. Had I not wanted to be rid of the kid and his tantrums and other awful behavior so badly, I'd have been pissed. As it was, I was thanking my lucky stars that he wasn't my problem anymore!
His mom showed up to collect P and his crap. I apologized (trying to be the bigger person) for having had to call her at work and that it obviously hadn't worked out having P here at my house) to which she replied it was no big deal and that there were no hard feelings or anything and said she'd give my money to dh by next Monday or Tuesday at the latest. I said that would be fine and off they went.
Forward to today. Dh calls and says that the gal paid him the money she owed me.............well, supposedly. She gave dh $20 for 16 hours worth of babysitting work on my part, not to mention the absolute hell I had to put up with, though neither of us mentioned that. It was bad enough when she was wanting to pay me a piddly $2/hour (when, as I understand it, the going rate starts at $5 per hour for babysitting duties) to watch her kid but this was just downright insulting. She paid me barely over $1 per hour!!!!
Dh was, understandably, livid on my behalf but said he's going to let it slide ONLY because he is friends with her father and has to work with him as well as the girl and doesn't want any issues at work right now. If it wasn't for the fact that dh works with her, I'd be giving the bitch a major piece of my mind, I tell you what! To add insult to injury, she had comments all over Facebook yesterday and today about how she had such a bad day yesterday and how she and P are both SO happy that he's once again back with his old sitter. I do the girl a major favor, take her kid into my home on short notice (one day's notice, to be exact), put up with his horrid behavior which included both me and my ds being hit by this kid, went out of my way to get ds' old carseat to put in my car so that he could be safe (his M said to just put him in a regular seatbelt with no carseat!) AND agreed to do it all for a piddly $85 a week and THIS is how she repays my kindness??! Well FUCK HER. She'd better NEVER ask me or dh for another favor ever.
On a happier note, I had an awesome therapy session last night. Dh went with me on this one as he had some questions about how to be supportive and what else he should be doing to help me, if anything. For the first time, I broke down and cried at a couple points which resulted in touching on some really deep issues. I'm not exactly sure WHAT we accomplished but I feel strongly that we accomplished quite a bit last night. As a result, I'm feeling very hopeful today. Between that and the fact that I didn't have to have P again today (or any other day from here on out, thank the Lord), today was an almost perfect day. I say almost perfect because my migraine came back again but, thankfully, the two Motrin I took seem to have knocked it out, though I have some remaining, slight sinus pressure.
I have to say, it has bothered me a great deal that I had/have such a strong dislike for P. He is, after all, only a baby and it really isn't his fault that he is the way he is. Clearly his mom and her bf don't take the time to discipline him properly. Hell, she even admitted as she left the first day that she didn't have time to be bothered with him acting up when she got home because she was tired after a long day's work and just wanted to relax but couldn't because she had to take care of him. I felt like a bad person because, instead of feeling sorry for P and having compassion like I felt I ought to, I felt only disgust and repulsion. I would never neglect any child in my care, regardless of how I felt about them, and P was certainly no different. I treated him the same as I did/do ds in regard to feeding him, keeping him safe, keeping his diapers clean and dry, etc. Still, I'd be lying if I said it wasn't with some effort that I was able to do those things for P. Thank goodness for my dh and T, both of whom said to me that I did nothing wrong and that it was natural to feel that way for a child who was so out of control and badly behaved, that I would only be in the wrong had I neglected or abused him in any way, neither of which I did. Made me feel a little better but there's still some remaining guilt in there.
Still no word from NM. Guess she's chosen to actually respect my wishes for once and not to contact me until I contact her. I'd been putting off taking any action where NM is concerned until I spoke with my T. Now that I've had another session with my T, she confirmed what I'd already been thinking - that, at least at this time, having contact with NM is not in my best interests and will only do more harm than good. She said there may come a time when I can handle it should I choose to but that time is not right now. That was when the grief started up again. I don't know why it should be so hard to let go, especially when I've already done this once before but, as my T said, it takes as long as it takes and some people need to grieve multiple times before it's all purged and they are ready to move on.
Hope you are all doing well. Also wanted to take the time to thank all of you so much for following my little blog and posting your various comments. It's nice to know that there are people out there who not only care about what I have to say but who I've also helped on occasion by baring my soul and putting all this out there. So thanks! :o)